Playwright Amy Staats' talks with us about her female-cast Van Halen tribute play. The post Female Playwright/Leads Turn Off-Broadway's “Eddie and Dave” Into a Gender Reversed (and Dissected) Thrill Ride through Edward & Diamond Dave's Roller ...


Female Playwright/Leads Turn Off-Broadway’s “Eddie and Dave” Into a Gender Reversed (and Dissected) Thrill Ride through Edward & Diamond Dave’s Roller Coaster Relationship and more...

Female Playwright/Leads Turn Off-Broadway’s “Eddie and Dave” Into a Gender Reversed (and Dissected) Thrill Ride through Edward & Diamond Dave’s Roller Coaster Relationship


The mighty Van Halen: Edward, Dave, Alex, Michael

It may have the old MTV’s last gasp: that moment at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1996 — the one that host Dennis Miller announced as “having survived their very own rock & roll version of the old Dick York/Dick Sargent debacle” — when a seemingly impossible band reunion actually happened right in front of our eyes. They walked onto the stage. First, Eddie and Alex Van Halen, then bassist Michael Anthony, and finally, his highness himself, Diamond David Lee Roth. All that had changed in rock and roll since 1984 had apparently now evaporated as people stood and cheered for two full minutes. Strangely lost on this audience was that this was the band who put a smile on heavy metal & spawned the hair band era that Seattle was born to kill. Four Pasadena boys, whose music harkened back to an era where you were hot for teacher and might as well jump, just stood there, somewhat dumbfounded, marveling that anyone still cared.


September 4, 1996: The band got back together….sort of.

That night’s events serve at the lynch pin of an amazingly creative endeavor called “Eddie and Dave,” essentially a play about Van Halen forming, rising, and falling apart. Playwright Amy Staats concocts a fully fabricated and still strangely accurate version of the story, told through the wide eyes of a true Van Halen fan. Casting female actors as the band members, Staats has transformed what could have been just a frothy “Behind the Music” episode into a fun house mirror of gender dissection; credit goes to Staat’s spot-on writing, Margot Bordelon’s loosely reined directing, and the go-for-broke performances are a delight, including Staats as Edward himself.

Playwright Amy Staats also plays Eddie Van Halen

Playwright Amy Staats also plays Eddie Van Halen

We took a moment to talk with the playwright as this production, currently residing at Atlantic Theater Company’s Stage 2, enjoys an extension until February 17.

Q: What is your earliest Van Halen memory?

Amy Staats: Van Halen was always in the air as a kid. I remember reading a magazine at a friend’s house about Eddie Van Halen being a genius guitar player before I was fully aware of the band.

Q: Why did the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards seem like a great focal point for this story?

A: A guilty pleasure of mine is watching band break up confessional videos. There is something very compelling to me about the humanity behind a great rock band. I saw an interview of Eddie and Alex after VMA’s. Eddie Van Halen seemed very upset, and I wanted to know why. The more I learned about Van Halen, the more fascinating and un-knowable they became.

Q: Did people try to discourage you from telling such a specific story, one that might only seemingly be interesting to a niche audience?

A: Quite the opposite. The theater community was excited and supportive. Most importantly, the response from Van Halen fans has been a joy. I am such a fan myself, and it was imperative that my respect and love for the band come through in the play.

Q: How much about the real story did you know, and how much did you need to research?  

A: I did a ton of research, and I made a lot of stuff up. After all, the only people that really know what happened are the band members themselves (as it should be). This is a work of fan fiction.

Q: What would you say is Van Halen’s absolute best music video?

A: Okay, this is going to be divisive. I love the live video of “Unchained” because the band is so awesome. But, as far as utilizing the video format, “Hot for Teacher“. And “(Oh) Pretty Woman” is bananas. In a good way. Actually, all the videos they did with Dave are historic.




Q: What was the most difficult part of this process, from first inception to last preview? Van Halen’s history is rich and complex; there is a lot of material to mine! My director and friend Margot Bordelon and my collaborator and friend Megan Hill (who plays Dave) all worked together on Eddie and Dave during residences and workshops for three years. They helped me cherry pick what to keep and what to throw away. Writing Eddie and Dave has been deceptively tricky from the start. I am so grateful to have such brilliant collaborators.

Q: Why does Van Halen mean so much to you?

