OMG It’s Debbie Gibson! She Totally Remembers Her Music Videos! And She’s Really Excited About It!

Debbie Gibson!!!

Debbie Gibson!!!

Perpetually perky pop star Debbie Gibson (or Deborah, depending on what year it is) gave us sweet bubblegum dancefloor tunes throughout the eighties and music videos to go with them. As an artist, however, Gibson took control of her career early on by writing much of her own material. In 1988, she became the youngest artist to write, produce, and perform a #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100, with her song “Foolish Beat”. Young ladies may reign supreme on the pop charts even today, but she still remains the youngest female to write, record, and perform a #1 single.

Gibson has branched out over the years, continuing to perform and record but also appear in theater (Les Miserables, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast), film (Megashark vs Giant Octopus) and television (“The Celebrity Apprentice”). She also buried the hatchet with faux-rival and fellow 80s pop queen Tiffany, with the two touring together in recent years and also appearing side-by-side in the sci-fi thriller Megapython vs Gatoroid. She also recently appeared as Katy Perry’s mother in her “Last Friday Night” music video, along with proud “papa” Corey Feldman.

Miss Gibson today (photo courtesy of TroySmithPhotography.com)

Miss Gibson today (photo courtesy of TroySmithPhotography.com)

We interviewed to Miss Gibson by email and got some very excited responses about her music videos (she uses a lot of exclamation points). Read on.

It has been somewhat documented that some radio listeners thought you were African-American when they heard “Only In My Dreams”, but obviously when the video came out, they saw you.

This is true! I got a kick out of that being a young white chick from Long Island!

What do you recall from your very first music video experience for that song?

This was the video I was least involved in conceptually. I was just thrilled that the label was doing one so I just “showed up!” It was abstract and I still to date have no idea what that religious character was doing on the beach and why the woman playing my Mom was waving at me! I felt most at home on the carousel just being myself and performing. My sister ended up dating that guy who played my love interest!

You had a lot of creative control over your music. Did that extend to music videos as well?

In general, yes….after that first video.

Who was your choreographer for your videos, and how did you collaborate?

Paula Abdul worked on “Shake Your Love”, though most of the dancing was so edited you can’t tell there was even choreography, though I loved her and her work! Barrie Lather did “Electric Youth”! It took a week for me to learn what I would now learn in a day. He was patient and I had a total crush on him. A straight boy that could dance?!? Buddy Casimano who I went to high school with and who danced with me from my very first club gig for a hundred people did “Anything is Possible”. He was probably most in touch with who I was personally and was able to infuse that int the dancing. I love the section where the guys drag the girls! My great friend Ray Garcia is in that video too and he does this close up to die for where he whips his hair around!

Did you ever get particular direction from the record label on how your videos should look, and was there ever a difference of opinion on that?

In the beginning, no. Only when I turned 21 were they like “Please sex it up!” Basically, they let me do my thing and knew that I was in touch with my audience at that time!

How was your experience working with director Jim Yukich (Genesis, David Bowie) on your more popular videos, and were there other directors that you got along well with?

I got along with all of them but Jim was my partner in crime! He did not have a “boys club” mentality and loved getting in my head and helping me bring my vision to life! He is the nicest guy and an amazing artist! Matthew Rolston was amazing to work with too and I would love to work with him in my adult life because he was trying to bring out a sensuality in me that truly was not there at the time I did “Losin’ Myself”. I co-wrote that song with Sturken and Rogers and….same thing. Get us in the studio NOW and we would be on the same page! GREAT song….wrong time!

For your ballads, “Lost In Your Eyes” and “Foolish Beat”, you had a romantic interests onscreen. Was it strange, having to act romantically on camera, or did it just come naturally?

It was totally easy and so much fun casting a hot guy! John Gallagher and I are still in touch on occasion!

Gibson on the set of the "Foolish Beat" video

Gibson on the set of the “Foolish Beat” video

The intro to the “Electric Youth” video shows examples of inspirational people who flourished in their youth. How did the idea to do that evolve, and who is the baby in the video?

That baby is my cousin and recently got married! Her name is Danielle! I was always being told I was “too young” to do things….particularly to write and produce my own music so the concept, quite simply, was to show examples of young people who did great things! The clearance department at Atlantic loved me for that! HA!

BEHIND THE SCENES ON “ELECTRIC YOUTH”

By the time you did the video for “Anything is Possible”, had things changed for you, as far as creating music videos? It had only been three years since your first single, but you were a bona fide chart-topper by this time, and that often comes with new agendas and new challenges.

I was just evolving naturally, though some fans wanted to keep me stuck in their perception, and that included not loving that I wore black, which shocked me!

Was there a particular music video where things went horribly wrong, or a particular on-camera moment that sparks your most vivid memory of shooting a video?

Things were never “going wrong”. I do remember Sean Astin coming to say hello on the set of “Shake Your Love” which was so cool! And, I ran into Kylie Minogue at the sound stage while shooting the “Anything is Possible” video. Apparently she was shooting a video too, and said “You hired all the best dancers in LA and left none for me!” I hope she has since forgiven me cuz I am a huge fan! Sorry Kylie…..and, I agree….the BEST were in that video!!!

Do you look back on the pre-1992 era of MTV, what we call THE GOLDEN AGO OF MUSIC VIDEO, fondly or with mixed emotions?

My teenage years were made more special by the fact that I was a part of the MTV era!

Check out all things Debbie Gibson at her website, and don’t forget, she invented Fridays, along with Corey Feldman. Believe DAT.

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