Flashback Friday: Concrete Blonde “Bloodletting”

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A hill I will totally die on: American band Concrete Blonde ended up making the first, and arguably, the best adaptation of Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire, beating the film version starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt by several years.

Oh sure, I can hear you scoffing now. This is just a band faffing about in period costumes to rock music against some vaguely old-y time-y looking décor accessorized with tarot cards and bugs. There’s no way that this is actually a song about Lestat and Louis and any of their shenaniganry. Think again, my friends.

Frontwoman and bassist Johnette Napolitano describes the inspiration for the song in this interview while the video was being filmed on location at gorgeous Ockwells Manor in Berkshire, England:

“We were on the road with Sting, and there’s this author, Anne Rice, who inspired this song. She lives in New Orleans and she’s a writer, and writes vampire stories, The Vampire Chronicles.”

Napolitano goes on to discuss a bit about how the video came about, which is interesting in the little snapshot it gives of the insane amount of work that goes into producing a 5-minute music video. She also discusses the fight she had to go through with Miles Copeland III, the head exec of Concrete Blonde’s record label, I.R.S. records, in order to secure the rights to the Anne Rice material just to make the video. She also mentions Andy Lee, the director of an earlier Concrete Blonde video, “Joey,” detailing how opposed the record execs were to the vision Lee and Concrete Blonde were trying to put together in support of “Bloodletting” (which cracks me up because “Joey” turned out to be such an era-defining video in terms of videography).

A further interesting note is that there are actually two versions of this video, both using footage shot by Lee at Ockwells Manor, but cut with different shots of Napolitano singing in a chair:

(This is the version I remember watching years ago, so I’m guessing it was recut and parts were reshot after the original cut was done. The first video I posted, however, appears to be the “official” video, at least according to the band’s official Vevo account.)

But anyway, back to that hill I’m totally prepared to die on. What we have here isn’t about Lestat, but a song from the point of view of one of his victims. It’s almost musical fanfic, if you will, and I love every single minute of it.

hits repeat

 

Do you have a favorite historical music video? Share it with us in the comments! And check out other music videos we’ve discussed!

5 Responses

  1. yosa

    Oh, most of the album is a tribute/telling of the book. I remember getting to go to the show with them and Sting. They were fantastic and then Sting played a sit down Jazz set, lol. I went with a coworker and was gothed to the nines and he was in a striped polo shirt hoping for Synchronicity. Hey, I had a great time, lol.

    Reply
  2. SarahV

    Johnette Napolitano is the uncelebrated voice of the 1990’s. She just ruled.

    I will join you on that hiall.

    Reply
  3. Kathryn MacLennan

    How did baby me miss this song and video when going through my vampire books phase?

    Reply
  4. Jennifer Faith

    Oh, yeah! I knew what this was about the 1st time I heard it. It didn’t hurt that I was in my vampire phase at the time – there were only 3 books in the Anne Rice series at the time. It also made me think of Lost Souls by Poppy Z Brite – awesome vampire book; I highly recommend it. I think I still have this CD somewhere. Tomorrow Wendy is my favorite song on it though.

    Reply
  5. Julia R

    That is awesome. I have a real soft spot for that movie but that video kicks ass. The song Moon Over Bourbon Street by Sting is a pretty good version of Interview With a Vampire too.

    Reply

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