Video Therapy: The 80s

“You Got Lucky” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
The song that should have been at the SuperBowl! This post-apocalyptic video features leather-clad band members driving a DeLorean hovercraft in a barren desert. They happen upon a boombox playing the song and a tent containing antiquated audio/video equipment like reel tape players, black and white TVs, and an arcade game. They also find a mint condition guitar with leopard shoulder strap. The end of the world always looks so Mad Max.

“Pretty Woman” by Van Halen
I don’t know why this video got burned into my memory. It is strange as only an 80s cover of a Roy Orbison classic could be. Two midgets are torturing a leggy woman tied between two wooden posts. The hunchback watching the proceedings on a closed circuit TV calls for help from some very macho men: a samurai(Michael Anthony), a Tarzan lookalike(Alex Van Halen), and a cowboy(Eddie Van Halen.) They rush to the aid of the damsel in distress and are joined by a Napoleon Bonaparte wannabe in a stretch limo(David Lee Roth.) Then the boys get the biggest surprise yet. People complain the intro is too long but the guitar is 80s wicked.

“Jeopardy” by the Greg Kinh Band
Before he became a radio announcer and author, Greg Kinh was a rock musician. One of his biggest hits is one of my favorite videos of all time. Cheap special effects, tentacled monsters and zombies, and cameos by San Francisco’s beautiful Mission Dolores and the Lutheran church across the street make this cautionary tale about marriage hilarious.

“Thriller” by Michael Jackson
Blame it on those dancing lizards. This is the ultimate dance routine and you know you agree. Check out YouTube for versions by Filipino prisoners, college kids, and Bollywood actors but nothing compares to the original when Michael still looked black (and cute!)

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