A: We are living in an era where technology is evolving much faster than humans. Something is compelling about the physical and bombastic world of Van Halen. Lightning in a bottle. Musicianship. It’s fucking exciting.

Q: Did the creation of this work teach you anything about yourself?

A: I think I was intrigued by the interview of the Van Halen brothers because it seemed to me that Ed’s anger was that of a shy person driven to the edge. I am a shy person who avoids conflict, so my anger comes out in weird ways. I’ll have to talk to my therapist about this.  

Read more about the production here.


The post Female Playwright/Leads Turn Off-Broadway’s “Eddie and Dave” Into a Gender Reversed (and Dissected) Thrill Ride through Edward & Diamond Dave’s Roller Coaster Relationship appeared first on Golden Age of Music Video.


Tony Lewis of The Outfield Talks About Working with David Fincher, This Summer’s Retro Futura Tour, His First Solo Album OUT OF THE DARKNESS, and The Enduring Legacy of Josie’s Vacation Far Away


Alan Jackman, John Spinks and Tony Lewis of The Outfield, circa 1986

When you think of Tony Lewis, former bassist and vocalist of The Outfield, you inevitably hear that voice, that moment, and that lyric.

“Josie’s on a vacation far away, come around and talk it over.”

The Outfield’s 1986 hit “Your Love” arrived on MTV and pop radio in the spring and dominated the airwaves throughout that epic summer. The song, dropping hints of infidelity and citing a penchant for girls “a little bit older,” was written by guitarist John Spinks and belted by Lewis’s unmistakable voice, resulting in a signature song for the band and their album Play Deep going multiplatinum. On the strength of “Your Love,” the singles “All The Love (In The World)” and “Everytime You Cry” became hits as well, with music videos directed by none other than a young David Fincher.

After a few more albums, band took a break in the 1990s, but then reformed & continued releasing albums and touring. When John Spinks passed away in 2014, the band officially retired.


Now Lewis has emerged with a solo album on Madison Records, Out of the Darkness, full of magic and life, with that voice still belting out heartfelt tales of love and loss. Tony Lewis spoke to us about the journey to that moment, along with some Outfield memories, the loss of Spinks, and his experiences shooting those 80s music videos.TonyLewis-768x512

Tony Lewis of the Outfield (above) has a new solo album

“We were basically on a four year hiatus, with the passing of John,” Lewis said. “and I didn’t want to do anything.  I wasn’t even interested in music. I didn’t even want to pick up a guitar for the first year. Uh, then another year goes past and then, my wife and I went out for something to eat and she said to me,  ‘Why don’t you get back to it and record, and do what you do best?’ And I said, ‘Well, you know, I do, I do like recording and making music.’ She said, ‘Well, if it’s, if it’s what you enjoy doing, well, just have a go.’ So I put together some backing tracks, I had about sort of three or four, five, and then we got six backing tracks, but  I was struggling with the lyrics. Then she said, ‘I’ve got some other lyrics here.’ She’s he’s pretty good at telling a story, and the lyrics seemed to fit the backing tracks really well.”

“I had Out of the Darkness as the title, not just about the passing of John, but just me coming out and saying that not just the bass player. I’ve got more strings to my bow. That’s me producing, on the melodies, and on the guitars, keyboards, and drums.”


After meeting with Madison Records’ head Tanner Hendon, himself a musician, Lewis signed with the label in October, and his first solo album Out of the Darkness was released on June 29th. Currently on the road with the Retro Futura tour, Lewis joins an lineup of legacy bands that includes Belinda Carlisle, ABC, Modern English, Annabella Lwin of Bow Wow Wow, and Limahl.

“I’m really really excited about what’s coming up,” said Lewis about balancing the performances with new and old. “I like playing ‘Into the Light,’ which is the single, and ‘Here and Now,’ but I’m not losing sight of the fact that these tours are all about the 80s, so I don’t really want to swamp the set with my new material. I know people want to go along, and they want to hear ‘All the Love (In the World),’ and ‘Your Love,’ all The Outfield hits. So, yes, I’m excited about the album and tour, and if anything grows bigger from this point, it’ll just be a bonus for me because as far as I’m concerned, I’ve fulfilled my desire to get a record out there.”

But what is it about “Your Love” that keeps it in the pop culture consciousness? Covered by several modern artists in the last five years, and serving as the centerpiece of a Saturday Night Live sketch with Josh Hutcherson lip-synching the lyrics, the song has a status among great pop hits.


