Summer of Johnny: Zapruder Analysis Of Johnny Manziel's Music Video Debut
Here are two immutable truths:
1. Athletes all want to be actors and/or singers, and actors/singers all wish they could be athletes. It is well known that, despite many of them making millions in their respective vocations, the grass is always greener in the other celebrity category.
2. Johnny Manziel (or Johnny Football to the maroon clad portion of the reading audience... or Johnny Fucking Football to the shitfaced maroon clad portion of the reading audience.) loves him some country music. This was documented in my most recent Manziel-related post, wherein he is seen in a Vine video clip with country singer Bri Bagwell in a tour bus at a Josh Abbott Band show.
Tangentially, these two truths recently intersected on the set of the most recent music video for country singer (and A&M alum) Granger Smith and a song called "Silverado Bench Seat."
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. UCF Knights Football
TicketsSat., Oct. 29, 11:00am
Rice University Owls Football vs. Florida Atlantic University Owls Football
TicketsSat., Nov. 5, 2:30pm
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. Tulane University Football
TicketsSat., Nov. 12, 11:00am
University of Houston Cougars Football vs. Louisville Cardinals College Football
TicketsThu., Nov. 17, 7:00pm
"Seat" (Do you like how I took the one foundation noun from the song and used it as a quick reference to the song? Like a real music critic!) is the first song off of Smith's ninth album, which is called Dirt Road Driveway (a name which, with decades of country music in existence, I can't believe was still available).
As best I can tell, the song is an ode to fornicating in the front seat of one's pickup trick with the love of one's life (or at the very least, with somebody who is smoking hot), preferably near a creek with some degree of privacy.
Naturally, Johnny Manziel was a perfect fit for the video! He needed inclusion!
So wisely, that's what Smith did, he included both Manziel and his former teammate, Arizona Cardinal wide receiver Ryan Swope. I say he did it wisely because the hit count on the video and, quite frankly (no disrespect to Granger Smith), the number of people who realize Granger Smith exists are about to explode. It's advertising in 2013 to a tee -- why spend money on a billboard when you can just invite Johnny Manziel to participate in your video?
And then have Manziel's 355,000 Twitter followers watch the video, have thousands of them retweet the video, hundreds of blogs post the video, and ESPN run it on College Football Live, and on and on....
Well, allow me and this blog to be part of the trend/problem! Here is the video for "Silverado Bang Bus" or whatever the song is called...
Because I know you want it, here's my Zapruder analysis of Johnny Manziel's first ever music video:
(By the way, there is a slight risk that Granger Smith runs in putting Manziel in the video -- the risk that Johnny's mere presence overshadows the singer, and it morphs from "Silverado Bench Seat" into the "Johnny Football Music Video." Certianly for Smith it's a risk worth taking, but by next week there's a decent chance this story will be twisted around so badly that Manziel will be credited with actually performing the song. And frankly, the way the last year has been going for Johnny Manziel, he will probably try to sing it as a joke at some karaoke night, accidentally find out he's a really good singer, and wind up winning a Grammy.)
0:16 -- Granger Smith looks like the love child of Clay Walker and Gary Kubiak.
0:24 -- YIKES! That close up at of the girl riding shotgun with the third dude (the "not Swope, not Johnny Fucking Football" dude) makes her teeth look like they're the size of a movie screen! She's probably a very pretty girl, but...angles, gentlemen, ANGLES! Got to pay attention to the ANGLES!
0:30 -- YIKES! Again with Mount Chiclets! Stop it, cameraman!
0:38 -- We get a wide shot of Johnny, football tucked low in his left hand (poor ball security), with a young lady who I am assuming is his girlfriend. They're walking out of what appears to be a high school stadium and they're in a stretched out hand-hold that looks more like it's part of a Cialis commercial than a country music video. In fact, I'd like to think there's a deleted scene for this video where Johnny was actually tossing the football through a tire, a classic Cialis metaphor!
0:50 -- First sign of the refrain:
"I wanna love you on a Silverado bench seat, Foggin' up the windows while we're far down by the creek. No other light beside the stars and the moon That's what you get when this country boy loves you."
Hells yeah! A song about parking in the wilderness and gettin' busy! This is like the country version of "Take It Off" by UGK! Same exact thing. 1:10 -- Swope is with (what I'm assuming) is his girlfriend, and she goes into a full on piggyback ride jump onto his back, a scene that looks to be straight out of a Tampax commercial.
1:20 -- Still can't complete my assessment on the young lady whose teeth nearly shattered my computer screen at the 0:24 and 0:30 marks. The cameramen screwed her over in those shots, but here she looks pretty damn good. She just might be your quintessential two-face.
1:35 -- First time in the video that I notice Smith himself is jump cutting back and forth in the video in different t-shirts, very Reba McIntyre of him.
1:43 -- Quick look at a profile shot of Johnny and he's got a bruise on his temple and either a zit or a sore on his chin. That's going to be an issue when the second and third chicks show up for Johnny's inevitable orgy. (When does Johnny ever have only one chick with him?) I mean, he can't hide those blemishes from everybody!
(Which, by the way, brings me to the biggest inaccuracy of the entire video -- from the pictures that I've seen, there's no way that a Silverado bench seat would be able to hold the number of women with whom Johnny Manziel would opt to partake in "window foggin'". No chance. It only holds three people, at most. )
1:50 -- Kids pop out of the bushes looking for autographs from Johnny and his girlfriend. (Another deleted scene request: all of these kids running back to the house of the girl in the glasses, firing up the computer, and putting all of their signed Manziel swag on eBay.)
1:55 -- Toothy and Not Swope/Not JFF Guy are making out in front of a campfire somewhere, at night. And then Swope and his girl start sucking face leaning against the front of their pickup truck. Ummm, there's like 40 seconds left in the video, and there has been exactly zero window foggin' action going down in this video. I'm not looking for softcore porn or anything, but can we at least get some over-the-shirt petting while sitting on the (cue the music) SILVERADO BENCH SEAT?
2:14 -- THERE we go, Johnny goes in for the kill on the (cue the music) SILVERADO BENCH SEAT!!
2:25 -- One more time around the horn with a montage of summary moments -- Johnny and his girl sitting in the front seat of the truck laughing like they are the two funniest people in the world, Swope and his girl looking like they might be posing for engagement pictures, and the other couple not being able to make up their goddamn mind about what to do (Do we stay in the truck? Do we make out outside the truck? Ah fuck it, let's have a campfire and just hang out for the next sixteen hours...).
2:41 -- PRODUCT PLACEMENT ALERT! For the entire remainder of the video, the final 16 seconds, there is not a single moment that doesn't contain a Chevy logo or model number on the screen. This is the other genius part about the video for "Silverado Orgy" -- in addition to riding the Johnny Manziel gravy train to a billion sets of eyeballs, Smith is going to get a free truck out of the deal! He has to, right?
OVERALL: The video is solid, I suppose. Nothing incredibly groundbreaking, the song's fine (It's got a nice beat, you can really dance to it!), and the clips of Johnny Manziel are just campy enough to make me watch the video more than once.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Houston Press' biggest stories.