Introduction to series “The Girl in the Video” (including list of interviewees).
The video: “Legs” by ZZ Top.
The girl-now-woman: Danièle Arnaud. [MTN: Wendy Frazier and Kymberly Herrin are in separate posts.]
Unlike Wendy and Kymberly, Danièle was in the first two ZZ Top videos in the Eliminator girls trilogy (“Gimme All Your Lovin’,” “Sharp Dressed Man”).
How old were you when you appeared in the “Legs” video?
26 or 27.
Where were you living at the time?
Studio City, CA.
What music videos, shows, or movies had you appeared in prior to that?
Manhattan Transfer and other ZZ Top videos, MTV dance videos, School Spirit (film), Down Under (film).
How were you cast?
Do you remember what your reaction was when you were cast?
Happy! I was already doing pretty well with modeling assignments; this was not the first time I was selected to work in Hollywood and elsewhere.
Where was the video filmed?
The name of the town is escaping me right now but in Los Angeles Valley, outside Los Angeles and downtown Los Angeles and Big Bear.
How long was the shoot?
Two or three days.
How did you feel making the video?
Happy, of course.
What was the hardest part of the shoot?
The wait between scenes and night [shooting].
How was it to work with the band? What were they like?
Very friendly and cooperative. Very nice people.
Do you have any anecdotes about filming?
Some sort of competition [among] the ZZ Top girls to get more exposure by pushing [each other] a bit [to] the side while filming!
Do you remember anything specific anyone said or did?
“Always nice to have you here, Danièle!”
Did anything go wrong?
Anything funny happen?
Did any band members hit on you?
Of course, not! They knew where to stand. Very respectful and also I was married, if this makes the difference.
Did you have any favorite bands/songs/videos at the time?
What did you think of the video?
Every video was a good experience for me so one or the other did not make a difference to me.
What did your parents think of it?
My father was already deceased and my mother in France did not know about it.
What did your friends think of it?
Proud to know a “star,” ah, ah!
Did the video ever affect your dating life in any way (i.e. when you first told boyfriends you were a woman in it)?
On the contrary! I was married so it made no difference to me to do the video.
Did you receive fan mail? If so, do you still have any of it?
I keep everything. [but has none from the 1980s]
Did the video generate any controversy that you know of?
Not at all.
What were you paid?
Did you watch the MTV World Premiere of the video? If so, where and how did that feel?
Yes, MTV Awards ceremony, New York. The very best! [I was asking about the premiere on TV; she is referring to the video music awards]
Were you ever recognized in public?
Yes, but from people who already knew about me by looking up my name on the Internet.
I [wasn’t counting].
A year and a half ago.
Any stories about that?
They can’t believe they know a ZZ Top girl.
If you ever met other women who were female leads in a mainstream ‘80s rock video, who?
If you went to college, where and what did you study?
IUT, Toulon, France; CU, Boulder, CO; UCLA, Los Angeles, CA.
What are you doing these days?
Selling art, working on museum projects, teaching languages in college and for private clients.
Where do you live?
If you are/were married, what was your future husband’s reaction when he learned you were in this video?
He was thrilled and told everyone he knew. He still is... [Sandra Wilder said almost the same.]
Chloé, 14 years old.
What does she think of the video?
She was proud of me but that was several years ago!
What did you think when you first heard from me?
I believed you! I still have fans asking me for pictures and staying in touch with me over all those years.
Has anyone else ever interviewed you about this?
About two years ago, I was approached by a reporter from New York [for a] book about the MTV years. The interview was a conference call from New York.
Have you appeared at any fan conventions to sign autographs?
Did you stay in touch with the band after the shoot?
Yes, of course. They called me at home. I was invited on tours for signing posters in different parts of the States.
When was the last time you were in touch with them?
Several years ago—receiving and sending them New Year’s cards and I saw them in concert in San Diego.
How do you look back on the experience?
Some of the best years of my life!
Danièle in France, July 2013
8/6/13, addendum 1: I contacted Jeana Ellen Keough [Jeana Tomasina] while prepping this series but did not hear back. Today, however, she contacted me with an update:
Nice article. I thought I interviewed for this article. It was the first of four music videos done by Tim Newman. I did all the videos; all the other girls did one or two. I always drove the car because I had the nicest car and my rims weren’t dented like the other girls’ cars! I had just finished an award-winning Dittos jeans commercial with the director and that is how I ended up doing the non-union [ZZ Top] job. [Doing the video] was a great experience and like Courteney Cox, in Bruce Springsteen [“Dancing in the Dark’], [but] in a much smaller way, it got me great dates and job interviews and launched my career.
Danièle was a pretty good dancer and a model. Kym was a Playmate and Wendy Frazier and I are Facebook friends [thanks to these interviews]. Kym and I were Playmates together; I am not sure why she thought anyone pushed her but it was choreographed and I seem to remember she was a little out of her element. She was a beach girl, laid back and very sweet and shy.
The band kept in touch with me, sending funny postcards from their travels. I went on to do 150 commercials, 10 movies, and about 15 TV shows. My last job was six years on The Real Housewives of Orange County. I am a realtor in Orange County.
I married a baseball player, Matt Keough, and have three kids. Matt moved me to five different cities. We started a family and that kind of slowed my career down. My daughter, Kara Keough, started in movies at five with her first being Outbreak. She is engaged to Kyle Bosworth of the New York Giants. Shane and Colton both got drafted to play baseball. Shane played pro baseball for four years and now is an actor with his first movie, Capital Games, just finished. Colton is in college.
8/6/13, addendum 2: This comment under the Yahoo! post about this interview reveals a bit more than the women remembered: “I watched them film this video in Valencia, CA, in front of Thrifty and they used the Kinney Shoe store...good times.”
Tweet about this interview to @ZZTop, @BillyFGibbons, @missfreyja, and @jeanakeough!
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: Don Henley, “The Boys of Summer” (1984).