Thursday, June 29, 2017

Thomas Dolby: "She Blinded Me With Science"

Thomas Dolby - She Blinded Me With Science from Mad Hatter on Vimeo.

Here's one of the more creative videos from MTV's golden age, Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me With Science."  The quirky song was often on the radio during 1982-83, and the video is very memorable for its mad scientist storyline.  One of the interesting aspects of the music video was its inclusion of Dr. Magnus Pyke, a real life, well known but eccentric scientist.  As described in the Wikipedia article on the song:
In the music video, Dolby commits himself to a Home for Deranged Scientists. Various mad scientist types operate fanciful inventions on the grounds of the home and act insane with normal scientific items. Throughout the course of the video Magnus Pyke(as the Home Doctor) tries to diagnose what he is suffering from, all the while being seduced by Miss Sakamoto, a secretary in the home.
In Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and the Songs that Defined Them (See here), Dolby describes the experience of working with Pyke on the video:
"I asked him to say, 'She blinded me with science!' But he did it like a question, not a statement: 'She blinded me with science?' I was like, 'It's really more of a statement, Dr. Pyke," and he was like, "Yes, but it would be a bit surprising if a girl blinded me with science."  . . . He didn't exactly get in the spirit of it. The last time I saw him alive, he'd just come back from a lecture tour of the U.S., and I asked him how it went. He said, 'Badly Dolby.' I asked why, and he said, 'Every time I walked down the street, someone would come up behind me and shout, 'SCIENCE!' It frightened me out of my skin. Your MTV video is better known than my body of academic work.'"