For a while there, back in the mid-80's, Robert Palmer seemed like the coolest guy in the world. I don't know if he was the coolest guy in the world, he just...ya know...seemed that way. This was during the Power Station/Riptide years. Or year, to be more exact. 1985.
Hell, he was so cool while with Power Station that he even made a couple of the clowns from Duran Duran look cool themselves. No offense intended for those of you who like Duran Duran. OK, maybe a little offense. I'm just saying that the guy absolutely exuded cool for a brief period of time there. Cool with a capital "holy crap, those women dancing behind him in that video are really hot". In a distant, robotic, European kinda way. But hot, right?
It's not like Palmer came out of nowhere. I remember some of his solo stuff playing on MTV prior to his breakout turn with Power Station. "Looking for Clues" and "Johnny and Mary" from his Clues album were early MTV staples (kinda) in 1981. Check 'em out below:
OK...the first one is kinda odd. White hallway with a bunch of dudes dressed up in animal heads. Seems like a nightmare straight out of The Shining. Ugh...shivers. The second one is odd too. In an artsy, European kinda way.
But Palmer? He was cool in those videos. Not nearly as cool as he would seem in several years, but you could see it coming. Almost.
From there he did his Power Station stuff and Riptide. Then Heavy Nova came in 1988 and he copied his "Addicted to Love" formula for the video for "Simply Irresistible". Suddenly he wasn't so cool anymore. After that, well...he seemed to lose his cool completely. I don't know if he actually did, but it sure seemed like he did.
I have no idea where this came from or what I'm trying to say. I guess it's that "cool" is a tough thing to define. And that it's fleeting. That's what happened to Robert Palmer.
But back in the day? He was the bitch's bastard!*
*Stolen gleefully from Jack Warden in Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead. That starred Andy Garcia. He knows a thing or two about seeming like the coolest guy in the world. For a fleeting moment, that is.