Come Dec. 14 Styx fans will see a locally-produced streaming video of the great band playing the Beatles’ “I am the Walrus” over Apple’s iTunes Web site.
Director Steven A. Jones and music producer Ken Hale of What the Hale Music, who had previously produced Styx music videos and motion backgrounds for tour projection, produced the “Walrus” music video.
The band supplied Jones and Hale with four hours of professionally-shot Betacam performance footage, mini DV footage shot by the band members and crew, and Quicktime clips of guest star Billy Bob Thornton from guitarist Tommy Shaw’s digital still camera.
Hale said he and Jones spent 120 hours creating a “psychedelic” trip. “There wasn’t a single frame that hadn’t been processed in some way,” noted Hale.
Ron Staley edited, colorized and built transitions and producer/designer Hale combined and animated images in After Effects. When the video was completed, pigs were flying, custard dripped, smokers choked, and the “Eggman” was revealed, said Jones.
The video came about when the Loop’s program director Greg Solk heard Styx play “I am the Walrus” at its recent Vic Theatre concert. He told the band the station would play the song if there were a recording.
It didn’t take long for the band to record a live version, which has been steadily climbing the “Classic Rock” radio charts and reached #2 this week.
When Apple’s iTunes decided to add the song to its download library, Styx commissioned the Jones-Hale team to create a video. Jones and Hale had created the video backgrounds on Styx’ 2003 “Main Event” tour with Journey and REO Speedwagon, the “Yes I Can” video and “Styx and Friends” that was recorded live at the Blues Museum, the former Chess recording studios at 2120 S. Michigan Ave.
What the Hale Music is at 429 W. Superior; phone, 312/944-7711.