Song: “Lay It Down” by Ratt
Great news, everyone. Since one of 2017’s myriad side effects is just, like, clowns being everywhere, it’s almost been a kind of exposure therapy, so we get to talk about Ratt’s “Lay It Down” in honor of Halloween with minimal screaming. Woo!
Aside from the horrifying clown who probably ruined birthdays for these small children for years to come and some sartorial decisions we’ll talk about later, this video is notable for two reasons:
- The little girl. I am 93% convinced she also plays the child on the trike in Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, right? Also featured in Dokken’s “Dream Warriors” video?
- Young Stephen. I can state with 100% certainty that this is Whit Hertford, who played Walter “Duckface” Berman on Full House. Also appearing on a much later season of Full House? Teddy “Zig Zag” Andreadis, who played in Uncle Jesse’s post-Rippers band. He later appeared on an episode of Trading Spaces, where his good pal Slash showed up. And that is your six degrees of separation from the Olsen twins to Axl Rose. (I mean, yes, you can point to Andreadis touring with UYI era-GNR as the degree of separation but I wanted to talk about Trading Spaces because I watched that episode on purpose because of Slash. The early 2000s were weird.)
This is what the presence of clowns does to me.
ANYWAY. The video opens at this really ominous-feeling child’s birthday party. Where are the adults? Where’s the attempt to make this look like an actual room in an actual home? How much sugar have these children had?
The clown is about to give them even more sugar in the form of birthday cake (seriously, why is there not a parent there? Surely serving food is not in the clown’s fee) when the Elm Street Tricyclist reminds Young Stephen he needs to make a wish.
And then things take a turn for the weird.
(If you’ve re-read the above and you’re concerned that THIS is when things get weird, I feel you. Just look at Robbin Crosby. Contemplate if it is too late to make this your Halloween costume. Join us when you’re ready.)
So apparently Young Stephen’s wish is to be in a rock band. And not just any rock band, but Ratt. And not just in Ratt, but in a music video with a beautiful woman. And not just in Ratt in a music video with a beautiful woman, but in Ratt in a music a video with a beautiful woman while wearing matching pirate costumes.
Idk, the heart wants what the heart wants.
There’s a weird interlude where Young Stephen is picturing this scene so vividly that he’s just sitting at his birthday table silently rockin’ out while the other kids are like caaaaaaaaaaaake. Fun fact: I own both the belt and a version of the dress the woman pirate is wearing. Not as a costume, but as fashion. It’s fine.
Also there are some closeups of Adult Stephen’s pirate shirt that reveal it is basically what would happen if the program Dynasty and a mall Halloween store pirate costume had a baby. I don’t know what to address the items on the shoulders as other than spangles. We are at Code Spangles, people, and there is no turning back.
So Adult Stephen is just following his pirate love (played by 1983 Playmate of the Year Marianne Gravatte) around this set-maze, which is a little weird for a wish world, but also we’re talking about the weird romantic wishes of children, so I suppose this checks out. He’s just brooding and sort of thrusting and strutting everywhere in his honest-to-goodness PIRATE BREECHES because the real wish actually might be not to get the girl but just cultivate enough rock star ethos to share space with her.
This also checks out.
I know I already said things got weird, but then they get even weirder. Seriously. Adult Stephen pulls a Lost in Translation and starts whispering sweet pirate nothings into Marianne’s ear. And then we are treated to the present action where Young Stephen is pulling the same thing with the Elm Street Tricyclist.
You know how you feel when you see an infant in a onesie that says something like Stud Muffin on it? You can’t quite name it maybe but it is very unsettling because…infant? This is how this scene feels, magnified.
Thank god there’s a long Warren DeMartini solo featuring a leopard print/snakeskin guitar to cleanse the palate. (It’s also possible it’s a leopard print guitar wrapped in fishnet, which is an ambiguity I am here for.)
Adult Stephen and Marianne finally clasp hands, which zaps us back to the birthday party, where Young Stephen and the Elm Street Tricyclist are found in the same pose. She asks him what he wished for and he breaks every last shred of the fourth wall to make a gesture at the viewer that involves licking his finger that I think is supposed to convey you’re lookin at it. In so many words. Or something. I need an adult and not a clown.
Honestly, guess we should just be grateful the clown didn’t make it into the birthday wish world. Small favors, etc.