When I began watching MTV at my neighbor’s house at the young age of five, I must admit that I had little patience for this video. OK, so I shouldn’t be too hard on myself–I was a couple of years out of preschool. It was 1981, the debut year of the famous music television network, and videos were a brand spanking new medium. And as time went on and this Talking Heads video continued to be featured, I likely changed the channel in hopes that when I switched back, something like “Mickey” by Toni Basil would be playing. Little did I know that Toni Basil was the choreographer of “Once in a Lifetime,” today’s Friday Video Pick.
If you haven’t viewed this video since the ’80s, I highly suggest you give it another look. Not only is David Byrne’s spastic gyrating absolutely spellbinding, the simplicity of a dancing figure set to the bizarre beat of a song about life’s expectations falling short is nothing less than brilliant when you’re watching again in your 30s and wondering how time could be passing so quickly.
Not to mention, the only thing that comes close to the jiggy walk David Byrne performs during the first rendition of the chorus is Pee-wee Herman’s “Tequila” dance. There’s a reason this video is exhibited in the New York Museum of Modern Art. Enjoy…and Happy Friday!