November 14 [16:00 EDT] -- You'd think Reel Big Fish would have no problem finding a location on its southern California home turf to shoot a video, but the band was left high and dry by Huntington Beach High School.
Of course, the reasons that the band was denied permission to shoot in the school are up for debate. For its next video, "She Has A Girlfriend Now," the band wanted to set the scene at a 1980s prom, and hoped to shoot in the high school, which houses a performing arts school and has hosted numerous film and television shoots in the past. The group then submitted a script of the video and a lyrics sheet to school officials for their review.
Reel Big Fish and Huntington Beach School Superintendent Ronald G. Bennett have differing views of what happened next.
The band claims that they were told that they were denied permission to shoot in the school because of the song's "lyrical content," which tells the tale of a guy whose girlfriend realizes she is
However, Bennett claims that he had reservations about the shoot not because of the band's lyrics, but rather because of a script that he read for the video. He claims his concerns were with the clip's plot, which featured a "nerdy" student killing off classmates to increase his chances of being elected prom king. Bennett says his concerns were solely with what he saw as violent content within the video.
"I asked myself, 'Is this the kind of quality programming we can be proud of?'" Bennett told MTV News.
The Reel Big Fish camp says that frontman Aaron Barrett does indeed play a nerdy prom-king-wannabe in the video, but that the violence in the video is "Gilligan's Island-cheeky." A spokesperson for the band went on to say that the video could in no way be construed as violent or malicious.
The band eventually found a home for its shoot, and filmed the video at the Tustin Boys and Girls Club. They say the $5,000 space rental fee they paid the club
helped the organization pay for much-needed repairs.
The video will be delivered to MTV on Monday, the same day that Reel Big Fish will offer a ska version of the National Anthem before a Monday Night Football game between the Miami Dolphins and the Buffalo Bills.