Cloudbusting -- Kate
Bush In Her Own Words
- The last song is called ``Cloudbusting,'' and this was
inspired by a book that I first found on a shelf nearly nine years ago. It was
just calling me from the shelf, and when I read it I was very moved by the
magic of it. It's about a special relationship between a young son and his
father. The book was written from a child's point of view. His father is
everything to him; he is the magic in his life, and he teaches him everything,
teaching him to be open-minded and not to build up barriers. His father has
built a machine that can make it rain, a ``cloudbuster"; and the son and his
father go out together cloudbusting. They point big pipes up into the sky, and
they make it rain. The song is very much taking a comparison with a yo-yo that
glowed in the dark and which was given to the boy by a best friend. It was
really special to him; he loved it. But his father believed in things having
positive and negative energy, and that fluorescent light was a very negative
energy - as was the material they used to make glow-in-the-dark toys then - and
his father told him he had to get rid of it, he wasn't allowed to keep it. But
the boy, rather than throwing it away, buried it in the garden, so that he
would placate his father but could also go and dig it up occasionally and play
with it. It's a parallel in some ways between how much he loved the yo-yo - how
special it was - and yet how dangerous it was considered to be. He loved his
father (who was perhaps considered dangerous by some people); and he loved how
he could bury his yo-yo and retrieve it whenever he wanted to play with it. But
there's nothing he can do about his father being taken away, he is completely
helpless. But it's very much more to do with how the son does begin to cope
with the whole loneliness and pain of being without his father. It is the magic
moments of a relationship through a child's eyes, but told by a sad adult.
(1985, KBC 18)
- All of us tend to live in our heads. In
``Cloudbusting,'' the idea was of starting this song with a person
waking up from this dream, ``I wake up crying.'' It's like setting a scene that
immediately suggests to you that this person is no longer with someone they
- It puts a pungent note on the song. Life is a loss, isn't it? It's
learning to cope with loss. I think in a lot of ways, that's what all of us
have to cope with. (1989, AP)
- It's a song with a very American inspiration, which draws its
subject from A Book of Dreams by Peter Reich. The book was written
as if by a child who was telling of his strange and unique relationship with
his father. They lived in a place called Organon, where the father, a respected
psycho-analyst, had some very advanced theories on Vital Energy; furthermore,
he owned a rain-making machine, the Cloudbuster. His son and he loved to use it
to make it rain. Unfortunately, the father was imprisoned because of his ideas.
In fact, in America, in that period, it
was safer not to stick out. Sadly, the father dies in prison. From that point
on, his son becomes unable to put up with an orthodox lifestyle, to adapt
himself. The song evokes the days of happiness when the little boy was making
it rain with his father.
Dreams form an important part
of your preoccupations, at first glance.
- There exists only a very fine barrier between them and reality.
With this difference, that one's
dreams rarely make the headlines of newspapers!
- It doesn't go that far, you're right. But
dreams are essential to humanity. (1985,
Guitares et Claviers)
- "Cloudbusting'' is a track that was very much inspired
by a book called A Book Of Dreams. This book is written through a
child's eyes, looking at his father and how much his father means to him in his
world - he's everything. his father has a machine that can make it rain,
amongst many other things, and there's a wonderful sense of magic as he and his
father make it rain together on this machine. The book is full of imagery of an
innocent child and yet it's being written by a sad adult, which gives it a
strange kind of personal intimacy and magic that is quite extraordinary. The
song is really about how much that father meant to the son and how much he
misses him now he's gone. (1985, Open
- I found a book, nearly ten years ago now, on a shelf. I didn't know
anything about the writer. I just pulled it off the shelf, it looked
interesting, and it was an incredible story. It's written by Peter Reich, and
it's called A Book of Dreams. It's about
himself as a child, through his eyes as a child, looking at his father and
their relationship. It's incredibly beautiful, it's very, very emotive, and
very innocent because it's through a child's eyes. His father was a very
respected psychoanalyst, and besides this, something that features in the book,
he made machines called ``cloudbusters'' that could make it rain, and him and
his father used to go out together and make it rain; they used to go
``cloudbusting.'' And, unfortunately, the peak in the book is where his father
is arrested, taken away from him; he was considered a threat. So, suddenly, his
father is gone, so it's a very sad book as well. (1985, Picture Disk)
And were there any such role-playings on the new album?
