Thursday, July 24, 2014

The Girl in the Video: “That Ain’t Love” (1987)

Introduction to series “The Girl in the Video 2” (including list of interviewees).

The video: “That Ain’t Love” by REO Speedwagon.

The girl-now-woman: Karen Peterson Matchinga.

How old were you when you appeared in the “That Ain’t Love” video?

Wow, that was so long ago I can’t really remember...

What that really means is:

Dude, I’m still in show business you can’t ask me that question! That’s insane! Don’t ask me again or I’ll hit you with my old lady pocketbook! [MTN: perhaps my favorite start in the series]

Where were you living at the time?

I was living at my parents’ house in Downey, CA. The day I got back from shooting the video, I went to live in Milan, Italy for two years to work as a model.

 Milan park, 1987ish

Milan Metro, 1987ish

first magazine cover

What music videos, shows, or movies had you appeared in prior to that?

I had been modeling for a couple of years before that. Then I started doing music videos and commercials. I can’t remember all the music videos but the ones I do remember are…

  • “What Keeps Me Loving You”—XYZ
  • “Simple Man”—Junkyard
  • “Deeper and Deeper”—Madonna
  • Michael Jackson video, but I can’t remember the name. It was very industrial looking…

1987ish Polaroid

How were you cast in “That Ain’t Love”?

I went on an audition and waited for an hour and a half. I had to wear a bathing suit under my clothes. It seems like every audition during that time was dancing around in a bathing suit! It was an on-camera interview and everyone was really nice.

Do you remember what your reaction was when you were cast?

I was happy and surprised. Honestly, every time I book a job I’m surprised. I usually shout a big “woo-hoo!,” do a happy dance, then call my momma to tell her the good news. 

Were you a REO Speedwagon fan?

I was and continue to be a huge REO Speedwagon fan! They will always be a part of my youth.

Where was the video filmed?

Blythe, California. Hot, sweaty and gross during the day, freezing at night. (Not glamorous!)

How long was the shoot?

The shoot was two of the longest days ever!

How did you feel making the video?

I loved making the video. Actually, shooting has always been the fun part. I was still new, so I was a little nervous.

What was the hardest part of the shoot?

We had shot all day and into the night. I only had about three hours sleep when we shot the bathing suit/beach scene, early in the morning at golden hour. Golden hours are when the sun first comes up in the morning and right before it goes down at night. The sun casts a golden glow over you and bam! Instant tan!

How was it to work with REO Speedwagon? What were they like? Did any of them hit on you?

They were all really professional. They were super sweet and, as I remember, even a little shy. They went out after the first night of shooting and asked if I wanted to go, but I had the beach scene the next morning. I don’t think they asked me to go along because they were hitting on me; they were just being nice.

Any funny stories from the shoot?

Ha! Well, if you’ve noticed the interesting hair we all have and asked yourself “Is that dried mud in their hair?,” you would be correct. That was a spontaneous decision made in the hair and makeup trailer. One minute I have nice clean hair, then they are slathering on mud for an “interesting look.”

Anything go wrong on the shoot?

Yes! We had finished for the night and I was in the trailer getting dressed to go to the hotel. All of a sudden I hear “splat...splat…splat!” I said to the wardrobe woman, “What’s going on?” She said, “Lock the doors! The extras are throwing eggs at the trailer!”

Then the trailer started rocking back and forth. Everything was going everywhere. There was yelling and screaming. They were trying to tip over the trailer! And just as soon as it had started, it stopped.

Apparently the background actors in the video were not told they would have to sleep in their cars or pay for a hotel on their own. It was getting really cold and they kind of…freaked out. I don’t know how the situation was resolved because the production supervisor ushered me into a car and took me to the hotel.

What did you think of the video?

I love the video. It’s never easy for me to see myself on camera but I think it’s fun and now when I look at it I think, “Wow, that dried mud in our hair does look ‘interesting.’”

What did your parents think of it?

My parents loved everything I was ever in. My dad would buy a certain brand of cat food for his cat just so he could tell the cashier his daughter did a commercial for that product.

What did your friends think of it?

By the time it came out I was in Italy. It was quite a while until I saw it. But I have never had anyone say anything but positive things about it.

Did you watch the MTV World Premiere of the video, and if so, where and how did that feel?

I was in Italy so I missed that fun moment.

Did the video ever affect your dating life in any way (i.e. when you first told boyfriends you were the woman in it)?

Wow, I don’t know if it did or not. It didn’t usually come up on the first date so…I don’t know.

