A high school friend and I reconnected recently, and we're both filmmakers now. We were lamenting the fact that we didn't have video cameras to document our small, weird New England town when we were teenagers - imagine the films we could have made about the guy who keeps a Revolutionary War cannon on his front lawn and puts small woodland creatures in Trick-or-Treat bags!
But we were connected to and by videos - it was the 80s, and we were riveted to this crazy new art form that put images to song lyrics. I didn't have cable, so I had to glean what I could from Friday Night Videos or stolen glimpses of MTV at sleepovers. And when I was twelve, this was the cutting edge. I still think some of the images are beautiful, like the silhouetted people who look like a Rorshach inkblot test, but I start laughing every time he sings "I drive off in my car" and then...drives off. In his car.
Thank you, Peter Gabriel, for crawling inside my imagination when I was a kid and for prompting me to stencil the word "Biko" on every piece of denim I owned. And for making extremely literal music videos with candy hearts that drop from the sky when you say the word "love."