As previously mentioned I am an 80s-phile. The other day a friend of mine and I were arguing about which Lionel Richie song had the blind girl in the video and I insisted it was "Penny Lover" while my friend insisted it was some other equally Lionel-fabulous, or Lionebulous, song. I Googled "Lionel Richie blind girl video" and "Hello" promptly popped onto my computer in a blaze of oversized jacket and pastel color glory. I was wrong, but not as wrong as that video. We began watching the video (this is what I do when bored at work) and realized two things: 1) We both still know all the words to the song and 2) the video is freaking creepy.
I won't harp on the clothes or the hair because that's too easy...it was the 80s for goodness sake. And there's way worse to pick on in this music video of terror. The video starts with this awkward talky scene as Lionel calls on Blind Girl (she doesn't have a name in the video so don't hate) and some nameless dude to act out a scene in drama class. While unsuspecting Blind Girl "acts" Lionel begins singing "I've been alone with you inside my mind...." Uh..that's a weird thought for a professor. Right around here you realize how creepy it is that he's eyeballing the blind student. Then the bell rings and the kids rush out into the hall, put their stuff away in their lockers, and run to their next class before they're tardy. They're in high school!! Blind Girl is in high school and Lionel is her pederass teacher. What? What?
As the video rolls on so do the waves of creepiness. Everywhere Blind Girl goes Lionel follows, softly singing about the sunlight in her hair while everyone clearly within earshot pretends not to hear. He even hangs out in the back of her dance class checking out her leotard (I know she's blind, but watch the video- she's in dance class). The story takes a turn for the dark side or darker side, when Lionel appears to call Blind Girl on the phone, but he's just signing, "Hello...is it me you're looking for..." (duh, she's blind, Lionel) so you're left with the impression he's not really saying anything because no one can hear him singing. Blind Girl smiles stupidly into the receiver and Lionel hangs up on her. WTF. He's officially stalking an underage blind girl.
We finally make it to the end of the video where it's revealed that Blind Girl must have let her fingers do some walking on Lionel because she has sculpted his face out of orange clay. And apparently, Lionel's head is as big as my ass. This sculpture is terrible! As my friend pointed out, couldn't they have spent a little less on spandex and a little more on the sculpture. I guess it kind of looks like Lionel, if his afro had it's own planetary system.
I really wish I hadn't watched a video that in my memories was a sweet love story not Silence of the Lambs. But, it's still a great song.
Of course, this mishap with Lionel got me to thinking about other 80s creepy tragedies. Tragedies like Adam Ant's Goody Two Shoes. Why did I have an attraction to a dude dressed like a gay pirate? Come to think of it, why was I attracted to so many obviously gay dudes? Like George Michael in super tight, super short shorts (half blue, half white?!?) singing "You put the boom boom into my heart."
Another creepy 80s pop guy is Rick Astley. Remember him? He looked like the offspring of Howdy Doody and Screech. But he sounded like a 60 year old blues singer who'd had a life full of smokes and heartache. I thought he was super cute singing "Never Gonna Give You Up" and now I look at him and wonder "Does he have a vagina?"
Speaking of vaginas, the first time I saw a Culture Club video I thought Boy George was such a pretty girl! Six months later I figured out she was a he, but I never really figured out the geisha connection in the ultra creepy Miss Me Blind video. Shiver.
I could go on and on, but I can't keep ruining my great 80s memories. I'm taking the belief that the lead singer of A-Ha was hot and manly to my grave. But, since "Hello" is already ruined for me I'd like others to share in my misery.