wenty-six years later I finally got around to tracking down the video to Michael Nesmith’s ‘Rio’ and I ask you: has there been even a single music video better?
(Ah; sadly, the video is no longer available online. Perhaps I’ll check with Nez about sharing an officially authorised version.)
I think not.
A-Ha’s “Take On Me” comes close as a video, but when you compare the songs themselves, contest over. And when you consider that, until Nez blazed across the sky, ‘music video’ meant film of a band performing, not visions of Salvador Dali, it’s even more remarkable to see him flying through the sky with three Carmen Mirandas aboard.
The song stops me in my tracks every time I hear it (I own both ‘The Older Stuff’ and ‘The Newer Stuff’) but watching the video again for the first time in 20 years was overwhelming. I officially don’t care if my own genius goes unrecognized by the masses; Nez has been his fans’ best-kept secret for four decades and he don’t care.
The first music video to win a Grammy, ‘Rio’ was first featured in ‘Elephant Parts’ the same year MTV played their first video. (Guess who invented MTV? Yup; Nez. Bonus Question: What was the first video MTV played?)
You could buy ‘Elephant Parts’ at Amazon (and I’d get fifty cents) but buy it from Nez’s Video Ranch instead. Yeah, I need the money more than he does, but there are loftier ideals at work this morning.