Gabriel's New Video Without Frontiers

Billboard - June 26, 1993

By Deborah Russell

Music video visionary Peter Gabriel strikes again as he unveils his high-definition simulation video 'Kiss The Frog' Friday. The clip can be viewed only in a special venue dubbed 'Mind Blender Rock Motion Theater'. Touted as the "first music video that you can ride," the multisensory clip will debut at New Jersey's Meadowlands Fairgrounds in a portable unit created by Iwerks of Burbank, California. The simulation unit's 18 seats are programmed to move in time with the video display, which is cast on a 9x16 foot high-definition TV screen. The "Reactor" theater, which Iwerks uses for a variety of programming also features a six-channel surround-sound system developed by JBI of Northridge, California and Iwerks.

Two of the portable theaters will stop in more than 60 cities, including nontour sites, during Gabriel's current tour. The theater may be in place at the actual concert venue or at some off-site location as each market dictates. Brett Leonard directed the four-minute 'Kiss That Frog' video, which comes from Gabriel's current Geffen album "US". Leonard's credits include the virtual-reality thriller "Lawnmower Man" and Billy Idol's cyberpunk music video 'Shock To The System.' Danny Socolof of Mega Inc. executive produced the clip. Audio for the Geffen track was rerecorded for the video and features a 'mind blender' mix by William Orbit.

Due to the nature of the HDTV simulation video, it will not air on television in its current form, according to sources. A revised cut will be prepared for MTV later this year. Crystal Pepsi is sponsoring the video tour. Tie-ins to radio stations across the country are planned in several markets and radio station contest winners will see 'Kiss That Frog' for free. Others who wish to view the clip need to present a proof-of-purchase seal from Crystal Pepsi.

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