“Well, the song was written in about 20 minutes. I’ve still got the original lyric sheet that was on a piece of lined paper. John shouted out the words to me in his corridor, in his flat. John said, ‘I’ve got something,’ and I remember sitting on an amp and thinking, ‘Oh, there’s a catchy little song.’  There was no plan, like ‘Let’s make a song that’s gonna last for maybe 40 years that people are gonna love.’ We just thought it was a great little pop song, you know, a pop rock song. And I didn’t even think, even to this day, it would be as successful as it became. I tend to not try and analyze it. And now I understand why it works, but I don’t really overanalyze how it’s worked. It’s just one of those songs that just came out of that time period. And that springtime and going into summer, the song just seemed to have a life of its own. And it didn’t happen overnight. Some people thought we were overnight successes. It took between six and nine months before it really kicked in.”


Among the multitude of covers of the song, both on the internet and officially licensed, Lewis said that he enjoys Katy Perry’s version, among the many.


“I think that when you have a song like that, one that people want to do a cover version of, I find it very flattering — even a dance version of ‘Your Love’ – it’s great that people like the song and want to do their own version of it.”

The Outfield had the benefit of a strong music video for “Your Love,” directed by John Jopson, and then two follow-up hits from Play Deep had videos directed by none other than Academy Award-nominated David Fincher, who shot many music videos early in his career.

“It’s just about capturing the vibe. When we did the ’Your Love’ video, we had to film all night long. We started at six in the evening and finished about four o’clock in the morning. I think if you look closely, you’ll see Graham needs a shave in some of the clips.(laughs) But it was a very big soundstage. Also, there was the height difference between me and John, I had to stand on a box most of the most of the filming. I’m five foot six and John was six foot four. And it looks like we’re the same height in the video.  I was standing on the box. (laughs) It was like — do you remember Alan Ladd in those westerns? He would have the leading ladies walk in a trench while he walked along, so he’d look taller than her. (laughs)”

“He was up and coming, and he was a very nice man,” Lewis recalls about Fincher. “I just thought he was quite special because he had an imagination that no other video director had, from my perspective. He had quite a lot of charisma about him, and we used to shoot different ways, especially on ‘All the Love (In the World)’. He had a great vision of how a video would look. I just knew he would be successful because he had an enormous talent.”


Lewis recalled that after the Fincher-helmed “All the Love (In The World)” clip was completed, he found himself being called back to set.

“I was at home, about an hour away from London, and his assistant had called up and said, ‘Tony, can you come to London as soon as you can?’ I thought there was something wrong. They said, ‘David wants to shoot a clip of you looking up at a CCTV camera.’ I said, ‘Oh, okay.’ But he was that particular. He was that ambitious. Even late, late at night, you know, if he had an idea, he’d want to shoot it. He would want to do that at that time rather than just, “Oh, we’ll wait ’til tomorrow.”  But it was like, put on the makeup and put a coat on just to shoot what was like a five second clip. In the end, I don’t even know if they used it or not. (laughs) I could tell he ate and breathed film work, you know. He was really dedicated to his trade.”


“John used to say to me, ‘We’re not film stars, we’re musicians, but we’ve got to do this.’ At that time, MTV was the vehicle to sell the song, and I felt it was a bit sad that you had to have a video to sell the song. We enjoyed it, but I felt like we were a commodity rather than a band that was selling, you know? We just felt like we were a band rather than, you know, video stars, and there was a very big emphasis on MTV world premieres for these songs.  I mean, I understand how videos work now. When you think about the budgets then, you know, $240,000 or $250,000 for a video, and now you can do one on your iPhone!”

As much as Lewis is enjoying performing again, he said that playing the Outfield songs for the first time without his bandmate John is a mixed experience, both onstage and meeting the other artists.

“The Retro Futura tour is the first tour I’ve done in 14 years, and it’s going to be, for me, quite a bittersweet experience, bec ause I’ll be getting on stage, and now John won’t be on stage with me. I’m going to find that pretty overwhelming.  But by the same token, I’m really excited, and so I’m just taking in each day as it comes.”

“I don’t remember this, but I think we did a show with Modern English back in the 80s. I’ve not met ABC or Belinda Carlisle or Annabella Lwin [from Bow Wow Wow]. Actually, I think Annabella was recording her album at the same time we were doing Play Deep. So it’ll be nice to new friends, you know?”

