Video Explain # 16 – Say Say Say: Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson

Opening: We see a brief shot of a 12 year old Michael Jackson wearing a cap, a golf sweater with suspenders over a nice pair of slacks looking cautiously inside a barn door as if he is watching two cows copulating. Then we see Paul McCartney’s wife with a megaphone telling everyone to gather round and this is backed by Paul McCartney who steps off his wagon with what appears to be a bottle of whiskey but is in fact “Mac and Jack’s Wonder Potion” which Paul smoothly and confidently assures the gathering crowd of rented yokels that this said potion is “guaranteed to give you unbelievable power” and it seems every person in this video clip is wearing a hat. We see Michael in the background looking over with interest but obviously he is quite shy and sensitive and yet he is mesmerized by this incredible scene unfolding. “I’ll try one” says Michael with the voice of a child raising his hand and Paul gives him a bottle of what might perhaps be Butternut Schnapps. Michael is then unable to open the bottle himself due to his incredible weakness in his hands possibly as an after effect from the war. Paul kindly opens it for him and tells him to try it which after a moments hesitation he does an sips the muddy looking custard in the bottle. For a moment Michael looks as if he is about to collapse but then recovers and does a twirl much to the delight of the crowd who murmur approvingly of this mediocre display of movement. Then a heavy set muscular man who is not wearing a hat and has been watching smiles at Michael with a knowing look and approaches him in the middle of the group and everyone knows some heavy shit is about to go down. Linda looks worried but Paul seems more tolerant of the violence that is is thick in the air like a terrible fart. Michael and the muscular man then lock gazes and go into an arm wrestling position over I presume a table or possibly a log that you don’t see and with a minimal amount of effort Michael wins the arm wrestling competition and the muscular man feigns some sort of terrible injury to his arm while the crowd goes nuts and waves dollar bills in Paul’s face to buy some of his Butternut Custard. This is when the song actually starts.

Fact: The song was recorded in London and produced by George Martin. Michael wrote most of the lyrics and Paul wrote the music and played several instruments including the bass, synth, guitar and percussion. Michael also sang on the song as did Paul in case you didn’t know that. This was Paul’s first bunch of new music after Wings sadly broke up in 1981.

Anyway back to the video. There are various shots of the suckered locals sculling down the bile from flies and then we see Paul on his wagon again (this might have inspired Eric Clapton to quit drinking) counting his money and singing and we then see he is sitting next to his stern looking wife Linda who has the look of suspecting him of having gone to McDonald’s and she takes his bag of money from him. We see the muscular man is driving the van and it is not a wagon after all more like a kind of old fashioned Ute, okay pick up truck then, whatever. Paul keeps singing until it’s Michael’s turn to sing and as he does so he appears from behind a tree on the side of the road and somehow in those few seconds appears more scary than Pennywise from IT. Michael then jumps up onto the back of the wagon, or whatever the fuck it is and the muscular man again gives the knowing look to Michael while turning back through the hole in the cab. It is now evident if it wasn’t already that this is all a scam. Paul and these other scumbags are travelling around ripping poor people off by selling yellow soapy cat cum to them at extortionate prices. But still the merry song goes on and Michael and Paul are fully into singing the song while Linda forces a smile and demonstrates how little rhythm she has by not even being able to clap her hands properly.

We see a sign that says “Mrs Ensigns Orphanage” and then a whole bunch of Oliver Twist rejects come running after the truck gleefully yelling at the heroic antics of these travelling band of blood sucking con artists.

We see some women watching the truck arrive and then Paul jumps off and puts his bag with the money over his shoulder which he then immediately dumps back with his wife who goes off with the women. Paul stays at the front gates to produce some fake flowers for the joy of the poor kids while Michael tries to upstage Paul by showing how he is unable to balance on top of a fence and falls off. But he does then turn the fall into another one of his mediocre spins and flipping his cap to the kids which they clearly are in awe of. We see Paul make a silly face and say “baby” to the kids who are just happy to not be in school. Michael hops back on the truck with Linda and Paul after giving the orphan children something they will never forget which for some reason didn’t include any of the cash they had but still they did a bit of Patch Adams service to humanity and now they are on their way again.

We see two old men arm wrestling presumably with the delusion that the toxic waste from Chernobyl they purchased from Paul will allow them to break the other’s persons arm off. Some younger guy is carrying a barrel which is somehow meant to be very impressive and then a much older man flexes his muscles and shows he is ready to king hit some poor bastard.

