Video Hangover: “Rock Me Tonight”

Twice a week we dig up a music video so ill-conceived it’s no wonder MTV stopped playing the damn thing. But hey, at least we learned something…

“Rock Me Tonight”
Billy Squier, 1984

THE CONCEPT
Billy Squier tries to rock you, ends up rocking only himself.

WHAT THEY WERE THINKING
It?s 4:30 pm, day of the shoot, and the actor and actress are nowhere to be found. The band is despondent, knowing full well that this video is their last chance to impress the record exec who has flown in from Los Angeles. But no actors means no video, and they?ll never find somebody new at this hour. Face it, the dream is over! The production crew packs up the smoke machine; the exec checks his watch. And then a voice rings out: ?I?ll do it.? Everybody turns to look. It?s Billy! He?s going to save the video! But what about his condition? Keith, the drummer, begs him to reconsider ?Doc says you ain?t allowed to rock no more — you know what could happen!? But Billy shakes his head, says ?If it?s my time, it?s my time.? The record exec perks up. The crew unpacks the smoke machine. He?s really gonna do it! Keith is crying now ?Billy, no!? But Billy puts hand up, real calm, and says ?I?ll see you guys later, at the concert. We?ll do that back-to-back thing.? And he takes off his clothes and gets into bed.

WHERE THEY WENT WRONG
They left the cameras running. Although, in retrospect, we?re glad they did.

THE LESSON
We?re sorry, the correct answer was: ?A cross between Belinda Carlisle and Napoleon Dynamite.? We also would have accepted ?a Gene Kelly musical directed by Richard Simmons? or ?the gay Iggy Pop.?

Got a candidate for Video Hangover? E-mail tips at stereogum.com.

Tags: Billy Squier