Title: Tell them about the money, honey (contd.)
Author: John Tague
Publish date: 28 May 1988
JOHN COOPER Clarke’s transmogrification from wasted punk poet to cuddly Sugar-Puff supremo did not go unnoticed by the eyes of disco destroyers NASTY ROX INC. The cranking crew were so seduced by the boy from Beasley Street bouncing around with the amphetamined Honey Monster, that they invited the advert’s creators, Trevor Melvin and Jeanne Willis, to collaborate with them on the video for their debut single ‘Escape from New York’.
The finished work’s all about the money, honey. Set in a Vatican oozing with venality where God’s bankers greedily relieve the crawling faithful of their cash, it features Nasty Rox as the new messiahs come to rid the sacred temple of its iniquitous practitioners. Based on Matthew 21, Bible fans, where Christ stomps on the thieves hanging out around his dad’s place, there’s a special guest appearance from John Paul, spreading the message of mullah, Chuck Brown’s souled out “I’m talking about, talking about, talking about, MONEY!”
Dave Dorrel explained that they all became hooked on the Sugar-Puffs piece last January while working in the studio. “We’d watch the telly during our breaks, and it got to be a bit of a cult, y’know, we always tried to catch those adverts. We thought we’ll have to do a video with them, something similar to that.” But plans were shelved after he discovered that the two were away in Mexico.
Dorrel recontacted Trevor and Jeanne after John Carpenter was unable to fulfill his role as director and several ideas were suggested. Trevor, who has worked on adverts for British Gas, IPC’s short lived teen—mag The Hit, and even NME beside’s Sugar Puffs, originally came up with a scenario based on The Price Is Right, later rejected in favour of evangelist antics in Catholic country.
The band descend behind the mafioso pigging out on bolagnaise, currency and calculators in a storm of stained glass, sequins, and samples. As the terrified thieves flee the wrath of the Rox, the band take up their rightful place at the pulpit of the people, proving the Foetus adage — that if you’re gonna get down, get down and pray.
For Trevor, this was his first promotional video, and it was inspired by his reading of David Gallup’s book In God’s Name, an investigation of the supposed murder of the first John Paul, linking the American Mafia, the Italian masonic cult P2, and the death of Robert Calvi, who was found hanged under Blackfriar’s bridge.
“I wanted to give the video an idea, to give it a meaning rather than stringing along a set of meaningless images. As it was their first promo they wanted a ‘performance’ to show the band off, but rather than being staged, I thought they should have some sort of effect on the situation around them. I’d just been on holiday in Rome and read In God’s Name, and that’s what inspired it.”
So if you read of the ritual disembowling of Dave Dorrel in a Catholic Church, you’ll know who’s responsible.