No, you didn’t mix Pop Rocks with your Coke. That really is the face of Everclear’s Art Alexakis on Mr. Potato Head in the video for ”AM Radio.” In the clip, Alexakis, bassist Craig Montoya, and drummer Greg Eklund morph into ’70s idols like the Bradys, Kojak, members of Kiss, and the bow-tied spud himself. How did Everclear get permission to use — and alter — the footage? ”We spent almost $250,000 for all those clearances,” says Alexakis, who also directed the video, currently in heavy rotation. ”The concept was simple, but the special effects and clearances really drove the price up.”
Though the final cut packs in over 20 classic clips, here’s what was left on the cutting room floor: a Kool-Aid spoof with Art as the giant wall-crashing pitcher (Kraft execs cited a company policy allowing only kid-related use) and an ode to The Mod Squad (Alexakis says MGM wanted $30,000 per three-second clip). As if the threesome didn’t have enough company, other ’70s luminaries angled for roles: ”Somewhere down the line, John Ritter heard about it and he’s a huge fan,” Alexakis recalls. ”But we were pretty much done.” Next time, he’ll come and knock on their door — in advance.