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Fatboy Slim
Fatboy Slim is the artist who has had exploding toilets, dressed-up kittens, a partying werewolf in a tuxedo, a nightclub being demolished, a Caribbean island gone berserk, an Academy Award and Golden Globe winning actor flying in the air, an Oscar nominated director dancing down Hollywood Boulevard and Paris Hilton in a bikini ~ all in the service of his music.

Distinctive visuals married to his unmistakable beats have ensured decent prime time rotation and contributed to his having earned an unprecedented 9 MTV Video Awards and a Grammy. Here’s an inside look into some of our favourite Fatboy Slim videos.

Top 3 Favourites

Featured a group of people conducting what can only loosely be described as ‘a dance performance’ shot in a very raw, ‘home video’ fashion (where the music video director Spike Jonze is actually the lead dancer).

Director: Spike Jonze

- Jonze starred in the film under the pseudonym Richard Koufey, along with a fictional dance troupe, the Torrance Community Dance Group.
- The video was shot on location without obtaining permission from the owners of the property in front of onlookers outside a movie theatre in Westwood, California.
~ The video reportedly cost only $800 to produce, with most of that money going towards a replacement boombox and food for the cast and crew. It went on to win three MTV Video Music Awards.
- Fatboy Slim (Norman Cook) can only be seen for a few seconds in the clip, where he is standing, laughing in the crowd.

Says Cook, “Praise You is probably what I will be remembered for. And the video of course was huge, had a huge impact. That was probably my greatest hit.” Upon being asked whether he was ever tempted to get in there and dance with the others, his characteristically self-deprecating response was, “My dancing's actually worse than theirs. I made my cameo, and in fact they had to edit out my main cameo. I was supposed to go up and put a dollar in the hat, you know, and Spike was supposed to clumsily dance into me but he did it so hard, that he knocked me flying and I landed on the ghetto blaster that was playing the backing track and broke it (laughs).”

Super-scary cinematic bad guy Christopher Walken breaks into a jig to the tune of an unassuming British DJ.

Director: Spike Jonze

- Was shot around the deserted lobby of the Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles.
- Won six MTV awards in 2001. Christopher Walken choreographed part of his dance routine and as a result was given one of the video's MTV "Moonmen" - for Best Choreography.
- The clip was voted the best video of all time in an April 2002 survey conducted by VH1.

When asked how they got Christopher Walken to star in the video, Cook laughs, “Everyone asks that question 'how on earth did you do it?' He didn't need much talking into it. Basically, he met Spike, and they were just chatting and he talked about how he loved his dancing, because he trained as a dancer, you know like Fred Astaire style. But then found he was a better actor than he was a dancer. And he said to Spike, 'um, I'd love to get my dancing down on tape, just while I'm still young enough to do it' and Spike just went, 'hold on a sec!' Ran outside, phoned me up and said, 'Christopher Walken. Tap dancing'. I thought how deliciously absurd! And how deliciously surreal! That a person sort of known for playing psychopaths and lunatics (and he’s got quite a scary face) the idea of him doing camp tap dancing to one of my tunes was fantastic.”

You can read the rest of our feature on Fatboy Slim in the August 2006 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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