- Um...yes. I think ``Cloudbusting'' was quite like that.
It must have been nearly ten years ago, when I used to go up to the
Dance Center in London, that I went into
Watkins' occult bookshop for a look, and there was this book and it said,
A Book of Dreams, by Peter Reich. I'd never heard of his father,
Wilhelm Reich, but I just thought it was going ``Hello, Hello,'' so I just
picked up the book and read it and couldn't believe that I'd just
found this book on the shelf. I mean it was so inspirational, very
magical, with that energy there. So when I wrote and recorded the song,
although it was about nine years later, I was nevertheless psyched up by the
book, the image of the boy's father being taken away and locked up by the
government just for building a machine to try to make rain. It was such a
beautiful book! (1985, Musician)
- I picked up this book nine years ago in a bookshop I used to go into
and look around in. There was this book staring at me, so I pulled it off the
shelf. I've never done that before. It was A Book of Dreams by
Peter Reich. It was incredible. It's through his eyes as a young boy, and his
life with his father, who was everything to him. The book has an incredible
sense of intimacy and magic. Do you know about Wilhelm Reich?
- He was quite a well-respected psycho-analyst, and he had a machine,
according to his son, that could make it rain. They'd go out together and point
the machine at the sky and make it rain. The book was so sad, because the whole
thing is through the child's eye about his father. But it's been written,
fairly obviously, by a sad adult who, I think, had a great deal of trouble
coping with his father going - he was arrested by the F.D.A., and put in
prison, and he died shortly after that. The loss to his son must have been
incredible. His father always warned him that this would probably happen, but
his life revolved around everything his father did.
- I rang up the guy and sent him a copy of the song. I thought it'd be
really rude not to do that before it came out. He liked it, which is great,
because I was really worried. I don't know what I would have done if he hadn't
liked it. (1985, ZigZag)
- Well ``Cloudbusting'' was inspired by a book that I
found in a shop about nine years ago, it's out of print now. Written by a guy
called Peter Reich, and it's called A Book Of Dreams. And it's
very unusual, beautiful book, written by this man through the eyes of himself
when he was a child, looking at his father, and the relationship between them.
Very special relationship, his father meant so much to him. His father was a
psychoanalyst, very respected, but he also had a machine that could make it
rain, and the two of them would go out together and they would make it rain.
And in the book there was such a sense of magic, that it a way the rain was
almost a presence of his father. Unfortunately, its a very sad book in that the
peak of it is where his father was arrested, taken away from him, because of
his beliefs he's considered a threat. And it's how the child has to cope from
that point onwards without his father. And the song is really using the rain as
something the reminds the son of his father. Every time it rains instead of it
being very sad and lonely, it's a very happy moment for him, it's like his
father is with him again. (1985, MTV)
- And the song was inspired a book that's all about a very special
relationship between the guy that wrote the book, as a child and his father.
His father was a very respected psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and had lots of
theories on life energy, and also had this machine called a cloudbuster that
could make it rain. And together they'd go out into the dry desert and make it
rain and this was a very magical moment for the child.
What book is that?
