Video Hangover: “Bag Lady (I Wonder)”

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…

“Bag Lady (I Wonder)”
EBN-OZN, 1984

THE CONCEPT
Scruffy synth-rockers save bag lady, fail to address root causes of homelessness.

WHAT THEY WERE THINKING
While the plot of this video isn?t as elaborate as George?s adventures with Billy Joel, we admire EBN-OZN?s willingness to tell a story in order to make a point. Being homeless is difficult enough in this town, but when you can?t even root through a dumpster without being menaced by the Yakuza? That ain?t no way to live. Enter concerned citizens Ned ?EBN? Liben and Robert ?OZN? Rosen, who spring into action and save the day, with a little help from some trash cans and a guitar shaped like the United States. Then it?s makeovers for everybody!

WHERE THEY WENT WRONG
On the scale of Most Shameless Exploitation of Homelessness in a video, we?d probably rank this somewhere between ?Another Day in Paradise? and ?Gypsy Woman.” It?s debatable whether these guys raised as much awareness as Phil Collins (although it?s true, as with most things, that Phil was most successful in raising awareness only of himself). But at least they had the common decency not to wear pantsuits, or to get that stupid ?La da dee, la da dah? organ lick stuck in our heads for like, three years. Thanks for nothing, Crystal Waters.

THE LESSON
Do your part. If you can give money, give money. If you can give time, give time. And if you can make a video that features a guy who types backward, the ghost of JFK, and Aunt Edna from Vacation, you go out there and make that video. The homeless will thank you later.

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Tags: EBN-OZN