Over his decade-plus career, Beck has been no stranger to the odd celebrity cameo. In addition to wrangling the likes of Willie Nelson, Jack Black and the Melvins' King Buzzo for his own videos, he's also popped up in clips for such acts as the White Stripes, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and the Stone Roses.
So it should come as little surprise that for the song that will be his next single, he turned to a celebrity pal once again.
Next month in Los Angeles, Beck will shoot the video for "Hell Yes," the third single from his latest album, Guero. The bleepy, blippy tune features vocal contributions from none other than Christina Ricci, who voices a Japanese sushi waitress (and is credited in the album's liner notes as "Kurisuti-na") (see "Beck Leaves The Lanterns Tattered At Semi-Secret New York Gig").
Just how Ricci came to appear on the song is a bit of a mystery. Beck seems genuinely clueless as to exactly when or why she dropped by the studio ("She was just there," he drawled. "It just sort of happened"), but he does remember that he and Guero producers the Dust Brothers spent weeks traveling to sushi restaurants around Los Angeles auditioning real waitresses for the role.
"I had this voice in my head that was saying 'please enjoy.' I think it was kind of lodged in my brain from flights to Japan, or rides on the bullet train where you hear the announcer saying, 'We will be arriving in 15 minutes, lunch cart will be coming. Please enjoy,' " Beck said. "So it was just one of those things that felt like it should be in the song. And we went around to a bunch of sushi places in L.A., sort of, like, auditioning waitresses for the part. But none of them got it.
"So one day Christina was in the studio, and she tried it and just absolutely nailed it. And you hear in the song, I'm behind her going, 'Yeah, that's it,' " he continued. "And they put that in the song. It's really not funky at all. Kind of like me saying in a deep, boring voice, 'Yeah, that's it.' It most definitely was not hip-hop."
Beck will shoot the video before heading out on his fall headlining tour (see "Beck Finally Announces Fall Tour Dates"), and as for whether or not Ricci — one of only two guests on the album, with the White Stripes' Jack White being the other — will make an appearance in the clip, well, your guess is as good as ours. But according to Beck's management, anything's possible — which is kind of fitting, considering how Ricci made her way onto the record in the first place.
"Who knows if she'll show up," an e-mail from Beck's management company read. "Heck, in L.A., anyone can show up."