Behind the videos
Culture Club's videos have played an important part in bringing the group to the attention of the record-buying public. MTV loved to support Boy George & Culture Club.
Do You Really Want To Hurt Me
Video: Do You Really Want To Hurt Me
Running Time: 4:23
Director: Julian Temple
Producer: David Forest
Production Cost: $22,000
Directors Log: The Dolphin Square Health Club is actually a real apartment complex in London’s Pimlico section. The pool scene in the music video is actually open to the public. Did you know that Boy George’s mum and aunt are featured in the courtroom scene?
‘Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?’ was about being gay and being victimized for your sexuality, which George was kind of emblematic of.”
Julien Temple, Director of “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?”
This was the debut music video for Culture Club. This was their 1st music video. Only one can imagine what everyone was feeling when Culture Club first appeared on MTV when the program directors first saw Boy George in a particular scene, it seems that the program directors were reluctant to air the music video for ‘Do You Really Want To Hurt Me’.
(Boy George & Jon Moss on the set of their music video Do You Really Want To Hurt Me)
The video for the song, directed by Julien Temple, featured Boy George on trial in a courtroom, with flashbacks to the Gargoyle Club, Soho in 1936 and the Dolphin Square Health Club, Pimlico in 1957. The jury was in blackface making jazz hands gestures. One band member, Mikey Craig, was not in the video and was replaced by his brother Greg.
Boy George wears a shirt with the Hebrew writing "Tarbut Agudda" (תַּרְבּוּת אֲגֻדָּה), a literal translation of the individual words "culture" and "association" in a grammatically incorrect order.
The video starts out in a courtroom; George is dressed in a white frock long white shirt with Hebrew writing on it meaning Culture Club. He is wearing a black rabbi’s hat and his hair is long & braided. George is featured in the courtroom; he is on the stand and is being judged. All George wants to do is make his plea for acceptance, and for everyone to understand his desire to just be himself. The jurors look at Boy George shaking their heads back and forth, their faces are featured black face and some viewers thought that this was insensitive. The fact is, some of the actors themselves were also black, and no insult was intended. Next, we see the judge reading over George’s crime and shakes his head and continues to read the case. Next scene George puts on his magical time machine rounded sunglasses and is transformed out of the courtroom and into another decade.
The video had a number of scenes that really established Boy George and his band’s attitude of being individuals who wanted the freedom to act the way they wanted.
The next scene takes place in the fictional Gargoyle Club in Soho, the raunchy Times Square of London, in the year 1936. Everyone in the club looks like a spy. George is seen dancing around the club, soon George is hustled out by two bouncers. He is wearing his magical round style glasses that when he puts them on he is transformed into another time, sort of like a Time Machine.
Next scene George is sent to The Dolphin Square Health Club in 1957, He submerges from underwater coming up from the pool walking up the steps, and he looks like a GOD. When he appears he is instantly recognized by the well muscled and athletic looking crowd of people with narrow minds, he draws looks of apprehension and disgust. Two muscle men had enough of George, they walk over to him to capture him and George instantly disappears. Next, he is back in court trying to have the judge hear his plea again; the judge has had enough and sends George to jail.
Next George is in a jail cell, he looks really sad; a shadow of his hat appears on the brick wall. George looks at us in disbelief. George is paid a visit by his bandmates, they open the jail cell and George comes dancing out. The video ends with a close-up of Culture Club on a staircase and they are all wearing Sue Clowes clothes that she designed for them. The music video ends with the word THE END!
Time (Clock Of The Heart)
Video: Time (Clock Of The Heart)
Running Time: 3:42
Director: Chris Gabrin
Producer: Lime Light
Production Cost: $25,000
Directors Log: Filming for the music video was for two very long days. Constant filming was done with the boys miming the song first separately and then as a group. The only interruptions were for new rounds of make-up, some breaks for food and occasional rest periods. They had their own trailers for eating, sleeping, relaxing and dressing. The filming was just outside of London in Shoreditch. Culture Club didn't need any more time because director Chris Gabrin had prepared everything thoroughly for them.
Fun Notes: The music video script was created by George who wanted the script to have a family feel to it. It had to be good and very warm.
In video number two for Culture Club was for their new single called Time (Clock of the Heart). The new single was not on their debut album Kissing to Be Clever, so their record company CBS/ Epic records decided that they needed a good follow up. It had to be something strong, when you have a number one hit behind you, a powerful follow-up is essential.
