Looking for a download of „I Can’t Wait”? Check out the „Powermix” on iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/i-cant-wait-powermix/id366619556
Since it first appeared in 1986 during the heyday of MTV, people having been asking us about the video for „I Can’t Wait”. What is the meaning behind it all? Why is Valerie pulling a shark out of a coffee pot? Is the dog wearing sunglasses a part of the band?
John and I have always loved the video for I Can’t Wait. Working on it with Jim Blashfield was one of the highlights of our pop music career. Jim lives in Portland with his wife Mellisa Marsland (who also produced the video), and his daughter Hallie. We have gotten to be good friends with Jim and his family over the years. We even got to work with Jim recently on a multi media performance called Brain Chemistry For Lovers. Jim directed, edited the script, and created video for it. Over the years we’ve had a few discussions about the music business and assorted other music related topics, but because the video for ICW had always „made sense” on a non-literal level to us, John and I had never thought to ask Jim „What was that all about?”
Enter Sloan de Forest, a woman who calls herself „the Pauline Kael of classic MTV”. Sloan had a blog called „Images of Heaven: Remembering The Lost Art of Music Video”. She had decided it was time to uncover the story behind the „making of” ICW. She emailed Jim. He responded and copied us on the email. The blog no longer exists, but Jim’s response does. The whole thing wouldn’t fit here, but here’s how it begins…
The video came about because I was a filmmaker living in Portland and my producer Melissa Marsland and I had just finished our first video, And She Was and another for Joni Mitchell called Good Friends and our fellow Portlanders– the Nu Shooz crew who had been having some big international dance hits– asked us to do a video for them. I explained that I wanted to improvise it. I didn’t want to plan it at all. I wanted the experience of just making it up from what was around when we got to the studio. The morning of the shoot, I loaded my kitchen table and chair and lamp into my car along with some biology slides and a coffee maker and some kind of cigar box and headed over to the stage. I rummaged around among the props there and found some canvas and some walls from a commercial and some fake cactuses. I went upstairs where the band and the crew were assembled– we had a good and very professional crew, as you can tell from looking at the images– and told them I would be back in 10 minutes with instructions about setting up for the first shot, about which I had no idea whatsoever. I rummaged around in people’s offices and borrowed a few other items which looked promising. I went upstairs and said we were doing a video that took place in the desert and set people about creating that. It seemed like we needed something in front of the green walls so the video editor went down the street and came back with a dumpster and rigged a way to make the lid go up and down with fishing line. I recalled that my friends who were on vacation had a great looking dog house for their dog Buster and some people went there and stole it. We called up a friend with an obedient dog who would stay when asked and he brought his pooch over. Somebody else got a bunch of tools out of the trunk of their car. Now, fully prepared, with the band members doing an admirable job of hiding their apprehension, we were all set to shoot the live action! Valerie was completely along for the ride with a great sense of playfulness as her song was absolutely misinterpreted….
(if you want to finish the story you can find the rest on our blog here: http://www.nushoozmusic.com/news/13-i-can-t-wait-the-video-what-is-it-all-about)
Reading Jim’s account of how the video came together made us appreciate him even more than we already do. And what a blast to have his version of the making of! He’s a master at using images to explore that theme park of the mind — the unconscious — and give us all a great time while doing it.
Thought I’d share it with you.
For more about Nu Shooz past and present, check out http://www.nushoozmusic.com/
To watch more Nu Shooz videos, visit our YouTube Channel here: http://www.youtube.com/nushoozmusic