Wouldn’t It Be Good: Can Anyone Solve This Pop Video Mystery??

Can Anyone Solve This Pop Video Mystery, Nik Kershaw’s signature hit ‘Wouldn’t It Be Good’?

For this first analysis of 2014 I’d like to go back to 1984 and what must be one of the most baffling videos of the decade, that for Nik Kershaw’s signature hit ‘Wouldn’t It Be Good’. Ostensibly a tale of what would appear to be a stranded alien trying to get home – something the director might well have derived from David Bowie’s role in cult sci-fi pic The Man Who Fell To Earth – the film actually contains a number of unsolved and possibly unsolvable mysteries which deserve thorough attention. What I wish to do is pick through the video for clues in an effort to solve the enigma contained within…

So as we begin we see Kershaw seemingly coming home from work, briefcase in hand. The first thing we notice is that he appears to be wearing the most 80’s suit ever! I mean, in a decade of offensively loud suits he appears to have outdone everyone. This throws up various questions: does the suit come from outer-space too; does he come from a planet where people wear suits that would have made the likes of Duran Duran and the guys from Miami Vice like undertakers? Did he in fact borrow the suit from 80’s TV superhero Automan? And secondly, just how does an alien stranded on Earth get the relevant immigration documents that would allow him to have a job and rent a home in the first place? Mysterious, but more bafflement is on the way…

Automan.

Entering his apartment building he heads for the stairs and nervously bounds up them and towards his front door. However, just prior to this, at 0.28, he stops and inexplicably pushes the call button on the lift. Why would he do this? Does he think the button has some kind of secret purpose? Is he in fact a pretty stupid alien who has somehow got the idea that he needs to press the button before using the stairs? Does the lift even work?? Questions, questions…

Pretty soon we’re inside his apartment, the door closes, and the next riddle appears. Obviously glad to be home, he shuts his door and leans back on it in a state of obvious relief when at 0.45 a previously unseen black rock drops from his right hand. At no point in the video does this rock reappear yet the fact that it is shown at all would seem to suggest that it must have some significance. Where did he get it from? Why was he carrying it? Why is it then discarded?? What the fuck is going on??? We’re less that a minute in and already none of this makes any sense.

Nik Kershaw

And all of this before we even come to the machine! Making its first appearance at the 1.00 mark, it seems to be a cross between a CB radio, a lamp and a bong. Maybe he is some kind of extra-terrestrial MacGyver. Maybe he’s fashioned some kind of incredible machine with powers beyond our imagining out of seemingly everyday objects? Maybe it is actually a CB radio, a lamp and a bong and he just likes to get stoned and sit up late talking to truck drivers? It is the 80’s after all.

By the time we get to 1.16 he is looking out of his open window and operating another gadget, some kind of crudely put together box of switches and lights that would appear to be controlling something. Across the street in the opposite apartment there would seem to be a party (although as we can see at 1.23, it is a party serving Cinzano and Campari. How vile. Again, this is the 80’s, so…). The suggestion at this point almost seems to be that the box is in some way affecting or influencing the party. Getting them to drink Cinzano/Campari cocktails maybe? I tried that mix once. I couldn’t taste anything for a week afterwards. It was as if my tastebuds had been bleached. If this machine is influencing human behaviour in such a way then it could be a crucial part of our mystery. Hmmm…

Soon he’s away from the window and after a restless wander around his flat he returns to it only to find, at 2.26, that a tramp with an oil-drum fire on wheels (some kind of mobile heat-a-tramp thing maybe) has randomly appeared in the street giving us yet more to be explained. Again, he would appear to be significant in some way and yet we are left guessing as to what or why? Has he been drawn to the flat by signals from the machine? Once again we are left clueless.

kershaw 2

As we proceed we see Kershaw increasingly distressed until at 3.02 he is distracted by activity from the machine. At 3.10 there is a sudden bright light outside the window – maybe the tramp’s mobile fire has gotten a little out of control? Kershaw then grabs what can only be described as a dildo-like object from the top of the machine and flees his apartment, running past various neighbours all of whom seem somehow shocked or appalled by his suit. Either that or they are convinced he is 80’s sci-fi superhero Automan, an understandable mistake to make.

If there’s one indisputable fact that becomes clear towards the end of the video it is that somehow Kershaw the alien has really pissed his neighbours off, as evidenced by the angry mob gathering around him at 3.59. He falls to the ground, temporarily dropping the dildo-thingy before fleeing in to the country and towards a satellite receiver before suddenly dissapearing, Star Trek teleportation style, bringing the video to some kind of end.

kershaw 4

So, to sum up, there are various loose ends, odd little strands that need examining and tying together in to some kind of highly implausible explanation. Is he really an alien or just the neighbourhood weirdo? Is he some kind of cross between MacGuyver and Automan? Does anybody outside the 80’s still drink Campari or Cinzano?

