Thursday, March 31, 2011

there's something oddly fascinating about this Status Quo video

here you have the archetypal Quo fan... perhaps a slightly idealised version (a pretty-ed up Rick Parfitt)

an unassuming lad whose entire (non-working) life is subsumed within Quo

even in the bath he's reading Melody Maker (Stranglers on the cover, presumably Quo an inside feature -- for this boy only has eyes for Quo)

at night he goes to sleep with the Quo poster above his head

the key to the video is when he's just approaching the record store - a girl strides past from the opposite side of the screen but their trajectories are veering apart as well coming from different directions -- she gives him a brief but frankly appraising -- and, I think, approving - once-over -- he glances quickly but -- again it's micro-subtle but there's a almost the suggestion of averting his gaze, darting inside for safety -- at any rate he continues on his path -- nothing will deflect this boy from his mission, which is to enter the record store and check out the new Quo record on headphones

now what's striking about Quo is that although it's rooted in bluesy boogie it's not cock rock - there's none of the strut or swagger of heavy metal, the phallic bravado

but nor is there orgasm: no shrieking falsetto, no explosive solos

instead there is just this endless onanistic but unresolved boogie

chugging is the apposite word

and of course that fits the lyric to "Something Bout You Baby I Like" which is about not having the bottle to approach the girl he fancies (so he has her in his dreams)

there's two exultant moments in the video:

---meeting up with his mates just prior to the Quo gig--they merge into a sort of scrum and do this strange leaping up gesture as if trying to scale the Quo billboard, the image freeze-framing as if to signify a kind of ecstasy

--- meeting the Quo backstage (who are just as unassuming, down to earth, approachable as the young man is), and again there's a kind of freeze, as the Fan is snapped standing in the midst of his "idols"

and then not quite exultant but a kind of mild bliss, the scenes of heads-down blonde manes a-bobbing headbanging

so yeah it's about homosociality, no duh ... about lads who don't find release through sex or through violence (Quo fans might get slightly boisterous but they'd never start a fight)... upper working class, skilled labourers, as Carl and Phil suggest in the comments here, and in this video, the UltraFan is a car mechanic

whatever the lyric is ostensibly about, i think the video fairly blatantly presents the younger-fitter Parfitt-alike fan as the impossible love object of Quo-dom... when he's waiting at the bus stop the camera seems to linger for just a micro-second too long on his pert blue-jean-clad buttocks

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of the Minder theme tune with old whassiname - and not just the tune but the whole mis en scene if you know what I mean. Very little street furniture in those days: a pelican crossing maybe, a bollard or two, some metal railings often distended. Good times.