Time (Clock of the Heart) is among the most creative of the early videos from Culture Club. In a scene, one is a book opening with an antique clock with roman numerals on the front cover. A woman's hand opens up the book, we then see Culture Club in the recording studio, director Chris Gabrin tells us that he had found the perfect location “I found an old vacated recording studio, just outside London, I had five men spending many hours working on creating a recording studio for us. It went on for almost a week to just get it ready for filming”. We had a few instruments and microphones set up”. Chris Gabriel says. Chris Gabrin also says “I guided the camera up and down, capturing the group's faces from every conceivable and inconceivable angle I wanted people to get a warm feeling of this super new group called Culture Club. ”
Boy George is seen wearing a beige London Fog trench coat with his black trademark hat, George’s makeup is exquisite – the eyebrows long and thick, his lips a lovely ruby red. The backup singers featured are Sister Jenny and her friends Annie and Pat Fernandez are dressed in outfits that make them look like Boy George druids created perfectly by Sue Clowes. Next George is seen in Shoreditch behind the famous clock facade. Jon Moss is seen taking the position of the hands of the clock, what comes through very strongly in this music video is the band's religious and multicultural sense. This was an important video for Culture Club. They wanted everyone to know who they were. In the end scene, we see Culture Club in the living room watching themselves on TV. Helen Terry enters from the kitchen and brings out a Clock shaped cake for them. George quoted “I hate the fact that Helen Terry is cruelly dressed looking like a Molly Mop, I’m slightly upset of how Helen Terry is presented in this video”. It was a wrong decision made by the director”. George came up with the idea of having all four members sitting around the living room drinking coffee. Near the end of the video, everybody's cup has their name on it Boy, Jon, Mikey, & Roy. This was a very clever way to introduce the members of the band.
When the final version of the video for Time (Clock of the Heart) was finished, Chris Gabrin came up with another idea to have a Christmas tree placed in the corner of the living room to make it really feel like the presence of time. (This version was only released in the UK since Time Clock of the heart was released in December of 1982. Chris really knew he had a winner. The video was so sensational that CBS records decided to release the video before the single. It was distributed to TV stations and shown to people in the music business for a week before the single was released. As a result, everyone in the business in the UK & USA was talking more and more about Culture Club. The video itself had created the necessary 'buzz' to make people in the music industry and in the media sit up and finally take notice of them. It reached number 2 in the US & UK alone.
I'll Tumble 4 YA
Video: I'll Tumble 4 YA
Running Time: 2:36
Director: Siobhan Barron
Producer: LimeLight Productions
Directors Log: Drummer Jon Moss and Guitarist Roy Hay and Mikey Craig had all taken tap dancing lessons, intending to emulate Fred Astir in the video, But they all seem to have gotten hit with a fit of shyness, and were too embarrassed to go through with their big “hoofing” break in front of the stage crew. Their tap dancing scene was cut out of the script and replaced with them just dancing.
Fun Notes: There is one famous Super Model as one of the 12 tap dancers. It’s Naomi Campbell. This was her second job as an extra, she was only 9 years old at the time "I’ll Tumble 4 Ya" music video was filmed.
I'll Tumble 4 Ya is one of six Culture Club music videos directed and scripted by Zelda Barron. The music video for I’ll Tumble 4 Ya is strictly a fun music video. In the first scene, Culture Club is walking down an alley one afternoon, a clown is standing by the front door with his black hat tilted asking the boys for some pocket change.
George gives the clown a smile as they make there way into the dance rehearsal. Boy George smiles as he enters the rehearsal having his wily ways amidst the crowd of female dancers.
The tap dancers look like mini versions of Radio City Music Halls fabled Rockettes, and George is seen tap dancing a little bit. George is wearing his black hat and long white smock shirt, Mikey looks like a bit like Harpo Marx, and conveys some of the Marx Brothers comical zaniness.
The next scene the clown is back walking around having everyone tumble and dance around except as George quoted "Mikey is the only black man with no style he can’t dance!" The next scene Boy George is wearing a colorful flannel lumberjack-type shirt. The rest of the members of Culture Club are dressed in overalls. It’s a simple, yet soulful music video and this music video simply captures Culture Club at their best.
Church Of The Poison Mind
Video: Church of the Poison Mind
Running Time: 3:35
Producer: Limelight Productions
Directors: Christopher Gabrine
Directors Log: Didi Zill asked if he could take photos of Culture Club while I filmed the music video for Church Of The Poison Mind. George wanted to have this memory captured on camera film. These pictures later appeared in a book published by Did Zill in 2004 for is available in bookstores worldwide and on Amazon.com and eBay from time to time.
Fun Notes: Boy Georges only sister Sibon is featured in the music video. She is in scene number five during the paparazzi chase scene with all the Boy George clones in one room. Just look out for her.
The video for Culture Club's Church Of The Poison Mind was directed by Chris Gabrine. This was a low budget music video to produce. It’s a music video of pursuit and escape - a tale reminiscent of The Beatles experiences in "A Hard Days Night".
This video was produced after Culture Club was established as a hit in England-and as they were on their way to the States.
Chris Gabrine's music video initially takes place in London where Boy George and his band Culture Club are seen riding in an open-topped convertible, it’s long with black fins it’s a 1950 Cadillac that Jon Moss is driving. George, on the other hand, is sitting in the front seat as a passenger singing happily cruising down the street. George is winking and nodding at us, Jon turns around and sees Mikey Craig almost lost his hat in the wind. Suddenly it appears that a whole group of Orientals with cameras have somehow stowed away in the back seat. Boy George and the boys are forced to flee, They all run into an old abandon building and the paparazzi begin to chase them. They all dodge quickly away from them. They duck into a room.(Where Boy Georges sister Siobhan is featured in) The paparazzi burst in moments later, only to find a dozen of Boy George looks a likes. The paparazzi are confused! Do they want to know where Boy George is? After seeing all the look-alike they run out to chase George again. Meanwhile, there are shots intercut of Helen Terry, whose voice is so grand and soulful, signing heartily next to a music shopping cart.