Info on Tony Lewis’s new album Out of the Darkness is available here. 

The Retro Futura Tour ticket info and dates can be found here

The post Tony Lewis of The Outfield Talks About Working with David Fincher, This Summer’s Retro Futura Tour, His First Solo Album OUT OF THE DARKNESS, and The Enduring Legacy of Josie’s Vacation Far Away appeared first on Golden Age of Music Video.


Watch Video of The Traveling Wilburys 1988 Recording Sessions



It would be hard to top the Traveling Wilburys when it comes to supergroups. When your lineup boasts both Bob Dylan and a Beatle (George Harrison), you’re already breathing rarified air. But round out that roster with Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne of ELO and the legendary Roy Orbison, and you’re bound for glory. The Traveling Wilburys recorded their first album in 1988, scoring two top ten hits, and their second album written and produced after the untimely passing of Orbison.


Check out this amazing behind-the-scenes special about the making of that first album, including rare footage of the actual Wilbury recording sessions.


The post Watch Video of The Traveling Wilburys 1988 Recording Sessions appeared first on Golden Age of Music Video.


Flashback: Behind the Scenes at Motley Crue’s “Without You” Video


Vince Neil's most Farrah-like hairstyle is a highlight of Motley Crue's 'Without You" video

Vince Neil’s most Farrah-like hairstyle is a highlight of Motley Crue’s ‘Without You” video

Check out this snippet of behind-the-scenes video with director Mary Lambert (Madonna, Pet Sematary) and the members of Motley Crue as they shoot the overblown, ridiculous video for their 1989 release “Without You,” from their album Dr. Feelgood.



The post Flashback: Behind the Scenes at Motley Crue’s “Without You” Video appeared first on Golden Age of Music Video.


Snow Releases “Informer” Remixes to Celebrate 25th Anniversary, Reminisces About Music Videos (And Watching Them In Jail)


Darrin Kenneth O’Brien, the Canadian reggae artist known as Snow, is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the release of his international hit “Informer,” with a completely new and re-worked recording of his worldwide No. 1 Hit.  The brand new version of Snow’s chart-topping reggae single, now titled “Informer 2018 (Audiofreaks Mix)”, is currently available on all digital music platforms.


Written by Snow, M.C. Shan, and Edmond Leary, “Informer” was the lead single from Snow’s debut album, 12 Inches of Snow, which sold over 8 million records worldwide.  Not many know that the single made U.S. history in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling and the highest-charting reggae single ever. We spoke with the artist about his place in pop history, his exile from the U.S., and watching your own music video while you sit in jail.  

GAMV: I’m sure a lot of people are saying they can’t believe that it’s 25 years.

Snow: I know. 25 years, I can’t believe it either. It’s like, okay. we got to come up with something fresh.

GAMV: Tell me about this new reworked recording. How did the idea begin to do these remixes?

Snow: It’s started from my manager, Paul. He put me on a call with Audiofreaks with Matt. So – and then they were like, “Yo, what would you even think about doing ‘Informer’ over for our 25-year anniversary?” And I was like, “I never really thought about it.” He was like, “I think it will be fresh.” And I was like, “All right, let me do the vocals.” So I just did the vocals and send it over to him and then he just started to get different – you know, different producers and stuff and then we did about 15 to 20 mixes and then we just picked out, you know, and that’s how it came. And then Radikal Records was just like, “Okay, I’ll help. I’ll put – you know, I’ll put it out.” So the team just came together and I was like, “I mean, let’s just do this and let’s have fun.” And so that’s what I did about it, just having fun and just doing it. And I was like, “Oh my god, I hope it blows up again and it’s going to do –” I don’t care about none of that stuff. I just did it. I just had fun doing it.

GAMV: That’s great. Now, I guess when you were standing at the mic and you’re doing this song that’s – you know, it’s your most famous hit. It’s the one that got you on the map and all that kind of thing. What was – I mean, obviously, it’s 25 years later and you’re a different person than you were at the moment you were recording that. But did you sort of stand there and kind of think about the kid that was recording it 25 years ago?

Snow: Not really because, you know, I do that song a lot too.

GAMV: Right.

Snow: And I recorded a lot because I do dubplates. I don’t know if you know what dubplates is. A dubplate is a Jamaican thing where you’d put someone’s name into the song. So I do that song all the time.

GAMV: How often do you do the dubplates?

