Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The ghost of hair past

So it must be approaching Christmas -- I've been wandering around alternating between humming "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch" and trying to get Band-Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" out of my head. The latter was on the radio the other morning, and got lodged in my subconscious rather firmly ... so I finally caved and called it up on YouTube when it occurred to me that I hadn't seen the video in ages.

My god, was my thought as I watched it, the hair! Or as Mr. Kurtz might have said, "the hairror ... the hairror ..." This is why I watch the return of 80s fashion with dismay. I can deal with the skinny jeans thing and the various other little trends that have resurfaced, but if we ever go back to having that kind of hair as fashionable, shoot me now. No wonder we suffered an ozone crisis back then ... with the sheer volumes of aerosol hairspray needed to maintain some of those do's, I'm surprised we didn't all asphyxiate on the particulate matter in the air.

Even Sting manages to have bad hair, though his not-quite-a-pageboy cut is infinitely better than Bono's mullet. Yeah, that's right there Mr. Hewson, you better wear that hat in the second half of the video. Please, hide your shame.

I was reminded, on searching for this video, that the song was redone in 2004 under the modified ensemble name "Band Aid 20," with an updated cast of characters, like Chris Martin, Dido and Robbie Williams (though Bono insisted that he get to sing his line from the original, even though they'd already recorded Justin Hawkins singing it). Though the hair in this one is much better on the whole, it lacks the power of the original ... and I kinda cringed at the sequence in the video where all the singers stand around in tearful silence and watch a b&w video of starving African children. That I found somewhat overdone, largely due to the fact that I couldn't help imagining the director haranguing them to "come on, look sadder."

Anyway, here's the remake.

6 comments:

Andrea Leathley said...

OMG, Boy George! I forgot how terrifying he was. *runs away*

Iceman said...

Thank God for being folically challenged; Phil Collins looks like he hasn't aged or fallen into the fashion vortex!!!!

Lesley said...

That was a nice walk down memory lane! It's actually funny to think of how hot they all were (I'm looking at you John Taylor and Simon LeBon) and how cold they've become now! Sadly, my older sister was head over heels for John Taylor at that time and we were subjected to the constant replaying of the 45 (yes, I'm old) of that song over and over and over again that Christmas. I could probably still tell you what parts of the song we managed to skip on the record player!

FanglyFish said...

There is one cover that I do enjoy. BNL does a great job. Unfortunately the only video on You Tube is overlaid on the Grinch who Stole Christmas... Sacrilege really....

BNL - Do they know its Christmas

Chris in NF said...

Tell me that isn't Weird Al singing along with them ...

jer said...

I got the Live Aid DVDs for Christmas in '04 - there's a real hairfest for you. Spandau Ballet in particular, doing that very 80s New Romantic running-around-the-stage-to-make-hair-blow-about-and-posily-playing-instruments-with-two-fingers thing. And David Bowie bopping around with a bouncy quiff and a little bumfreezer jacket. The worst offender, I recall, was one Kenny Loggins of "Footloose" fame who, in his oversized suit, looked like a hirsute cross between Herman Munster and the dad from "Family Ties".

Funny watching them all, in those low-tech days, bounding around trying not to fall over mike leads and cameramen (one of whom was interfered with by Freddie Mercury during "Hammer to Fall"). The whole thing had bags of spirit, and the performances were of a hell of a standard (Queen, U2 and Dire Straits deserving special mention). I watched live in '85...a live event a few miles away then. Twenty-one years and a few thousand miles away now.

I shall have to have another look at those before bed tonight, I think.