Dwight Yoakam took his life (and the lives of his band members) in his hands while in Los Angeles filming performance footage for his “Liar” video. Rather than shutting down traffic along busy Sunset Boulevard, the action, directed by Yoakam’s longtime collaborator Gregory Alosio, was captured while the singer played guitar from the back of a black El Camino, accompanied by his drummer. During the performance of the raucous tune, a tape operator and guitar, bass and harmonica player set up alongside the vehicle, as cars flew by, no doubt accustomed to the familiar site of a film crew at work.
“We almost got clipped once,” Yoakam told KTLA radio, which captured behind-the-scenes footage at the shoot for the track from Yoakam’s recently released Second Hand Heart. The LP debuted at Number Two on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, Yoakam’s best showing there since 1988’s Buenos Nochas From a Lonely Room. In addition to the live performance footage, the clip acknowledges the rich music history of the Sunset Strip spotlights what director Alosio calls the “whimsical creative ‘pop art’ aesthetic of the 1960s.”
“The ‘Liar’ music video shoot was an especially fun and unique shoot to direct because after lengthy negotiations with the city, we were granted an unusual and special clearance to capture a live performance on the legendary Sunset Strip; a street that more than any other has earned iconic status for being the location of music history for decades,” says the director, whose other credits with Yoakam include groundbreaking videos for “Pocket of a Clown,” “Try Not to Look So Pretty” and “Suspicious Minds.” He also produced the stage play Southern Rapture which featured Yoakam and was directed by actor Peter Fonda.
Although “Liar,” as the title suggests, is a pretty scathing attack aimed at someone whose “I love you’s” were all “one big lie,” Yoakam insists his songs aren’t consciously happy or sad, and rarely, if ever, autobiographical.
“I didn’t sit down and say well, so this has happened to me today,” the musician tells Rolling Stone Country. “I’m not a journal keeper and never have been. I have random thoughts and interactions in my personal life that become catalyst for song ideas, but then that’s where the journalizing stops. It is, basically, a thematic catalyst. What’s really important is that they live beyond me. Hopefully, it speaks in a more universal way.”
Coming up for Yoakam on June 18th is a hosting and performing gig at the Austin City Limits 2015 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Later this summer, on August 8th, he’ll perform at L.A.’s Century Park in Century City as part of KCRW and the Annenberg Foundation’s Sound in Focus, a free, all-ages summer concert series inspired by the “Emerging” exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography, which last year hosted the country-music photography exhibit which inspired the documentary film, Country: Portraits of an American Sound.