When MTV launched in 1981, the race was on to come up with unusual concepts for music videos. Journey staked their claim with the first ever "air band" video. That's right, the group played pretend instruments for much of the clip.
Shot on a wharf in New Orleans, it was directed by Tom Buchholtz, who like many music video directors of the time, came from the world of directing commercials.
Journey were dragged kicking and screaming into the video era. They knew MTV exposure was crucial for sales, but hated making the videos and left the concepts up to the directors, which is how they ended up on a wharf playing pretend instruments.
In the book I Want My MTV
by Craig Marks, we learn that lead singer Steve Perry cut his hair shortly before the shoot, and also that there was some drama on the set. Perry brought his girlfriend to the set - the same girl he sings about in "Oh Sherrie
" - and she did not want Steve to have another girl playing his love interest in the video. "Sherrie was jealous and possessive," said Jonathan Cain. "There was a big kicking and screaming session. Sherrie was giving Steve a very bad time about that girl."
Years later, Beavis and Butthead
gave it a good mocking.