Video Review: Living Colour “Open Letter (To A Landlord)”

Two-story homes stand in a neighborhood in the city. In black-and-white, Cory grips the fence and stares at the crumbling apartment building. Back in color, Vernon, Corey, Will and Doug walk on an unkempt field. A thirtysomething man sits on top of a hollowed out home.

They perform on stage. Back in the neighborhood, a J&B Discount Store has sales signs up in the windows. A homeless thirtysomething man pushes his belongings in a cart. A fortysomething man smiles at him while he stands on the step with his dog at the apartment building. Back on stage, people stand up, pumping their arms as Living Colour performs. Corey slaps some fans’ hands.

Two 8-year-old boys ride their bicycles by some abandoned homes. A fiftysomething homeless man sleeps on the sidewalk. A hand painted “For Lease” sign hangs by a window in an apartment building. In black-and-white, a couch sits in a field. Back in color, clothes hang out to dry on the clothesline between the apartment buildings. A sixtysomething woman looks out her window in the apartment. A 7-year-old girl walks on the rocks by an abandoned home.

On stage, Corey leaps into the audience. Several fans hold onto him as he sings. Back in black-and-white, two twentysomething men carry a mattress into a truck. In color, a mural painted on the wall says “the world is yours in memory.” Added later is “of ur.” Several children play on the sidewalk. A thirtysomething woman sits on a bench. The 7-year-old girl sits on the swing and disappears. A sixtysomething carries a bag as he walks with a cane on the sidewalk. Corey, Vernon, Will and Doug walk on the bridge. An apartment building has a fence built around it and sign stating it’s closed. A spray painted sign reads Live Free or Die. In archived footage, people protest at an apartment building. The train rolls by.

Rating: 5/5

A twentysomething man drives past his old house during the afternoon. A retail chain drugstore was in the place of her home. Several placeholder signs were on the building with signs stating “open soon!” He turns out of the neighborhood and looks for the park. He sees the area was bulldozed. A sign states “future dentist office.”

He gets out of his car and walks around. When it was a park, his mom told him and his brother to go play there on the sunny days. The park had been sparse. It was a single set with a see-saw. If they wanted to play basketball, they had to take a bus on the other side of the city. By the time, he and his friends got there on the weekend, it was occupied. Sometimes, the teenagers let him play a bit. It wasn’t much. However, it was his home. None of it existed anymore.

He and about twenty families were evicted from an apartment building. It had been sold to the city. They had lived with some friends awhile as his mom saved up for a new home. He and his brothers did odd jobs around the neighborhood to help out. His mom wanted to move back to the city. However, they couldn’t afford the rent in the new apartments. They find a one-story home in the suburbs about a half hour away. As he turns onto the expressway, he realizes he doesn’t want to go back and see where his old house once stood.

Director: N/A Year: 1989

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 & 45 Magazine.