Video Breakdown: John Parr’s ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’ videos are great

john parrBY SCOTT PHILLIPS

One of the best things about television’s marriage to music is seeing live performances of songs. This is especially true of the ’80s and in this case, John Parr.

“St. Elmo’s Fire” is probably a better song than it was a movie and when you watch these videos of John Parr completely crush it with his trademark American guitar, the song becomes even better. The movie is still mediocre, though.

This video is truly epic and the stage is a great starting point. There are mannequins on the ceiling and it looks jagged and small. The guitarist next to John Parr looks a lot like a mulleted Jim Breuer, complete with stoned-looking eyes. Seriously, it looks like Breuer in an SNL sketch. Parr is crushing it with his trademark blonde hair and American guitar.

A few other enjoyable things about this video:

  • The joy of the horn section.
  • The overzealous drummer and his enthusiastic facial expressions.
  • It starts snowing.
  • A camera shot zooms out to show another camera and the crowd in the last 20 seconds. Meta shot in an ’80s vid?
  • John Parr’s outfit. I can’t describe it.

This is a solid live performance and completely ’80s.

(Also, don’t complain about having to listen to this song twice. This is the greatest American artist since Miles Davis in his prime and there’s no close second place.)

But then we have this John Parr video.

This time, Parr has no backing band — yet the track is still playing — and he’s on a platform on a beach playing in front of a throng of admirers. Yes, a fucking throng. The American guitar; the blonde hair; it’s back.

There seems to be people all over the beach and boardwalk trying to fit in to see Parr perform. This is simply magnificent.

Other things to behold:

  • I’m calling Parr’s outfit a Canadian tuxedo in this one. I’m doing it.
  • These people clap for minutes at a time. Ridiculously dedicated audience participation.
  • Some of these people can’t clap or dance in rhythm. Repeat performances of the crowd alone is worth it.
  • These people treat John Parr like he’s Bono…
  • That drunk woman in the yellow dress, sunglasses and captain hat is very likely a mother.

So there you have it, folks. Two of the best American music videos from the legend, John Parr.

Have you seen any other sick John Parr vids? I used to know of one in college where Parr performed in an empty Japanese stadium that looked kinda like the Rose Bowl. Like always, it was epic.

If you have any good ones, be sure to share in the comments and vote in our poll.

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