(George getting his makeup retouched on the set of "Church Of The Poison Mind" music video.)
The next scene Mikey Craig finds a getaway through a fire escape, George and the others members follow him up the fire escape and into the cockpit of a Trans-Atlantic jet, where they can safely sing their song they hope. The page turns and Culture Club become the paparazzi taking photos, at the end of the video all 4 members are taking pictures through a camera lens.
This is Culture Club's real flight of fantasy. The videos last shot shows the plane approaching the Statute of Liberty, a symbol of America and all the added pressure of America media attention.
The car escape scene. The chase scene.
Video: Karma Chameleon
Producer: Siobhan Barron Limelight Productions
Director: Peter Sinclair
Running Time: 4:14
Fun Notes: The boat used in the video belongs to Turk Launches of Kingston-upon-The River of Thames, and it is still in use to this very day.
Directors Log: “On filming for the music video for Karma Chameleon the whole day was a disaster, starting with the weather,” Siobhan says. “All the catering food went flying off the table. It was a very warm hot day, the clouds were gray and we waited and waited for the sun to appear with no such luck. The boat broke down. Smoke wouldn’t come out of the chimneys. Extras got lost on the way to shooting. The extra that played the part of the pickpocket couldn’t even swim, even though he said he could when he applied for the part. That was bad luck for the actor since at the end of the video he is tossed into the water, fortunately, the actor was scared and George said he got his Karma back in return for lying about that he could swim. "It was an utter disaster,” Siobhan says.
The music video for Culture Club's Karma Chameleon was directed by Peter Sinclair. This was one of the most intriguing Culture Club screen performances. It took advantage of the group’s feel for dressing up.
The setting takes place in the 19th century during the year 1870 on the banks of an Ersatz Mississippi river. Even though the video was shot and filmed at Desborough Island on the River of Thames in England!
(George on the set of "Karma Chameleon" music video)
The first shot is a scene where people are on the banks of the river waiting for the riverboat to appear. People are all dressed up in their 19th-century clothes some are in very colorful costumes, including dancers in red, gold, & green; a pickpocket is seen wandering through the crowd.
The camera then focuses on George who is sitting on top of a small hill; his hair is once again beautifully colored with orange, red, blue, ribbons filter in with braids. All the other members of the band are dressed in formal riverboat attire.
The camera then moves back over to George looking like a one-man fashion parade, he is all smiles. Next a riverboat, named "The Chameleon" arrives and the people aboard. There’s a poker card game going on, Jon is winning the card game, a scoundrel is at the card table; George is showed looking in from a window on the riverboat where he is surveying the antics of an unscrupulous pickpocket and cheating poker player. Roy Hay looks at the scoundrel in disbelief and blows smoke out of his mouth looking at him disgusted at his cheating winnings.
The cheating poker player is seen taking earrings. Soon a woman finds out one of her earrings are missing, then another person discovers something of there’s is missing, the pickpocket bandit is discovered cheating at the poker game. Jon grabs the guy and makes him empty out all of his pockets, Jon looks at his knowing that he has some other things so Jon makes him lift up his vest where all the stolen goods come falling out of his vest. Everyone decides to get rid of the pickpocket bandit so he is forced to walk the plank.
The atmosphere soon builds up. People are waving their hands at the accuser making him walk the plank. The video comes to an end and Culture Club with the parade of people are on the back of the riverboat drifting back into the sunset singing their song.
Running Time 4:55
Director: Godley & Cream
Producer: Limelight Studios
Production Cost: $60,000
Fun Notes: The music video for Culture Clubs single Victims which was the third single taken off the album Color By Numbers. This single was a follow-up to the smash "Karma Chameleon" which stayed at the number one spot in the UK for 6 weeks. When you have a smash hit behind you another smash hit would be essential. Victims reached the UK at number 3 where it stayed for two weeks. There was very little airplay for Victims because it was such a massive production.
The music video for "Victims" was directed by Godley and Crème and they had an expensive video budget of $60,00 to produce it.
The music video for Victims would be a huge extravaganza for Culture Club. Directors Godley and Crème had filming scheduled to begin at 8 am. The directors came up with an idea to have a visual extravaganza straight out of an old Hollywood musical much like the old Busby Berkeley routines with lots of dancers and big sets.
The video shows George guiding us through a series of doors, watching a young boy trying to deliver a huge Christmas present. But as we go through each door a different surprise awaits us not the least of which is seeing George floating, but there’s also trumpets and violins hanging from balloons.
As the song moves up to its final so does the music video. The final door opens and a huge birthday cake shaped bandstand is reverted. On top of it is a full orchestra including a gold harp, a troupe of the angel-like dancers and the rest of Culture Club. “We're very pleased with the result,” says Jon Moss. “It’s very well cut in with the music.
The last music video for “Karma Chameleon” was just like some kind of fairy tale story”. Jon revealed that the set took three days to build at the Shepperton Studios and that the band spent a full 12 hours making the video an epic job.