The truck rolls into a new town that looks like the same location as the last one and they see “acts wanted” at the local hotel so suddenly Paul and the gang flip a sign over on the side of the truck claiming that they are now a vaudeville act.

Fact: Vaudeville is defined as a type of entertainment popular chiefly in the US in the early 20th century, featuring a mixture of specialty acts such as burlesque comedy and song and dance. Now you know.

Paul and his gang of drug fucked psychos march into the hotel where a small array of older gentlemen who appear to be in a coma of indifference look at them as Paul tips his hat and marches confidently up to the bar.

Presumably Paul’s smooth sales pitch and possibly being a former Beatle gets them the gig as Paul is now shaving in a hotel room while Michael is deperately trying to bleach his hands white. Linda is shown strumming a guitar in a way that hints she has never played one before and could just as easily be strumming on a leg of ham or better a bunch of celery. Michael and Paul are singing into a mirror (or pretending to) and Michael dances around Paul making very crazy eyes that seem to be on the verge of exploding out of his face.

We then cut to Paul pretending to be Paul Newman from the Hustler as he chalks his cue while playing against a haggard and possibly dangerous man in a hat who is not Harry Dean Stanton. Paul takes the shot and you don’t see what he does but the haggard man looks a bit disappointed and a lady madame nods knowingly. The muscular man gets given some money presumably because Paul hustled them at pool like he hustles everyone for everything while smiling gaily and singing. We see Paul and Linda and she has heavy under liner I notice and some cheap looking blue earrings.

Michael is jumping around singing and his outfit is different than at the start and he starts telling his sister LaToya Jackson who is standing by the bar that he likes her. She tries to act unimpressed or even just try to act at all and then we see Michael leaned up against a wall and Paul pops out for a moment to make a silly face and say “baby” again. Michael still wants to seduce his sister but Paul pulls him away.

Then we see Paul and Michael putting on sort of clown faces I guess without the red noses, I am no expert in vaudeville so forgive me. I think if they were doing black face it might be okay if Michael did it but not sure on the moral point of view exactly if Paul joined in as well. Anyway, the crowd appears drunk and rowdy and Linda tries to warm them up by pointing at a board and putting her hands on a piano.

Michael and Paul appear on stage with their weird sad makeup and the crowd goes nuts as they pull a stream of handkerchiefs from their mouths. They then do a kind of chicken walk and spray the audience with something dispensed from those things you’re meant to put nitrous bulbs in and it’s likely by their movements they both just had a couple of “nangs” before the show. The crowd are eating this up.

A bit of ass wiggling and miming banjo playing from the dynamic duo as Linda sits at the piano again pretending she can play it. The crowd is going wild as the harmonica solo in the song reaches fever pitch.

Fact: The harmonica was played by Chris Smith, whoever the fuck he is.

We see the crowd and LaToya Jackson smiles, she is enjoying this and possibly wants to sleep with her brother which you might find objectionable but you have to remember this was the 1980’s and a lot has changed since then. Back then it was weird if you didn’t do it.

Suddenly some heavy looking dudes walk into the saloon, bar, doghouse, whatever and they have badges so they are probably the law. Paul realises that he is probably about to go to prison for being a pleasantly mannered con man or maybe he might just be hung in the main streets by ISIS and so he quickly changes into a dubious looking genie and starts a small obviously well contained small fire on stage. Then Linda vigorously yells “fire, fire” (which they say you should yell if you are being beaten or raped to get people to come and help you) to make people run away which they do. In fact they run out of the premises so fast I would be surprised if there were no injuries or fatalities in the crush and what would con artist Paul care anyway as long as he and his man boy Michael got away with piles of cash? They flee the building and there is a brief shot of Michael telling LaToya that she can’t come with him because he is a star and she is basically a nobody.

Then we see Paul has now become the Great Gatsby, Michael is circa Off The Wall and forgive me but Linda still looks kind of shabby. Paul gives LaToya the fake flowers he used to enthrall orphans with previously and waves at her as their truck heads off into the sunset. Paul and Linda hold their arms up together as a kind of victory sign of the success of outwitting the law and perhaps to the incredible strength of their marriage as well. Michael sits between them as the truck disappears as their kind of quasi confusing man child that they care for but are constantly put into awkward positions trying to explain to everyone. The song and video fades ..

Fact: While filming this video Michael went to where Paul and Linda were staying which was a property known then as Sycamore Ranch. Michael expressed interest in buying it which he later did and renamed it Neverland. The rest as they say is history ..

Thank you for being explained to .. see you next time. AB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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