too shy Kajagoogoo

Can I get a rewiiiiiiiind? Behind the video // Kajagoogoo

I’m going to do an in-depth study of a music video, chosen from my favourite decade, the ’80s.
Most videos from that era are very much ‘of the time’ and so wonderfully pretentious, you could cough up a Rubik’s Cube just watching them.

Taking them apart minute by minute, I will attempt to unlock the hidden message behind the video. This is something I’m quite good at doing as I have fairly astonishing insight and fabulous boobs (unrelated but always worth mentioning), so I doubt I’ll be getting any of this wrong. If you believe I may have missed something important, by all means write in. I enjoy having things to read when I’m on the toilet.

I may do a series of these if they prove interesting to people, and will happily take suggestions of other videos I could decipher, or where you think I should stick said videos etc.

So, without further AGADOO… ha, little ’80s humour there. Never mind.

Kajagoogoo – ‘Too Shy’(1983)

Everyone loves this song. If you don’t, you’re a complete idiot and I’ll put that in writing if you want. In fact, I’ll write it, photograph it, and send you a jpeg. Then we’ll both delete the photo and say no more about it because it’s far nicer to be nice.

0:00 – Starts off with Limahl climbing up on stage, trying to fool us into thinking there’s a religious theme, with his coat of many colours thrown nonchalantly over one shoulder. Sorry Limahl! You may be fooling some, but you can’t fool me!

0:10 – A human female, more Afghan hound than woman, appears. She’s tired. Again, there is no religious significance to this, please be patient.

0:14 – From here on, it’s just the band rehearsing as the tired lady watches from afar. They must be crap, she looks bored shitless.

0:30 – Limahl cheekily encourages the guitarist to look at his tits. Stop it you naughty little urchin!

0:36 – Here’s where the comfort rug of contentment is suddenly ripped from under us. Bugger me if we’re not suddenly transported back to a dance during the Second World War! THIS is the moment when the message Kajagoogoo are trying to convey becomes blindingly apparent.
Too Shy’ is, amongst many other things, a scathing attack on the progression of technology.
Yes. It’s fucking obvious when you think about it.

0:48 – Limahl sings on as though nothing has happened. This is the genius of Kajagoogoo. While you’re standing there wondering what the fuck happened to your life, and you’re trying to make sense of it all, they’re leading you gently towards a truth you never knew you realised before.
Tongue-tied oh short of breath, don’t even try…” – either the lady he’s singing to has emphysema and he doesn’t want her to over-exert herself, or this is a very forward thinking remark concerning our future obsession with destroying 99.9% of bacteria from all our surfaces, creating a nation of pussy-lunged arseholes who end up gasping like dying goldfish at the first sign of real air. I tend to think it’s the latter.

1:31 – Modern medicine falls short of your complaint…
Limahl takes a stand for alternative therapies here. It’s the lyrical equivalent of handcuffing himself to a Yew tree to highlight the effectiveness that one of its constituents ‘Taxol’ has shown with the inhibiting of cancer cell growth. ‘Hello mankind, its nature on the phone’ he says.
Will YOU take the call?

1:37 – All of a sudden, 60s style people appear! We’re screeching through time at a horrifying speed now, you can’t fail to comprehend this deeply political moment in the video. I don’t think I need to go into detail about what it is. Let’s just say, whoever was involved in the murder of John F. Kennedy would be feeling like they’d had a big light shone into their faces. An incredible amount of research into American political history was obviously done here. Respect.

1:50 –Hey girl! Move a little closer!
This was a message to the lead guitarist’s girlfriend at the time. He was living in the Lake District, while his lover resided in Cornwall. She was very unsure about whether the distance relationship would work, so this lyric was included with the helpful advice she needed to make that final journey from her house to his. They’ve now been happily married for 40 years, probably.

2:23 – The lady removes an empty glass, from an empty table.
If ever there was a more beautiful and poetic description of modern feminism and its place within the catering industry, I haven’t yet found it.

2:38 – We’re back in wartime. Limahl and the band seem unconcerned as they ‘doo doo doo’ their way through the bridge. But don’t be fooled. If you play this portion of the song backwards, there is a secret recording of Hitler admitting he was a complete bastard. Only 2 people in the world knew of the existence of this recording, and one of them was Limahl. The other one was, ooh, let’s say… Jamiroquai.
Erm, it’s because they’re the only two people on earth who’s names can’t be cracked using the Enigma machine, yeah, that was why.

2:44 – The ’60s people are back. Quite frankly this part pisses me off and I think they’ve gone too far. But the lady seems to be enjoying watching them. Was this Limahl’s way of admitting to his secret double life as a peeping tom? I think the answer is more than certainly yes.

2:52 – Modern (well, modern for the ’80s) people appear. At this point I haven’t a clue what’s going on because I never went to university.

3:05 – Limahl’s face goes a bit insane here. Possible bad reaction to some questionable fish from the catering table? Yes. Judging by his expression, my guess would be sardines.

3:18 – Limahl checks quickly to his right as a Portaloo is wheeled into the wings of the stage. Relief is imminent, and the thought he’ll shortly be evacuating his bowels brings a smile of contentment to his lips.

3:22 – The band begin to pack their toys away. The lady is watching but still appears to be tired, I think a test for narcolepsy would have been a good idea.

3:29 – Limahl looks at her. It says it all.
Would you like to look at my genitalia?”
She closes her eyes and rubs her forehead.
Fuck off.”
He looks down sadly.
I see. No worries then. Uhm, I don’t know when we’ll be passing through Oxford again, so I’d best give you my number.
I don’t want your fucking number.”
Message understood. Goodbye.

Thus ended one of music’s most breathtaking on-screen romances. A golden opportunity wasted. I bet that lady has regretted her decision every day since, but hey, that’s why pencils have erasers! Or something.

The ’80s were a time of great political and social change, nuclear danger, and appalling clothes. But it must never be assumed that the songs you view as frothy pop were just safe and cheery dance fodder, goodness no. As we’ve learned here today, the pop stars of the ’80s were more than just badly dressed assholes… they were the greatest voices of a generation. They tried to teach us, but we weren’t listening. Well perhaps we’ll listen now.


  • Comments

  • Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *