Being compelled to share memories of sitting in front of a portable radio on Sunday nights listening to Rick Dees count down the Top 40 pop songs of the week is one of the primary reasons my wife doesn't allow me to come to her fashion friends' parties anymore. But instead of wallowing in deep shame, I've mentally made peace that this is just a part of my life and leaned into the nostalgia. Getting older rules.
Which explains how, the other night, I brought up one of the quintessential jams of the period: All For Love, the Bryan Adams-Rod Stewart-Sting joint that absolutely ruled the airwaves in late 1993 / early 1994.
Fans of cinema already know that it serves as the de factor theme song of Three Musketeers, a Stephen Herek film frozen in time with Charlie Sheen, Oliver Platt, Chris O'Donnell, and Keifer Sutherland plying their talents as the protagonists, Tim Curry as a scheming Cardinal Richelieu, and Rebecca DeMornay as Milady.
It obviously, to this day, is a banger.
Shockingly, neither my wife or son — who was born a mere 22 years after the song's release — were familiar with it. So I did what any sensible father trying to prove a point does: fire up YouTube on the good television to prove a point, dammit.
It was there, by pure happenstance, that we stumbled on this incredible footage of Sting, Adams, and Stewart starring in a behind-the-scenes video that, in so many ways, cannot be done justice by mere words. Every single frame is mesmerizing.
Viewers are thrown into this world, which feels eerily like a coffee commercial of the time. Adams and Sting make small talk, awaiting Stewart's arrival — which leads me to suspect there was a tardiness issue that actually bothered everyone on set even as they play it cool. When Stewart arrives, well, let's just say the entire vibe changes.
His each and every action is worth monitoring closely. With every choice he makes, it becomes increasingly difficult to peg what, exactly, he's going for. It is quite clear he is performing in an entirely different project than the two other guys who, to be honest, are effortlessly cool, even by 2021 standards.
Now that you've watched it once, I implore you to — like Andy Dufrense — go a little bit further and watch it again. This time, watch Stewart again. Because there is so much you missed. Honestly, his five minutes of screen time deserve some sort of artistic recognition by a certified academy. No one before or after has done anything like that. Around the 3-minute mark he flees his mortal vessel and takes flight into another dimension.
At 3:55 he does this little circular motion reeling that that doesn't make sense. Around 4:23 someone flicks his finely coiffed hair and not a single damn is given.
But while Stewart is clearly the MVP of this documentary evidence of the early 1990s, the singular best moment is shared by Adams and Sting who perplexingly whiff on a low-five at 4:06— a bit of blocking the director opted to keep in. Which is another thing to consider on Watch 8 or Watch 9.
What kind of stories could be told by those who happened to be on set this fateful day? The mind reels.
On a serious note, it's not lost on me how trivial and unessential this little blogging job is. But knowing that I'm going to brighten at least 100 days by alerting people to this archival record is truly an honor and source of great pride.