Marching to the Beat of Nothing


Year: 1985

Song: “Miss Mystery” by Black ‘N Blue (Apologies for the poor video quality. It was the best I could find, which, frankly, is a disservice to the things that happen in this music film.)

Have you ever thought to yourself, man, I wonder what it would have been like if David Lynch had gotten in on the hair metal video scene?

Only every other day, right?

Well. I am here with your answer, and it is called “Miss Mystery,” by Black ‘N Blue. Is it a power ballad? Is it nightmare fuel? Is it the result of a lost bet? You tell me, y’all. You tell me.

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It starts out innocently enough. We’ve got our man Gordon, who’s laying in bed, nervous about his business trip the following day. So he decides to read a magazine to relax, probably because it’s too late to take a Tylenol PM. Been there, Gord.

Also, there’s like a dimensional ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ coming out of his lamp, which isn’t, you know, super soothing. But we’re still in a relatively safe zone.

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It’s all fun and games until Gord gets on the plane.

His first mistake is booking a night flight. If you have a fear of flying, why would you pick a night flight? Gord looks out the window, trying to find something calming in the storm raging out there, and what he sees is…the band on the wing of the plane.

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H’okay. This is a thing that is happening. Fine. Good. Let’s just do a quick rundown of the strongest influences we’ve seen in this video thus far, in no particular order that we know of:

  1. The existence of David Lynch
  2. The Twilight Zone (thank you, youtube commenters, because sometimes sandwiched between scandalous backseat memories, proclamations of how this was when music was REAL, and announcements from 14 year olds that this is what they like and all their friends think they’re weird [tag yrself, I’m the last one], sometimes you get some helpful info. And in this case, it is that this video is an allusion to an episode of the Twilight Zone. Baller move to align yourself with the gremlins, Black ‘N Blue.)
  3. Substances, probably
  4. A deep, unrelenting desire to screw with the drummer

I wish I could have been in the brainstorming session for this video. Oh, yeah, we’re bringing the mic stand on the wing of the plane. All the guitars, no problem. Drumsticks, of course. Bu that’s where the suspension of disbelief ends. No drums. Don’t be silly. Not even in nightmare world. Just sit on the wing and tap around like a happy baby percussing in a kitchen.

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The plight of the instrumentless lead singer is one we know well. The heart is a lonely frontman etc etc. But raise your hand if you were emotionally prepared for a drummerless drummer. You weren’t. None of us were. We wouldn’t be prepared for a movie where Patrick Swayze doesn’t sweat. We wouldn’t be prepared for Bon Jovi to be unwholesome. And we are most certainly not ready to see a drummer just make do for a 4-minute video.

No man is island. Except for a drummer whose drums have been confiscated.

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Gordon tries to alert the flight attendant that something is amiss — chiefly, there’s a gremlin band on the wing that won’t let its drummer drum — but she’s nonplussed. Everyone on the plane is acting like things are completely normal. More than normal. There’s a whole wild rumpus beginning in coach. Gord starts to feel a little crazy, and if the problem isn’t external, then it’s with him. And he’s a cool 30,000 feet in the air.

And so is the band. Yup, still there.

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Meal service begins and it’s giant mixing bowls of blueberries swimming in milk. Gord is like, get that out of my face but the rest of the plane is just going to town. The flight attendant gives him a knowing look and he’s can’t decide if he’s into it or if it’s just gas.

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And then the floor bursts into flames and the flight attendant is all, take your seat sir, and she straps him in. No oxygen mask appears from overhead. No one gives the drummer some drums. We can’t be sure which one is upsetting Gordon more. At one point he is clearly mouthing this is bullshit and it’s like, of course it is. THERE WAS TOTALLY ROOM FOR DRUMS ON THE WING.

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Gordon frees himself from his seat as the flight gets worse and worse — feel free to insert your own joke about the airline of your choice here! — and he eventually discovers the flight attendant is actually the pilot, because that’s what happens when you assume. He’s pounding on the door like enough is enough I have had it with the snakes on this plane and I’m not sure what this is supposed to accomplish because probably distracting the pilot during a storm, even if the plane might be on fire and there’s a gremlin band on the wing, doesn’t seem to be the wisest choice you could make.

Gord gets ejected from the plane and lands in a bed in the middle of the tarmac, which is pretty convenient. You could go with “it’s a dream within a dream, this is what happens when you read People before bed, ps lay off the nighttime pepperoni logs” but that answer would not satisfy David Lynch, and it doesn’t satisfy Black ‘N Blue either. So we don’t really know what happens, but we can reasonably assume that this video goes on to inspire the film Titanic. 

 

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