Sunday night my music pal and I were dredging up old 1980s videos on YouTube. He had a particularly vivid memory of a woman singing in a metal bikini but couldn't remember the name of the band. Hmm... it did seem to ring a bell (and apparently still rings his bell).
After Googling "80s video of woman in metal bikini," we were able to track down Missing Persons and their video for "Words." Do you hear her? Do you care? I don't think anyone was actually listening, but I'm pretty sure most adolescent boys were looking and cared.
Unfortunately, all embedding was disabled by request for every YouTube video I found, but this shot should get the point across:
Metal bra and horrible song equals instant MTV gold, a trend that continues to this day:
(Lady Gaga "Just Dances"...er, or something.)
And now Missing Persons are just what their name would imply.
Meanwhile, sick of the rampant 1980s nostalgia, we called up the Camera Obscura video for "French Navy" and saw no metal bras and lots of Serge Gainsbourgish nostalgia, and this was well and good.
Does this mean that because Camera Obscura are better known for their music than their appearance that they will outlast performers like Missing Persons and Lady GaGa? Not necessarily. But they do make me happy.
And then I confessed that one of the first cassettes I ever bought was by this guy:
That's Matthew Wilder. We found a clip of him performing on Solid Gold, and I realized that I had never actually SEEN him before. Someone should "Break His Stride" for that mustache. Maybe if he had worn a metal bra instead, he wouldn't be M.I.A. today.
He did try sporting the white man fro sans mustache:
I'll stick with Camera Obscura, thanks.