I first saw this video in 1985 on NBC’s “Friday Night Videos,” that network’s answer to MTV. Later on it was a regular fixture on the UHF Odyssey* music video channel, carried overnight from Cocoa Beach, FL on a UHF channel out of Johnstown, PA.
(Some background: when I was first able to tune in to that station–whose call letters and number I can’t recall–I was so impressed with its overnight music video content that I went to Radio Shack and bought a fairly large motorized UHF antenna, mounting it to a fireplace chimney on the roof. My childhood Western PA home didn’t get cable as yet in its rural setting, so MTV was not an option. That actually turned out to be a good thing, as I got to see things I would not have seen on MTV…like The Fat Boys, a hilarious and largely overlooked treat from the 80s. This is perhaps their best video.)
When I first saw Nomo I thought they were Japanese. Perhaps it was the name–“nomou” in Japanese, which, with hard masculine pronunciation, becomes “nomo,” which is “Let’s drink!.” Perhaps the video text said they were from Japan.
There is another band named Nomo…however, this video is from the band started by David Batteau, which produced one minor hit–the song in this video. And, as it turns out, they’re not from Japan.
What I particularly like about it is its Duran Duran-esque style. First, we start out in a landscape not unlike the Desert Southwest…then, a photo studio, and next, a motion picture set (with smoldering fires amongst carcasses of old airplane fuselages). Next, a swimming pool, followed by an impossibly blue room…then a black and white retro beach scene, and a construction site. The video closes with the band playing in a mock performance video on the roof of a high-rise in what looks like downtown Los Angeles.
Unlike most such performance videos, however, the camera moves in a counter-clockwise direction and doesn’t follow the lead singer (Batteau) as he moves about the set, performing the vocals. This feature alone is very different from most of these types of videos. He crosses in front of the camera several times as he is singing along with the vocal track.
It’s a catchy tune…from a pop perspective, there’s a great hook with the “Red red red lipstick” vocals. The video is very good as well; and while not up to the same well-defined qualities as most of the others found here, the concept and the cinematographic execution are well done. (Remember–this is 1985.) And, like a excellent pop song should, it ends on an upbeat and very positive note.
It’s a great and noteworthy video, and it has a place amongst my all-time favorites.
* I could find little information on the Internet about the Odyssey video channel, despite more than an hour’s worth of searching. If you read the comments about the video on YouTube, others mention it as well. If you have any more information about this UHF channel, please leave comments. They are moderated and not made immediately public, so even if you have sketchy information there’s no need to feel hesitant about sharing it. It could be a great help.)