For ten years, every time we got into a car, my husband and I called a bet: How many minutes before U2 plays on the radio? Shortest time: “Even Better Than The Real Thing” was playing when we turned the radio on. Longest was, I believe, 12 minutes, when the drumbeats of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” began.
Since moving back to Pittsburgh, we don’t hear nearly as much U2. Then one day, en route to IKEA, David said, “I think Huey Lewis and the News is Pittsburgh’s answer to U2.” Which is funny, since Huey’s an SF native. And kind of reviled there. But he is a god in Pittsburgh, his wonders which I beheld no fewer than five times in concert before I turned 21. Yes, folks: before I could drink, I saw Huey Lewis five times in concert.
So to close out the summer, to say goodbye to beaches, here’s If This Is It.
In a classically plot-heavy video, we open with “The Power Of Love,” a morning DJ, a boom box, and a bodice-ripper getting tossed into a bendy plastic white basket, thus letting us all know that this is the real 1984, and not the Orwell novel. Huey Lewis is very sad and conflicted, because, despite the fact that his girlfriend audibly tells her kid sister “Tell him I’m not home,” when he calls, he’s not really sure if she wants to break up with him.
Point one, Huey: you’re calling your girlfriend from a telephone booth at the beach. And the next guy in line is also wearing a polo shirt and jeans. Next time, call from your Corvette.
Point two, Huey. Women who can pull off wearing deep-backed white one-piece bathing suits do not, as a rule, go after dudes who wear polos and black jeans to the beach. You have a swell voice and pretty blue eyes, but that only gets you so far.
His visit to a psychic goes no better than his first glimpse of the White Girl; he finds his entire band committed to a seance, presumably to bring his relationship back to life or something, although it fails pretty miserably, as the next time he sees White Girl, two sailors have won her two giant duckies, which puts his little tiny duckie to shame. Poor tiny duckie.
Back to the beach with Huey, where he’s sad again, and then he does this.
But that doesn’t work, because here’s what happens next.
But it all works out, because after a fight in which she actually must say “Dude, what the fuck, this is IT, seriously IT, stop stalking me and can’t you take a hint, Jordache?” he’s more sad and lonely, but then who shows up?
Shelley Long, in a black strapless bikini, who decides that a rebound guy in beach blackjeans is the best thing she’s got going.
Maybe she’s from Pittsburgh.
P.S. Does anyone recognize the carney? He must be somebody, right?
P.P.S. There’s a thing at the end about how ugly fat people who go to the beach get eaten by sand sharks, but we’ll let that lie.