- It's called A Book Of Dreams, and the man that wrote it
is called Peter Reich. And unfortunately the peak of the book is that his
fathers arrested, his beliefs were considered outrageous, people afraid of
things that they didn't know - especially at that time. And it was very, very
hard for the child to cope without his father. And in some ways the connection
with rain, for him every time it rains he thinks of his father, so its a
positive of him coping without him. (1985, MuchMusic)
- Very much inspired by a book, which I found, must be nine years ago
now, on a bookshelf. I just picked it off the shelf and read it. It's quite an
extraordinary book. It's very sad and moving. and it's written by the man, his
name is Peter Reich, about when he was a child, it was the relationship between
himself as a child and his father. And it's written very much through the eyes
of the child. so it has an incredible sense of innocence and intimacy between
him and this great big man who's his father and meat everything to him. Peter
Reich's father was a very respected psychoanalyst who did a lot of work. And
one thing that's mentioned in the book, that's quite aside from his theoretical
work was that he had a machine that could make it rain. And the two of them
would go out together and make it rain. This was really where the video came
in, to explain all this. It really is an extraordinary book and everyone that I
gave it to to read said it was the saddest book they ever read. (1985, Profile 6)
- This was
very special to me because it was all inspired by a book that I found years
ago. And I went into a bookshop I used to go into regularly and just saw
this... I liked the title, it said A Book of Dreams, and took the
book off the shelf, I never done it before, an unknown book. And it was this
beautiful story by this guy called Peter Reich. And it's all about his view of
his father, but through the eyes of a child, so it was all about his childhood
and how he saw his father as this incredibly magical figure. And his father was
Wilhelm Reich and he was a very respected Psychoanalyst, I believe, but his
work became very controversial and he eventually arrested and died in prison.
But one of the things that features in the book is how he used to go with his
father cloudbusting. And his father had this machine that when you pointed it
up to the sky you could make the clouds disperse or you could gather them
together, and if you gathered them together it would rain. And the machine is
all based on Orgone energy, which is one of the bases of Reich's teachings. And
the book is just extraordinary. It's so said, but it's also got this beautiful
kind of happy innocence that goes with childhood. And as the guy grows up in
the book, in does get sadder and sadder as you can feel him hanging onto his
childhood. And the book really touched me, and the song is really trying to
tell that story. (1991, Classic
- That did
all fall apart over a period of about ten bars. And everything just started
falling apart, 'cause it didn't end properly, and, you know, the drummer would
stop and then the strings would just sorta start wiggling around and talking.
And I felt it needed an ending, and I didn't really know what to do. And then I
thought maybe decoy tactics were the way, and we covered the whole
thing over with the sound of a steam engine slowing down so that you had the
sense of the journey coming to an end. And it worked, it covered up all the
falling apart and actually made it sound very complete in a way.
And we had terrible trouble getting a sound effect of steam train so we
actually made up the sound effect out of various sounds, and Del was the steam.
[Laughs] And we got a whistle on the Fairlight for the ``poo poop.''
(1991, Classic Albums)
Wilhelm reich... Held that sexual energy could be transformed into
what he called ``orgone'' energy. Yes?
- If I've got this right,he believed that sexual energy was positive,
usable energy that he tied in with his concept of orgone energy. He upset a lot
of people selling orgone boxes, saying they could cure cancer and stuff. He
ended up being arrested and put in prison. I knew nothing about Wilhelm when I
read the book,which was his son's experience of all this, written from a
child's point of view with a tremendous innocence and sadness. Years ago, I
just went into a shop and picked it off the shelf, and really liked the title
and the picture on the front. I'd never bought a book before which I hadn't
known anything about;I just felt I'd found something really special. And nine,
10 years later, I re-read it and it turned into a song. When it was finished, I
wrote a letter to Peter Reich saying what I'd done. It was important to me in
some way to have a sense of his blessing because his book really moved me. He
sent me back such a lovely letter. It was an incredible feeling of returning
something he'd given to me. (1990, Q
Did the writer of the book get to hear the song and see the video?
- Yes. These were worrying moments for me - what if he didn't like it?
If I'd got it wrong? But he said he found them very emotional and that I'd
captured the situation. This was the ultimate reward for me
Do you stay in contact?
