Please help me ID this early-80s music video!
May 5, 2012 1:27 PM   Subscribe

Please help me ID this early-80s music video!

When I was a kid, there were several videos on MTV that creeped the hell (by which I mean scared the bejeezus) out of me. The first was "Icehouse" by Icehouse/Flowers. Second was "Draw of the Cards" by Kim Carnes. Both of those were directed by Russell Mulcahy. (There was also "Ashes to Ashes" by David Bowie, in a similar style but not by Mulcahy.)

There was a third one, and it was again in this style. I remember a man searching a post-apocalyptic landscape, a woman holding a large letter "Y" out to him, and, like, short people or something running around with stepladders on their backs? For some reason I recall this video being for "Waiting for a Girl Like You" by Foreigner, but I've found no evidence that this was the case (every video I've found for this song is just a performance video).

Nothing on Mulcahy's c.v. rings a bell as far was what this may be, and the entry for WFAGLY gives no clues.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? I would love to know what this video was and see it again! (Thinking I might should put together a Mulcahy FPP as well.)
posted by Legomancer to Media & Arts (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The video for The Safety Dance used to creep the hell out of me for some reason. There was a dwarf, but nothing really post-apocalyptic.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 2:58 PM on May 5, 2012

The short people with ladders makes me think of New Order 'True Faith'

Post apocalyptic landscape? Where to begin? Duran Duran - Wild Boys? Maybe something by Richard Stanley for Fields of the Nephilim?
posted by juiceanddoom at 3:01 PM on May 5, 2012

Was it possibly Ultravox's Passing Strangers? (For some reason it's not listed on Mulcahy's CV that you link to, but he definitely directed it; it was the first of four videos he did with them -- Passing Strangers, Vienna, The Thin Wall, and The Voice -- all of which are slightly creepy in their own way.) People running around in the post-apocalyptic landscape starts around 2:45.
posted by scody at 6:00 PM on May 5, 2012

Response by poster: It's definitely something the very early days of MTV. And I remember it as being a fairly mainstream band.
posted by Legomancer at 6:18 PM on May 5, 2012

Response by poster: According to that site (I have no idea how accurate it is) "Passing Strangers" was directed by David Mallet, who also did "Ashes to Ashes".
posted by Legomancer at 6:36 PM on May 5, 2012

Hmm, I don't know how accurate that site is, then. In his autobiography, Midge Ure (lead singer of Ultravox) discusses filming it with Russell Mulcahy (an extra's hair was accidentally set on fire!). Maybe Mallet and Mulcahy worked together.
posted by scody at 7:03 PM on May 5, 2012

"You Got Lucky" by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers?
posted by Ratio at 7:27 PM on May 5, 2012

Response by poster: It wasn't "You Got Lucky" though that video is great.

The key element, I think, is the woman holding the "Y". It's like he's pursuing her, and at some point she holds it out and it glows or something. I also think it crumbles to bits when he finally gets it? It's about a foot long.
posted by Legomancer at 6:30 AM on May 6, 2012

try asking over at Antville.
posted by progosk at 8:35 AM on May 6, 2012

Harden My Heart by Quarterflash has little people, scenes in a wasteland, is from the early 80's, and has a saxophone riff that's pretty similar to the Foreigner song you mentioned.

No girl with a Y though, but worth a look since many of the other details fit.
posted by Guernsey Halleck at 11:53 PM on May 7, 2012

I've searched everywhere for the video in question, in part because it sounds familiar and I hoped this would be sort of straightforward, after a little digging. I watched a lot of MTV when I was a kid. Though I've found a bunch of post-apocalyptic 80s videos (my God, there are so many of them!), the woman with the crumbling Y escapes me. Perhaps combing through this thread might help you: ""
posted by but no cigar at 9:05 AM on May 8, 2012

Best answer: FOUND IT.

You guys don't want to know what all I went through, but I found it.

The song is...ready...?

"I Really Want to Know You" by Gary Wright
posted by Legomancer at 5:00 PM on May 8, 2012

Ahh.....I have never seen that video before, ever. Still, I'm very glad you figured it out! It's maddening when you have something in mind you just can't identify!
posted by but no cigar at 9:02 AM on May 9, 2012

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