Monday, July 15, 2013

'80s Video Tropes: The Tour Montage

The pervasive Tour Montage – usually black & white, sweaty and depicting utter exhaustion and burnout along with a healthy dose of "Jesus, I can't take all this adoration, stop throwing panties at me so I can be sad by a window for a minute." I associate this '80s video cliche with hair bands especially, but I was surprised to see one-man hair band Richard Marx indulged in it too:

"Paradise City" is one of the few Tour Montage videos that depicts touring as fun:

Lest you think fame was all sunshine and lollipops for GNR, there's "Patience" for "groupies are getting boring" counterpoint of course.

I should be able to come up with an endless list of these, but I can't really, though I can think of lots of variations on the theme, e.g. "What It Takes" with gritty footage of Aerosmith in the recording studio. Which ones did I miss? Did "girl groups" ever tap this trope or was it strictly a dude thing?


  1. Can't think of any videos per se, but worth hearing The Ramones "Danny Says" -- a song *about* a tour montage.

  2. You just reminded me of a trailer for Dream of Life, a documentary about Patti Smith. And for 1991: The Year Punk Broke, which is about Sonic Youth and Nirvana touring, though others like J Mascis put in appearances. Those have the gritty black-&-white hand-held-camera-bouncy footage I associate with that old Dylan doc Don't Look Back.

    1. I guess the live concert video is a trope of its own -- as in "Where the Streets Have No Name. But yeah. I'm sure you get plenty of ennui and disgust in the Nirvana scenes since Kurt Cobain is famous for hating fame.

  3. Bob Seger laid some groundwork for this in 1973: