12/16/2009

So Un-American: End of the Innocence


OK - more Robert Frank. Now this is interesting. Many years ago in 1989, ex-voice of the Eagles, Don Henley had a big hit on MTV with his song 'End of the Innocence'. While watching the video late one night, thinking something looked all too familiar, I taped it and re-watched it closely. It didn't take too long to separate the video from the noxious music, and realize that the whole thing was totally based on images from The Americans. I can imagine someone handing a copy of the book to the director, saying remake these photographs as a video - and by the way, do it in black and white. Of course there was no credit to Robert Frank. Not even a nod to the original source material, by way of perhaps someone carrying around a copy of the book itself. Leading me to wonder about who cleared what with whom. I couldn't really imagine that Robert Frank would allow Don Henley to remake his masterpiece into a rock video to sell records on MTV. Especially given what had happened between him and the Rolling Stones over Cocksucker Blues. Something didn't seem right. I eventually had the opportunity to ask Robert Frank about whether he ok'd the usage, and the answer was no. That it was in the hands of the lawyers. This was back in 1989 or 1990.

So I present here the Don Henley video. And a clip I compiled with Robert Frank's photographs from The Americans, and they're re-appearance in the video. I'm sure there are even more than I've pointed out. Check 'em out yourself. The audio I've laid underneath it is of Robert Frank speaking at the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. last year with the exhibition's curator Sarah Greenough. It's a fabulous interview and you can listen to the whole piece here:

http://www.nga.gov/exhibitions/frankinfo.shtm

Oh, one more thing. I've recently found out that this video was made by David Fincher, director of Fight Club and Zodiac. I've got to think about that one...

Robert Frank pix vs. Henley video:
video
all photographs © Robert Frank - video © someone

2 comments:

  1. Busted! Stupid Eagles. Very interesting post Godlis...thank you. -Tim

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  2. By the way,have you ever been overseas.I mean in Scandinavia to do photo shooting.

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