As I recall, the video shoot lasted from about 3 p.m. until
5 a.m. We got Chinese takeout somewhere in the middle. It was warm in November
(2019). It rained. By the morning, it was much cooler. The script called for
the official Joy on Fire cat, Funz, to participate at the very end. The fabulous
director, Damien Davis, asked us a famous question: “Will Funz cooperate?” (You’ll
have to watch the entire video to find out.) Damien and Chris work together;
it was Chris who recruited Damien for the video and the results speak for themselves.
“Thunderdome” debuted on NPR’s All Songs Considered, hosted by Bob
Boilen, Nov. 17, 2020.
Everything took place in John and Anna’s living room, in Trenton. We assembled a collage. (Can you identify my two additions, Paul Celan and Clarice Lispector?) I did my best work as a purveyor of Air Bass. All of us wore sunglasses, except Anna, until the song’s final sequence, when she appears (movie magic!) in shades. The music in “Thunderdome” never stops walloping. To the best of my ability, I’d describe the lyrics as equal parts interpersonal and societal outcry. “We Are Full of Anger and Decency.” Hasn’t that been obvious, lately?
The final still photo is just a gratuitous pancakes image. It was taken after Joy on Fire played a week earlier at Silvana, in Harlem. We wound up later at the Seinfeld diner. So I did what anybody would do under those circumstances. Sensibly, I ordered the blueberry flapjacks. Thanks for having a look, if you’ve had a look, and thanks for any thumbs-ups, if you’ve given us any thumbs-ups. It is our dream that Tina Turner will come across our video and have herself a fine little chuckle. What’s love, but a second-hand emoticon?
key to the still photos, in order: damien davis; chris olsen; john paul carillo, anna meadors, and chris; john; the wall collage; anna, john, and chris; me and funz; chris; damien, anna, and chris; me and pancakes.
this post is part of a double-issue focused on joy on fire music videos. for a look at our anti-gun protest video “uh huh” click [here].