Many bands have reached the top of the charts only once, and never again scratch their way into the top forty or even the top one hundred. They’re often derided as being “one-hit wonders” by people who fail to appreciate how much effort – practice, playing small venues, establishing contacts – goes into even a single hit record for most people. There are exceptions, of course – people who more-or-less walk into a hit on their first time recording, but they’re few and far between.
The same holds true for those who are associated with the music industry but aren’t necessarily band members. Directors, for example; some people develop extensive careers through music videos, while others may be in charge of a single well-received short only to receive condemnation or mockery for their subsequent works. A few only work on one video before abandoning the process entirely.
That’s certainly true for the video for the REM song The One I Love. The director was Robert Longo, who only managed to direct two more videos before moving on to a short career in television (one television episode) and film (one movie.)
The television show was an episode of Tales From the Crypt, and the movie was Johnny Mneumonic starring Keanu Reeves. The other two music videos were for the bands Megadeth (Peace Sells) and New Order (Bizarre Love Triangle).
Wait… while he absolutely had a short career in each medium, the movie was a big-budget feature, Tales From the Crypt was a long-running success for HBO and the other two videos were hits for popular bands.
Perhaps there was someone else I was thinking of… like the Director of Cinematography for the video. That’s the person in charge of all of the camera and lighting work and who has control of the images captured, even as the Director decides what types of images the Director of Cinematography should try to get. Yes, that’s the “one-hit wonder”. The Director of Cinematography on this one… who also served as the cameraman… had an even shorter career in music video than Robert Longo, only making the single video.
He did have a longer career in television than Longo did, though. He hadn’t attended college to become a cinematographer; he’d gone for journalism. Only after being rejected from J-school did he turn to camera work. After being in the field for a while, he began to focus on another of his loves, cooking. After graduating cooking school, he combined his appreciation of film and his love of food into a show called Good Eats… and became one of America’s best known cooks and food science experts.
These days you can find him holed up in his house, making weekly videos called “Quarantine Quitchen” (with his wife) and “Pantry Raid” to pass the time and keep in touch with his fans. Still no more REM videos, though. I suspect Micheal Stipe is still kicking himself he didn’t get Brown to pull a third role, catering the shoot.
Question of the night: What are some of the best cooking shows?