- Yes, we write to each other, and I enjoy the contact very much. Many
people have tried to get this book, many have read it since and adore it. The
trouble is, the book is out of print, and I think it's such a shame that it's
unavailable for those that would love to
read it. It's very difficult to find copies of it, though I understand that
some libraries still carry it. (1987, KBC 21)
- "Cloudbusting'' is, again, lyrically very obscure. I
think the idea is easy to grasp, but the story behind it is very involved, and
in a way the video that accompanies it is equally so, but I've spoken to
several people who have felt very moved by the song or the video or both, and
they all say they feel this really personal relationship between the child and
his father, how real it seems, how sad it is. For me, that is wonderful - the
book that originally inspired the song and video moved me so much! It's so sad,
and it's also a true story, and somehow even if people don't understand the
story, they pick up on the feelings, the emotions - this is a very rewarding
experience for me. (1987, KBC
I read an article in number one magazine and they said
something very unusual happened during the shooting of it. Is that all rumors?
[Laughs] yes, I can't think of anything!
They talked about ghosts and all sorts of things, so...
- Did they?
Do you want to straightened out any of those rumors for us?
- Well as far as I know there were no ghosts present, but there were
lots of human beings. And a particularly good actor called Donald Sutherland.
Of course, a well known canadian actor as well.
- Absolutely, yes.
So tell us about the video, what were you trying to accomplish?
- I really wanted it to be a short piece of
film. I didn't want it to be seen as a
promotional clip or even a video, but as a film. And part of that idea was
having an actor, hopefully a great actor, that would play the part of the
father, and myself playing the part of the young boy. (1985, MuchMusic)
- "Cloudbusting'' is about Wilhelm Reich,
who...was...kind of remembered for work he did on ``orgone energy'' and he had
this thing called a Cloudbuster, which was all tied in with orgone energy,
but... he could make it rain.
- When we were thinking about someone to play the part of the father,
we just sort of instantly came up with Donald Sutherland, and everyone laughed,
because it's like, you know, he's one of the greatest actors in the world,
really, and we jokingly thought ``yeah, yeah wouldn't it be great."
- So we did actually approach his agent, who immediately said no, he
couldn't because he's just too busy. But a friend of ours knew a friend of his,
who asked him, and he gave us three days of his time in between shooting two
other films. And I still can't believe he did it. It was a wonderful thing for
him to do, give us that time. Made it a very, very special thing for me. (1989,
- We were very lucky. We had a friend who made the contact for us. We
sent him the script and I talked to him and he was very interested, which was
fantastic [Kind of giggling-with a hint of awe or ``what incredible luck!''
in her voice] and just happened to have the four days that we needed to
shoot the video in. He was free for that time. It all seemed to come together
so well and so quickly.
But why donald sutherland?
- He was our first choice. I'm a big fan of him as an actor. And he
really was perfect for the part. There couldn't have been anyone better - he
looked so right. (1985, Picture
- I still can't get over the fact that he did it! It was great! It
means alot to people that someone who is supposedly so famous and inaccessible
makes the effort to make themselves accessible for such a little project. I was
extremely moved by the fact that he did it; it meant a tremendous amount to me.
And to work with him - Jesus, I thought I would never have the luck. I was his
co-star! Ridiculous! (1990, Q
You mentioned earlier that one of your favorite movies was
_don'tlook now, which stars donald sutherland. Is that the reason
you picked him for your new video?
- I don't know if it's the reason. I mean _Don'tLook Now
is a totally brilliant film and everyone
in it was wonderful. but, this was a very different piece. and it was quite
coincidental, I suppose, that we thought of Donald. and I think at that time
the only references to _Don'tLook Now that there couldn't have
been anyone better and we were so lucky because he was our first choice. and
through a friend we managed to find a way of contacting him. and um, it was
quite incredible really to think that he did it. I still find it hard to
He's been quite a fan of your for years, hasn't he?
- Um. well, if he was, I certainly didn't know that. I don't, I don't
think so. (1985, Profile
- Really lucky. The brief, really from the start, was that I wanted a
great actor to play the father. I wanted it to be a piece of
film rather than a video promotional clip.
