Teamworking Day: Billy Ocean’s Star Wars 🌭

Nobody is old enough to remember early MTV anymore, but its style of insanity would seem instantly familiar. There were new ways to measure “success” and a free-for-all scramble for it. Things could be popular because they were insane or terrible. The importance of boobs nearly tripled, and they were already titties. The point is, hundreds of creative geniuses and thousands of hacks were throwing random shit at this confusing audience to see what they liked. Maybe giant food? No? Ghosts? Fine, Paula Abdul will fuck a cartoon cat. Early MTV was a collection of cavemen building an algorithm out of meat and punch cards, and Billy Ocean fed it. Brockway, it’s Teamworking Day! Let’s do a Bil-

Brockway: Motherfucker what is this? You better not be trying to do a Billy Ocean article without me.

Seanbaby: Let’s do a Billy Ocean one!

Seanbaby: This is “Caribbean Queen,” and it shows Billy Ocean’s favorite music video concept of “What if I lip-synched my hit song in a sweater?” The idea was simple– he’d show up at a strange woman’s work and sing near her until they fell in love. Billy Ocean’s idea of a first date is humming “Mystery Lady” at you from the shadows of your laundromat. I guess you write what you know, and it’s telling that most Billy Ocean videos are about him being a weirdly normal-looking guy just drenching panties as soon as he opens his mouth. That beautiful mouth.

Brockway: I love the simplicity of this, in an era when other pop stars were frantically trying to hit big with sports cars and giant dancing vegetables, Billy Ocean asked “Do we need a world surrounding us? I think it distracts us from me.”

Seanbaby: Billy Ocean perfected the art of stalking a woman at work in the video for “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car.” It opens with him driving up to the car wash and screaming, not singing, at a young girl, “Hey. You. Get into my car.” He was 38 years old here! If this wasn’t Billy Ocean it wouldn’t even occur to you this was an act of romance. You’d think this man has had it up to here with all of his granddaughter’s clodhopping.

Brockway: It’s 1988. Western culture is blitzing the human brain, trying to find a new limit for the attention span. You’re Billy Ocean’s video director. You’re high on cocaine, and this is irrelevant. Everyone is, it’s an even playing field. You want water so badly but you keep forgetting to drink it, or maybe you’ve drank too much of it, there’s no way to tell. Your ears hurt. Billy Ocean is there. He’s looking at you, he wants ideas from you, it’s so unfair. Nobody expects ideas from a race car, they just expect it to go, but here you are, you’re in the pitch meeting for the video of “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car.” You have to say something, it’s getting weird. 

“I think you should get out of a car and tell a woman to get into it,” you say, drooling the water you forgot was in your mouth.

“Yeah, okay,” says Billy Ocean.

You still got it.

Seanbaby: Later in the video everything turns into cartoon and he throws their love away to chase down a man duck? 

Brockway: You’re standing before Billy Ocean on the set of a video you almost had a premise for, but not quite. You’ve done your one idea, and it took fifteen seconds. “Next, w-we… we should-” you start, but Billy Ocean joins in. 

“We should get a cartoon hip hop duck!” He says, like he’s finishing your thought. He holds up a hand for a high five. “Jinx, you owe me some coke!” 

God fucking damn do you love Billy Ocean.

Seanbaby: It’s a request you can only make at the height of your creative power. Billy Ocean told someone, “Okay, during the bridge, I’m going to have sex with a duck from a Hungarian breakfast cereal commercial. And I want it to look like shit.” But this is what the ’80s were like– madmen unshackled from reason and tradition, often making terrible mistakes. They thought maybe a Billy Ocean song would be better if every object around him sprang to life. Maybe he could standing sixty-nine a duck? Set on the backdrop of teen car wash abduction… why are you all still standing around listening to me list obvious ideas? Get the fuck out of my office and get more unsettling things into Billy Ocean’s car.


A presbyterian!

Get into my car!

An invalid in a filthy Bob’s Big Boy costume!

Get into my car!

A full horse!

Get into my car!

Just the horse torso! Horso! 

Get into my-

Seanbaby: Not every idea was simply insane. Some were just big. For the “When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going” video, someone had the idea to rent out the Brixton Academy and have three A-List Hollywood stars put on white tuxedos and pantomime every single word of the lyrics. “Sure, whatever, I trust your rampaging mania, Billy Ocean’s manager,” said the man writing a five million dollar check. “Oh, that cursed Michael Douglas will hate this,” he secretly thought. “Ha ha ha ha ha HA HA!” he cackled.

