Back when I was 11, I had a bit of a crush on Jim Diamond, lead singer of the Mtv rising stars, Ph. D. What? So he’s a little weird looking? I like weird looking.
The problem with having a crush on Jim Diamond of PH. D. was that by the time I was 11 and a half, Mtv stopped playing their video, and never played them again. What’s that you say? Teen Beat?! Ha! Teen Beat would never publish a picture of Jim Diamond. They were too busy finding new un-airbrushed* photos of Ralph Macchio. No. For a 12 year old girl in America in 1982, Ph. D. were as unattainable as wine coolers and earth-tones.
Then, quite few years later, came YouTube. The first Ph. D. gem I dug up was Little Suzi’s on the Up. The video combines a sweet-as-candy story of a couple getting ready for a night of competitive ballroom dancing, with the competing and creepy stories of a stalker dance judge and a sassy saxophone player/ hairdresser obsessed with something that only looks like pickled eggs.
Despite the meat, motorcycles, and whatever the hell was in that jar, I only had vague memories of that video. The video that I vividly remember was for I won’t Let You Down. It also featured a bit of stalking, but it was by a cartoonish assassin who follows our intrepid hero as he begs forgiveness from his too-tall girlfriend.
Um…what the hell was that? It’s like what would happen if Roman Polanski’s inner psyche was caught on film. No. Wrong. Let me try that again.
HOLY CRAP! What am I looking at and why the hell am I looking at it? Why are they in a theater, and how many minutes do I have to look at it? Let’s try again.
Ah! That’s better. And see? The cartoonish assassin didn’t really want to blow up Jim Diamond with a plant; he only wanted the girl–the cold, mean, dog-obsessed girl. But still…cute, right?
But it makes me wonder. What is the meaning of those other videos? Were they submitted to Mtv, only to be turned down? In the early ’80s? When Mtv was playing Steve Miller’s Abracadabra on heavy rotation? It makes no sense. But it does explain why Mtv stopped playing Ph. D. Maybe Diamond and company were so sick and tired of being turned down, they started acting really snippy. Here’s how I imagine it started:
Mark Goodman: Here in the studio, a band that is soaring up the charts never, I’m sure, to fall back to earth, Ph. D. Jim, how does it feel to be the latest Mtv darling?
Jim Diamond: Fuck you, Mark. Your head looks like pubes.
And then he dissed Martha Quinn, and that was the beginning of the end.
I suppose I could just ask him, but I’m scared.
*Old Teen Beat photos are like a Comstock Lode of Proactive “before” pictures.