I wanted it to be a short piece of film that would hopefully do justice to the
original book. And let people understand the story that couldn't really be
explained in the song. So we wanted a great actor. We though of Donald
Sutherland and though ``well, chances are we won't get him, but why not try?''
So we found a contact and explained the story and sent the script to him, and
he was interested in doing it. And just happened to have the days free when we
were shooting. So, um, pretty incredible really!
So what was he like?
- Fantastic! Really professional, really patient, and an incredible
help to me. In my debut acting role I
had a pretty good actor opposite me. And he was so encouraging and made it so
easy for me. I mean, whenever we were acting, he was my father. I just had to
react to him like child. He made it very easy. (1985, MTV)
- Well, I think I'm very lucky, really. He was the first choice. He
was perfect, he couldn't have been better, really, to play the part; and it was
a matter of finding out how to contact him. And through a very nice man called
Barry Richardson I managed to make contact with Donald, and then asked him and
he said yes, he was interested. And it all went from there, and it all happened
very quickly. I must have contacted him ten days to two weeks before we
actually started shooting, and it just happened to co-incide perfectly with a
few days that he had off in a very busy schedule. And, uh...it was just
You'd never met him before?
- No, it was a complete privilege to work with him.
Why did you want him in particular? Was it because of the way he
looked, or because of the fact that, you know, he's a great actor and he would
do a good...job?
- Yes, he is a great actor, and having watched actually
how he worked in our situation I just have to reiterate that. He's just
incredible, so professional, and so patient, and he helped me incredibly,
because I'd never really acted as such, and I just had to react to him. He was
Kate, I remember the first time I saw that video was on, uh...
the old grey whistle test, and I looked at it and I thought,
``hang on a minute - that's donald sutherland!'' and then I saw this little
girl running around and I thought, ``who's that?'' you see, I didn't recognise
you at the start, because of the hair being much shorter and everything. Now,
you say donald sutherland helped you in making the video. You mean
- No, not even advice, his pure presence. He puts out such an energy
of sensitivity to the situation that I just had to re-act to him. He was - As
far as I was concerned, whenever we were shooting, he was my dad.
What about the - because it's almost like a short
film, that video.
- That's exactly what we wanted. I felt that it was based on the song,
which was inspired by a book, and it is a genuine sense of magic,
emotion, sadness that came initially
from that book, that it was so important for us to do justice to it. We all
worked very hard to try and create that.
What was the book?
- It's called A Book of Dreams, and it's written by Peter
Reich. Unfortunately it's out of print, so I suggest that lots of people write
to the publishers and [Imitates indignant mp] demand that it be put back
into print immediately!
What about the rain machine? Was it your idea, the way the video
actually turned out?
- It was very much my idea, but a lot of ideas came from Terry
Gilliam, who - really together we wrote the story board, and the director
Julian Doyle put an awful lot of work into it, and it was fantastic to work
with them. Everyone was just so inspired by the story really, and everyone was
moved by it, which - In a way it was one of the most important things, that,
you know, everyone that was involved in it should be... And it was just a
How long did it take to do it?
- To shoot it took four to five days, to prepare it took about four
weeks, and all in all including a lot of editing time that Julian spent, I
suppose about eight weeks, which is a very long time for a video.
I'm not going to ask for a figure, but I know that
videos cost a hell of a lot of money to
make nowadays. This must have been very expensive?
- It was no more expensive than the first one we made.
Which leaves me totally in the dark!
- I think honestly if people knew how much it cost and what we got out
of that...It's phenomenal, what we got for the budget.
Is this something you want to get more into,
- Absolutely. Um...I'm starting to get a bit uncomfortable with the
word ``video'' now, in that I feel that
film is actually the medium that really attracts me, and video was
something that was great, but was really convenient rather than ideal, and I
hope very much to be able only to work in film in the future. (1985, Homeground)
- I find it difficult to separate song from video. Sitting on
Cloudbuster with the sun going down and working with Donald Sutherland are two
experiences I will never forget. (C.1986, AVD)
- "Cloudbusting'' was really exciting to make. I really
wanted it to be like a short film. The
song was inspired by the book A Book of Dreams by Peter Reich,
which was such a strong, magical story that the plot was there and the most
difficult areas were trying to do the story and the characters justice, and
deciding how to ``distill'' all the information.