Brockway: This song was recorded for the soundtrack of Jewel of the Nile, which I learned after googling “was ‘When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going’ recorded for Jewel of the Nile?” Which I did after thinking “this better have been recorded for the soundtrack of Jewel of the Nile or else it’s completely insane.” Anyway, Wikipedia told me this:

I read the source interview and it confirmed that Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, and Danny DeVito got in trouble for acting like backup musicians. It didn’t specifically say they scolded Danny DeVito for pretending to play the saxophone, but I’ll burn this whole place to the ground before I believe otherwise again. I choose to live in a world where Billy Ocean stepped between the pantomime police and Danny DeVito and he told him “you toot all you want, brother. Billy’s got this shit.”

Seanbaby: It’s time to talk about the time all the elements of Billy Ocean were brought together. Bigness. Madness. His style of musical courtship that mostly looks like kidnapping. It was a song about wanting to fuck the listener and no second thing, so Billy Ocean did what anyone with an unlimited scope but a very limited budget would do: STAR WARS

Brockway: There were a lot of directions I thought you could go with that sentence. 

“Billy Land,” I thought, “Billy Ocean’s theme park.” 

“Billy Max,” I figured, “Billy Ocean’s Mad Max parody.” 

I probably would have gotten to Billy Trek before I arrived at Billy Wars.

Seanbaby: Billy Ocean played the part of a time triangle, spinning through the cosmos to spread the message of the Earth song, Billy Ocean’s “Loverboy.”

You definitely know this song. It’s the one that goes, “Wanna be your!” And then there’s a long pause and he sings, “Lover!” Then another pause. “Lover!” And after one last pause Billy Ocean fully explains, “Loverboy!” The rest of the song is supplemental to that message.

Brockway: He has to leave those pauses so you can hear the pelvic thrusts in between. It’s like jazz. Billy Ocean fucks like jazz.

Seanbaby: “From high above a forgotten shore at the edge of the galaxy, we see a horse carrying a horse-faced rider. Picture a centaur who had one ordinary horse grandparent, only dressed like a wizard. Both of them, the horse and the rider,” said Billy Ocean. “There are no laws against horse magic here among the stars!”

“H-holy shit, what? I figured you could sing ‘Loverboy’ while you walk down some stairs in this white sweater,” said the music video director. A phaser bolt to the wardrobe rack was Billy Ocean’s first response. Sliding into a child’s Han Solo costume was his second. A pelvic thrust was his last.

Brockway: Remember, this was 1988. So when you picture Billy Ocean sliding into a child’s Han Solo costume, you have to picture the cheap papery kind that looked so bad you had to wear a little plastic bib with a picture of the character on it so people knew who you were supposed to be. And then you have to picture Billy Ocean tearing off the Han Solo bib and replacing it with a little plastic bib with his own face on it. You know he has those.

Seanbaby: When Billy Ocean said “Star Wars” he meant “Fucking Star Wars.” He, as the spinning pyramid of the song “Loverboy,” follows the alien into a beach cave. Inside is the Star Wars cantina recreated from memory with a lot of money and effort, but nowhere near enough money and effort. Navy men and astronauts mingle with shameless Greedos and Jawas. People have TVs for heads. The bartender is an eight foot robot puppet. It’s so fun. It looks like extras from four different films and a middle school play getting fucked up in a cave.

Brockway: Oh hell yeah, I wanna see Billy Ocean enter every single one of those puppets.

Seanbaby: You know what? We should pause here and do a Billy Ocean’s “Loverboy” Alien Showcase.

Seanbaby: These costumes are great conceptually, but their screens don’t work. And maybe I’m crazy, but if you have a TV for a head and it’s blank, I am going to assume you need medical help. I get it’s too late for Billy Ocean to take this note, but a blank CRT head looks like a suffocating extra in a TV hat, not a believable were television. Each of these people is covered in seventy pounds of chrome-painted tubes and dust. They had to be built into these monstrosities over the course of two weeks to appear in a Billy Ocean video for three seconds, and it was the best decision they ever made.

