Monday, May 30, 2011

Music Video Monday: Leather & Sweat

Posted By on May 30, 2011, 11:00 AM

The year was 1982. Rocky III needed a theme song. Along came a little-known band of Chicago ragtags with an anthem titled “Eye of the Tiger,” and sporting-event intros would never be the same again. ---

Survivor’s video for “Eye of the Tiger” employs all of the state-of-the-art music video technology that was available in the early '80s. Specifically: a video camera and leather. The plot’s driving force is the band’s unquenchable thirst for rocking out, and if you’re asking yourself “Why are they playing late at night in an abandoned warehouse with no speakers?” then you just don’t get rock and roll, man.

The following would not have been possible without the sacrifices our troops have made for this country, but let’s not hold that against them.

Items of note:

* Lead singer Dave Bickler bears a striking resemblance to Jean Claude Van Damme’s Col. Guile in Street Fighter as he exits what appears to be an adult-movie theater.

* No, wait, it IS an adult-movie theater. Bickler’s expression suggests he has either been kicked out for some sordid act or for wearing a beret to a porno flick. Either way, he’s not arguing that it wasn’t warranted.

* Bickler has had his porn, he’s now ready to start a band using ESP. Band member No. 2 emerges from an alleyway and Band member No. 3 (played by Harold Ramis) frantically seeks his troupe before falling in line with the hard-charging Bickler.

* Band member No. 4 joins the trio from the same smut theater Bickler departed (they have apparently circumnavigated the Earth), and Band member No. 5 gets the scoop on the telephone. “Hey, there are four guys walking down the street right now.” “There are?” “Yeah, why don’t you join them?” “OK, gotta go.”

* The director didn’t bother telling random people on the street not to gawk.

* The band travels down an alleyway and up some stairs, where their instruments await alongside junked vans and truck cabs. How did that huge stuff get up the stairs? Rock and roll, man. Rock and roll.

* Everybody is happy now. Mission accomplished!

* Nope. Short, brisk walk. New set. Bickler’s changed into leather pants and there’s a shiny gold backdrop that might cost you $30 at Michael’s.

* 3:15 in, here comes the big guitar solo. Nothing better than a guitar solo that is nothing more than a repeat of the same hook we’ve been hearing the entire song.

* One of the guitarists looks exactly like SNL’s Will Forte.

* Lots of perspiration going on at this location. The gold backdrop is trapping the heat or something. The keyboardist’s arms look like they are covered in KY Jelly and the band members take turns flipping a tidal wave of sweat off their heads. Bickler is panting like he’s trapped inside a microwave. They might survive this, but the electrical equipment won’t.

* Seriously, it’s called cardio, guys. It’s a four-minute song!

* Need more? Don’t worry: Sylvie Vartan sings a French version of "Eye of the Tiger" that’s deliciously phlegm-y and vowel-y. It’s called “Faire Quelque Chose” (literally, “Take everything, I surrender.”)


This week's Music Video Monday was written by Matthew Piper, because he knows more about leather, Rocky and the early '80s, and he was up until 5 a.m. Monday morning.

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