Snow: I do like a lot of them. Yeah, a lot. And it’s funny because my biggest reggae song is not Informer, it’s “Anything For You”. It’s not with me and Buju Banton and Beenie Man and Terror Fabulous.

GAMV: Sometimes is it hard to really completely grasp that fact that Informer is the bestselling highest charting reggae single ever?

Snow: It was just like – but it’s Bob Marley’s fault. It’s Bob’s fault for letting me become in love with the music so much. So it just reflects back to them, you know, if it reflects back to Jamaica and Bob Marley. Yeah, it’s embarrassing a little bit but it is what it is, you know?

GAMV: I interview a lot of directors and I talked to George Seminara for a long time and he had wonderful memories and great things to say about working with you on these videos. And he told me a story about you being outside on the street in New York, and you’re singing and doing your thing for the crowd. And then he and Steve Salem saw you DJing at a party.

Snow: Well, I went to New York City because what happened was I got charged with two attempt murders up here in Toronto.

GAMV: Right.

Snow: Which I didn’t do, which I was found not guilty by a jury. But at that time I wrote that song “Informer” just a little piece though because I didn’t want to be a singer. It wasn’t like, “Oh, I’m going to be singer and I’m going to go to New York to be a singer.” I didn’t want to be a singer. I just went to New York, stood at a corner, Queens, Jamaica Avenue, Queens, standing there singing & talking, and that’s when MC Shan came up. MC Shan introduced me to George and Steve Salem and all of them and they all came down to see me singing. And they’re like, “You got to go to studio.” I’d never had been in a studio before. I’ve never been on a mic before! I’d been on dance hall mics but I’m not talking studio mics, like I’ve never been in a studio really, They’d say “do a harmony there.” I’m like, “Harmony? What’s a harmony, brother? Like I knew music but I didn’t know what it was called, harmonies and all those stuff and I was like okay. So MC Shan taught me a lot, you know. And we recorded “Informer”. And then we shot the video but I didn’t see the video edited. Because back then, you know, it took a couple months back then.

GAMV: Right.

Snow: So we did the Informer video, but I went back to Toronto for another charge, a different charge, and then that’s when they gave me a year, another year. So then I went back to jail. And the first time I’ve ever saw my video was in jail. I had a month left to do with my 12 months, and that’s when they released it. So I saw my video in jail. And I’m in in jail in the video, and I’m in a video in the jail. First time I saw it, I thought I was going crazy. I mean, there’s the TV with MTV, playing my music.


GAMV: That’s nuts.

Snow: Yeah. I’d never even see myself on TV. I’ve never seen myself on like a video or anything before like, you know, we didn’t have video channels to watch. I never see them.

GAMV: Right.

Snow: Next thing I know I’m in jail and here I am on a big screen and everybody in jail is going crazy, the bikers, everybody. They’re like, “Hey, bud, give me an autograph.”

GAMV: Now what do you remember from actually shooting that video here in New York because I know there was two sets, there is the one where it’s you and the dancers just stepping and then those the one in the midtown lockup?

Snow: What I remember, I just remember coming over the bridge and see Silvercup Studio, you know.

GAMV: Wow.

Snow: I was like, “That looks pretty good, you know.” I never did a video before. I didn’t know what I was doing.   So he was like, “All right, action.” But they made me comfortable. George made me comfortable and stuff so it was simple, you know. So – and then, yeah, we did it at the precinct too, the jail precinct. That was kind of cool.

GAMV: Was that strange to you? I mean, for some people, it would be like – you know, I know this is what the song is about, but I’m trying to stay out of jail, so can I like not do it this video in jail?

Snow: Oh, yeah, no, I made sure the doors weren’t locked. (laughs) I made sure there were no keys. I said, “you’ve got to leave it a little bit open, man.” Before they even said “that’s a wrap,” I was out.

GAMV: That’s funny.

Snow: But, yeah, yeah. Then that’s what kind of messed me up though, my past, my criminal record. When I get out of jail and I had the number one song in America, then I went to the border and they threw out me out of America for life.

GAMV: You were just getting started and then all of the sudden you can’t get back over the border, but I know that you managed to get out to the West Coast to shoot a video the one for “Runway” where you’re out in that big airplane graveyard. How did you get across the border?

Snow: I went to Buffalo on a bus.  I had a lot of aliases back then because I didn’t really care.

