Boys on film: is Le Bon and Lynch the oddest hook-up imaginable?
PUSH THE right film director towards the right band at the right time and the results can be magic: Martin Scorsese and The Band, the Maysles brothers and The Rolling Stones, Jonathan Demme and Talking Heads.
Mark Romanek was behind perhaps the best music video ever made, for Johnny Cash’s Hurt (a truly remarkable piece of work), as well as the Michael and Janet Jackson Scream video. So great is Romanek’s work that some of his music videos are now part of the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
Next Wednesday sees the collaboration we’ve all been hoping for but never believed would actually take place. Behind the lens will be the one of the most weirdly wonderful directors of his generation, David Lynch, and on the stage will be . . . Duran Duran.
No, it doesn’t make sense, and it makes that mooted Justin Bieber/ Aphex Twin collaboration seem comparatively logical. You have to wonder how much the deep pockets of the well-known creditcard company bankrolling the whole thing figures in Lynch making himself available.
The concert is part of the Unstaged series of film and music collaborations, which are streamed free of charge on Vevo/YouTube.
And to be fair to the corporate backers, the series has thrown up some real gems in its brief existence. The first two shows were by Alicia Keys and Jay-Z, and The National. The latter concert, in an inspired choice, was directed by DA Pennebaker, who was behind Bob Dylan’s Don’t Look Back documentary and also David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars concert film.
The upcoming collaboration between Lynch and Le Bon et al could top them all. Of all the acts you would put on a shortlist to be filmed by the director of Blue Velvet and Eraserhead, surely a bunch of New Romantic chancers from Birmingham would be at the bottom.
Valiantly resisting the lure of reality TV and the pleasures of the trout farm, Duran Duran seem oblivious to what has been going on around them in the music world, and they continue touring and pushing out albums.
The weird thing is that the album they are releasing next week, to coincide with the gig, is one of their best. All You Need Is Now was produced by Mark Ronson and is picking up superlative reviews, with even the chin-stroking Mojo magazine (which usually only gets excited about dead people) calling it “brilliant”, and noting “if you take Roxy Music, add Kraftwerk and sprinkle on some Chic – the result is the new Duran Duran album”.
So perhaps the Lynch collaboration does make sense. After all, what greater challenge for a film-maker than to take a band who, apart from producing the worst ever lyric in the history of popular music (who can forget “you’re about as easy as a nuclear war” from Is There Something I Should Know?) are infamous for wearing canary-yellow silk suits and flouncing around a yacht in the Caribbean (the video for Rio).
“The idea is to create some happy accidents,” said Lynch of the upcoming show. Cheekboned keyboardist Nick Rhodes hopes that “the stranger it is, the more beautiful it will be”.
As long as there are dancing dwarves I’ll be happy.
Is there something we should know? Lynch directs Le Bon & company