Saturday, July 11, 2009

He beat it: the forgotten “auteur” of MTV's early years

In all the thousands and thousands of words that have been spilled on cable since the death of Michael Jackson, I have not heard a single mention of music-vid director Bob Giraldi, who helmed one of his most memorable (and over-played at the time) vids, "Beat It,” as well as the cloying "Say Say Say" with that smiling ex-Beatle. Giraldi specialized in corny, overstated, and extremely *plotted* music videos in the earliest days of the MTV avalanche (think "Love is a Battlefield," that's his), and although his clips are constantly commemorated on I Love the ’80s shows and music-vid retrospectives, you don't hear them acknowledging the man himself (who has gone on to be a restaurateur). I thought I would share what I consider one of his cheesiest but enjoyable creations, the only one of his vids I truly could harbor as a non-guilty pleasure (I'm not guilty about my trash consumption): the astounding Pia Zadora/Jermaine Jackson (yes, he did do stuff between the Jackson 5 reunions!) Road Warrior-ish gang-rumble variation on Romeo and Juliet, "When the Rains Begin to Fall." The song was a bigger hit overseas (as is apparent from the veejay here) and the video, of course, speaks the international language of cheese.

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