GAMV: Now what do you remember about shooting the second video for “Girl I’ve Been Hurt?”

Snow: I love that one too. I love that. That was in Woodstock, that was in Woodstock and New York City. So, you know, it was freezing, we had the snow bunnies out there, and that was mostly it, nothing too special.


GAMV: Wow. Now, what do you remember about shooting Runway?

Snow: “Runway” was, half of it in New York, and half of it in the airplane graveyard which was amazing idea. It was like all these planes, old planes, and then at the end, I was actually flying all of that, flying – but I was flying that plane that takes off at the end, you know?


GAMV: Right.

Snow: For the “Anything for You” video, the director was Hype Williams. He’d never been to Jamaica before. We did the video in Jamaica, big video, and then that’s what got him to start doing the movie Belly and all that kind of stuff because he fell in love with Jamaica…


GAMV: Can we talk about “Sexy Girl” because George told me a funny story that the Sexy Girl was actually the makeup girl?

Snow: Yeah, yes, yes, she came, yes, she was doing the makeup and we’re like, no, okay, now, okay, you’re the girl. Yeah, it was in an Irish pub, yeah, up the street right here, right around the corner [Snow was calling from his home in Canada]


GAMV: Oh, that’s great. Oh, man.

Snow: It was an Irish pub. You know, I would go to the Irish bars, and I would bring my friends with me. One of the guys in the movie Belly, was one my boys tall, 6’8”, a big black guy. I brought him up here from Jamaica. He was my, you know, not my bodyguard, he was keeping me out of trouble. So we come in there and there’s the band playing up there, the Irish band, right? So we got our drinks, and stuff. We sit down and the song they’re playing is, “There’ll be no black bastards in heaven,” right? That was the song was called.

GAMV: Oh, boy.

Snow: But every time he would sing it, he would look at me and my big black friend. He will be like, he would, no, he would be like this – “No offense, no offense.” He will be like so he keep singing. “There will be no black bastards in heaven.” And he’d look at him and he will be like “No offense, no offense.”

At the end of the song, he came up and he was, I wasn’t talking about black people because I was talking about the police, because the police were black, right?  So there would be like, “There will be no black bastards in heaven.” He looks – tall. He’s 6’8”. He is like no offense, no offense, every time he’d sing lyrics, singing the chords.

GAMV: So let’s talk about Joey Boy “Fun Fun Fun”. And actually how did you even – how did you connect with Joey Boy in the first place?

Snow: Well, that’s a story. What happened was, they threw me out of America so I said, ah, I said, but they love me in Japan, right? So I can go to Japan. So I went to Japan a couple of times but my last time in Japan they came to me and they’re like, you, you got to come into the office. And then like, alright, and this is like ’96, I have no clue they know my criminal record. I don’t even you know, nothing about that.

So they come in, I come in, and they go, “you ever been charged with police?” I said, “no, and that’s not a very good Japanese accent.” They go, “You’ve been charged by the police?” I said, “No, maybe a ticket but not really much,” when in reality I probably I have three, four pages of criminal stuff on my record at the time.

GAMV: Oh, no.

Snow: They’re like, “Are you sure?” And I’m like, “I’m positive.” They come back and say, “Are you sure you never have charges?” They pull up my criminal record.

GAMV: Oh, boy.

Snow: “What about all these?” I said in my mind, how the hell you get that? This is before computers could check all that, or so I thought.

GAMV: Right.

Snow: I looked at the criminal record and I’m like, “Ah, that one there I should have beat.” I said, “This one here, I should have beat that one, too.” So then it’s “You, you sign here.  You’re kicked out.” So they keep me out of Japan for life! Now, when they kicked me out, my managers said, “Let’s go to Thailand.” And I was like, “Alright, let’s go to Thailand.” That’s when we flew to Thailand and he introduced me to Joey Boy and then Joey Boy is like Michael Jackson at that time over in Thailand. So I just started singing in Thailand. And then I brought him back to Canada to record.


Not to change subjects to quick, but since ’97, I haven’t I had a drink. Nothing, not at a wedding, not my wedding, not in Ireland. So gave up that up and everything has been beautiful.

GAMV: Did it make a big difference in your life?

Snow: Both ways, both ways, the drinking. In my neighborhood, I grew up idolizing the guy who drank the most and punched other people and had all the girls. That was my idol, you know. Not singers, nobody. So the drinking got me in a lot of problems. So in ’97, when I quit, it got me out of a lot of problems, you know. It got me real calm, you know, all that kind of stuff. The alcohol was a poison for me.

