It's amazing how certain songs transport us to a specific time and place. Whenever I hear "Get Back" start to play, I am instantly transported to the top rung of a ladder perched in the middle of a downtown Los Angeles street.
Look. I love hip-hop. When I started in the industry, I was beyond excited whenever our office called the dog trainers and asked who wanted to do a rap video. This one was a night shoot, and we didn't know who the artist was until we arrived. But when we pulled into crew parking, we saw five women in garters and stockings revving up 4-wheelers, and we knew we were in for a good time
By midnight I'm slumped over in the dog van dozing in and out of sleep. Round about 2 am, there's a tap on the window, and they are ready to rehearse the dogs. We head to set to introduce the dogs to Ludacris. He asked if they bite, and I assured him they do not. If you've ever seen the video, you know he was wearing things on his arms that dogs could find interesting, but they stayed focused. For the first time in my career, I had an earpiece to hear the song and know when to bring the dogs forward, cue their action and send them back around the corner to the other trainer. The song hadn't been released yet, and I remember listening to the lyrics and assessing that I needed to send them off-camera on the 2nd MF-er (we were listening to the explicit version). To get their eyeline correct and stay out of frame, I had to work off a ladder in the middle of the street. Production had locked down two lanes, but one was still open. I remember an old Cadillac slowly driving by and the passenger yelling, "Lu-da."
The dogs were only in the video momentarily, but the night was unforgettable. It's funny how a song can trigger such vivid memories.Dogs arrive at 4:25