- I worked with Julian Doyle as director. He was suggested to me by
Terry Gilliam. Terry is one of my favourite
film-makers, and I was so honoured that he got involved; and we worked very
hard for about five-six weeks. It seemed to make sense to treat it like a film
and cast actors, and I had this initial crazy idea of using a very tall actor
who would play the father, and myself to appear as the small boy. It
continually astounds me that I have the nerve to publicly announce these
crazes, and I'm even more surprised when they work. It seems to be connected to
a kind of faith?
- The first move was to check that I'd be able to look boy-like or
tom-boyish, so we pulled ``The Team'' together. This consists of Tina Earnshaw
on make-up - she set about with foundation and stick-on freckles; Anthony
Yacomine, who designed and cut a short wig which my hair was bundled up inside
of; and Pamela Keats, who had brought a variety of dungarees, cardigans and
wellies [Rubber rainboots] that completed the character; and Del gave
options. I looked a bit like Coco the clown, and someone mentioned Harpo, but
we all felt with fine adjustments we could get away with it, especially when we
took a polaroid with Anthony standing on the chair to look tall next to me.
- We were all trying to think of a tall actor who would be perfect for
the part, and who else, really? We thought Donald Sutherland would be superb,
and it's still hard to believe that he actually said ``Yes."
- "Cloudbusting'' is one of the few
videos we've made that has the right
visual content within the subject matter. It is a story, and could easily be
treated as such.
- One of the things that needed a lot of work was the Cloudbuster
machine. It came out of our heads, based on vague information from the book. It
had to look larger than life - elegant, strange, aimed at the sky. And when I
went to see it in its early stages I really wondered: four cardboard tubes on
wheels - eek!! But by the last stages it looked great, and on screen it looked
- Another thing that needed a lot of work was the weather. We needed
so much luck to complete the shoot. We had only three days, and we demanded the
weather to change for different scenes; and somehow - we still don't know how -
it did; even to the moment when it began to rain just as the light and the
film in the camera was running out. (1986,
Can I just take you back to the song ``cloudbusting?''
the thing that really impressed me with the song, and the way in which it was
tied in with the video was the rhythm track - it always seemed to fit so
beautifully. When you were planning the video, obviously that was running
through your mind?
- You mean visuals to music?
- One thing that was interesting was that we had so much to say in the
story visually that we extended the audio track to allow a little more room for
things to be said. And I think that the story is very strong. And in a way it's
just, um...creating images both visually and audially that say the same thing.
And I felt we did. As I said earlier, everyone involved in that video worked
very hard, and I think they were fantastic. (1985, Homeground)
- I think it's the most interesting thing we've tried yet. I wanted to
create a short film that told the story and
looked like a feature film. There was so much to be said in the story that we
had to extend the track. I hope people understand the story and get the sense
of emotion from it. It certainly inspired me originally to write the song from
the book. It's the film of the song of the book!
- What's nice about these last two
videos is that I really feel I've worked with people who are receptive to
my ideas, and we actually work together. It was frustrating on some of the
other videos, because I felt I was going further away from what I should have
been going towards. But you spend so much time and money on these videos, and
they'll probably only show two minutes! (1985, ZigZag)
"Cloudbusting,'' the current single, which is - where
is it in the uk?
- Uh, twenty.
