ZANG TUMMM TUMB ARTICLES “the first draft of history”

Creme of the crop

Godley and Creme have directed videos for Frankie n Duran. They also make good records, says Mike Gardiner.

Godley and Creme, arguably Britains top rock video directors are celebrating a 25 year partnership that started with the making of a film.

The pair, who have made videos for the Police, Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Duran Duran, started with a borrowed eight millimetre camera from a neighbour and the notion of remaking ‘Dracula.

“I needed someone to play a hunchback and Lol Creme was available,” says the shaggy faced Kevin Godley. Now after performing in hit bands like Hotlegs, 10cc and as a duo with hits like ‘Wedding Bells, ‘Under Your Thumb and their current excellent release ‘Cry, the pair are about to embark on a proper full-length feature film.

“Were in pre-production now and hope to be turning over in July,” says Godley. “Were planning for a Christmas release. Itll have a strong musical content and Trevor Horn will be involved. Were using the working title of ‘Just Like Eddie — thats all I can say about it at the moment.”

In fact, Trevor Horn plays an important part in the pairs new LP, titled ‘History Mix. Hes produced a beat box/Art Of Noise styled musical jigsaw puzzle containing fragments of Godley And Cremes previous work stretching back as far as their 1970 hit ‘Neanderthal Main (as Hotlegs).

“We first met Trevor in New York while we were editing the Polices ‘Synchronicity concert video and we were just three English boys alone, so we go together. We ended up doing some experimental work in the Power Station recording studios.

“When it came to the album we dismissed the idea of celebrating our 25 years together with a greatest hits LP as that would be too boring — but a ‘Greatest Bits LP was a far more interesting proposition.

“Between Trevor and Art Of Noises J J Jeczalik we were made aware of the new technology. We sampled pieces of our past work and threw them into a blender.”

Their involvement with Trevor Horn is the first time the pair have worked on a musical project with anyone outside of the 10cc group.

“Trevor brought us an overview that we never had. Obviously we know each other inside out but Trevor has a great ability to look at raw material and guide it a little.”

But even during their tenure with 10cc it was obvious that Godley And Cremes songs were heading towards visual expression.

The pair were allowed their first tussle with a camera on their ‘Freeze Frame LP in 1980 and they havent stopped since.

“Though were both different people our brains work in the same direction,” says Kevin Godley. “Weve no real ego problems after all these years, so if one of us is in the wrong well admit it and take a back seat for a while. Lols a lot more volatile on set whereas Im calmer — between the two attitudes we get the job done.”

Their new video for ‘Cry is a great example of their ingenuity. The original idea was to get Torvill and Dean to create a dance for the ballad but they were in Australia.

So Godley And Creme created a montage of different people, shot in portrait, singing the song while their faces dissolve into the next persons. As usual it is simplicity that makes the biggest effect.

The pair admit to having a ‘hit-list of people theyd like to give the Godley And Creme treatment to, including Springsteen, Eurythmics and Dylan.

“We look very carefully at the raw materials,” says Godley. “We dont like to give them a situation theyd feel uncomfortable with. A lot of directors just place them within their own fantasy and if the performer feels a fool he wont give his best.

“Recently we did Eric Claptons ‘Forever Man single. Now hes a classic rock figure and purist, in a sense. His LP is exactly what people want him to do. So we tried to show him in a new light but retaining his more mystic overtones. We shot him in a ‘live situation but showing a profusion of cameras.

“With the Go West video for ‘We Close Our Eyes we had to marshall our energies. They were dressed in suits but somehow to us the lead singer Pete Cox looked more like a boxer in the Paul Newman/Marlon Brando mould so we made him dirty and sweaty and it worked.

“We knew that one would come together in the editing stage when wed put the animation behind them whereas the video for ‘Every Breath You Take by the Police was storyboarded carefully. We even made a model to choreograph the Polices ‘Wrapped Around Your Finger.

But which is their best achievement? Herbie Hancocks ‘Rockit? The Wrangler ads? Duran Durans ‘Girls On Film?

“Frankie Goes To Hollywoods ‘Two Tribes because that was a team effort,” says Godley. “It was the first time wed ever worked so closely with a record company. The whole thing was designed and remixed for the videos. Also it had the political content that made it exciting with Richard Nixon, Reagan and Chernenko.

“A funny thing happened on the way to editing it. I was driving up the A3 when I passed a long black limousine with outriders coming in the opposite direction. It was President Reagan when he was over here. I smiled as I thought — if only he knew what we were going to do to him.”