Some of us here in the MTV Newsroom have already recognized the brilliance that is the Dead Weather’s “Treat Me Like Your Mother” video, four-plus minutes of stray bullets and sexual tension as envisioned by the great Jonathan Glazer (who’s directed iconic clips like Radiohead’s “Karma Police” and Jamiroquai’s “Virtual Insanity”).
And now others are finally getting around to acknowledging the video too: “Mother” was up for the Best Video award at the 2009 mtvU Woodie Awards. And though it ultimately lost (to Matt and Kim’s clothing-optional “Lessons Learned” clip ), it was still nice to see it get some (long overdue) love — especially considering everything the Dead Weather went through to get it made.
“Jonathan Glazer met with blondie over here, and I think she told him that we wanted to walk and we wanted to fire machine guns, and for the rest of it to be his idea,” said Jack White, nodding to Dead Weather frontwoman Alison Mosshart. “The location was the best part, it ended up being the childhood home of Captain Beefheart — Lancaster, California — and Frank Zappa, they’re both from that small town. So it was great to have an excuse to finally go there. We actually went to his home and left a little present there, it was really nice. … It was where he grew up. A family of about 20 people live there now … they came out and wondered what we were doing on their front lawn.”
“We were in this strange patch of land that was by row housing and a women’s prison,” Mosshart added. “So we had to call the women’s prison every morning and tell them we were going to start firing guns so they didn’t think bad things were happening.”
And as if avoiding prison riots wasn’t challenge enough, the Weather also had to figure out a place to premiere the video. Seems that most channels didn’t want anything to do with the clip — thanks to all that gunplay — so, taking a page from Eminem’s playbook , they turned to the good folks at Cinemax, who were more than happy to premiere the “Mother” video much like they did Em’s bloody “3 A.M.” clip.
“We just do whatever Eminem does. It’s a good rule of thumb,” White laughed. “It was too racy to be played on some stations, so we found someone else.”
Don’t miss the 2009 mtvU Woodie Awards, airing on December 4 at 10 p.m. on MTV, MTV2 and mtvU!