Brockway: What a fuck up. I mean what a colossal, stock-crashing, boat-flipping fuck up. Imagine the perfect world where those aliens were playing this very video as it happened. Imagine that as we pan across the were-televisions, we see us, panning across the were-televisions. It’s Billy-ception! Billy-ception was right there!

Seanbaby: What the shit is this thing? It looks like the set designer stole the Phil Collins puppet from the “Land of Confusion” video.

Brockway: It’s such an aesthetic break and so mean-spirited I have to think it’s a specific mockery. Like maybe it’s a caricature of the director of this video who tried to tell Billy Ocean “you can’t do Billy Ocean’s Star Wars for so many reasons, legal, moral, and logical. Billy, look, Billy, come down from the chandelier – I don’t know how you keep getting up there – we’ve got this amazing sweater, this beautiful girl, and Ross here says he can draw a really good ethnic duck.”

Seanbaby: “Yes. Make me. Make meee,” this thing must have whispered the entire time it was being sculpted.

Seanbaby: The cave’s bartender looks like it was welded together from one of the television-headed guys and the landmine that killed him. “I W-WOULD PRAY FOR DEATH H-HAD I NOT *SQAAARK* ALREADY D-IED MANY TIMES OOOVER, WHAT’LL IT BE. PAL. DRINKS ARE FREE IF YOU C-CAN END MY. PAIN. HUMOROUS: IT APPEARS I STILL C-CAN PRAY FOR DEATH.”

Brockway: You put the emphasis on the junk, I put it on the fuck. That robot gives dick. Look at those close-set eyes, that robotic bowlcut, the mis-matched ears. That robot gives dick for every birthday, Christmas, and passover. You can’t tell me it doesn’t. 

Seanbaby: “I am the living waste of Qaar, He Who Parties! Qaar has honored your very escapable toilet!”

Brockway: You have to be so careful trying to rip off Jabba the Hutt. You have to get the texture of the rubber just right, or you’re doing shit. You have to get the color just right, or you’re doing shit. You don’t want shit, when you’re doing Jabba the Hutt. You want fat penis. Like if the penis itself could get fat. That’s how you explain Jabba the Hutt to the Croatian costume designer willing to work below-scale and in a cave.

Seanbaby: I’m not sure we were supposed to notice this guy. He’s kind of a skeleton warrior and a middle-aged gorilla coming together to have a real tough time.

Brockway: He’s kind of the devil’s less successful brother. But like, the one that still enters the hell game even though he knows his brother is going to overshadow his every move. It’s just that he doesn’t have anything else, so it might be enough, being Doug Satan to every demon in hell.

He’s Randy Quaid, I guess is what I’m saying. He’s the devil’s Randy Quaid. 

Seanbaby: Just fucking incredible. A room full of adults looked at Teen Baboon and said, “Yes, but also Donald Duck costume.” Guys, come on. This is for a Billy Ocean video and you sent a hemorrhoid to the Navy.

Brockway: You’re crazy, you’re fucking mad, you’ve lost it. Seaman Baboon rules. I’m sorry but he completely rules. From the merry little pom on his head to the despair in his eyes, every decision was correct here. He’s the only thing grounding us in reality. He’s the beating heart of this video, the anchor which keeps the ship from being dashed on the rocks. While the were-televisions and the shitworms play, Seaman Baboon is here reminding us all that somebody has to clean the toilets at a cave party. 

Seanbaby: A being made of modeling clay and not enough time, Elbo Skinwalker scans the cave for talent. “Your daddy must play the trumpet because he sure made me horny looking at your beautiful body,” he tells Roughday Sadape, the sound compressing into a whistling fart by his unfinished clay lips.

Brockway: There was a deleted scene in Robocop where Robocop exploded a gas station after saying something cool like “you’re fired, creep,” and then waddled out of the flames slapping at his burning human face. This is the prosthetic they made for that scene before deciding it was too dark, and just had him shoot the man in the penis instead. I forgot to mention that Robocop was wearing a turtleneck in that scene. 

Seanbaby: Tequilax! Tequilax! Tequilax!

Brockway: Tequilax! Fuck yeah, everybody, Tequilax is here! At my birthday party!

Seanbaby: Tequilax! Tequilax! Tequilax!

Brockway: I told you my uncle knew him!

