Frankie goes to a bacchanalian gay fetish bar: The original, hilarious banned video for ‘Relax’

Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s 1983 single “Relax” is so gay. Specifically gay sex. It’s amazing that when the song first came out, the band actually tried to deny its obvious prurience. Two years later though, co-songwriter and bassist Mark O’Toole wrote in the liner notes of their follow-up album, “when people ask you what ‘Relax’ was about, when it first came out we used to pretend it was about motivation, and really it was about shagging.” It wasn’t the most forgiving time for explicit homoerotic sexuality, but the band was never apologetic, and really pushed the boundaries.

During an infamous Top of the Pops performance, frontman Holly Johnson actually tore up a copy of The Sun, the tawdry rag that had been harassing his parents at home for quotes about their gay son. “Relax” also had a 16-minute-long “Sex Mix” that was just a bunch of samples of water noises—apparently even gay bars refused to play it. Then there is the original music video for “Relax,” an unintentionally hilarious ode to gay hedonism, which was almost immediately banned.

Johnson says the video got pulled when “a big wig in the ‘Big Brother Broadcasting Company’” found his kids watching it. Later the record company asked them to make a second video, the one everyone now knows as the “Relax” video. The second video is dated, naturally, and Johnson describes it as “almost like a satire of a regulation pop video—you know, guys in makeup and laser beams, lots of looking at the camera.” To be fair, the song does contain the line “hit me with your laser beams,” but I think that might be referencing something a little less… literal.

The video is utterly ridiculous of course, but what strikes me is the relative tameness of the queer debauchery. Drag queens and leather daddies, some people in cages and on leashes, a lot of mesh tank tops and gratuitous contouring blush, an actual tiger, and a hedonistic old queen overseeing the entire spectacle while being shaved. Completely insane? Yes. Is there innuendo? Definitely (especially the rather obvious reference to water sports). But there’s nothing hardcore, and it’s hard to believe that a video featuring this kind of hetero sybaritism would have gotten banned.

Posted by Amber Frost
09:39 am
Sweet Revenge: This is what happens when a ‘hardcore’ band doesn’t pay their audio engineer
11:49 am

Allegedly this pleasant-looking “hardcore” band didn’t pay their audio engineer for working on their music video.

According to Dans Lab on YouTube:

Ever wonder what happens to bands videos or music when they decide they don’t want to pay the engineer for his time he spent? Well hopefully this video answers that question.

The band is now known as “Hardcore EDM Dance Band!”

Let this be a lesson to other deadbeat punks: Best to pay your bills on time, you wouldn’t want something like this happening to you!

Via BuzzFeed

Posted by Tara McGinley
11:49 am
MIA’s ‘Bad Girls’ - music video of 2012 (so far)

Despite being a bit of an MIA skeptic in the past, I have to admit I fuckin’ love this video! 

Amid all the brouhaha surrounding Madonna’s “Give Me All Your Luvin’”, which also premiered on Friday (it’s ok, nothing special), it seemed a bit mystifying as to why MIA would choose to premier her own video on the same day. Who the hell competes with Madonna? Especially when you are already featured in her song? Well, put that thought on ice my friends, because “Bad Girls” is worth a dozen “Give Me All Your Luvin’“s.

Director Romain Gavras takes the standard music video tropes of cars and girls, transplants it to a North African setting, and captures some beautiful imagery and wicked stunts on the way (the kind of thing we’re normally used to seeing in shakey, low-res YouTube clips). Most importantly though, this succeeds where other MIA and Gavras videos have failed - in particular the infamous “ginger-killing” clip for “Born Free” - in that it’s not patronising.

To me MIA works best when she’s not trying to be controversial, but just does what she does. She’s so inherently different from what passes for mainstream “pop” performers nowadays, that she doesn’t need to work harder to seem more edgy or confrontational. That’s why “Bad Girls” succeeds where “Born Free” failed, and why its simplicity is a lot more subversive. Rather than bludgeoning us over the head with exploding body parts, it gently reminds us: “Hey guys, look, Arabs are cool too! They’re not just cannon fodder for Arnie films and Western Imperialist wars.”

MIA “Bad Girls”

“Bad GIrls” is taken from MIA’s 2010 mixtape Vicki Leekx, which is still available to download.


Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
09:02 am