When Bad Videos Happen to Good Musicians
What happens when you combine four talented musicians with a low budget and questionable wardrobe? This.
A lot has been happening in the world since we talked last. The U.S. government avoided getting its Discover card cancelled by finding a solution (of sorts) to its debt ceiling crisis, the Smurfs movie managed to poop a giant blue turd on the impressive career run of modern day song and dance man Neil Patrick Harris (somehow I’ll find a way to blame the Smurfette-voicing Katy Perry for this), and U2 wrapped up their 360 tour after playing to so many people Bono fell into the habit of asking, “Would you like fries with that?” after every introduction at fan meet and greets.
Today, however, I’ve decided to take a bit of a risk. How so? Well, by showcasing a video done by people I know, and who, if they weren’t such nice guys, could find me pretty easily and leave me with a noticeable limp after reading today’s post.
“What’s the big deal?”, you may be asking yourself.
The video in question is…how do I put this nicely…entertaining, but for all the wrong reasons?
First, a little back story.
The band in question was called Plan B, and it was made up of four extremely talented musicians, some of whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with in the past, both live and in the studio. Two of the members of the group (guitarist David Kalmusky and drummer Jay Riehl) are in-demand session guys and studio wizards who now work full time out of Nashville after years honing their craft around Stratford, Ontario. In fact, Riehl’s old studio just outside of Stratford is where some kid named Bieber recorded his pre-Fever demo tracks, but don’t hold that against Jay. Bassist Scott Matthews (who originally got my attention when he posted this video to his Facebook page) is the Head of Audio at the Stratford Festival, the largest classical repertory theatre in North America. In 1993 they put on their Sunday best and made a performance video for their song I’ll Find a Way. And so here we are.
If you compiled a list of cliches to include in a ‘live’ rock video, I’ll Find a Way would find you checking off pretty much all of them, including:
Drummer in tank top? Check.
Hair that would make Cher’s stylist green with envy? Check.
Close up shot of fingers on the fretboard during the guitar solo? Check.
Periodic inclusion of crew members in the shot-just to remind you there’s a video being made? Check.
Bitchin’ matching Kramer guitar and bass? Check.
Over sized drum kit, with enough hardware to double as a shark cage if necessary? Check.
My point is this: the video is bad, but I can’t stop watching it. It brings me back to a simpler time, before grunge made it completely unacceptable to wear a checkered suit coat in a music video. And I’ll Find a Way is just a very brief snippet from the careers of some players who now make a living doing what I could only dream of ever accomplishing-being involved in the creation and production of music every day. Baggy work out pants and all.