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Hunter Wood
Hunter Wood

Toni Basil "Hey Mickey" Music Video



The music video was directed, produced and choreographed by Basil herself. The cheerleaders featured in the video were members of a championship squad from Carson High School in Carson, California. The cheerleading uniform Basil wore in the music video was the one she actually wore in high school. According to Basil, "They didn't put anything in the budget, I did everything myself. And this is the actual cheer sweater from Las Vegas High."[15]




Toni Basil "Hey Mickey" Music Video



Two music videos for the song exist. The first one below is the version that MTV played in heavy rotation. It features Toni and other dancers dressed as cheerleaders performing choreographed routines. The second version was filmed during a BBC television special. Toni is still wearing her cheerleader uniform but she is backed by her band. Her cheerleader uniform in both videos was inspired by the one she wore as a teenager for the Las Vegas High School Wildcats.


Commissioned by a British record label to produce a handful of original music videos, she connected with music producer Nicky Chinn. Basil already had a cheerleader video concept in mind, and just needed a song to go with it. Chinn recommended that she cover a song titled "Kitty" that he'd written with producer Mike Chapman for the group Racey. They reworked the tune, adding the memorable cheerleader chant, and turned it into "Mickey."


Basil showed Johnson the sweater she wore in the music video: "They didn't put anything in the budget," she laughed. "I did everything myself. And this is the actual cheer sweater from Las Vegas High."


To note, she also choreographed and produced the visual and in the process became the first musician to serve all three roles for her own video. And also interesting to note is that whereas the backup cheerleaders featured therein were in fact high-schoolers, at the time Basil herself was nearing 40 years old.


In terms of its chart showing, Mickey topped the Billboard Hot 100, Kent Music Report and Canada Top Singles. In addition to this, it peaked at number two on the UK Singles Chart. Moreover, it has thus far been certified double-platinum up north and platinum in the US itself. Furthermore, it has been pointed out that the success of this track was largely due to the efficacy of its aforenoted music video (and it being publicized by MTV).


Todd (VO): Yeah, to put it mildly, it sticks in your head. And there's just the novelty of it too. When you talk about one hit wonders, you instantly start thinking of the flukiest ones, and...for most people the video has so superseded the song that Toni Basil doesn't even seem like a real artist. She seems like an actual cheerleader who fell into a music career by accident. Surely, if there's anyone I cover on this show who had a nothing little blip of a career, it would be her, right?


Todd (VO): Uh, three of the songs on her first album were written by Devo, so that should tell you what kind of musician she was. And the videos are all great, feature some pretty goddamn impressive dancing. Tff. Look at her go! [Clip of "You Gotta Problem] Sadly, none of the songs are all that great to listen to in my opinion. You could call her a predecessor to acts who were dancers first, musicians second like, you know, Chris Brown or Jason Derulo. Except she's a way...


Todd (VO): I, I could honestly sit here and watch music videos from 1983 all day. I mean, this is no "Automatic Man" but, you know, it'll do in a pinch. And that was it from her. She never released another album. She mostly quit music since she had like a billion other things she could be doing. 041b061a72


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