Youth Group – Forever Young

In a change of Video Watch pace I’m going to pin my pennant to the Forever Young flagpole and say: “I like this video”.
Frankly, I’m amazed that Australian band, Youth Group, were allowed to make it at all. It’s preternaturally chilled, something that must have deeply troubled the A&R record company powerbrokers.
Record Company Exec: “Fellas, going forward, this multimedia entertainment conglomerate fails to see how your video will connect with the youth/Gen Y market share that is pivotal to the ongoing success of your product… going forward.”
Youth Group: “Huh?”
Record Company Exec: “Erm… We don’t like your clip. Let me introduce you to the Vice Executive Producer of ‘Attention Span Productions’. He’ll be reimagining your new multimedia offerings from now on… going forward.”
Chuck Smirkinhauser: “Just a minute guys… Lemme just finish the last 10 seconds of this video clip I’m working on… ‘Camera 2: gold lamé ass; Camera 5: CK logo; Camera 1: cleavage; Camera 2: ass again; Camera 4: more ass; Camera 4: Reebok pumps; Camera 2: ass; Camera 5: … cut back to her ass. Okay, it’s a wrap… thanks people…’ Sorry guys, let’s talk about Forever Young. I’m real worried about the lack of bootie… but don’t worry, Chuckie’s on the case…”
Thank heavens Youth Group stuck to their guns. Forever Young’s easy pace and naïve nostalgia makes this video clip stand out from the crowd like a pogo stick in a room full of XBoxs. There are no nanosecond cutaways, no posturing, preening, or soft-porn pap… and no shots of the band! It dives right into genuine and unbroken Super 8 footage of a skateboard carnival in what looks like a brave-new suburban development. I have to say, I was captivated.
When you look at Forever Young’s care-free, thatch-headed teenagers shooting the breeze on their old-school skateboards it’s hard to imagine them complaining about their iPod’s ‘lame’ 40 gigabtye hard drive, or how their old man won’t spring for a new PSP game, or why they have to be on Optus prepaid… The ’70s could almost be a parallel universe. Which I guess it is for anyone under age of 25. But for those of us in their 30s and 40s Forever Young evokes (and, yeah, idealises) an innocent age of bare-foot fun without the million-dollar public liability insurance.
Youth Group deserve a slap on the back and a hearty ‘goodonyamate’. They’re Australian, they’ve made it to No.1, and they’ve covered a great song without butchering it.
I don’t know who coined the phrase ‘nostalgia ain’t what it used to be’, but they sure didn’t tell Youth Group. I’m giving Forever Young five gold stars, an elephant stamp, and a complete set of 1975 Scanlens footie cards. — CH.

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