Seanbaby: Back to the video! The chorus of “Loverboy” starts, which is five words spread across twelve pelvic thrusts, and what it reveals will astonish you: Billy Ocean isn’t really here. When his pyramid was traveling through the cave, that wasn’t him warping here to seduce a space lady. It was more like a signal downloaded to their jukebox. Maybe he’s their prisoner? He’s a fuckable triangle spinning above a cave crystal and I think only we can see him. I don’t know what this video is trying to tell us, only that it’s trying to tell us something.

Brockway: I think there are two interpretations. I think you can view it as a sort of a spiritual thing. This party rules. This bar kicks ass, and every weirdo in it is having a great time, and you know they’re all gonna fuck things the haters said they couldn’t or shouldn’t get inside of. I think whenever a gathering like that gets together, Billy Ocean is there in spirit, in a kind of rotating triangle prison of endorsement. I think Billy Ocean is trying to tell us “these are my people, and it don’t matter what they look like as they long as they know how to have a good time, baby.” I think that’s one interpretation. I think the other is that Billy Ocean got scared when he saw the costumes. 

Seanbaby: Among the Star Wars creatures going about their business parsecs away from Billy Ocean, our hero(?) sees a legally actionable Dark Crystal lady. She’s got bandoliers and a ballroom gown like a pun Halloween costume I hate but can’t figure out. A SanDisneysta Princess maybe? Jennifer Lo-Pancho Villa? They seem to have a love connection, but that vibe is coming entirely from the unrelated Billy Ocean song. The body language of these two aliens is almost entirely “bored horse.” How did we get here? The man wanted to be our loverboy, and yet here we are, walking among puppets beyond the stars!

Brockway: God, her boyfriend sucks. He hates this entire scene. 

“Space Jennifer,” He growls at her, “Space Jennifer I don’t want to be here tonight. I told you I don’t like this bar. Every time I come here, every time we come there’s always some guy- look. Look at this.”

“There’s always some camelboy mouthfucking you across the bar, Space Jennifer! I know that’s why you like it, okay, you like the attention, that’s okay for you. That’s okay, but I’m the one that’s gonna have to fight him in the cave toilet, Space Jennifer. I don’t feel up to that toni- HOLD ON is Clownbacca juggling oh hell yeah I’m back in!

Seanbaby: Look at this cosmic artistry. It cuts away to the stars so we can see a comet smash into a planet to create a second Billy Ocean Phantom Zone prison. If the “Loverboy” video was Billy Ocean dancing in a studio and this shot, it would still be known as the Billy Ocean outer space video. I don’t even know why I made a gif of it. It’s just so wonderfully pointless.

Brockway: This means there are two Billy Oceans from parallel universes, both imprisoned for crimes they probably did commit but are only considered crimes in backwards galaxies like Space Dakota. What if they meet? What if they fight? What if they do the other thing??

Seanbaby: This is not a love story! The lizard horse creature we thought was the hero murders a man without warning and steals his date! It’s like Billy Ocean said, “You know how all my videos are about stalking women until they leave with me? How would you translate that into Star Wars?” And again, his character is not here. He is merely a horny voice coming from the cave’s jukebox, ignoring this space crime. Why doesn’t he do anything? Let me be clear what I’m saying here: this video would be less weird if three-lunged musician Billy Ocean broke free from his crystal prison and had a laser fight. Oh, do I sound silly? Take a look at some of the research I did:

Brockway: Haha, that’s why he can hold those notes so long he holy shit you didn’t photoshop this. Seanbaby, what, Seanbaby what the fuck why does Billy Ocean have three lungs? We can’t move on from this, we have to figure out-

Seanbaby: In what feels like another strange choice, everyone ignores the kidnapping, including Billy Ocean, who forms a cube to perform for three Jawas who worship him as their god. “We’ll make love to you, song box! With any knobs or holes our star bodies possess!”

Brockway: He has three lungs, Seanbaby. Is that cheating at music? Can you get thrown out of singing for having three lungs? I knew no mortal man could compete with Billy Ocean but not for this reason, Seanbaby, not for this one. I won’t drop this. You can’t trick me into dropping this.

Brockway: Fuck yeah, alien fistpump freeze frame!

Seanbaby: There’s no twist! This horse monster walked into a cave bar, killed a man, stole a woman, and it ends with a freeze frame of him cheering! Alone! He’s already thrown her body into the sea, Billy Ocean! You wrote the soundtrack to Tequilax Outpost 7’s most haunting murder!