Video vixens tell all about MTV in the ’80s and ’90s

In the ’80s and ’90s heyday of MTV, video vixens — girls with beauty-queen appears and sultry strikes — acquired as a lot display screen time as the male acts they supported. Some even turned stars in their very own proper: writing books, internet hosting TV exhibits and ­showing in motion pictures.

Tawny Kitaen
Tawny Kitaen, who died on May 7 at age 59, was the iconic vixen in Whitesnake’s “Here I go again” video.
Getty Images

Others acquired caught up in intercourse, medicine and rock ’n’ roll. Tawny Kitaen, who died on May 7 at age 59, was an MTV icon due to the 1987 Whitesnake video for “Here I Go Again” — in which she cartwheeled and preened atop the hoods of two Jaguars, hanging out the window of 1 pushed by her then-boyfriend (and later husband), singer David Coverdale. But she additionally battled the similar demons that usually afflict rockers. In 2006, Kitaen was charged with possessing 15 grams of cocaine. In 2019, she was arrested for her second DUI.

Jeana Keough, a ZZ Top video siren-turned-“Real Housewife of Orange County,” recalled Kitaen as “a talented actress, beautiful and sexy. Chuck [Finley, Kitaen’s ex-husband who played baseball for the Anaheim Angels] would be pitching and she’d distract him.”

Bobbie Brown, who gained fame as the sizzling blonde in Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” video, met Kitaen 5 years in the past after they hosted a rock pageant collectively. “She was like a woman-child who had naiveté,” Brown advised The Post. “She was hurt by a lot of s–t on the inside [but] she lived in a bubble. She was amazing.”

Here’s what 5 video vixens are as much as right this moment.

Jeana Keough, the ‘Legs’ lady

Model and actress Jeana Tomasino
Model and actress Jeana Tomasino, who was featured in a number of ZZ Top music movies.
John Chapple

Of the 4 girls featured in “Legs,” solely Jeana Keough was trusted to drive ZZ Top’s signature 1933  Ford Eliminator. “I was the only one  who had a nice car: a $127,000 Mercedes-Benz, given to me by the head of Televisa —  a gift for putting Kenny Rogers together with Julio Iglesias for him.”

Such was life in the Eighties for Keough, now 65 and recognized for “Real Housewives of Orange County.” A Franklin, Wis., native, she moved to to Los Angeles, acted in commercials and graced a Playboy centerfold in November 1980. “I lived a few blocks from the Playboy Mansion,” mentioned Keough. “My life was dinner at expensive restaurants and going to the Mansion for movie night” — the place Hefner would typically play her ZZ Top movies forward of the function movies. “He told me I was smart like a fox.”

Keough acquired recruited in 1983 for “Gimme All Your Lovin’,” her first of 4 ZZ Top shoots, however wasn’t precisely a fan of the band. “I thought their songs all sounded the same,” she mentioned. “The guys seemed really old. They were all married, if I remember right, and sweet Texas boys.”

She was paid $5,000 to $10,000 per day, however broke Screen Actors Guild guidelines as the movies had been non-union jobs. “Because it was non- union, I didn’t get residuals,” she mentioned. “Those videos played so often, they would have made me rich.”

But different good issues did come from the jobs. After her second husband Matt Keough watched one in every of the movies, she recalled, “He told a mutual friend, ‘I want to meet that girl.’”

But she additionally missed a possibility with one in every of the world’s most esteemed musicians. “I thought I was told that I had an invitation to go to Minneapolis to meet a prince,” mentioned Keough, now a divorced mother and real-estate dealer in Southern California. “I said there are no princes in Minneapolis. I later heard from Apollonia that Prince told her I wouldn’t even audition for his movie. I was so stupid. I didn’t know that Prince lived in Minneapolis.”

