Today, I treated myself to watching the video for “Careless Memories”. Directed by Perry Haines and Terry Jones, featuring Haines’ girlfriend as the damsel who seems to unable or unwilling to decide between John and Simon (a common problem among many, or so I’ve heard), I hadn’t sat down to watch the original video (as opposed to the anime, which came much later) in quite some time.
There are apparently a couple different edits to this video, with very subtle differences in shots. For example, in one edit, during the line that goes “I walk out into the sun and try to find the new day”, Simon appears to open a door and step out into a bright sunny day. In another edit during the same line, it cuts to shots of the band onstage. There are a few other places where the two edits of the video are just very slightly different.
In fact, someone did us all a favor and put the two videos up side-by-side on YouTube, so here you go:
I don’t know why there are two edits to the video. Seems to me that there’s not enough of a difference to even matter, but who really knows. The second version of the video was included in the Duran Duran video album released in 1983. The original version was finally released on the Duran Duran 2010 2CD+DVD remaster. All of that said, this is likely just one reason out of a million why I am not in charge of these things. I don’t have the creative understanding to really see the enormous differences and how they make a significant impact. Alas…I write a fan blog instead!
Careless Memories was one of the first several videos I saw from Duran Duran, although I can’t remember if I saw the video on MTV or a similar video show, or if I saw it on the video album first. I only remember being at my friend’s house and watching it together in her living room.
My experience with this video is simply that as a ten or eleven year old, I didn’t really get it. I can distinctly remember watching this with my friend Marsha, and wondering why the band were wearing pirate outfits, while she was oohing and ahhing over this girl and how she was ditching Simon for John. I paid far more attention to the fact that Andy’s hair didn’t appear to be cut straight, or that both he and Nick seemed to have completely fried their hair in the process of dying it. A girl going after both John and Simon? Who cares?!? Show me the band playing!!
I was young. The drama was pretty lost on me at the time. I wanted to see the band onstage, since I am pretty sure at the time I figured it was the closest I’d ever get to seeing them. That was the thing about videos, really. It gave those of us who didn’t have a shot at seeing them (or any band out of reach) a chance to watch them perform. Videos were a small window, showing us who they were – or who we thought they were – as a band. I’d watch the videos over and over, wondering if they were anything like the people I was seeing on my television. What did their voices sound like when they were talking? Were these guys funny? I can remember those early days when I didn’t know the band’s names, much less who was who in posters. That was the importance of MTV, particularly at first. Those videos gave us a chance to bond with the band in a way we hadn’t before. We could see them onstage, memorizing every move.
When I watched the video today, my thoughts lingered on a couple of main things. First, I thought about the colors of the video. Black, white, red…or shades of it, seemed to be a common theme for the band. I also noticed how washed out the video seems to look, and wondered if it had always looked that way.(I think so?) Andy’s platinum hair to John’s burgundy, Nick with his seemingly black, the theme carried all the way through to their tresses! I just didn’t pay attention to those details when I was young, at least not in the way I would study how Nick moved his hands to play the keyboards, or how John would slap his bass, or even the way Roger struck the drums.
The second thing that came to mind was how in these early videos, Nick was on the opposite side of the stage from where he has been when I’ve seen them live. The first time I saw the band live was during the tour for Big Thing in 1989. Unfortunately, I have no memory of where they all stood at the time. My guess is that I was in shock from being “so close to them” (granted, I was in the very last row of the Universal Amphitheater, but that’s far closer than being an entire continent AND ocean away!) that I didn’t think of much else during that first concert. Certainly couldn’t be because it’s been a few decades, or anything like that. Anyway, I wondered how long it has been since he’s moved to the other side. At first, I was curious about why he moved over, but the more I think about it, perhaps it is due to having the rhythm section on one side grouped together. Makes sense to me!
For a video that was filmed in 1980, Careless Memories still holds up. Yes, the video feels like a classic, and probably a bit more vintage than it may have in 1981, but the simplicity of performance shots interspersed with a little drama is still entertaining. I mean, the struggle between Simon and John’s shoulder is real.
…or so I suspect could be the case.
Next time, we’re on to The Chauffeur!