During A Time Of Safety, Here’s The Video You Deserve
Mondays can really suck. So, every Monday, we give you a music video. A fun, funny music video. Something that’ll make you smile, make you laugh, make you reminisce, and make you realize that back in the day, music video creators were probably either insane or heavily intoxicated. But were also incredibly entertaining.
We call this feature, The Video You Deserve, and you can find it every Monday on your site for fun, free entertainment and features, QuadCities.com.
And today’s video is strange for a number of reasons, but let’s start with the song itself. It’s a bouncy, lighthearted pop number that’s one of those songs you can’t help but smile when you hear the first few notes, but its creation had a rather violent and antisocial origin. The songwriter, Ivan Doroschuk, wrote the song one night after a bouncer kicked him out of a dance club for pogo dancing. For those unfamiliar with pogo dancing, it was popularized in the punk movement and involved people basically jumping up and down like pogo sticks. Clubs started banning it because they were afraid it would incite violence as people bounced into one another. It would go on to evolve in the hardcore scene into slam dancing, where people would slam into one another and form a mosh pit as the music was playing. So, there’s this guy, Ivan, who gets kicked out of a punk club for pogo dancing, and he writes a song that’s one of the sunniest pop hits ever. Makes sense.
The tune wasn’t even the first single off the band’s album, and they didn’t think it would be a hit, but the record company went ahead with releasing it, and the band would hit a decent #11 in their native Canada early in 1983. But it wasn’t until the video started to get some attention south of the border, in the United States, on MTV, that the song took off in fall of that year and became a global smash — going platinum and spending four weeks at #3 in the U.S., and hitting the top ten in Britain and a half-dozen other countries.
Why was the video such a hit? You can see for yourself. There was really nothing like it then, and really nothing like it in the ensuing years. In a time when most pop stars were sleek new wavers in cool clothes and makeup, Ivan (the only band member featured in the video), has long unkempt hair, is dressed like he’s attending a renaissance faire, and wanders through the countryside with a magical dwarf jester and a woman with likewise crazy hair who looks like he’s dressed for a date with a Hobbit. (The identity of that mystery woman was actually a secret for quite some time, until it was revealed decades later to be a journalist named Louise Court, who went on to become Editor In Chief of British Cosmopolitan magazine. It’s unknown whether she authored several stories about HOT WAYS TO TURN UP THE SEXY HEAT AT YOUR RENAISSANCE FAIRE!!!) The video also features Morris dancers, Mummers, a Punch and Judy show, a maypole, and a very distinct dance — one in which the main characters all end up lining up to make a strange “S” shape with their arms, short for Safety, which is short for, of course, “The Safety Dance.”
And now, today, HERE is The Video You Deserve…