GAMV: What do you think is this – the enduring power of “Informer”? I mean, some people talk about the fact that it’s the precursor to, you know, snitches gets stitches kind of thing?

Snow: Oh, yeah, that’s the biggest rap song theme in the world, you know. But it’s like I think about four or five years ago, Lil Wayne came out with a song called “Stand Up” talking about snitching. And he had to sing my song. He was like, “We got that white boy, that’s Snow, that Informer, Informer.” Just because he knew he had to sing it because that’s the biggest rap song about that.


GAMV: Nice.

Snow: But it’s funny because it’s like the charged me for two attempted murders, right? I’m looking at 15 years, and I’ve got three or four pages of this song, but I’m arrested already. So I’m looking at big time, you know? The next thing I know, boom, the number one song came out of it. Like when people win a million dollars and they say, “Oh, you’re lucky.” I said, “Maybe.”

GAMV: It’s amazing. At one point after its release, they had to put the lyrics on the screen as titles because so many people wanted to know what you were saying.

Snow: That’s crazy.

GAMV: Yeah. But then they weren’t exactly right, so then they had to re-title it again. Isn’t that right?

Snow: Yeah, because they’d ask me and I was like, “I’m not writing it out. Figure it out.” So, yeah, some of it was wrong and I’d look, and it will be okay, that’s funny, you know. It’s like this one part in a song. I said “born and raised in the ghetto,” right? So people always thought I said, “born and raised in Connecticut.” I’d be somewhere they were like, “Yo, I’m from Connecticut, man. Where are you from in Connecticut?” I’m like, “Connecticut? Where the hell is Connecticut?” I hadn’t heard of Connecticut before. So people just get their own version, and that’s cool, you know. Sometimes I don’t sing any words. I put out songs that don’t even have words in it.

GAMV: Instrumentals?

Snow: No, just me mumbling. But you how I wrote “Informer”? I got charged with two attempted murders. So while I was in jail, I was in jail with me and my father, my uncle Patty, my uncle Terry, my brother Shawn, and my best friend, all in the same jail, right? My mother would come visit the whole family. But anyways, so when I got that, I just sing that, “informer, detective said I stab someone on the lane, a licky boom boom down.”

GAMV: And where does “a licky boom boom down” come from?

Snow: You know, originally, it wasn’t even “a licky boom boom down”. The original is, “a skippidy boom boom down”. That’s the original.


Snow: And then that’s when we – like when I met with Shannon and went to Shannon’s house, so we did the demo at Shannon’s house, it was skippidy boom boom down. But when we were in the studio it just turned into “a licky boom boom down.” Yeah. So now, the new version I put “a skippidy boom boom down” in there. But I do both of them.

GAMV: And does that kind of go back to the thing you were saying about words don’t necessarily mean something?

Snow: I did mean nothing. That was just – yeah, it was for the sound. It could have been, a skiddo boom boom day. It could’ve been anything.

GAMV: Now, how did you feel about Jim Carrey when he did a parody of you called “Imposter” on the TV show In Living Color?


Snow: Jim Carrey? I’m slapping him when I see him. No, I love him, I love him, especially since he’s from here. I saw that documentary he did (Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond), and when they cover his career,  that’s in there! You can tell he loves this, you could tell he loved doing it because it’s in his new movie. No, I love that, that’s blessed. It was perfect. That’s exactly how he had to do it — I had to get beat up by the dreads, I had to do it as a black man to make me feel credible, right? If at the time I’d had a problem, I would have said something, and I probably would have slapped him, and grabbed him, and probably kidnapped him and stuff. It wouldn’t have gone well (laughs). No, that was just love.

GAMV: To this day, if the DJ throws “Informer” out there, and the dance floor still goes crazy. They still jump up and down and go nuts.

Snow: Especially now, because when it first came out, they didn’t know if they liked it – “are we supposed to like this guy?” But now, it just gives you memories, if it’s good memories, or bad, you know, it just gives you memories. People tell me, “Oh, I remember when I was in college, and I was with that girl,” so it’s more of that now.

The post Snow Releases “Informer” Remixes to Celebrate 25th Anniversary, Reminisces About Music Videos (And Watching Them In Jail) appeared first on Golden Age of Music Video.