This is just fascinating. On January 7th I interviewed Richard Lowenstein who directed the recent Michael Hutchence doc on the INXS front man: Mystify: Michael Hutchence.
Richard’s shot 20 INXS videos (lotta the big ones!), directed U2’s Desire video, Love Town…he’s also worked with Pete Townshend, Crowded House, The Church…Bowie. Crazy I had so much I wanted to ask and talk about check out this moment…as a sneak preview of an upcoming My Summer Lair episode.
Sammy: You worked on INXS videos for like Never Tear Us Apart, New Sensation…you mentioned Need You Tonight. Right into Suicide Blonde; By My Side. And you mentioned also working with U2, you worked on the Desire video and things like that. Can you talk about INXS’ and Michael’s creative process? So when they come to you and they want to do a video like Never Tear Us Apart or Guns In The Sky what is the process like and how is it different than like say how U2 would approach you saying let’s do a Desire video?
Richard: Michael would just trust you; Michael and the band would just trust you. They’re sort of going, you know, we do what we do and you can tell us your idea. And sometimes I just write it out on a napkin, you know? It’s like Need You Tonight was like I want to do moving black and white Xeroxes animated together. And then I want to do colored Xeroxes cause that technology has just been invented and so they would go “Yeah.” They’re lovely guys who’d seen some of my other work and just sort of trusted you and went: “Okay, that sounds good.” And you know, off we go and we’d work out the budget and we’d do it.
Whereas with U2 it’s very much concepts and ideas. And you know I’m not sure what’s more valid or not, but it’s a valid way of working. But, Bono and Edge would be sitting there discussing concepts and things that the songs meant or what the themes that we’re talking about. And I clearly remember in contrast to how Need You Tonight happened that Bono would?ah I was telling this story to him just a few weeks ago when he toured?and that he would take me into a room with a television, you know, a classic television in America with 50 channels on it, which we don’t have in Australia or England.
And he’s just flicking between the channels and saying: “See that? How it’s all just a jumble of different media? That’s the feeling I want in Desire.” So sort of take that concept and uh do what I can with it, you know? And so with U2 there was a lot more creative input but usually a lot more constraints. INXS would say: “We want something that, you know, that just blows everyone away. What are you going to do for us? Here’s the song, you know?” And I would sit there and close my eyes and play it a few times and imagine what I would think would work best with this song.”
I was like yo! Dude’s dropping gold!! Stay Tuned this My Summer Lair episode will be dropping soon.