We won’t reveal is how they got Boy George to float. And at one stage pretty precariously, as he starts to wobble. “That’s because we wanted to make it like an old horror movie. ” Says George- with lots of props that don’t work... “I loved making this music video George adds”.
The photo sessions were also scheduled to be taken during the shot for the music video. They would later appear on the 12" single and 7" single picture sleeves. George’s look was very lavish and he is dressed in a tall black top hat with white earrings and a long black smock shirt. George’s hair was filtered with white ribbons going through it, and his makeup looked stunning.
Miss Me Blind
Video: Miss Me Blind
Running Time: 4:45
Director: Zelda & Steve Barron
Production Cost: $102,000
Directors Log: The official music video features Boy George and the rest of the Culture Club members in a Japanese setting, and ends with a woman dressed as a geisha and a man dressed as a karateka trying to extinguish a fire using guitars. The music video was directed by Steve Barron.
Story Script: The video for Miss Me Blind is about a Japanese girl who falls for a western pop star. The girl cannot get to the pop star so she is put under a magical spell and transformed into a guitar that will burst into flames causing chaotic mess around a Japanese temple. Will Culture Club be able to get out?
Miss Me Blind was by far the most artistic of the Culture Club videos. It’s a case of everyone’s imaginations running rampant, but fortunately, it all hangs together.
The music video for Culture Club's "Miss Me Blind" was filmed in Bray Studios outside of London near Windsor. This was the first most expensive video for Culture Club. The production winded up costing an estimated $102,000 to make. It was directed by Zelda & Steve Barron and produced by Adam Whitaker. Boy George and his Japanese friend Miko wrote the script for "Miss Me Blind".
The video begins with a white Japanese fan that opens up revealing a Japanese girl who is sitting Indian style on the floor she says “Ka Chu Sa Ma Koom” which means Culture Club in Japanese. She is then instantly turned into a gold guitar that suddenly burst into flames. Next, we see the guitar surround by a group of Japanese woman they are circling around the guitar, one woman places some magical dust that burst the guitar into flames.
Next, we see the members of Culture Club Roy, Jon, and Mickey spying on the Japanese woman who is circling the guitar. Suddenly one of the women sees them and captures them and places them under a spell. She put the magical dust over their head and they all fall asleep. Next George and Miko are sitting around trying to figure out a plan to rescue Culture Club and stop the burning guitar for entering the temple. Miko is explaining to George, who nods his head telling her he understands what going to happen.
Meanwhile, the video shifts over to a visual texture of a Japanese painting, with wide brush strokes Most of the video features rapid-fire images that dominate most of the screen with images on a filmstrip that crawl down the right half side of the screen. Here we see George and Miko holding hands.
Moments later Roy hay wakes up looking around he doesn’t know where he is he sees a Japanese guy standing over at him looking at him playing his guitar. The guy circles around Roy the thief looks at Roy making him feel angry Roy doesn’t know what to do. He seems lost and confused he’s looking around when suddenly a Japanese blind comes down from a window, on it is the word “Blind” we then see Boy George’s face on the blind. George suddenly looks at Roy nodding at him to show him what to do to get his guitar back. Roy looks at the thief and pushes him into a window that reveals a white porcelain mask and golden guitar. Roy then looks over and sees the gold guitar in the window and takes it! He plays the gold guitar it sounds great.
Meanwhile, Jon and Mikey are at martial arts exhibition with their shirts saying "Esats Unis," (French for "United States") They are cheering them on, Mikey & Jon seem like they're having fun. But suddenly the fun stops, Mikey points out that the burning guitar had reached the temple. They all see the temple burning down. Everyone runs over.
We then see Miko and a trying to blow out the fire. They grab a guitar to try to beat it out. Boy George bids us adieu with his familiar wink. They say "Meramerato, Meramerato, Meramerato, Moeteiru! Means Wake Up, Wake Up, Wake Up, the house is on fire!”
An eye then closes the screen and the temple remains burning to introduce the next album from Culture Club for "Waking up with the House on Fire".
It's A Miracle
Video: It’s A Miracle
Director: Zelda Barron
Producer: Siobhan Barron Limelight Productions
Running Time: 3:28
Directors Log: Filmed at Bay Studios in April of 1984
Fun Notes: It's A Miracle is a fun music video from Culture Club. It features again Georges close friend Miko and a very special appearance by Roy Hay's wife Alison Hay. It's A Miracle was nominated for 4 video music awards in 1985.
Best special effects in a video nominee.
The best art direction in a video nominee.
Best editing in a video nominee.
Best Cinematography in a video nominee.
It's A Miracle was the last single taken off their album Color by Numbers.
The music video script is the story of their career, reflecting their costume changes and the images that they’ve gone through, done in an entertaining way.
The video starts out with Boy George’s friend Minko who has a computer game that is on a floppy disc. It appears she is in her bedroom getting ready to play the Culture Club It's a Miracle computer game. She inserts the floppy disk onto her computer and suddenly the game starts and the word go appearing on the screen. Soon all three members of Culture Club are seen as figurines on a life-sized game board.
