Sound And Vision: McG

Contributing Writer; The Netherlands
Sound And Vision: McG

In the article series Sound and Vision we take a look at music videos from notable directors. This week we look at Sugar Ray's Caboose, directed by McG.

Joseph McGinty, who chose McG as his nom de plume, is the epitome of the nineties, as a music video director. When you think of the style of 90's adverts and music videos, with their Xtreme edge, their pop-art pops of color, their fishbowl lens effects and their oversaturated lighting, let alone the many bikini clad women, baggy pants and spiky haircuts, you are thinking of a McG music video. Together with Joseph Kahn, Dave Meyers and Hype Williams, McG set the style for the era. Smash Mouth's All Star? That's McG. The Offspring's Pretty Fly For a White Guy? McG again. Sublime's Santeria? McG all the way. Apparently Drew Barrymore was so impressed with his music videos, she personally asked him for Charlie's Angels. So we have Drew Barrymore to thank for The Babysitter: Killer Queen, This Means War, Terminator Salvation and 3 Days to Kill.

But all jest aside, there is a curious thing going on with the career of McG, when you look at his very first music video. Basically, McG became a director by coincidence. His music video for Sugar Ray's Caboose kick started his career quite quickly, but he only did that video because McG, in fact, was the producer and marketer for Sugar Ray. More curious even, he was co-founder of the band and the original lead singer, before Mark McGrath took over the vocal duties. When you look at the credits for Sugar Ray's first and second album, McG is all over the credits, as both a producer and songwriter. Even their breakout hit Fly only exists because McG convinced McGrath this was a song he could sing, and sing well. (Your mileage may vary on if McG was right).

When you look at Caboose, the music video that set McG on his new career path, you do clearly see the visual talent that McG brings to the table. For a low-budget effort, it's quite stylized, made by someone with a clear visual eye, even if that eye might like to look at garish things. For better or worse, McG helped shape the style of the nineties, as said, and even though we don't necessarily think back fondly on the fashion and visuals of that era, the nineties were outspoken and in your face. This quality is present in Caboose, and almost everything that McG made as a director after. I might not be the biggest fan, but you can spot something McG made from a mile. That is something to appreciate.

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