I just wanna live: story of a band overwhelmed by success
“I just wanna live” is part of the third album of the American band Good Charlotte. Formed in 1996 by the twins Benji and Joel Madden, the band chose the name from a children’s book title “Good Charlotte: The Girls of Good Day Orphanage”. The success came with this 2004 song. The video of the song is directed by Brett Simon, who also worked for Hoobastank and The Killers.
Good Charlotte from rock metal band to pop group
The video begins with the band Good Charlotte playing a metal rock song in a shabby place. Old metalheads and toxics drink beer completely impassive and disinterested.
To earn some money, the members are forced to do other jobs as well as playing in shabby pubs. They read an advertisement in a newspaper about a Saul’s Supermarket looking for mascots to do marketing. So they respond to the announcement: they put ridiculous costumes with the shape of fruit and food and start to do leafleting in the streets.
One of them has a strawberry costume, another a carrot, the other an hamburgers, another a corncob and the singer a slice of pizza. They have little success, nobody takes care of them and there are very few who accept their flyer. But a record producer passes in front of the supermarket, sees them and thinks he can make money.
The birth of The Food Group
He calls them The Food Group and hopes to impress young teenagers, proposing them as a cool band. They are obviously forced to play and perform with mascot costumes.
Success is not long in coming, with multitudes of women eager to go with them. But the negative side of success also comes: one of them is arrested for high speed, another one goes to argue with photographers and journalists and a fight breaks out, another is seen in hot attitudes with a girl dressed in ice cream costume, who is underage.
Meanwhile the singer’s voice shows signs of subsidence and he does not sing as well as he did at the beginning. Now, when they walk on the red carpet, they receive only insults and throwing of rotten vegetables. The demoralized musicians throw their costumes and start making their music with their usual dark clothing!
The negative sides of success
The video shows the life cycle of a band, from when it makes its own music, to when a record producer engages it and modifies it at will. Success is not all good and among the various problems there is also that of not being able to play the music you want. Everything degenerates to the ruin of the band. But the destruction of the “fake face” of the band means going back to doing what they like. The lyrics declares “I just wanna live” without interest for what people think, for what will be the future and for the success.