Melyssa Ford: The ‘Big Pimpin’ lady

Melyssa Ford
Melyssa Ford was featured in Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin’” video.
Getty Images

Melyssa Ford turned down the champagne whereas capturing Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin’” video on a yacht in Trinidad. “[Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder] Damon Dash, a f–king drunk degenerate at the time, started pouring champagne on girls during that shoot,” she advised The Post of the 2000 manufacturing. “I told him that if he came near me with that fucking bottle, I would break it over his head. I had never seen anyone pouring champagne on women before — and it became a signature move in Roc-A-Fella videos.”

Ford was learning forensic psychology at York University in Toronto when she was found by video director Little X. Nw 44, she acknowledged that ladies on set needed to watch their backs due to predatory males. “It was like the Serengeti, with lions picking off antelopes,” recalled Ford who has acted on exhibits like “Tough Love: Los Angeles” and “Entourage” and is at the moment internet hosting a podcast known as “I’m Here for the Food.” “If you wanted sex with the artist or drugs or drink it was available. If you were looking for trouble you would find it. I was there to work.”

Nevertheless, in not less than one occasion, the bother got here to Ford. She was at the Parker Meridian Hotel in Midtown, the place Ghost Face Killah’s “Cherchez La Ghost” video was being shot. “They hired over 50 girls … running in and out of hotel rooms,” Ford recalled. “Entourage and homies from the ‘hood showed up and started trying to paw [female models] and put their hands where they didn’t belong.”

Ford ducked into  an empty room and eight males adopted. “These guys started touching my thighs and face and hair. I froze,” she mentioned. “What saved me was a grip  who walked in . . .  and told me that I was needed on set.”

While Ford, who’s single, had her share of excellent experiences — together with gigs with Jadakiss, Sisqo and Pharrell Williams — she remembers the video world as being a #MeToo nightmare. “It was the Wild West,” she mentioned. “There were no boundaries and no f–king human resources to call.”

Talani Rabb: The ‘Doin’ It’ lady

Talani Rabb-Diggs
Talani Rabb-Diggs, with husband RZA, was in LL Cool J’s “Doin’ it” video.
SOPA Images/MildRocket by way of Gett

Talani Rabb was only a child from Englewood, Calf., when she began modeling. By age 16, she was signed with Ford and touring the world for trend shoots. Then she met video director Hype Williams — well-known for his work with DMX, Beyoncé and the Notorious B.I.G. — and rapidly turned an MTV staple by way of star-turns in clips like Black Street’s “No Diggity” and Dr. Dre’s “California Love.”

Rabb’s mom usually accompanied her underage daughter to those jobs, however didn’t for the LL Cool J video “Doin It.” As Rabb, who was 17 at the time, recalled, “Hype had to call my mom before I went on set. My mom said, ‘Take care of my baby. Make sure everything is kosher.’ He always made sure everything was proper and respectful.”

Well, often. “They had the lead girls try on bikinis and decide who would do a particular scene. They chose me and I was, like, ‘Crap. I don’t want to wear a bikini,’ ” Rabb recalled. “Then they told me I had to act like a cat and lick LL’s face. I was, like, ‘What?’ ”

Despite her tender age, Rabb had the wherewithal to ask for the set to be cleared – “Some people thought I was being bougie. But lot of extra people, friends and friends-of-friends, were standing around, staring at me,” she mentioned. “I used to be nervous as heck and LL was good. He wished to ensure I used to be comfy and we did it in one take.

“My mom saw the video and said, ‘Wait a minute…’ And then she said, ‘Well, I guess that’s acting.’”

Rabb, now 44, gained notoriety as “the ‘Doin’ It’ girl,” getting acknowledged by strangers on the road. She additionally caught the eye of Robert “RZA” Diggs of the Wu-Tang Clan, who’s now her husband. They have 4 youngsters and she helps handle his profession.

Though LL Cool J was impressed sufficient by Rabb’s efficiency that he requested her to audition for his subsequent tour, she turned him down: “I would have missed my high school graduation.”

