Mercury Rev videos
These are Mercury Rev VHS videos that have been officially released, though I believe these are all promotional-only. As far as I know, there are currently no plans for the band to release a commercial compilation video with all their videos, and it's unlikely there will be in the future. Sony owns the rights to the pre-Deserter's Songs videos, so it would be tricky for V2 (or other labels) to acquire them. But you never know...
CAR WASH HAIR, CHASING A BEE, SOMETHING FOR JOEY (CLEAN), SOMETHING FOR
JOEY (DIRTY), BRONX CHEER
COLUMBIA RECORDS, NTSC
Doesn't have any sort of box/sleeve just has a red sticker on the front of the tape which says "Mercury Rev - Compilation Reel" followed by the track listing and record company name at the bottom.
CAR WASH HAIR: Producation Company: TV Eye / Oil Factory, Producer/Director: TV Eye, Editor: G. Snider, Date: 27th January 1993. Time: 4:46, Colour, Band members featured: All (who were in the band in 1993). A girl gets out of a car at a garage and goes into the toilets. We then see the male garage attendant pull back some curtains and begin to spy on her. There is blurry footage of the same girl dancing in a wedding dress and the video is interspersed with very short negative-coloured scenes featuring the band in the snow with some llamas. In the end the garage attendant is dressed like a witch-doctor and dances in the car wash.
CHASING A BEE: Producer/Director/Editor: Jim Springer and Jens Jurgensen, Date: 2nd November 1992. Time: 5:59, Part b/w, part colour, Band members featured: David Baker, Jonathan, Grasshopper, Suzanne. Mostly features Baker singing with a chimp but there are lots of other images such as a man in a cow suit, Baker singing to flowers, Grasshopper playing guitar, Jonathan singing (wearing a funny woolly hat), Jonathan playing the trumpet, some semi-naked girls dancing and pouring water/mud on Baker, someone wearing a gas mask tangled in wire, Suzanne playing the flute and Jonathan playing the guitar.
SOMETHING FOR JOEY: Three different versions of the "Something For Joey" video were made. It was rather controversial because it juxtaposed footage of kids playing in a park, with footage of the band performing in some sort of rocketship with a bunch of horny porn stars around them (several topless women, plus Ron Jeremy. "He wanted two hundred bucks, so thatís what we paid him.") Also featured in the video is porn star Ashley Dey. According to the press release, Ron plays "a goofy futuristic Adonis" while Dey plays "Ron's interstellar dream-girl."
A "clean version" was made by imposing a star logo over the womens' nipples. Apparently, the parents of the children in the video were outraged at the final product and threatened to sue. Consequentially, the video was re-done with child mannequins talking the place of the kid footage. This third version is the rarest, however, and does not appear on this tape. But there likely exists a promo video for it, as it was shown on the Playboy Channel at least once (a taped copy has made the rounds with fans).
It's rumored that the "Joey" the something is for is Joey Buttafuoco, the guy who had a fling with an under-aged girl named Amy Fisher, who later shot Joey's wife, causing a media circus in the early 90s. So anyway, that might explain the kids/sex concept of the video. There were also a book and a movie titled Something For Joey released in the late 70s, based on the relationship between Penn State football player John Cappelletti and his cancer-stricken younger brother Joey. Doesn't seem to have any significance to the Rev song/video besides the title. See http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0076738/ for more info on the film.
BEGGARS BANQUET ARENA, PAL
White card sleeve, white stickers on the front and side of the tape with the "Arena" logo and "Mercury Rev Bronx Cheer Beggars Banquet" typed on them. Producation Company: Riviera Films Inc, Director/Editor: Jim Springer and Jens Jurgensen, Producer: Suzanne Coldwell, Online Editor: Charles Bruner, Date: 8th July 1993. Time: 2.47, Colour, Band members featured: Jonathan, David Baker, Grasshopper, Suzanne. Takes place in a kids' playground. Jonathan sings (surrounded by the kids) whilst wearing water-wings, Baker gets tied up, Grasshopper jumps up and down a lot with the kids who wear animal masks, play fake guitars and smash them up. Some sort of lizard scurries along at the end.
This video can also be found on Columbia Digital Pop #003 sampler VHS.
YOUNG MAN'S STRIDE, CAR WASH HAIR, CHASING A BEE
THE WORK GROUP, NTSC
This one has a plain white card sleeve and the tape has a white sticker on the front with the track listing and record company name. Its looped so plays a few times.
The Young Man's Stride video was directed by Moby (yeah, that Moby), so that hyped it a little bit. It got some play on MTV's 120 Minutes. The gist of the video consists of the band performing in a small club. A fan who was in the audience had this to say: "it was cool, but it was pretty boring. Imagine watching Mercury Rev lip sync Young Man's Stride 40 times in a shitty little club. The novelty wore off after like an hour. and Moby seemed like a conceited prick."
