Grime don Dizzee Rascal and pop survivor Robbie Williams have made a track together, titled ‘Goin’ Crazy’. That news alone is enough to get the internet in tizzy. But how about this – the pair have shot a cryptic single-take video in London for the song, with a strong mods vs rockers vibe. Falling somewhere in between the cinematographic characters of Alfonso Cuarón and Shane Meadows, it also contains just a lot of weird shit. The Time Out Music Team put their heads together to work out what the hell it all means.
Rob the Mod enters the scene wearing a jacket with the word ‘Megaupload’ on it. The former illegal file-sharing site’s controversial boss, Kim Dotcom, also tweeted Robbie, making mention of his soon-to-launch music sharing service, Megabox. Are Dizzee and Robbie about to fly the major label nest? Is Kim Dotcom the new Simon Cowell? If so, let’s hope he keeps his own terrible rapping out of the spotlight.
The video was shot on Beck Road, Hackney (see street sign, top-right). Cult industrial band Throbbing Gristle squatted at 50 Beck Road from 1973 until around 1982. In 1979, the band travelled to Beachy Head – a notorious suicide spot on the Sussex coast – to shoot the cover photograph for their album ’20 Jazz Funk Greats’ – recorded in Throbbing Gristle’s studio just around the corner from Beck Road, and completed on September 3 1979. Only eleven days later, mods vs rockers movie ‘Quadrophenia’ was released in cinemas. In the closing scene, Phil Daniels (playing a young Mod who starts going crazy) dramatically crashed a scooter off Beachy Head in an iconic moment symbolic of a dying subculture. So the ‘Goin’ Crazy’ video, which places decaying Mods on Throbbing Gristle’s Beck Street, is really loaded with oblique references to death and suicide. Obviously.
Robbie’s mods clear the streets, and Dizzee emerges from a spike-covered car to take charge of his own, vicious-looking mobility scooter, with a dubious-looking range of sporting goods (and an axe) on the back. It could just be the rapper saying: ‘Hey, I’m in touch with reality. I chop my own wood.’ Or it could be a clever comment of the demonisation of youth cultures – the reality being that snarling mods and rockers have turned into harmless, wrinkly old geezers, happily cruising the streets with rivals they’d once have beaten the shit out of. Think about it kids…
Why is Slash there? And why is he wearing a big silver shirt and jacket? He fist-bumps Dizzee but doesn’t join in with his Rocker gang, or the parade of Mods and Rockers at the end: instead he disappears off down the street. Robbie’s well known for identifying with rock stars – in the video for ‘Let Me Entertain You’, he dresses as Gene Simmons from Kiss. So maybe Silver Slash is a Freudian stand-in for Robbie, the maturing musician he wishes he could be: walking away from the chaos, rather than being right at the centre of it. Instead, Robbie is the bequiffed Mod king, gurning and goofing at the head of his increasingly geriatric parade as his soul slowly dies behind his Ray-Bans.
See that regular looking dude? The one in the black jacket? That’s Gordon Smart, reporter to the stars, editor at The Sun and avowed fan of a little group called Take That. An anagram of Smart’s name is ‘grand motors’, which clearly explains the video’s automotive theme. But the connection goes deeper. Back in 2011, Smart appeared before the Leveson Inquiry to talk about working as a showbiz hack. A quick bit of Googling leads to the transcript of his testimony, which in turn reveals the 33-year-old’s middle name: Murray. Rearrange the letters in Gordon Murray Smart and, of course, you get ‘rumor angry stardom’. See where this is going? The missing ‘u’ in rumour unequivocally points to American involvement – probably CIA. Dizzee and Robbie are Yankee spooks.
What video? It’s all a dream, duh. Why else would former pop idol Robbie Williams be handing a guy in a nightcap two bags full of dreams (cleverly disguised as corner shop carriers full of six packs) and put his finger to his lips for silence? Then after Robbie has a jolly with Dizzee Rascal, everyone disappears and who’s left standing? Only Mr Nightcap. Coincidence? We think not!