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The Simon Le Bon “Jump”!

January 31st, 2013

Hey Simon! Was curious – how many times did you have to practise jumping off the ‘precipice’ whilst filming the video for “Planet Earth”..? Always thought that was a cool ending…Midori

Dear Midori,

Thank you for your very interesting question. Although the video for Plant Earth was shot many many years ago, I still have vivid recollections of that day. Russell Mulcahey was directing Duran Duran’s first video; the producer was the, now hugely successful, Eric Fellner. It was a very long day of shooting which began at 7.am that day, when we entered the studio in St John’s Wood and first laid eyes on the extraordinary and huge film set which had been buit there for the sole purpose on making a fabulous video clip for us. All of us were completely speechless as we approached the huge wedding-cake like structure, which appeared to be made of ice or glass as it towered above us. Two hours later, in full makeup and full new-romantic regalia we stepped gingerly onto the – not entirely solid feeling – stage. Russel addressed us in broad Australian brogue from a crane mounted camera and seat above us through a crackling electric loudhailer… “Don’t worry about the vertigo boys; you’ll soon get used to the height of it.”

He was one hundred percent right; by the middle of the afternoon we were completely at ease up there, prancing and pouting; pulling our finest rock shapes.

As the filming was drawing to a close, Russell asked me “hey mate, d’y’reckon you could do something spectacular in the vamp; something… spectacular to put a full stop on it?” There followed about an hour of me doing various semi-acrobatic jumps and spins; twisting in mid-air like Townsend; I even attempted a James Brown type of splits move, which didn’t exactly come off as planned. After nine takes, Russell suggested that we get the rest of the band back on stage for one final run through of the song. I wasn’t really sure how Russell felt about it, but I certainly didn’t feel that I’d delivered the spectacle that he’d asked for.

So as the track began it’s fade-out, something reckless took control of me, and I did it… I flung myself over the edge. I remember the sound of rushing air, and then a thumping crash as I belly-flopped half onto a folding catering table with plastic cups, and a tea urn, and half onto the rather attractive production assistant, who I’d had my eye on all day long.

Evangeline, her name was; I sent her an absurdly large bouquet of flowers to St Mary’s Hospital, Praed St; she was in for over a week with two broken ribs, first degree burns from the freshly brewed tea which scalded as the upset urn emptied over her legs, and a black eye from when my heel smashed into her nose. I on the other hand was completely unhurt.

I did wonder for a time, if I should ask her out on a date… Nah!

whooosh
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