The Search is Over: RIP Jimi Jamison

Over a decade ago, Spiegelmama and I went to see the Reo Speedwagon, Styx, Survivor mega-concert At Mandalay Bay in Vegas because when you get the chance to see The Speedwagon…you grab it! Before the concert, all we could talk about was Reo and Styx. After, all we could talk about was Survivor. Oh, and also, how young Dennis DeYoung’s replacement was, and how we didn’t notice until he vaulted over the keyboard, but mostly we talked about Survivor and how many hits they had and how we knew the words to all of them. (As tweens, we’d even written a parody song of The Search is Over called The Weekend’s Over: every Monday’s bringing me back to school!)

Jimi we hardly knew ye.

Jimi we hardly knew ye.

That’s why I was so sad when I found out that one of their lead singers*, Jimi Jamison, died yesterday at 63. I’m sure he was a good guy a la the plot of the video for The Search is Over. A sexy woman thrashes in her bed while her boyfriend walks around town, thinking about the skeevier moments in their relationship. The reason these moments are so skeevy is that they all revolve around weird friends of his – an unscrupulous bartender, a guy who seems to be running some sort of scam involving driving actresses around in a midlife-crisis car, and a dealer who delivers his goods on bridges via motorcycle. Thank goodness he comes to his senses and arrives back home just before his girlfriend thrashes onto the floor. He rushes over to her and gives her a tender, platonic hug.

You might have noticed a few things. First, Jimi was world class hugger.

Aw. Snuggies!

Aw. Snuggies!

You might also have noticed that Survivor shoe-horned the entire band into their videos way before The Foo Fighters and No Doubt did it. Did you notice something else? The skeeviness I mentioned earlier? A little? Maybe. Well, wait until you watch I Can’t Hold Back.

Things you to keep in mind as you watch:

1: He first sees her ass at 22 seconds. He first sees her face at 35 seconds. He falls in love somewhere in between.

2. Peach sweater. Peach earrings.

3. The girl in this video, Lee Ann Marie, was a trained dancer who performed with Ann Fucking Reinking and was one of the Danke Shoen girls Ferris sings to on the float. She claims that the director of the video didn’t know that she was a dancer until she busted out her Staying Alive-esque Aisle-walk dance (about a minute in). If that is true, then why did he not notice her Dance Face at 54 seconds? Pay attention, Chicago-based 80s video director.

4. The weird reaction to the kiss at 2:40. Especially this guy:

Woo. Getting hot under the old collar.

Getting hot under the old collar.

Look, I know he is a band member and not an actor, but his performance as Business Perv is so creepily accurate, it makes me wonder if he’s doing too much acting…or too little! Either way, that’ll be seeping into my nightmares tonight.

5. A man has died people! Let’s show a little reverence.

*Survivor had two completely interchangeable lead singers…just like Kids Incorporated. They are now down to one. Sad trombone.

2 responses to “The Search is Over: RIP Jimi Jamison

  1. “When I heard that I was cast in the lead role of “Fantasy Girlfriend” in a music video for “a rock band,” I was petrified. I definitely had preconceived notions of what “a rock band” would look and act like. I could not have been more wrong! The guys were good-looking, friendly, humorous, down-to-earth, and very gentlemen-like.”

    -2014 interview of Lee Ann Marie

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