Revisting the Replacements' minimalist video for their Gen X anthem, "Bastards of Young"
Updated: Apr 7, 2022
The Replacements - "Bastards of Young" (1986), Sire Records YouTube channel
It's pretty much a still life from beginning to end. Until the video star appears after the second chorus, the main action comes from the speaker cone pulsating throughout (spoiler alert: until finally kicked in).
Enter the video star. We see only his torn and faded jeans. Later, an out-of-focus forearm with a smoking cigarette at its other end. It seems to be resting on what is either the head or armrest of a couch. And then, in its place, a blurry sneaker.
Directed by Randy Skinner and the brainchild of Jeffry Ayeroff, the video cost $10,000 to make. This was considerably low-budget for when it was made in 1986, in MTV's heyday. The video for Duran Duran's "Wild Boys" released in 1984 cost close to two and a half million; and the video for Madonna's "Express Yourself" released in 1989 ran a bill of close to ten and a half million. Come to think of it, I, who was mesmerized by MTV back in those days, cannot even recall what was in them. So we can safely say that the low-budget Replacements video was, in essence, a post-punk kick to the shins of MTV. It only cost $10,000, and here I am writing about it well over three decades after it was made.