Is It Fun Making A Music Video?
About a year ago, I was close to finishing and releasing my 8th Album of primarily 1950’s & 60’s “Oldies”. I thought that I had everything under control until my Manager, Peggy Iafrate of Strega Entertainment (Boston, Nashville & LA), suggested that we film a music video of one of those songs, to “kick-off” the album’s release. Furthermore, she stated explicitly that I wasn’t just going to sing the song, but that I needed to come up with a complete story to base the video on…it needed to touch people with a positive message. I chose one of my all-time favorite Oldies “Sea Of Love” by the Honeydrippers and after much deliberation came up with a story-line as well. As my wife and I are usually out in LA during February and March (can you say warm and sunny?), it seemed to be a perfect location for shooting the video…as long as I could find a location with plenty of 1950’s-60’s “character”.
At times the computer is a dear friend and in this case after searching extensively, it gave me a perfect situation…a place in the little Town of Woodland (just outside Sacramento) called “Reiff’s Old Time Garage and Museum”, where an absolutely terrific guy named Mark Reiff had transformed his family home over many years into an Oldies showplace, with a genuine old-time garage, gas pumps, Malt Shoppe, original theatre façade, old cars/trucks and thousands of artifacts such as the signs we all remember like “Orange Crush”, “Pennzoil” & “Fire Chief Gas”. Yep, it came dripping with 1950’s character, including the owner Mark, who was nothing short of a spectacular story-telling machine, and a wonderful artist/painter to boot. What more could one want for a video foundation.
Our production team from Smash Cut Films of LA, Ernie, Gus and Len drove up to Woodland with Peggy and met Margie and me there, and we had one of the most fun days of my life filming, creating a story and “improvising” on the run. When you watch the video you will see a smiling man dressed like an original “soda-jerk” and also a gas station attendant in full uniform…both of which were “Len” when he took brief breaks from his camera duties. Then, besides Len and of course me (Paco) you will meet a beautiful young lass who in real life is my wife of 49 years, Margie. I can’t begin to tell you how difficult a time I had trying to convince her to do this video with me… (no, no, no, never, I can’t act, I won’t know what to do etc., etc.,) but in the end she thankfully agreed and even improvised on her own, with arguably the best lifelike scene in the entire video…blowing her milk shake out of her straw all over my face…which was a total surprise to everyone including me. What fun! Simply amazing!
The second half of the video we filmed at sunset on beautiful “Zuma Beach” in Malibu (of “From Here to Eternity” fame). Quite an experience for me filming in that highly public location, as I needed to sing “Sea Of Love” countless times out loud, to an instrumental background track, standing in my leather jacket on some rocks beside the ocean, trying to look cool like Fonzie, with the sun setting and all of these people walking past trying to figure out who the heck I was…but they clapped…so it all worked out. The same crew filmed us there and even used an aerial drone camera. A highlight for Margie and me, which you don’t see in the video, is that there was a large pod of whales feeding in the surf around some reefs, just a hundred feet off-shore. They were right in front of us in the video, as we were sitting on a rock and I had my arm around her. Thus…a second day for Margie and me, celebrating our then upcoming 49th Anniversary, with an outstanding “life-adventure”, that in many ways mirrored the story in the video.
We sincerely hope that the video touches people, especially of our generation, in a positive way, and brings back those memories we all share of our youth and that first “true love”.