WHOA! Clint Black Directs Howie Mandel, David Hasselhoff, Jay Leno, Joey Lawrence To Make “Summer’s Coming” the Perfect ’90s Music Video (1994)

Originally published in the Sept. 13, 1994 issue of Country Weekly magazine.

It’s good to be the boss. Just ask video director Clint Black. “It’s a lot more fun to be behind the camera,” the singing star told Country Weekly. “When you’re the performer you can’t wear your sunglasses because you’ll have those pinch marks on your nose. And you have to be careful about your wardrobe, you can’t get your clothes dirty.”

So when Clint directed his video for “Summer’s Coming,” he did a few performance shots in front of the camera, but had funnyman Howie Mandel be the star. Howie was the one who had to run up and down Malibu Beach like a madman while the Southern California sun blazed down on his head. He was the guy who had to squint rather than risk pinch marks on his nose. He was the one who had to keep lunch from spilling onto his shirt.

Clint was the guy who told him what to do.

In fact, the singer was in charge of a whole slew of famous folk. Jay Leno, Baywatch star David Hasselhoff, Dick Clark, Blossom heartthrob Joey Lawrence, The Nashville Network’s Charlie Chase, and Lisa Hartman Black—Clint’s wife of three years—were all on hand for cameos in Clint’s video, which will be released in theatres next month and to television later in the year.

“The song is about a character who’s been working hard and he’s ready to cut loose for the summer. That’s Howie in the video,” Clint explained. “He leaves the office, heads for the beach, spots some girls and spends the rest of the video trying to find them. Unfortunately he runs into everything but them, including a host of characters who just drive him crazy.”

Hasselhoff, for example, pops up as a Fifties‑style beach Romeo, his hair greased back in a pompadour, a gaggle of swooning females surrounding him as he sings. Other famous folk are just as wacky. 

“We just made a wish list of the people we wanted and started asking,” Clint says. Some were old friends of the family, like Dick Clark and Hasselhoff. Or friends of a friend, like Joey Lawrence. Or professional acquaintances, like Jay Leno.

“I’ve been on his show a few times and he always comes by to chat for a while before we go on, so I felt I could extend the invitation out to him. I was really excited he responded,” Clint says. “Howie Mandel has a bag full of tricks that kept me surprised and kept me in stitches. He was hysterical when he was out there working, but when he wasn’t we tried to let him relax because we knew we were going to wear him out for two days.”

Wife Lisa, who appeared in Clint’s video of “We Tell Ourselves,”—well, at least an eye and her hair did—has a bigger part here. “This time she got her whole self in,” her loving husband says with a chuckle.

Though his third stint as video director left Clint exhausted, he insisted, “I wish I were right there on the beach doing it all over again. The next video I do will be real boring, because I probably won’t be able to pull together anything like that again.”

Clint plans to keep his director’s chair perch. “I won’t say that I have to direct them all, but I enjoy it so much and I only do about three videos per album, so I’ll enjoy that luxury when I can,” he says. “If I don’t have the time to direct, I’ll at least be involved to the maximum my time will allow and will work with a director who wants to share that role.”

Clint resumes a starring role in another unique feature airing this month. He and Ernie, the Keebler “spokeself,” appear in a new television commercial for Keebler Wheatables. The company sponsors some of Clint’s tour dates this year, and all of them in top 35 markets next year. The Keebler Wheatables commercial mixes live shots with animation, a first for the company. 

Just as Clint’s branches out in the world of video, he’s also stretching musically.

His first four albums made him a major star with a steady mix of traditional country with a taste of pop.

For his fifth, One Emotion, Clint includes songs of all kinds, from Western swing to lush pop inspired by Tony Bennett’s singing style.

“It’s the most loose I’ve been, as far as placing boundaries for myself,” Clint says. “Once I put my mind to going after something, even if at first I thought it wasn’t my style, I do it. I usually don’t surprise myself.”

Spoken like a man meant to be the boss, no?

On Directing the “Untanglin’ My Mind” Video

The Clint Black-directed “Untanglin’ My Mind” will be unveiled some time this month. 

For “Untanglin’,” Clint found a house outside Orlinda, Tenn., to use for the ballad he co‑wrote with hero Merle Haggard.

“The concept of the video called for the actors to live in this nice‑looking house,” Clint says. “When I’m performing on camera, I’ve come upon the house about 30 or 40 years after they’re gone. We had to destroy the house and make it look dilapidated on one side, then we bounce back and forth from new to old.” 

Clint has become quite the music video artiste in the past few years, coming up with story lines for most of his minimovies. Because Clint also writes many of his own songs, he says he was the logical one to think up the accompanying pictures.

“It seems to me the natural progression, if I write the song then I should have the best understanding and most accurate interpretation by the time we get to the point of making a video on it,” Clint says.

Taped earlier this year, “Untanglin’” was the second of three videos the singer has directed. His first was “Good Run of Bad Luck” from the album No Time to Kill. For his fifth album for RCA, One Emotion, he directed “Summer’s Coming”—which, naturally, will be held until next spring, and “Untanglin’.”

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