Hi everyone. Hope you are all well and continue to stay that way during this global health crisis we are facing. But in addition to protecting your physical wellness, what are you doing to stay mentally healthy today?
(Image found online. Original source unknown.)
I know we are still facing a serious situation but a new year gives us hope for the new days, seasons, opportunities & moments ahead. Still, music is something that will never change for me. It is my refuge, the most comforting part of my life & the one thing I consistently count on. So until a more normal semblance of life returns, I am going to share a song I listen to that helps me escape the current state of things, if only for a few minutes each day. And if this helps anyone else, even better.
Heavy metal bands were never my thing. It was a genre of music I could not identify with at all. A big part of that had to do with their videos. Many of them were degrading towards women. The models in the clips were usually scantily clad with cheap looking hair & clothes as they emulated poses that looked like they were right out of a Penthouse spread.
Then in 1987 director Marty Callner was hired to do a few videos for the band Whitesnake. Once he saw the lead singer’s girlfriend, an up & coming actress, he chose her to star in them despite another model already being booked for the job. And together Callner & the actress decided she would be dressed in real clothes so she would look elegant, sophisticated & glamorous in every video they made together. He & that actress, Tawny Kitaen, changed the look for women in metal clips forever starting with what became the iconic video for the song, “Here I Go Again”.
Other videos featuring Kitaen followed including “Still Of The Night”, “The Deeper The Love” and today’s song which I always loved. But it was the first clip, featuring her splits & cartwheels across the hoods of two Jaguars that most people remember best. I do not know a man over the age of 40 who does not go into a catatonic state when he just hears the beginning of that song because he immediately pictures the video in his head. It blew up from its premiere in 1987 & turned metal into a hotter commodity leading MTV to feature that genre in its own weekly show, “Headbanger’s Ball”.
Kitaen & Whitesnake’s lead singer David Coverdale became immense stars because of those music clips. They were like MTV’s version of GH’s “Luke & Laura”. The music supercouple got married in 1989 but sadly their romance did not end happily ever after. They divorced in 1991 with Coverdale stating he should have never married an American actress while she said he did not appreciate how much attention she received for the videos from the band’s fans.
Kitaen died on May 7, 2021 at the age of 59 with no known cause of death cited. I had not seen her in years but when I clicked on the story announcing her death, I barely recognized her. Like a lot of women growing older in Hollywood, she used plastic surgery to try & stop the aging process. Her life after those videos was not easy as she battled some legal issues & addiction problems which were documented in reality shows like “The Surreal Life” & “Celebrity Rehab”. In the 1990’s she had two daughters with her second husband & despite their divorce after five years of marriage, they raised their family together.
But in the late 1980’s I remember thinking what a charmed life Kitaen had & how great it must have been to be her. That is how I choose to remember her. And as someone who had enough respect for herself & women in general that she showed us how we should be treated, even in a man’s world. Rest in peace, Julie “Tawny” Kitaen.
“I can feel my love for you
Growing stronger day by day
An’ I can’t wait too see you again
So I can hold you in my arms”.
Top: Tawny Kitaen sitting on the Jaguars she did her famous cartwheel over in the 1987 Whitesnake video for the song “Here I Go Again”. Bottom: Kitaen & David Coverdale inside the white Jaguar during another scene from the iconic video. (Images found online. Original sources unknown.)
Whitesnake: “Is This Love” (1987, written by David Coverdale and John Sykes).
I do not own the rights to anything. I am just sharing what I love and how I am coping with you.