Further to this we have the rock in his hand, the random tramp, the CB radio-bong-dildo machine and his box of lights and switches, the flash of light outside the window (possibly the tramp spontaneously combusting?), the appalled neighbours and the angry mob. It is all highly mysterious.

This is where we need the help of you, our dear readers. We are looking for an explanation that ties all of these loose ends together. We would love you to put on your best Sherlock heads and offer us some kind of creative and amusing solution to all of this puzzlement. The reward for the most imaginative and entertaining will be to have a video of your choice subjected to our expert scrutiny. Please help, we must get to the bottom of all of this! It is of crucial importance…

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10 thoughts on “Wouldn’t It Be Good: Can Anyone Solve This Pop Video Mystery??

  1. Paul, your analysis completely misses the black-and-white flashbacks, which I believe lend context to the video storyline and slot it firmly into the George Lucas school of science fantasy. (How much vermouth were you drinking while watching this?!)

    The grey wishy-washy world of the flashbacks suggests that Mr Spaceman was initially attracted to Earth by the radio telescope thingamajig and at some point he was compelled to stay by a greater attraction to a woman with long curly hair with whom he had a rather angry and unsuccessful relationship. They must have moved in together, but they had a huge fight in the bedroom and parted company. Apparently earth girls are not that easy.

    So, poor Mr Spaceman was living alone in his really quite ugly apartment and going to work with a briefcase everyday, using the black pebble thing to give him the appearance of being human. When he did not have it in his hand, he instantly returned to his natural alien state. (Perhaps he once lost the stone while making the bed and that’s why earth girl was freaking out?!) He was uncomfortable in the earth’s atmosphere and quite frankly, to recall the words of a crew member of the Sloop John B., he was thinking “I wanna go home, (Let me go home), I wanna go home.”

    So, on the day in question, he was thinking: “Bugger this!” So he grabbed his bong and dildo combo and made a dash for the radio telescope thingummy. Of course, this upset all the neighbours and passers-by/ (Well, it would, wouldn’t it?) But despite dropping the dildo thingy, and coming over all weak, he managed to grasp it and run to the telescope and hitch a ride home, ET fashion.

    Well, that’s my view, but I am on my fifth Martini, so I could be completely wrong. I also have olives on all my fingers so I might be typing total rubbish. 🙂

    1. I’m with Ms Sue, I agree she could be typing total rubbish.
      There used to be a joke that “You know when the partys over when there’s only the Cinzano left”.
      This video is clearly just a visual interpretation of that joke, though not as funny.

    2. I will admit, the vermouth had been a-flowing….

      Sue, you have managed to find a whole level of interpretation I completely missed and I take my hat off to you! Brilliant! Plus you made me laugh out loud hahahaha. I think you should submit a video for us to analyse!! 🙂

  2. I can’t imagine why Nik Kershaw thought an impersonation of Alec Guinness’s fine portrayal of’ The Man in The White Suit’ in the eponymously named Alexander McKendrick film would get him the bird, nor singing in a squeaky voice for that matter, but as I was mainly stoned for the eighties I can’t shed a light on the matter. However at 3:10 on, I believe his neighbours are not shocked so much by the outrageous suit, outrageous at any party, so much as the sight of the dildo structure and the thought of missing out on what appears to be a potentially hot party somewhere. I think he lies down because he too is exhausted after running around looking for party in question having forgotten the address.

    The only explanation for the tramp is that was a secret undercover Chinese intelligence officer looking for the end of the tunnel through which 80’s paranoia believed the Chinese were all, and they used to say all, though where 1:6 billion extra people were going to live I don’t know, going to come. I think the oil-drum fire was a kind of beacon to his leader, though how he was expected to see it in a tunnel I can’t imagine.

    Now I’m worn out from all that thinking, I’ll get me coat!1 😉

    1. I think its poor than the Chestnut seller keeps being called a tramp. He’s the only one in the video who’s doing anything useful.

    2. Hahahahaha, no don’t get your coat, hahaha, that’s a mighty fine interpretation!! I like the Man In The White Suit parallell, haha, and yes I hadn’t thought that he grabbed the dildo to go and find his own party (obviously jealous/peeved that his neighbours didn’t invite him).

      As for the tramp, I’m with you, he has far more significance than his apppearance would have us believe….

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