It’s the Great Pumpkin, David Coverdale

Year: 1984

Song: “Love Ain’t No Stranger” by Whitesnake

At first blush, this video is David Coverdale at his most relatable.

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Do you always wait for the longest night of the year and miss it? I always wait for the longest night of the year and miss it.

We’ve all been there. The leaves are changing, there’s a nip in the air, and literally everything is a pumpkin. Halloween is nigh and you and your friends start talking about plans and then it happens: someone suggests a group costume.

Which means inevitably, someone falls for it.

Perhaps I’m overly sensitive to this, as I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog if it weren’t for the failed group costume idea that led to me solo trick-or-treating as Gene Simmons at age 12. I’d say it wasn’t as sad as it sounds but it is exactly as sad as it sounds. I didn’t know anything about KISS — it was my sister’s idea, and even though she wasn’t exactly what you’d call familiar with their musical oeuvre either, this costume was my musical gateway, so we can all blame her for how I turned out.

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David Coverdale knows this pain. The video opens with a moody shot of him walking through the kind of lonely streets that are generally preceded in song by the word “these,” because when you’re a sad loner, street specificity is very important. He’s bummed. We can tell because he has his hands in his jacket pockets. Also, there’s a convertible jalopy.

He looks up, locks eyes with a blonde woman with a seasonally appropriate temporary tattoo that is hopefully available on Amazon Prime. She gives him a look like they have’t seen each other since they had a nice date and he said he was going to call and then never did and then blamed her even though he never gave her his number.

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Why is he so sad? Is it because Snake Woman is mad at him? Did he eat too much dairy? Is the fog messing up his hair? Did he just finish reading Little Women?

Nope. It’s because he thought he and his buddies were doing a group costume and then they went and decided to have a stupid 1920s party instead. In a warehouse. Without giving him a jalopy ride.

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That’s not even how you do Gatsby!

There’s another woman at this party, who also didn’t get the jazz age memo. She gives David Coverdale a look that says I don’t even like Halloween, you wanna get some pizza but he’s too busy imagining how much fun he and his buds would have had if they’d gone with their group costume idea.

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What follows is an extended dream sequence, and I do mean dream. I mean, it’s totally crap that his pals switched up the plans and 1920s parties are so overdone, but come on, David Coverdale. Dressing up as a band for Halloween is as bad as a group of doctors throwing on scrubs and calling it a costume party.

In his mind, though, it would have been the costume to end all costumes. They would have been superstars. Someone would have built them a stage, ceded the umpteenth version of “Monster Mash” on the boombox and let them play. Dream big, David Coverdale. Dream big.

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I was going to wear all my belts and everything

We may roll our eyes, but for David Coverdale, it’s too painful to even get pizza about. He walks away from the party, dejected, while his friends decide to go joyriding in what appear to be tanks, and you can kind of see David Coverdale’s point here because it’s just like, pick a decade.

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But wait! All is not lost! The woman who was standing on the fringes of the party invites him to join her in the back of whatever the hell vehicle it is they’ve rented for this soiree. So he does and it looks like things are going to get hot and heavy but then all of a sudden the blonde woman is in the tank bed and the other woman is standing in these foggy streets watching them drive away and then the blonde woman is gone again and it all becomes clear: the women convinced David Coverdale’s friends to abandon him on Halloween so they could extract some sweet, vintage revenge on his non-call returning ways.

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I can only assume that the ladies leave the lame party and David Coverdale and go off to go watch Halloween is Grinch Night in one of their apartments and eat that pizza and roll their eyes. In a few years, they will place a call to Tawny Kitaen and this will become her favorite holiday tradition in a discarded early concept for the “Here I Go Again” video.

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