Betsy Lynn George: The ‘Cradle of Love’ lady

Betsy Lynn George
Betsy Lynn George was simply 18 when she starred in Billy Idol’s “Cradle of love”.

Actresses dream of working with David Fincher (“Seven,” “The Social Network,” “Gone Girl”). But in 1990, when he directed Betsy Lynn George in Billy Idol’s “Cradle of Love” video, Finsher was nonetheless an unknown amount. George’s supervisor even discouraged her from going to the audition — “He said it would be a cattle call,” George, who, by then, had already appeared on “Days of Our Lives” and “Baywatch,” advised The Post — and she confirmed up carrying a trench coat and with out a hint of the bright-red lipstick that turned a signature of the video.

“Fincher told me to take off my coat and a casting agent whispered that I should put on makeup,” mentioned George, who was 18 at the time. “I was shy and didn’t want to show myself. I think he wanted to see what I was shaped like … Fincher is a control freak – in a good way. I think he saw that I could take direction and deliver.”

Idol was on crutches throughout the shoot, having almost misplaced his leg in a motorbike accident, and solely seen from the shoulders-up on a TV display screen in the video. So it was constructed round George enjoying a sizzling lady, knocking on a nerdy neighbor’s door and asking if she will be able to use his stereo. She then whips off her shirt, kicks off her sneakers and dances with abandon.

“The video shoot was grueling. Fincher wanted perfection and so did I. We’d do it over and over again,” mentioned George, including that it reminded her of being coached for aggressive gymnastics again house in Pennsylvania. “After doing the sexy part a few times, where I have to crawl around, I went [away] and cried a little bit. I got nervous and felt like I exposed some of myself.”

After it was completed, Idol requested her out for dinner. “I was wearing these clunky black men’s shoes that I thought were cool and he made fun of them,” she recalled of the platonic date. “After dinner we hung out with a friend of his at his pool and the friend drove me home.”

George, who moved again to Pennsylvania, runs an Etsy retailer known as ArtistryVintage and not too long ago produced and co-starred in the indie film “Occurrence at Mills Creek,” deems the video tame by right this moment’s requirements. “I’d want nothing to do with most of the current music videos,” mentioned the 49-year-old mom of three who has not owned a TV for many years. “They’re way overly sexualized. I don’t want my kids watching people twerking.”

Bobbie Brown: The ‘Cherry Pie’ lady

Bobbie Brown
Bobbie Brown was often known as Warrants “Cherry Pie” lady.
gotpap/ / MEGA

By the time she obtained an invite to audition for Warrant’s 1990 “Cherry Pie” video, former Miss Louisiana Teen USA Bobbie Brown had already been a daily on “Star Search” and in two movies for the band Great White.  She could have been jaded. “I was hung over and didn’t go to the audition. Then I was told to meet the band at Jerry’s Deli,” mentioned Brown, who was requested by singer Jani Lane. “I stole a fry off  Jani’s plate, which he hated. But I got the job.”

The video shoot was not with out drama. “They wanted me to be naked in a tub full of whip cream. I told them I’m never doing that,” she mentioned. “Then they hosed me down [with water]. The pressure of that thing, straight in my face, peeled back my eyelids . . . But, I was, like, ‘You’re paying me seven grand? Sure.’ ”

Eight months later, Brown started relationship Lane. They had a toddler collectively and had been an merchandise for 3 years. “Jani told Tommy [Lee of Mötley Crüe] he was going to get with this girl,” Brown mentioned. “They made a bet to see who would get me first. Tommy got me second.”

Brown has written two memoirs — “Dirty Rocker Boys” and “Cherry on Top” — and appeared on TV exhibits equivalent to “Task Force: Back in Black” and is pursuing a profession in stand-up comedy. She has no regrets about doing the Warrant video, which was banned in Canada for its lascivious content material. “It was in heavy rotation and blew the top off my career,” mentioned Brown. “That’s how people know me: ‘Cherry Pie’ girl!”

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