- Time 2.49 Colour, Band members featured: All (who were in the band in 1995).
DESERTER'S SONGS PROMOTIONAL FILM
This has a black card sleeve and white stickers on the front and side of the tape. It says "V2 Records, Mercury Rev. Deserter's Songs Promotional Film 47.23". Editor: Michael Mass, A film by James & Alex. It consists of the weird arty films they made to go with DS, one for each track and in the same order as on the album, (they are the same videos that used to be available on the old Bugjuice website).
OPUS 40 (SFX VERSION) AUSTRALIAN BOXED SET WITH PICTURE SLEEVE (WITH DESERTERS
SONGS DOUBLE CD SET) [picture]
V2 SHOOTING STAR, PAL
The sleeve is white card and when it opens up there are 2 compartments, one for the video and one for the CD. The tape has just one sticker on the side with title,V2 and shooting star logos. Director: Anton Corbijn, Producer: Richard Bell, Date: 16th April 1999. Time: 3:34, b/w, Band members featured: Jonathan, Grasshopper, Adam Snyder, Jeff Mercel, Justin Russo, Jayson Russo. Very arty and shot in black and white - and the band get to dress up! Jonathan wears a kind of space suit or divers suit with a goldfish bowl type helmet and has long fingernails and pointed ears. Adam is a wizard and Justin is a priest. Jonathan sings to a blond woman who seems unable to move at first, but then comes to life. He later pours water on her with a watering can (as if watering a flower) and it ends with the band holding sparklers which are reflected in Jonathan's eyes.
OPUS 40 (SCRATCHY VERSION)
V2 TELECINE, PAL
With plastic see-through sleeve, and stickers on the front and side with the Telecine logo, date, artist name and track name. There doesn't seem to be much, if any, difference between the "scratchy" and the "SFX" versions of the video. I assume it has something to do with the audio.
DELTA SUN BOTTLENECK STOMP
V2 TELECINE, PAL
With plastic see-through sleeve, and stickers on the front and side with the Telecine logo, date, artist name and track name. Director: Steve Hanft, Producer: Corina Conti, Date: 29th December 1998. Time: 3:04, Colour, Band members featured: Jonathan, Grasshopper, Adam Snyder, Jeff Mercel, Justin Russo, Jayson Russo. It starts with Jonathan sitting a table, singing into a spoon whilst swirly circles come out of his eyes. Grasshopper is seen in a pink suit at the side of a road with a dog and guitar. (The video keeps cutting to footage of the whole band riding some little motor bikes around a track.) Grasshopper eventually gets picked up by a car driven by a frog. Meanwhile Adam is on the beach and uncovers a buried radio which beams a signal into outer space which somehow causes an inflatable motor boat to appear on the beach. Jeff, Adam, Justin and Jayson take the boat out on the sea and are then joined by Grasshopper and then by Jonathan. The video ends with the band "sailing" down the road in the motor boat into the sun (which has a big face) and passing floating lightbulbs on the way.
LIVE PERFORMANCES TFI FRIDAY AND NME AWARDS
V2 TELECINE, PAL
With plastic see-through sleeve, and stickers on the front and side with the Telecine logo, date, artist name and track name. This has them on TFI Friday doing "Delta Sun" and also the Astoria Jan 1999 footage, but only "Tonite It Shows" and "Holes" are shown. It doesn't include "Opus 40" which aired on UK TV with the other two songs.
GODDESS ON A HIWAY (NO GUN VERSION)
V2 TELECINE, PAL
With plastic see-through sleeve, and stickers on the front and side with the Telecine logo, date, artist name and track name. It's probably fair to assume that there is also a promo video for the other Goddess video where the band go fishing but I haven't seen one yet.
(NO GUN VERSION) - Producer: Richard Bell, Date: 21st June1999. Time: 3:40, Colour, Band members featured: Jonathan, Grasshopper, Adam Snyder, Jeff Mercel, Justin Russo, Jayson Russo. This begins with Jonathan walking along in the Catskills carrying a gun (which is blanked out with a black rectangle in this version). A cop sees him and chases him on a horse, taking the gun from him. Jonathan then walks backwards to a small wooden hut where he paints some minature Statues of Liberty gold. He then takes one and places it on the roof of his car. The rest of the band (minus Grasshopper) put some more of them on. Driving along, Jonathan passes a sign which reads "America" and passes the cops again (the one seen earlier and now also Grasshopper). The cops give chase, Grasshopper gets to eat a chocolate doughnut and when they catch up with Jonathan the first cop knocks some of the statues off the car roof and gives him a US flag. After Jonathan gets back into the car, Grasshopper knocks some more statues off of the car roof with his baton.