The game then begins. It starts off with forming the band. Boy George shakes Jon' Moss’s hand and Culture Club are formed. Next, the game goes through the stages of their music career beginning with all their hits. , There are also flashbacks to previous Culture Club videos including clips showed for "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" " Church Of The Poison Mind", "Victims", "Karma Chameleon", "Time (Clock Of The Heart) & "I'll Tumble 4 Ya". In a way, it's A Miracle is the summation of the band's career to that time.
The members go around the game board where they pass through around huge game pieces around a giant monopoly style game board. Culture Club is seen going around the board. Slogans like "Gender bender"," Clone War"," Go to Top the Charts" appear. Boy George is dressed in one scene with his hat and braids on wearing a color by numbers smock shirt. George is seen in a rare instance without one of his hats, his hair is long, wavy, and really lovely.
Culture Club is seen wearing American football uniforms, Jon Moss has one outfit a half cut long sleeve shirt as a Union Jack showing us his stomach for a brief second.
At the end of the video, George is seen in the center of the circular game board, surrounded by piles of the thousands of newspaper and magazine articles that have been written about him and Culture Club. George hides his face behind one newspaper that has the headline “Naughty Boy George”
He peeks out from behind and gives a delectable wink. Next, we see Boy George he looks overwhelmed with all the piles of newspapers and records surrounding him.
The video ends where Minko is done playing the game and removes the floppy disk from her computer. Her bedroom is shown as a prize shrine for her Culture Club memorabilia.
The War Song
Video: The War Song
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Production Cost: $125,000
Directors Log: Filming began in September of 1984 at the London Docklands. The music video was shot for a period of three long days. George wrote the script for director Russell Mulcahy. It was Georges idea to come up with a lot of ideas to do six costume changes with six different colored wigs. He claimed that he found the perfect new look with fire red and blue wigs, he had every color you could think of yellow, white, pink, black. His friend Stevie Hughes did his makeup and Ray Allington did the hair for George and all of the members of Culture Club. Stevie and Ray had a field day with George. Russell Mulcahy says “I was never one for holding back the camp. Every time George would appear on set with a new look I shouted at him that’s the one.”
Fun Notes: Some of the fashion models used on the catwalk was photographer Stevie Hughes and director Russell Mulcahy. Costumes were designed by Antony Price.
The first single off the 3rd Culture Club album "Waking up with the House on Fire" called The War Song.
The video starts off in black & white like a mini-movie with some added dialogued. We see five school girls dressed in destructed cloths. They are walking down an alley and are saying to each other "Let's Play War" in 5 different languages including German, English, Spanish, and Japanese.
This is one of Culture Clubs most entertaining music video that features tanks, explosions, soldiers, and fashion models.
Shooting began at 9 am, both Mikey and Roy were late for the first scene. Director Russell Mulcahy had a backdrop of battle ruins displayed on the set with a catwalk which limbers fashion models – both male and female – would leap and pirouette down public catwalks to a bouncy pop refrain, sporting the latest camouflage suits, helmets, and guns.
Behind the catwalk was a movie screen counting down 5,4,3,2,1 with a black and white video image of Boy George would appear all bewigged with fire engine red ringlets and draped in an elegant black frock, his diamond drop earrings and matching brooch would shimmer blindingly as he sang, “War, war is stupid … and people are stupid. ” Soon the street urchin/fashion show would begin. Models would walk down the catwalk strutting their stuff.
Following this bold introduction, the video is pelted with a slew of deliberately contrasting images such as nuclear bomb explosions amidst displays of increasingly flamboyant combat attire. Black and white footage of ragged children playing in war-torn streets are intercut with reenactments of glamorized World War II propaganda films and 1950’s atomic bomb paranoia reels while recurring dancing skeletons remind us that death is the end result of a war.
Just in case we miss the subtly implied anti-war message, snappy slogans like “Shun the Gun” and “War What For?” (A paraphrase of the 1970 hit “War” by Edwin Starr) are scrolled across the screen so absolutely no guesswork is involved. Culture Club is against the concept of war.
In the next scene, we are taking to a bomb-making a factory, where children are dressed and seen making the war bombs. Next clips of scenes of children at school were a teacher is teaching the children on how war is so stupid and people are so stupid are written on the chalkboard.
In the next scene, we see a family at home with their children watching TV on the t.v. set is footage we hear about war. Soon battlefields are filed and children are seen playing war. One child wakes up in this rubble.
The video’s grand finale features Boy George leading a parade of children wearing skeleton costumes into the afterlife. The Skeleton scene featured over 400 school children that were used as extras for filming this short 10-second scene. Boy George is seen walking through the London Docklands and his band Culture Club appear in the background on a 1942 M-5 tank. This was the most talked about scene from this amazing music video. Near the end of the video, George rests upon a golden throne like a beautiful, androgynous emperor surveying his subjects with an air of weary nobility.
To modern eyes, this video appears over the top in its bold grandeur, but that’s what makes it so enjoyable. This is Culture Club and their attempt to brazenly speak out in favor of peace and love. They wrote this catchy pop song about the stupidity of war and director Russell Mulcahy crafted a dazzlingly entertaining video to promote it, now might just be the perfect time to revive this little gem.
