Looking for the Real Thing

The Parker Project, Music Video, 1991

In 1991 Push Push’s 'Trippin' reign at the top of the charts was ended by a synth-reggae cover of Johnny Nash soul song ‘Tears on my Pillow’. The number one debut from The Parker Project was followed by this single, also released on Trevor Reekie's Pagan label. It made it to number 24 in the charts. The video, directed by Peter Cathro (I Love My Leather Jacket), was from the first year of NZ On Air funded music videos. It cuts between black and white shots of the singer making his way to an Auckland school hall, and colour images of him singing with the backing of a Samoan choir.

Rust in My Car

Citizen Band, Music Video, 1979

Mike Chunn's post-Split Enz band was formed as a vehicle for his brother Geoff's songs and this single from their second album is the one they are best remembered for (placing 97th in APRA's 'Nature's Best' Top 100 NZ songs in 2001). It's a classic car-as-metaphor-for-love song (although the model in question sounds like it needs some work). The line "come and come get you" is apparently a sly reference to the very continental VW Kharmen Ghia. This TVNZ studio video captured their live energy but inexplicably put them in a graveyard set much to the band's dismay.

Exit to the City

The D4, Music Video, 2001

This classic video takes a band, then throws them in the back of a moving vehicle as they try to play their song without falling over. Greg Page, a music video veteran ('Verona', 'Stop the Music'), came up with the idea after rain forced the abandonment of his original plans. He argues that "what we ended up with was a piece of magic I've never quite been able to reproduce." Page talks about making two D4 videos in a single weekend, here.

North by North

The Bats , Music Video, 1987

Flaming torches and streaming ribbons hanging off the front of the car are not your usual Kiwi road-trip accessories, but they're perfect visuals for this classic Bats song. Not to mention the iconic whirling burning guitar on the roadside. Alongside the imagery of motion, fluid camerawork tracks the band performing in front of a DIY Jackson Pollock-esque backdrop. Alister Parker (Gordons, Bailterspace), John Chrisstoffels, and Paul Kean (The Bats) are the directorial team. The song featured in Harry Sinclair movie Topless Women Talk About Their Lives.

Venus

The Feelers, Music Video, 1998

The video for this Kiwi pop classic is a live performance-based affair, with a background story involving a girl, a creepy guy and a beat-up old car. The extended swooping shots of the band playing live were done at the Hastings Municipal Theatre (now know as the Hawke's Bay Opera House). 'Venus' featured on The Feelers' debut album Supersystem, which became one of New Zealand's biggest selling albums of 1998.  

My Delirium

Ladyhawke, Music Video, 2008

Featuring artwork by Grammy-nominated Kiwi Sarah Larnach  — whose art has been a key feature on Ladyhawke's albums  — the music video for My Delirium weaves between reality and a dreamscape where cats dominate the Mount Rushmore sculpture, and Ladyhawke soars through space in a car. The video opens with the singer in a dreary roadside motel, before animated artwork on the wall comes to life, featuring a cartoon Ladyhawke walking out of the motel and hitting the road in a classic convertible. The musician won six Tuis at the 2009 NZ Music Awards. 

Maureen

The Warratahs, Music Video, 1987

The second single from Wellington's country crossover kings is a classic tale of lost love and the girl that got away: propelled by Nik Brown's fiddle, with Barry Saunders out front singing it like a cowboy. Director Waka Attewell's music video intersperses the band's performance with shots of Saunders in and around Wellington with a supporting cast of planes, trains and automobiles. The car is a cut-down Holden Belmont and there's a glimpse of the Cook Strait ferry (but the Warratahs' involvement with the Interislander is still a few years off).