Hello – by Karen

2 Apr

I am getting in early this week, because I know that with this topic, everyone will immediately think of posting about the creepiest music video of all time, Lionel Richie’s Hello.

Now feel free to correct me if I’ve wildly misinterpreted this work of art, because to the modern viewer (who I will define as anyone alive after its 1984 release year), it’s pretty hard to believe someone thought this was a good idea for a music video.

So we have Lionel Richie as a college (god, I hope it’s college) drama teacher, who obsessively stalks his BLIND female student, taking advantage of her disability to space out and perve at her during her performance exercises in his class. He then follows her down the corridors and even into her ballet class. He also makes anonymous phone calls to her HOME NUMBER at night. If you’re not shuddering yet, just imagine one of your uni professors in the role of Lionel.

Tension mounts at the apex of the clip, when a male peer of the girl rouses Lionel from one of his reveries with the phrase, “There’s something going on in the sculpture class. I think you ought to check it out”. Dear God!, you think, already creeped out by this stage, and not just by the song’s minor key. Is she self-immolating as a public protest? Has she gone on a shooting rampage because she just can’t take the harassment any more?! 

No. Lionel enters the room, and there is the girl, a glazed over look in her eyes and a clay model of his head on a plinth, eerily reminiscent of Victorian death masks.

Here it is, along with Benjamin Disraeli’s for good measure.

The 1st Earl of Deaconsfield

The 1st Earl of Easy Listening/Soul

Oh look, someone made it into a cake.

It pleases me a lot that this was actually created for a wedding.

Hello is a terrific word for songs. First of all, it grabs the attention. On top of that, it’s understood by people of all nationalities (does that partly explain this?) . There are a lot of good songs prominently featuring the word Hello, and to be fair, Lionel Richie’s number is a killer. But if you’re too creeped out by the video to ever enjoy Hello again, you can thank me later, while rocking out to Hello Hello:

A truly magnificent find that actually turned up on one of Finn’s Putamayo world music CDs, proving that children’s music isn’t 100 per cent torture. And look what delight I found posted below it:

Is that not truly definitive of what the Youtube comment has contributed to world discourse?


11 Responses to “Hello – by Karen”

  1. Gaurav Vaidya (@mrvaidya) April 2, 2012 at 9:38 am #

    I still think Hello is a slow second to Every Breath You Take as the creepiest song of all time, but I hadn’t realized that the music video was as creepy as the song! Speaking of old music videos, have you seen the literal version of Total Eclipse of the Heart?

    • Karen April 2, 2012 at 10:01 am #

      Hahahah, Total Eclipse of the Heart has been one of my favourite weird 80s videos since I rediscovered it on Singstar. What can it possibly mean? Music was so baffling back then – see also, Gold by Spandau Ballet.

  2. Tabitha April 3, 2012 at 3:15 am #

    Oh man, this was a great post with a very satisfying number of LOLs. Also, it was incredibly “on theme”. So much so that you may have covered everything anyone could possibly say about the word “hello”.

    Some further comments:

    – How does the blind girl know what Lionel Richie’s face looks like?! She must be stalking him too, and touching his face without him noticing so she can work on his death mask. This is arguably even creepier than lurking behind someone and singing at them all the time
    – Are you getting a puppy? Do I need to start going on at you about getting a rescue dog? I hope so! Because being self-righteous is one of my favourite things.
    – I love the idea of Lionel Richie sitting at home, enjoying his retirement, when his manager calls to tell him that he’s needed over in the Arab world. Lionel leaps up and catches the first plane to Qatar.
    – I would like to second @mrvaidya’s enjoyment of Literal Total Eclipse… “They shouldn’t fence at night/Or they’re going to hurt the gymnasts”. Amazing.
    – What do you mean that music was baffling “back then”? Have you seen the Lady Gaga video for Bad Romance? It is inconceivable to me that that video was actually scripted. This video signalled the point in time when I became too old to understand what was going on in popular culture.

    • Karen April 4, 2012 at 12:33 am #

      If I can repay just one of the hundreds of LOLs your posts give me, I’ll be… well… you wouldn’t want to lend me money on that track record, I guess so I’ll just keep it quiet.

      I’m now wondering if non-consensual face-feeling is a thing that goes on.

      I am going to have to email you dog-planning updates I think!

  3. Justyna April 3, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

    When Michal rediscovered Total Eclipse of the Heart, just a couple of months ago, he bombarded our apartment with it CONSTANTLY. He would boot it up on his phone and piss himself laughing before going to bed. Every night for about a week! I found it entertaining for a second. Then I wanted to kill.

    Karen, reading your pots whilst doing a night boobing session, and admittedly booting the clip on my phone, I enjoyed myself immensely. I will now bombard Michal with ‘hello’. It is now Tuesday night and I am still singing it.

    I have a few doubts about it being in college though. Those wrapped lunches and the lockers in the hall, do suggest a much younger demographic.

    The jumper he wears is by fat the most disturbing element in the clip. And the fact that for a blind girl, the heroine has insufficient scary eyes. Her pupils are far too steady.

    • Karen April 4, 2012 at 12:39 am #

      Interesting and valid points. The lockers worried me too.

      I am delighted by the idea of you and Michal belting out Hello over there in Poland. Who knows, perhaps central Europe will be the epicentre of his next career revival!

      PS Lionel is currently “mentoring” on US The Voice! There were some priceless shots of people entering a room and being “surprised” by the presence of Lionel. Chilled to their cores, no doubt.

  4. Suzysiu April 9, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    I love “Hello”, though mostly due to Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. Stupid iPhone has broken sound, but I have (almost) achieved One Snoring Two Year Old. She seems to be snoring whilst awake, but the moment of sleep is SOON. Then I will rush to the laptop!

    • suzysiu April 9, 2012 at 11:55 am #

      Ok yes. Terribly disturbing, and yes you might have ruined it for me, had I not found it frustratingly slow – like I find all songs that I first discovered via punk rock covers.

      • Karen April 17, 2012 at 7:37 am #

        It is indeed terribly disturbing that you first discovered this song via a punk rock cover.

        But what Beth said – it’s lovely to have you on board, Suzy!

  5. Beth April 17, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    This post continues to give me laughs!! It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

    • Karen April 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm #


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