The War Song music video was nominated for 2 Video Music Awards in 1985. Culture Club was up against for Best Special Effects for a music video. The nominees were 1. Culture Club "The War Song” 2. Duran Duran for "Wild Boys" 3. Elton John for "Sad Songs Say So Much" 4. Bryan Adams for "Run to You" and 4. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers for "Don't Come around Here Know More" (Winner)
The Second video music award was for Best Art Direction in a music video. Culture Club was up against for a second Video Music Award in 1985 for Best Art Direction. Nominees were 1. Culture Club "The War Song" 2. Elton John "Sad Songs (Say So Much)" 3. Duran Duran "Wild Boy's" 4. Madonna "Like A Virgin".
The Medal Song
Video: The Medal Song
Running Time: 4:35
Director: Zelda Barron
Producer: Siobhan Barron
Production Cost: $82,000
Fun Notes: There were a few errors that you could actually see a lip sync error where George is in a scene with Frances farmer in her apartment and you can see George lip singing "Ah aye ya aye" without the correct music line playing. George immediately flew in Zelda Barron to Chicago to re-edit this disastrous music video.
The Medal Song music video was taken from the album third Culture Club album "Waking Up With The House On Fire." The Medal Song was based on the true story of Actress Frances Farmer. She was the rebellious forties actress who was accused of being a Communist. She was then institutionalized by her own mother and given a lobotomy. It was George’s friend Marilyn who showed Boy George the film called "Frances" It moved Boy George so much that he had to write a song about her.
"Life will never be the same as it was again"! Meaning she was rich had everything, but her alcoholism soon ruined her acting career? So the term was a reference to her “Life Will Never be the same as it was again.
George had taken Zelda Barron a great script idea for the video. George wanted everyone to have fun with the video, He wanted to use different imagery for Culture Club and that he did. He would have Culture Club is focused on how they achieved their dreams becoming musicians or being a great athlete. We first are seen with Jon Moss as a little Boy who always wanted to play the drums banging on all kinds of things, his school teacher gets mad at him and sends him to detention where is still tapping at the drums.
Next, we see Roy Hay always writing music, he’s in school very little and the teacher catches him writing music where she embarrasses little Roy and makes him write 100 times’ will not write music” Next we move onto him as a teenager still writing music in his room. The camera then switches over to Mikey Craig as a little boy trying to impress his father with football but couldn’t do it at the time he was little, so when Mikey is all grown up, he is seen scoring a field goal in a football game.
The music video next switches over to Frances Farmer where she is seen winning her awards enjoying her success. Soon she is moved over to Hollywood where is part of their game, she battles out losing too soon become an alcoholic where she is seen at the bar drinking away. To make things look better George wanted to use Hare Krishna devotees, but at the time none of them wanted to participate or be part of the music video.
Director Zelda Barron hired a load of bald extras. The rest of Culture Club Roy, Jon, Mikey then chose to be dressed as the "Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers". George was dressed wearing a gold Lurex Chinese skullcap, an Indian sequined skirt, and long false metal nails.
The music video ended up looking colorful but very confusing. You couldn't tell it was about Frances Farmer. George in the meantime was very disappointed with Zelda Barron on editing the part that was done for the music video. An ending was never filmed, so a live clip from Culture Clubs New York Madison Square Garden performance was inserted at the end.
Mistake No. 3
Video: Mistake No. 3
Running Time 4:40
Director: David Mallett
Producer: Siobhan Barron
Production Cost: $90,000
Directors Log: The moving wedding cake would not spin during filming. Roy Hay was late for the set.
The music video for Culture Clubs Mistake No 3 was the last single off Waking up with the House on Fire. The video was a fan favorite back in its glory.
The music video was directed by David Mallett, the video was like a Busby Berkeley extravaganza with George on top of a huge revolving wedding cake dressed in a white silk diamante cape and a demented topiary -bush taffeta hat made by Stephen Jones.
The video was incredible. This time Culture Club had reached the pinnacle of excess, 50 Extras were used dressed up as brides, Naomi Campbell paid a visit to the set. She is one of the models as featured in the wedding cake that was spinning.
Roy Hay did not want to participate in the video. One hundred rabbits were used in the video as they were jumping around behind George, Jon & Mickey.
There was one scene were Boy George appears in bed with a woman.
This was the most talked about scene from this music video. She reveals what's really under the bed sheets!! A surprised is from Boy George and he gives her a kiss.
George’s makeup was at his best. There were three costume changes. You could see his white lipstick traces; this was the final video where George looked spectacular. Filming began at 7 AM George was very mad because he could not get him self-lifted up to the wedding cake; there was a mail function where the cake would not spin.
Video: Move Away
Running Time 4:16
Director: Willie Smax
Producer: Siobhan Barron
Production Cost: $80,000
Directors Log: Filmed at The Brixton Academy
George really put the cast and crew through the grinder, Boy George & Jon Moss had several punch-ups. On day one of the videos shot George through a vase of water at Jon from a window as he was about to go on set in full makeup and costume. George then hid in the toilet for almost an hour. Jon exploded, trying to kick down the door and cut George with some broken glass. None of us could believe what was happening. On the second day of the video shoot, George was a really mess ranting one moment, then nodding out. Getting him on the set was impossible. He kept changing his outfits and his makeup was sweating off!
