The pedestals on which we place our musical icons are usually as flawless as a mixed and mastered LP. That being the conduit through which they enter our lives. See, our favorite songs aren't spontaneous surges of creativity from an artist's genius fingers and lips. They are meticulously crafted, often over the course of several months or years.
This painstaking perfectionism is why we think all our idols are just the coolest of the cool. We don't hear them fart between takes, or show up to record harmonies wearing Mandals and a ball cap. Yes, rock stars are rock stars for a reason. Because they're cooler than you, larger than life, so on and so forth.
With that in mind, here are some hysterical videos that I'm sure today's self mythologizing supergroups would rather didn't exist.
I Held Her In My Arms - Violent Femmes
The VFs aren't necessarily an image-heavy band. They probably still walk the streets with relative anonymity. That said, they probably still cringe (or laugh heartily) at this music video for "I Held Her In My Arms". This is low-budget goodness, complete with strobe light, copious amounts of spinning, and Gordon's crazy ass shirt and cheesy lip synching. Gotta love the line>roll>line at about 2:24.
Outtasite (Outtamind) - Wilco
I just can't imagine Jeff Tweedy ever being this enthusiastic about making a music video, especially one like this. Granted, the song isn't deep enough for a really conceptual video. But the skydiving theme is inherently goofy, and the fact that Tweeds has that stupid grin on his face the whole time ups the cornball factor. Bonus points for the little drummer toy rolling by at the end. Either way, looks like they were having a good time making it. Also note Tweedy's mid 90s haircut.
Creep - Radiohead (on Arsenio Hall)
I regrettably can't find a video or even a picture of this, which I believe was their first televised appearance. But Thom Yorke's hair was outta control. This one kinda sucks if you can't see it. But imagine Thom, only with this haircut:
Perhaps Thom wanted to method sing or something...you know, to be the creep. Whatever it was, it made for a funky 'do. Leave the quirky haircuts to Johnny...
Of course, these are three killer bands, and each of these songs is arguably one of their most well known. So no harm done by the horribly dated visuals. But sometimes seeing stuff like this serves as a reminder that no one has the foresight needed to escape this sort of ridicule. Only Johnny Cash was smart enough to realize that black would never be out.