Rock Candy

Rock Candy

Bruce Gowers is not a household name, but his work has been seen by the masses.

The veteran director passed away on January 15 at the age of 82. In a statement obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, the cause of death was due to “complications from an acute respiratory infection.”

Gowers had a resume many in the entertainment production world only dream of. He directed 234 episodes of American Idol from 2002-2011. In 2009, he won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Series for his work on American Idol. Additionally, he was nominated for that award four other times.

Gowers had a knack for directing live specials, particularly awards shows. Over the years, he directed numerous installments of the MTV Video Music Awards and Movie Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, the Academy of Country Music Awards, the American Music Awards, the Teen Choice Awards, the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards and more.

Gowers helmed these massive projects, but he got his start directing music videos. The first artist he worked with was Queen in the ’70s. Among the first major credits to his name is directing the now classic music video for “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Of course, plenty more music videos followed. Including “Bohemian Rhapsody,” here are ten iconic music videos directed by Gowers.

  • Queen - 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

    From that opening silhouette to those close-ups of Freddie Mercury belting his heart out, the video for “Bohemian Rhapsody” is as classic as the song itself.

  • Prince - '1999'

    Gowers clearly had a magical way of capturing an artist’s performance, and the video for “1999” is a prime example of that. (Spoiler: Performance videos are going to be a common theme here, but the way Gowers was able to help present a musician on film was anything but common.)

  • Bee Gees - 'How Deep Is Your Love'

    When you have a ballad as perfect as “How Deep Is Your Love,” you don’t need to cloud a music video with a ton of visuals, which is clearly the case here. However, bonus points are awarded for lighting Barry Gibb’s incredible hair just right.

  • John Mellencamp - 'Jack & Diane'

    Here we see more of a story element with the video for John Mellencamp’s “Jack & Diane.” Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge those gloved claps. Perfection!

  • Chaka Khan - 'I'm Every Woman'

    When you’re a total babe with a stunning voice like Chaka Khan, all you really need to create magic is a green screen and a bunch of outfit/hair changes. Sometimes, less really is more.

  • Van Halen - 'Dance the Night Away'

    If you couldn’t catch Van Halen when they rolled through your town, watching the video for “Dance the Night Away” allowed you to see how fun they were live. And then you made sure not to miss them the next time around.

  • Journey - 'Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin''

    I don’t know what it says about me, personally, when I say I’d totally wear Steve Perry’s outfit today, but this performance clip for one of the catchiest songs about heartbreak is still delightful decades later.

  • Rush - 'Tom Sawyer'

    The video for “Tom Sawyer” was shot in the famous Le Studio in Morin-Heights, Quebec, Canada where Rush recorded some of its most successful albums in their catalog. Seeing the trio in the intimate, picturesque setting almost feels like you’re sitting in on rehearsal.

  • Rod Stewart - 'Hot Legs'

    …And now, for something completely different! Rod Stewart is fully embracing his scamp-ness in this performance video the is anything but subtle.

  • Michael Jackson - 'Rock With You'

    The lasers! The dancing! All those sequins! This Michael Jackson video was released in 1979, but it was seemingly timeless upon its arrival.

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