The Big Picture

Saturday 27 August 2011, by Cécile Desbrun

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From the album: Y Kant Tori Read (1988)
Directed by: Marty Callner
Atlantic Records

“The Big Picture” was the only music video made to promote the ill-fated Y Kant Tori Read. As everyones knows, after too many rejection letters from the labels, Tori had shelved her precious piano and formed a “pop-metal” act in L.A. in hopes of getting signed and finally achieving success. Y Kant Tori Read were her rock chick days and her looks were typical of the excess of the 80’s.

Her friend Rantz Hoseley (the inspiration behind LE’s B-side “Flying Dutchman”) was then an art student and, while trying to make it in the comics, he worked for director Marty Callner, famous for his numerous kitsch videos for rock bands such as Aerosmith and the Scorpions. Rantz was doing storyboards for Marty’s videos when Tori was looking for someone to direct the video of “The Big Picture.”

“…Tori asked me who I thought should do her video when the album came out, “ recalled Rantz in an interview for the fanzine Little Blue World in Spring 2004. “Now at the time, Marty was the director for ‘RAWK’ videos, so I called Marty and asked if he’d meet witn Tori, and they got together and Tori played piano for him, and he agreed to do the video. Once again, Atlantic’s reaction to this was ‘We’re not paying for Marty Callner ! Are you nuts ?!?’ Marty believed enough in Tori to actually do the video for ‘points,’ which meant that he got very, very little money up front and would only really make money if the album did well. Of course, YKTR did not do well, so it’s a real testament to Marty’s belief in Tori that he did that. “

Rantz did storyboard and set design for the video, which was shot in a single (and long) night. We can see Tori, wearing typical 80’s outfits, wandering around the streets of East Los Angeles, mingling with bikers and teasing hoods. She brandishes a sword (the same as on the album cover) and one of her outfits is a pirate disguise. The sequences in the streets are intertwined with shots of Tori playing a white piano in a white gown and shots of Tori dancing in a white bride-like dress puffed with air. Rantz Hoseley also makes a cameo appearance as the hood across whose jeans Tori spraypaints.

Though unsuccessful, the video has made it to MTV. It is not known how many times it was aired (probably not much), except it wasn’t on prime time. The single and the album met a huge commercial and critical flop and there wasn’t even discussion for a second video.

Information sources

“Spining in his own little world: LBW talks with the ‘Flying Dutchman’” in Little Blue World vol. 4 n°1, Spring 2004.
The Gazette, June 22, 1988