The video: “The Boys of Summer” by Don Henley.
The girl-now-woman: Audie Lenkov (Audie England).
How old were you when you appeared in the “Boys of Summer” video?
Where were you living at the time?
I was living with my parents in Lakewood, CA.
“In the seventies everyone was dropping the ‘e’ on their name.
‘Debbie’ became ‘Debbi’—with a heart above the ‘i’—as well as Julie, and so on…
I dropped the ‘e’ from probably 7th grade to 20 years old. I put it back because
I got tired of being called ‘Audi’ like the car and likened to it.”
What music videos, shows, or movies had you appeared in prior to that?
“Boys of Summer” was my first music video. In fact, it was the first acting/modeling job I ever got…and also the first audition I ever went on.
How were you cast?
I auditioned along with at least a hundred or so other models. When I arrived at the casting location the line was so long, I decided to leave…then returned hours later when the wait was much shorter. But it also meant I was one of the last girls seen that day…and at a time when the director and casting associates were most likely exhausted from spending the entire day looking at models. Not the ideal scenario for someone looking to book her first gig.
Do you remember what your reaction was when you were cast?
Total surprise. You have to remember…this was my first audition. I was so new to the business. So naïve. When the casting director asked me to slate my name (say my name on camera), I didn’t know what that meant. Strike one.
Where was the video filmed?
My scenes were shot at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood.
How long was the shoot?
I’m not sure how long it took to shoot the entire video, but my portion was one very full day.
How did you feel making the video?
I was a huge Eagles fan, so working on a Don Henley video was a real treat. I was also being paid as a model for the very first time which to me was a huge accomplishment.
What was the hardest part of the shoot?
The hours. My call time was very early and I spent most of the day waiting for the director to shoot my scenes, which turned out to be the last filmed.
How was it to work with Don Henley? You don’t appear in scenes with him; did you meet him?
I unfortunately did not get to work with Mr. Henley…or ever meet him. My scenes were pretty modular and didn’t require him to be on set.
The video seems to be about three stages of a man’s life—a boy drumming, a young man on the beach with a girlfriend (not you), and a man in an office. How did you fit in?
That’s a very interesting question. One I have never been asked before. Sure, I’ve thought about my role, but never really came to any finite conclusion on who I was meant to be. The director never went into that kind of depth, only gave me action cues and never any real backstory or motivation.
Did you meet any of the other performers? Do you know whatever happened to any of them?
Not on the day, but funny enough a short time after that experience I was set up on a blind date with Charlie, the guy who was running along the beach.
How did you two realize you were both in the video? Did you recognize him or vice versa, or did you know before the date? Was there a second date?
When I was set up with Charlie, I was told that he was also in the video. It wasn’t a true blind date. He had tickets to Cirque du Soleil and his date had to back out, so Charlie called the head booking agent, Capucine, at Elite Models (we were both signed to Elite) and asked if she could find someone available and willing to go with him. I was Capucine’s roommate at the time, so I think I was her first call. Charlie and I never became romantically involved but we were good friends for years after and we would occasionally go to a show or grab a bite to eat together.
What did you think of the video?
Don Henley. Great fashion. Black and white. Shot by Jean-Bapiste Mondino. What’s not to love? Seriously, I was very impressed and very proud to be a part of it.
What did your parents think of it?
My father’s pretty conservative, so seeing me in a music video in a negligee was not a topic of conversation at the dinner table. It was only years later that I discovered he had kept a scrapbook of all my work and photos from the Don Henley video were in there…so I imagine he was proud, albeit not very vocal about it.
photo credit: Steve Bigler
What did your friends think of it?
My friends were proud, although we never really discussed it. I was a high school student and I didn’t want to be different. I just wanted to fit in. My physics teacher on the other hand thought it was extremely cool. So much so, he occasionally allowed me to cut classes to audition for roles.
Did the video ever affect your dating life in any way (i.e. when you first told boyfriends you were in it)?
Did you receive fan mail? If so, do you still have any of it?
Nope. Not one letter.
Did the video generate any controversy that you know of?
Not that I know of.
What were you paid?
Union scale. Approximately $300.
Did you watch the MTV World Premiere of the video, and if so, where and how did that feel?
I don’t remember.
Were you at the MTV Video Awards when the video won a handful?
Were you ever recognized in public? How often and when last? Any stories about that?
Did you appear in other music videos after that?
Yes, about a couple dozen, although “Boys of Summer” will always hold a special place in my heart.
What are some of the other videos you appeared in?
I can’t remember many of the artists names and definitely not the song titles. A few [artists] that I can remember are Eddie Money, Peter Cetera, The Blasters, Prince (but I think I may have been cut out of it. A lot of girls. I never saw it). There was also an Adam Ant and Stewart Copeland video. Colin James’s “Why’d You Lie”  is the only song title I remember.
If you ever met other women who were female leads in a mainstream ‘80s rock video, who?
A few. Dana Patrick from the Meat Loaf video “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” became a good friend.
When and how did you meet Dana Patrick?
I met Dana Patrick at a beach party probably in 1999. She was just getting into photography and I had a studio that I was looking to share. We ended up becoming fast friends and studio partners.
If you went to college, where and what did you study?
After high school, I traveled and spent years modeling and ultimately came back to Los Angeles where I took extension courses at UCLA and Art Center.
What are you doing these days?
My days are filled with being a wife and mom.
Where do you live?
What was your future husband’s reaction when he learned you were in this video?
He was a fan of the video so it made it easy to guarantee a second date. [MTN: Her husband is Peter Lenkov, a TV producer (Hawaii Five-O) and writer of both TV and comic books, which obviously resonates with me.]
I have two boys, ages 4 and 7, and twin stepdaughters, 17.
What do your kids think of the video?
They’ve never seen it.
I’ve never thought to show them. It just seems like another time, a person other than me now (mom). Spongebob is much more interesting to watch.
What did you think when you first heard from me?
It just reminded me how old I was.
On Wikipedia, it gives your birth year as 1972, but then also says you were born in 1967?
Yes, I wish it were 1972…but it is 1967.
It also says you were one of People Magazine’s “Most Beautiful Stars” in 1998. I looked but don’t think it was in 1998?
I also heard that I was featured in that issue, but at the time I was out of town. I never saw a copy. I can’t say for certain that I was in it. I was always bad about collecting articles and magazines that I was featured in.
Has anyone else ever interviewed you about this? If so, who, when, and for what publication?
Have you appeared at any fan conventions to sign autographs? If not, would you?
Did you stay in touch with Don Henley or anyone else from the shoot?
How do you look back on the experience?
With fond memories. It was the springboard for a short but very fulfilling career.
Tweet about this interview to @TheEaglesBand and @PLenkov!
7/19/14 addendum: Interview with another woman from this video.
Copy and tweet to help me find more 1980s music video girls:
Real research question: if you know the Annie Hubbard who was in 1984 Night Ranger video “Sister Christian,” pls contact @MarcTNobleman
Real research question: if you know the woman—even just her name—in 1986 Cinderella video “Shake Me,” pls contact @MarcTNobleman
Real research question: if you know woman—even just her name—in ‘87 Richard Marx video “Should’ve Known Better,” pls contact @MarcTNobleman
Next: Huey Lewis and the News, “If This Is It” (1984).