Right. ``top of the pops'' and things like that - would you go onto
- It's something you consider, I mean, it's really the choice of can
you perform it well, and would it really help the record. I mean, you do; it
does help to have a successful record, it helps the album and it helps future
projects, to finance them, et cetera. I mean, I do depend on the success of
each record to be able to do the next one. But I think with some songs it's
very difficult to perform them on television and make them look good and
to really do justice to, performing. I think it's something there should always
be a lot of thought behind. And, when you put such a lot of work in to a video,
which a lot of people do nowadays, it's sad that you can't get that shown more,
and that you have to go on and perform. There is no choice; it's a shame.
(1985, Picture Disk)
And in the video, was it easy for you to portray a child?
- I think it's something I'd obviously worried about. When you're not
a child there are lots of things that could be a problem. Like I could look old
and not young. And we were also [Coughs] - excuse me - trying to take
away the feminine edge so that in a way I could be a tomboy rather than a
little girl. Trying to keep the thing as innocent as possible. And I think
rather than being that worried about playing a child, I was just worried about
the whole process of acting, because
it's something I've not really done, in a true sense. I've preformed in lots of
ways, but not really acted. And it was something that I was wary of and I was
actually surprised at how much I enjoyed it. (1985, MTV)
Who directed the video and where was it shot? I think the setting
of its really beautiful.
- It is a beautiful place. It's the Veil of The White Horse, in
England. And the director was Julien
And tell us more about julien doyle.
- I'm a big fan of Terry Gilliam, I don't know if you know him, suburb
director. And I was interested in working with him and he put me in touch will
Julien, who works with Terry on his movies. He's a cameraman and this was
really his first role as director. Terry was involved with the storyboard as
well, and this is how I met Julien.
- We spent a lot of time on this video and what was nice was the way
that everyone became so concerned with the story and also concerned with giving
justice to it. You know everyone wanted it to be something special.
Why is it set in the fifties?
- It's because A Book Of Dreams, that it's based on, was
actually at that time, in the fifties, that his father was taken from him. He
was about twelve.
And that's really it, you just took the exact time from the book?
- Yes, I think also it made it more interesting. It's not totally
accurate to the fifties and I think that in itself is important. We wanted to
create a sense of - no certain time. I think it's more interesting in way when
it could be any time. But also by not making it contemporary time you get a big
sense of nostalgia, of something that has happened in the past. So I think
visually it was a very good combination.
How did you make that machine?
- Well the book very little details of what the actual machine looked
like. But from what I could gather the reality of the machine wouldn't look
right. On screen it's got to be exaggerated. So it was trying to design
something that would look powerful and possible of doing it but that wouldn't
be comical, because we didn't people to laugh at it, we wanted people to be
astounded by the machine. So it was really designing something that was a cross
between an Ack-Ack gun and a pipe organ. I just felt that it had to have these
huge funnels that would reach to the sky and could be moved around. And the
whole thing should be rotatable. And so we worked with some designers that
worked on the Alien and I think it looked pretty good.
It looks great. Is this the first video where you're not dancing?
- No, but it's quite a departure. I have done a couple of others that
again we were trying to treat like piece of
film, but we were using lip sync or something like that. And we were
working on video as well, which makes it quite different. (1985, MTV)
- We got so
many tapes of steam trains, and they don't sound anything like what you'd
expect steam trains to sound like. They sounded so pathetic. So we had to build
up all this steam sound and big wheels and brakes, you know, coming to a halt
and everything. We had to totally exaggerate what the real thing sounded like,
so that people would realize what we meant. (1985, BAM)
the book in the video if you're clever.
- Yes! Don't blink or you'll miss it. [Both laugh] (1985,
The Old Grey Whistle
obviously, donald sutherland! How did you get him to be in your video?
- Well, we rang him up and said ``would you be interested'' and he
And what was he... What was he like to work with? I think that is
[Laughs] I think that is the question. He was brilliant,
absolutely brilliant. And he was such a help to me as well. Fantastic! A real
honour to work with him.
And that's the new single as well, isn't it.
- Yes, it is. (1985, The
Old Grey Whistle Test)
The machine that features in the video - what's become of that now?
- Well, it's at the moment resting in a garage not far from here.
[Laughs] (1985, Picture
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