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Tommy James and 1968 videos

One night I was listening to an online version of “Crimson and Clover,” and I ended up reading a Songfacts interview with Tommy James. James not only discussed “Crimson and Clover,” but also discussed crime bosses, Christianity…and early music videos:

Well, we wanted to do videos. And “Mony” was the very first video we had ever done. To me it seemed very sensible to make a film of your hit record, and I couldn’t figure out why nobody was doing it. You’d find things would run sometimes on television, there’d be like a movie with a song in it, and they’d take the film clip and run it. But nobody was really making videos. And so we hired a film company, went in and did a video of “Mony.” We actually did a video of “Ball of Fire,” and we did a video of “She” as well. But we couldn’t get them played anywhere. So “Mony” was one of the first videos made. It was 13 years before MTV. We couldn’t get it played anywhere in the United States. TV would not play video made by musicians, they just wouldn’t do it. So the only place we could get our video played was over in Europe in the movie theatres. In between double features, they played “Mony Mony.” And the reason you see it in black-and-white is because it was shown on the Beat Club in England, and it was a film of a film, and it was shown in black-and-white. So when they shipped it back to the United States it was in black and white. But the original video was in color. So it was me and Daffy Duck for a long time. (laughing) And Daffy wanted to close. So I had problems with Daffy.

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