A new video for "Never In My Arms, Always In My Heart" by nostalgic rockers The Lemon Twigs — fronted by brothers Michael and Brian D'Addario — brings a sad Long Island bar story to life.
An endearingly campy Michael D'Addario stars as the video's operatic narrator, hamming up the story of an aging bar singer and the lazy barfly she settles down with. Michael directed the video along with Winston Case.
"Brian and I played in a whole lot of Long Island bars growing up, and man, we met a lot of people like this," Michael told NPR Music via email. "Sometimes the L.I. mothers would gossip and you'd hear a sad story like this one, and somebody would end up with a tattoo that said 'Never In My Arms, Always In My Heart.'"
Farcical and showy, the video is harsh to its hardened blue collar caricatures but ultimately lets them come to life as feeling people. The Lemon Twigs sets these painfully conventional courtships to shredding guitar and a rousing chorus. But when it's revealed that the protagonist has missed her chance at motherhood, the clichés give way to actual tenderness: "Oh, if I could only give my breath to you," Michael sings, "Watch you crawl around and stand right next to you."
Forced to confront the time they've wasted in their lives, the story's characters learn how to take care of one other. Even through the glam hair, the video does what the best classic rock is able to do for its fans; turn a cliché over to reveal its beating heart.