Filming began in February 1986 for the release of the fourth studio album from Culture Club called "From Luxury To Heartache" The first single released was "Move Away" which proved to be Boy George at his worst for a music video. This video happens to be many fans favorite music video from Culture Club.
Filming was for two very long days. The director had many outbursts with George.
The music video is by far superb, which cast Boy George & Culture Club as silent film-stars. The silent film stars are featured in movies. One scene between George & Jon is racing cars across a black/white movie screen.
The first scene is George and Alice are at the movies, Alice is sitting with her hands folded looking sad and George has had it a throws his hands around telling her to just "Move Away" as he storms out of the movie theater the movie posters come to life.
One is a poster of Jon Moss as a race car driver.
Both Roy and Mikey are in a film as army warfighters.
There is one movie poster as Mickey Craig starring as a "Millionaire". As the posters come to life they help George battle his fight with Alice by directing him in the way to go.
Running Time 3:52
Director: Russell Mulcahy
The music video for Boy George's third solo single titled “Sold” was for the title track of his Solo album Sold. Released on TV in the summer of 87 on July 8, 1987.
The music video was directed by Russell Mulcahy who was also the director for the huge extravaganza Culture Club music video for “The War Song”. George wanted the video to tell a story about the Riots in South Africa and feature video segments of P.W. Botha.
George had 3 costume changes showing off the official BOY LONDON baseball hat. The director brought in over 100+ extras to battle it out creating robbery with some fighting in the streets. This music video starts with a deserted abandoned factory. There are television sets and broken video monitors and computer screens are all over the place laying all-around a huge trash ruble. Next, we see slowly a video screen appearing from out of the trash ruble and George is singing. There is a large building behind him showing a huge distressed cloth that soon falls revealing the riot people who are there to put this all to an end. The extras are standing there chanting “Sold”, "Did you hear it"? "I’m Sold".
Next, we see Boy George who is dressed up wearing a long overcoat with a Red Baseball hat walking through the abandoned city. There are hundreds of people running around fighting and destroying everything in sight.
We next move to the scene where George is hiding out underground in an abandoned factory he's looking at the TV set viewing of riots on the screen about P.W Botha.
George gets up he's fed up and decides he has had enough and decides to kick in the tv set causing it to explode. This scene was soon edited out of the music video and was not issued on the ‘Sold Home Video VHS" release that was issued in the UK and Japan in Dec 1987 from Virgin Records. This version can only be viewed on the promo video from Virgin records known as the “Rest Of The World Version”.
The music video did feature some exciting ending scenes for George. It was almost like a Michael Jackson music video. The end of the video is where we see Boy George marching down a street with 100 extras behind him all dressed up in business work outfits chanting “Sold", "Did you hear it"?, "I’m Sold?” They are raising their fist in the air moving them up and down with all kinds of explosions blowing up behind them and fire is everywhere.
To Be Reborn
Video: To Be Reborn
Running Time 4:28
Director: Jean Baptiste Mondino
Fun Note: George had to lip-sync the song 10x's because there were so many pages in the book for the video and he had three costume changes.
The music video for Boy George's fourth single for "To Be Reborn" was released to coincide with "The Boy Revue" Tour". The music video was directed by and made by French genius Jean Baptiste Mondino which was filmed in June of 1987 and had taken the director months to finish and complete. The music video costing Virgin Records $90,000 Video has pioneering video trickery. George was given an almost porcelain complexion and looked like a Hollywood femme fatale crooning from the turning pages of a storybook.
As the book turns the pages we see some pages with the lyrics to the song. George looked so beautiful in this video which instantly became a fan favorite. The video set also produced the pictures that were used for the single for the 7" & 12" records with a cassette single and CD single with an exclusive 8-page booklet with a gate-fold sleeve 7" single.
Just recently this month "To Be Reborn" director Jean Baptiste Mondino was interviewed in "Issue Magazine"
" How did you develop, on the technical level, your sumptuous music video for Boy George's "To Be Reborn" in 1987?
JBM: I've had the idea, already. And the ideas I have are above all related to beings, much more than the technology that never only serves to support the message we're trying to pass. It turns out that at this time in 1987 Boy George wasn't doing very well, And when he asked me to work for him on this title, I immediately told myself that he needed sweetness and delicacy, For this reason, in the clip, the hand of a little girl gently turns the pages of a photo album, as well as the very delicate layer leaves that reveal it over the pages... I wanted to bring purity. At the moment the press was on him saying that he was homosexual, a drug addict, at the bottom of the hole. I wanted to help him find some kind of redemption. For the music video for "To Be Reborn", I turned to people who were driving the 3-D in Paris, and they managed to put some plans of him singing on pages on blue background. With the transparency games of the layer pages, it was not a thin deal, but the result, for the time, was exceptional. As far as the technique is concerned, I've always wanted to move forward out of curiosity and greed. When people stop, I'm bored. And everything that stops me - success, recognition, tribute, exhibitions -, I don't know so much what to do with it.
The music video was so innovative that George wasn't surprised when he saw it reworked frame for frame in the 1993 music video for Madonna's "This Used to Be My Playground". George was so furious and renamed her video "This Used to be My Video".
