Music: Film me tender ~ Click dunks his head into videos with ‘Baptize Me Over Elvis Presley’s Grave’
Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 9:00 am
by Greg Cahill
Marin audiences know Danny Click as a powerhouse Texas-blues guitarist. But Click—a North Bay transplant who routinely sells out nightclubs and appeared last month with his band the Hell Yeahs as the only Marin act on the historic Tam Jam bill—has a new item to list on his resume: music video director.
Click’s latest video single, a cover of singer-songwriter Tim Paruszkiewicz’s “Baptize Me Over Elvis Presley’s Grave,” is in rotation on CMT.com, the country-music media giant’s web channel. The video may go into rotation on CMT’s main TV channel if interest is high enough.
Click produced the video to this roadhouse rave-up on a shoestring budget, using Marin locations and making his debut as a writer, director and actor.
A local fan, commercial real estate broker Kurt Scheidt, of San Rafael, bankrolled the project, serving as executive producer.
The rollicking CD single, which describes a pilgrimage to Elvis’s Graceland mansion in Memphis, is paired with the original Click ballad “Blue Skies,” from his 2011 album Life Is a Good Place.
The song sports the Texas axe-slinger’s signature stinging slide-guitar work. The A-side also features Bonnie Hayes on piano and organ; her brother Kevin Hayes on drums; bassist Don Bassey; and backup singers Tracy Blackman and Victoria George
It hit national radio on May 6.
The whimsical black-and-white video follows Click, guitar case in hand, as he hitches rides to Graceland. Along the way, he encounters a cast of colorful characters, including sex-crazed newlyweds, UFO cultists and a knife-wielding serial killer.
The psycho killer was played by Stacy Thunes, the sister of Mother Hips’ bassist Scott Thunes and the only professional actor in the cast.
The newlyweds were portrayed by real-life married couple Jim Irving and Trudy Totty, who Click met when he played at their wedding reception.
The last ride featured Elvis Presley impersonator Rick Torres, who Click found on Facebook.
The rest of the cast was made up of friends of the band.
The classic cars, including a 1960s vintage Avanti and a restored 1949 Buick Roadmaster series II convertible, were loaned by Jack L. Hunt Automotive Sales & Service in San Rafael.
Nightclub scenes were filmed at Rancho Nicasio.
“The video is an idea I had that I thought would be funny,” Click says on the phone from Portland, Oregon, where he was preparing to perform for 25,000 people at the Waterfront Blues Festival (opening for Robert Plant, Mavis Staples, John Hiatt and others). “It turned out really well. Still, it was a lot of work, being an actor and a director and doing the scenes over and over to get the right shots.
“But we’re going to do another one for our next single.”