Did you receive fan mail? If so, do you still have any of it?

No, I’ve never received fan mail. I think that would freak me out if I got fan mail.

Did the video generate any controversy that you know of?

Except for the background actors rebelling…I don’t think so.

What were you paid?

I think I was paid $2,500 for the shoot and travel. But I honestly can’t remember.

Were you ever recognized in public?

I was never recognized because of this video. I have been recognized for other work, though. In fact, I was coming back from Palm Springs a few years ago and stopped off at Hadley’s. (They make great date shakes.) The checker recognized me from a commercial I had done. He was so sweet. He handed me a self-addressed stamped envelope and asked if I would send them an autographed picture. Of course I did. We stopped by Hadley’s the next year and there it was, up on their wall. Occasionally I’ll have friends call or text me the picture up on the wall.

Did you appear in other music videos after that?

I think that was my first video so all the other videos I did were after that.

Did you ever meet other women who were female leads in a mainstream ‘80s rock video?

I’ve probably auditioned with most of them.

If you went to college, where and what did you study?

I was working as a waitress at a truck stop in Norwalk, CA while I got my real estate license and then went to college for about five minutes. There was nothing to keep me motivated. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life when my mom [entered] a picture of me in a modeling contest at the Lakewood Mall. Somehow I won and Elite Model Management was there as one of the judges. They brought me in for testing and that’s how it all began.

What are you doing these days?

Mostly laundry. Oh! You mean for work! I’m a full-time mom to a rascally 7-year-old boy and I’ve been married for 16 years to Rudy Matchinga, an incredibly talented art director. I’m still doing commercials, television, and films. When my son gets a little older, I’m looking forward to getting back on the stage.

I’ve also partnered up with Tish Ciravolo, President and Founder of Daisy Rock Girl Guitars. Together, we started Daisy Rock Entertainment. We are writing and developing everything from animation and reality shows to feature films, inspiring people of all ages to play music.

Where do you live?

Beautiful, exciting Burbank, CA.

What was your future husband’s reaction when he learned you were in this video?

Ha! My husband was in a lot of bands in the ‘80s including Congregation, Francis X and the Bushman, and the punk band Red Scare, so I think he was a bit… amused.

What does your son think of the video?

He thinks it’s very cool. He wants to show all his friends that his momma was in a music video.

What did you think when you first heard from me?

I thought what you are doing is very cool and that this video will never die in my life. Every time I think it’s run its course, someone will bring it up or send me a link to it or something.

Has anyone else ever interviewed you about this?

No, no one has ever interviewed me about this, ever.

Have you appeared at any fan conventions to sign autographs? If not, would you?

I did sign autographs a few times, but not for this video. I was lucky enough to be one of the models for the artist Dennis Mukai. He told me that he painted more pictures of me than anyone else. I went by Caren with a “C” at that time. He asked me to do a signing with him for his newest print release. I signed so many pictures, it was crazy. I never felt comfortable about it, though; I just wanted to yell, “Hey, I’m a no one! I’m just messing up your cool print!”

Did you stay in touch with anyone from the video?

Nope, not one person.

How do you look back on the experience?

I look back and think I should have relaxed and had more fun with it. I was always so nervous.

Anything you’d like to add?

Thanks for letting me be involved in your project and…rock on!

Tweet about this interview to @kcreospeedwagon @Cronin2012Kevin!

Next: George Michael, “Father Figure” (1988).


Anonymous said...

The band I was in, we would have a special night, called REO NIGHT, (Speedwagon), where we would play nothing but their songs in these different establishments. We were told we did their songs very well, they were sold out all the time. Then we started writing our own songs, very good I thought, I always thought we would go farther..., different time I guess. Oh well, the farthest we ever went, was when a lead singer in this band on tour became ill, so we replaced them on tour for the last 6 months of the Foreigner Tour. By the way our bands name was Freshstart.

Unknown said...

In the first sketch above, she looks kind of like the girl from the Aha video for "Take on Me." Im site it's not or she would've mentioned it. BTW, whathe ever happened to her?

Unknown said...

That was Bunty Bailey ... she has a small part in one of the other hits from that album ... The Sun Always Shines On TV. She is a beautiful woman and super chill. To name another, she also appeared in a Billy Idol video, To Be A Lover... one of the three back up singers... whity dress... worth a look.
Check out this link for more if you're interested ...


Unknown said...

You were absolutely beautiful ! !

SamTheViking said...

Correcting that last comment: You *are* absolutely beautiful. Were then, are now, and a total sweetheart for putting up with this interview.