Video Review: Brad Paisley & Alabama “Old Alabama”

At the Bel Air Drive-In, two teenage girls buy tickets to see Alabama at 8 pm.

As he is chewing on popcorn, Brad Paisley comments to Jeff Gordon on how great it is to see the old video clips of the band, Alabama. Gordon asks if he just saw him up there. Paisley plays along and says he “used to be in Alabama, a while back.” Gordon does the math is in head and replies, “you would’ve been, what, ten?” Paisley darts his eyes and nods, saying “that’s about right.” He then points to the screen. On the screen, a little kid version of Paisley plays with the band.

In the parking lot of the drive-in, Paisley plays with his band as clips of Alabama’s videos and performances are seen on the screen.

A young woman drives her convertible. Another woman is showing turning on her radio. In a split screen, the first half shows Paisley’s bedazzled Alabama t-shirt while the bottom half shows the front of the car. Paisley then drives a car and it splits into two different screens, showing it from two different angles. On top, the image is replaced with the young tapping on her steering wheel while it stays on Paisley below.

It switches to the second woman in the car, listening to the song. Like Paisley, her screen is split into two with different angles.

The young woman continues to listen to the song in her car.

Paisley superimposes himself in the Alabama clips and a woman cuddles next to her boyfriend. In his race car, Gordon nods his head to the song. He passes by the Ruby Falls sign. Darrell Waltrip, wearing his helmet, drives his golf cart.

Alabama cruises to the drive-in. Randy Owen gets out of the door and shuts the door. Jeff Cook taps his heart. Teddy Gentry sings along. They join Paisley in the middle of the drive-in’s lot.

The second young woman passes by a fireworks store. A woman’s hand slinks towards Gordon’s shoulder, which catches him off guard. However, he doesn’t mind much.

A police officer sees Gordon fly by in his race car. With his lips full of white powder from the doughnut, the police officer turns on his siren and chases him. Alabama drive in their own car.

Back at the drive-in, the police officer asks “which one of you is Jeff Gordon?” Gordon points to Paisley. The police officer gives Paisley the ticket. Paisley says he’s keeping the car. Gordon replies not to worry. Paisley reads the ticket and says “One hundred seventy-six miles an hour! You should’ve been doing at least two hundred and you call yourself Jeff Gordon.”

Rating: 2/5

Paisley’s admiration of Alabama is that of an obsessed super fan, proving he has had a brush with greatness by meeting Alabama. He has put himself in old music videos as a to copy and be like them. He wants what Alabama have earned: a legacy.

It’s going to start with the video. First, it begins a tribute piece, leading to people driving on the road, listening to the song. The addition of the stylized split screens undermine the sentimentality of classic country music. It’s as though it’s admitting to liking them in secret while playing rock music instead.

Nonetheless, the joy on Randy Owen’s face as he plays with a contemporary, is as though he’s reliving his glory days again. He seems to be appreciative and gracious, humbled by the fact that Paisley thought of them in the first place.

Director: Jim Shea Year: 2011

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit ,Greatest City Collective, 45 Magazine ,Fevers of the Mind, Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology. and forthcoming in Scrawl Place

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