Running Time 3:41
Director: Russell Mulcahy
Directors Log: The Whisper video features a beautiful drawing of Boy George on the wall of the movie set at the beginning of the music video.
In 1988 when Boy George was ready to promote his new album Tense Nervous Headache to Virgin records the record company decided to change the single “Whisper” and release ‘Don’t Cry instead as the first single. The music video for “Whisper” was filmed and made in black and white. The last time a Boy George music video was in black and white was for “Everything I Own” (US Version in 1987)
The music video for Whisper tells the tale of two tales one of a Hollywood actor who only dreams of being a singer and of a Hollywood actress who is tired of being chased around by the paparazzi.
The “Whisper” music video takes place on a movie set on a Hollywood Sound Stage sometime around the early 1940s. The first scene Boy George walks into the dressing room wearing a beautiful long green velvet coat, George is playing a Hollywood actor who is sitting in his chair in his dressing room looking in the mirror. The mirror soon reflects the other side showing George acting in scenes. He has a busy day ahead of him filming different scenes.
In one scene George is at a church where an angel comes flying down from the set like she was falling from heaven. The director then shouts “And Cut”, whereas the next scene he is seen singing at a jazz club with backup singers and complete band.
While George is on the movie set what’s going on outside during the filming a big Hollywood movie star is trying to make her way onto the movie set. It’s not easy for her she is being chased by the Hollywood paparazzi and she is being followed around with every step she makes.
The video soon comes to a close and zooms back to Boy George in his dressing room. We now see that George must have fallen asleep in his chair, he was just dreaming about what his life would be like if he was a singer and not an actor.
To Be Continued...
We still have some more to come. Sign up for the newsletter to get the details on the next "Behind The Music Video" when we go behind the scenes with the video for "King Of Everything" Other videos in the works are for "Generations Of Love 90" and "Turn to Dust". Stay tuned.
Video: Somebody to Love Me
Running Time 4:53:
Director: Saam Farahmand
Fun Note: When Culture Club member Helen Terry watched the music video for the firs time she thought it was really Boy George from 1982.
Re-creating the heyday of one George O'Dowd circa June 14th 1982 Georges surprise Birthday Party , Saam Farahmand gets to grips with the key track from Mark Ronson's Record Collection album.
Shot 'aged VHS home movie' docu-style by Florian Hoffmeister, with bang-on styling and make-up by a styling team including MVA winner Hannah Edwards, Nova Dando and Christine, the end result is another ingenious, effortlessly cool video by Saam. And George never sounding better...
DIRECTOR Saam Farahmand
PRODUCER Leanne Stott
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Sasha Nixon
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Florian Hoffmeister
ART DIRECTOR Ben Ansell
EDITOR Tom Lindsay
COMMISSIONER Mike O'Keefe
Video: King Of Everything
Running Time: 4:53
Director: Michael Nichols
Fun Note: The boxing ring that was used in this music video was a boxing ring that Boy George's brother once boxed in.
*Another Fun Note: When people walked down the street near the London Bridges people thought that the girl crying was really upset. Little did they know she was staring in the Boy George music video for "King Of Everything."
"King Of Everything" it’s a song, first and foremost, even though a lot has been read into it. George wrote it very much in a filmic way. It’s about a guy singing to his wife, who’s holding his child, so that’s definitely not George.
Boy George wanted to write a song about recovery and redemption, but not do it in an overly self-pitying fashion. So, he created this chaotic movie scene, with sirens going off.
"King Of Everything" is actually about being a successful person, not about being a star, or reclaiming the crown in terms of that. The most important thing you can ever be is a successful person, and everything else stems from that. You want to be someone who wakes up in the morning and is grateful for what they’ve got. Some people have taken it a little too literally. That's what the "King Of Everything" music video is all about.
Running Time 3:37
Director: Mark Whelan & Rankin
Fun Note: The song Life plays to an acoustic version not available on the standard album.
Boy George, Rankin and creative director Mark Whelan have teamed up to create a video for the music icon’s newest track, the soulful Life. And while George undergoes 6 costume changes under Rankin's famous ring-lights, the big surprise comes when he strips off the make-up, and his hat, and reveals the real man underneath.
It's an appropriate moment for a song which is all about stripping away the artifice to reveal true feelings of the heart. The sentiments come through with the assistance of hand-animation around the live action. And it demonstrates that George is always a compelling figure that demands your attention, whether in full warpaint and outfit or not.
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Mark Whelan
PRODUCER Ugne Ciesiunaite
PRODUCTION COMPANY Rankin Film
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Beth Montague
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Andreas Neo
1ST AD James Sharpe
MAKE-UP Christine Bateman
HAIR Hamilton Stansfield
PRODUCTION DESIGNER Marco Turcich
EDITOR Gareth Phillips
EDITOR Manuel Molla
EDITOR Rob Shipster
COLOURIST Alan Mahon
FLAME Grant Mckean
ANIMATOR Natalia Lucia
To Be Continued...
We still have some more to come. Sign up for the newsletter to get the details on the next "Behind The Music Video" when we go behind the scenes with the video for "King Of Everything" Other videos in the works are for "Generations Of Love 90" and "Turn to Dust". Stay tuned.