You ever have one of those moments when you come across a rare artifact of pop culture that intersects your own life? This happened to me last night.
I recently purchased Mötley Crüe - Greatest Video Hits off Ebay for a little bit of nothing. I was scrolling through the menu, picking and choosing the clips I wanted to see most.
"You're All I Need" is not one of my favorite Motley songs but I appreciate it nonetheless. After watching the music video, I have a whole new respect for the song.
You see, the clip begins with a billboard that warns about its graphic content. Quickly, the viewer learns that MTV banned the video. The second billboard reads "But then, who ever said the six o'clock news was pretty?" This struck a chord with me like you wouldn't imagine.
You see, I pay my bills by producing the six o'clock news.
It's not lost on me, or any of my colleagues, that we make our living profiting off the heartache and loss of others. The old adage "if it bleeds, it leads" is true, at least at my station. As long as the story is graphic, the image clear, the report concise, you've got a winner.
If the story is particularly grisly but you beat the competition, you've got perfect fodder for a promotional commercial.
In the video for "You're All I Need," a couple fight and he kills her. Just like the lyrics:
"Tied up smiling/
I thought you were happy/
Never opened your eyes/
I thought you were napping/
I got so much to learn/
About love in this world/
But we finally made the news."
The knife fight between the man and woman gets way out of hand, and he fatally stabs her. I'm not certain, but the first nine seconds of the video look like raw tape from a television news crew. Of course, the police investigation was probably staged so Motley Crue could make their point, but the clip is so real it reminds me of the crap I watch every day just for the privilege of buying groceries.
Now, the story behind the video gets a little bit more convoluted. In one interview, Nikki Sixx says the entire video concept was based on a lie, and it was never banned. Whatever the truth, please believe: a lot of what you see on local news is comprised of lies.
["You're All I Need" lyrics by Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee on the Elektra release Girls, Girls, Girls. Copyright 1987].