(FISHING TRIP VERSION) - [No info on directors and stuff] Colour, Band members featured: Jonathan, Grasshopper, Adam Snyder. This version is available via cd-rom on the Goddess On A Hiway cd single (second release, CD2). It begins with the three of them hiking in the woods and they set up camp near a lake and carry a canoe to the shore. Jonathan rows out and fishes while Adam and Grasshopper cook some beans. Jonathan sings some of the words to the song whilst fishing in the boat. There are some underwater scenes and it ends with Adam and Grasshoppper looking out at the empty boat on the lake. Was filmed in the Catskills.
THE DARK IS RISING
V2 TELECINE, PAL
With plastic see-through sleeve, and stickers on the front and side with the Telecine logo, date, artist name and track name. Director: Tony Van Den Ende, Producer: Andy Leahy, Date: 2nd December 2001, Time: 3:57, Colour, Band members featured: Jonathan, Grasshopper, Jeff Mercel. Set against the backdrop of a beautiful orange sky, the use of colours in this video is extraordinary. Every colour seems larger than life giving it a very cinematic, sort of "Gone With The Wind" type feel. It begins with Jonathan staring at a picture whilst Jeff and Grasshopper are walking along carrying some bags which looks like medical doctors' bags. There is a storm and some leaves blow up at them. Jonathan sings the song and walks with a stick along a rickety wooden bridge while Jeff and Grasshopper unpack the bags which, it turns out, contain lots of weird and wonderful pieces of optical equipment, telescopes, gyroscopes, and planetary models. They use the telescopes to look at a mountain and at the moon and Jonathan sings whilst two blurry orange figures dance in the background. It end with the moon rising.
NITE AND FOG
V2 TELECINE, PAL
This one has a cover, although it looks pretty amateur like it was done on a computer printer, and the title for the spine doesn't line up! The picture is the same as on the CD single and there is an Alan James PR sticker on the back with info on the release date, album and forthcoming tour. The stickers on the actual tape are the same format as all the other V2 Telecine promo videos. Production Company: Serious Pictures, Director: Luke Losey, Date: 18th August 2001, Time: 3:56, Colour, Band members featured: Jonathan, Grasshopper, Jeff Mercel. This video takes place in a forest with the three band members sitting in a circle. They look like they are playing some kind of game with stones/crystals (could be a reading of runes or something). Jeff and Grasshopper look like they are dressed as characters from Arthurian legend whilst Jonathan looks like a kind of magician or wizard, in fact rather like Puddleglum from The Chronicles of Narnia, with a long beard and a black hat, and lots of snakes hissing around. There are two masked creatures, the masks are perhaps meant to be the Egyptian god Thoth and there are lots of strange objects dangling from the trees such as scissors and magnifying glasses. The hood later falls from one the "creatures" and it is revealed as a vampire girl. The Kabbalistic tree of life symbol features throughout the video and a model of it is shown on a tree at the end.
ALL IS DREAM PROMOTIONAL FILM
Similar to the film for Deserter's Songs mentioned above, with arty videos for each track on the album. There are some interesting films on there, but the band aren't in any of them. Also a lot of the films don't seem to fit the music very well. With the DS one there was much more of a link between the individual films and the track they were played to, but this one seems a bit thrown together.
(From the "In a Funny Way" UK dvd single)
Shot of some trees in winter sunlight followed by an amplifier's output lights flicking up and down, a keyboard and some stones in a stream. Then we see the band in the studio, Jeff on drums, Grasshopper on the keyboards and Jonathan on guitar. Jeff and Grasshopper sing into a microphone, then we see the stream, trees and amplifier again, more similar studio shots, the stream again, Jeff and G singing into the mike again and then it ends with water running over stones in the stream.
DOWN POURED THE HEAVENS
(From the "In a Funny Way" UK dvd single)
Begins with lots of coloured lights, and we see Grassy flicking switches and Jonathan's head in red light. Then we see some piano hammers striking strings and Jeff tapping the strings of his guitar with a slide. Grasshopper is seen playing the keyboard again and then Jonathan sings, (the shot is similar i.e in red light) and as the song ends he slowly closes his eyes.
Columbia Records Alternative College Reel -- 1992 Columbia/Teletronics
includes: "Chasing A Bee"
Columbia Digital P.O.P. #005 -- VHS hi-fi stereo sampler
includes: "Something For Joey" video
BMG Alternative Reel - Spring/Summer '99 -- promo VHS video
includes: "Goddess on a Hiway" video
(this page was mostly written by the wonderful Amanda. thanks Amanda!)