Sometimes there's a music video that changes everything -- a video that makes your bad day turn good, turns your frown upside down, and confuses the everliving hell out of you. Today, I bring you that video. In
1976 1973, Hall & Oates made a "promotional video" for their single "She's Gone." It's a spectacular testament to the power of the format: Hall and Oates slump in armchairs, scowling, lazily smoking and occasionally lip-syncing. There's so much going on here (and not going on here) that I think I'll defer to the experts, Stereogum, to explain:
Is Daryl Hall wearing high-heeled clogs and smoking a cigarette during the video? Yep. Are they literally “paying” the devil to replace the woman by throwing fake money in the air every time they sing the lyric? Of course. Is John Oates wearing a tuxedo shirt with neither arms, sides, nor back? You bet! And does the devil then help him into a tuxedo jacket, and does that tuxedo jacket have flippers, and does Oates then rip off a wicked fake solo while holding the guitar in his flipper-clad hands? Yes, yes, yes, yes!
So, internet, you tell me: was this a contractual obligation, a bad trip at the public TV studio, or what? For comparison, check out their smooth performance of the song on Old Grey Whistle Test.
Update, 27 April 2012: Thanks to reader Redcoat for pointing us to a Losanjealous interview with John Oates, explaining the backstory. The most pertinent facts: it was actually 1973 when this
art film music video was shot, and Oates himself leaked the video. Here's the relevant snippet:
[Oates:] Well, I'll give you a little background about what happened with that "She's Gone" thing. First of all, it was 1973. There was no MTV, there was no outlet for anything like this. You know, it might be one of the first music videos ever made. I really couldn't say, honestly, but it definitely would be a contender. What happened was, we were asked to lip sync "She's Gone" for a teenage TV dance show broadcast out of Atlantic City, New Jersey. And we really didn't want to do that; we didn't want to pretend to sing the song. It was supposed to be shot in a television studio in Philadelphia. So we thought, with the mindset that we were in at the time -- and I won't say more on that, either --
([Interviewer] Ryan is laughing again.)
[Oates:] We showed up at the television studio with a chair from our living room. The woman who's walking through the picture -- that's Sarah...
[Ryan:] Oh, wow.
[Oates:] And the devil who comes through was our road manager at the time. And we brought Monopoly money, and those weird instruments, and they thought we were nuts. They really thought that. My sister directed that video.
[Ryan:] You're kidding me.
[Oates:] They thought we were completely insane. They actually didn't air it; they wouldn't air it. But we had it this whole time, and eventually I leaked it out to the internet, 'cause I just thought the world should see it.
(John Oates is laughing. Ryan is laughing.)