Amy Phillips wrote “Twist-a Twist the Truth” in 1983, about an ex-boyfriend. But it has taken on new meaning for her in the Trump Era, and that is reflected in her new video for the song, which shows Trump, Vice President Pence and other members of the Trump administration dancing The Twist to it. You can watch the video below.
The recording was produced by Marc Ribler, guitarist and music director for Little Steven’s Disciples of Soul band, and features other Disciples of Soul as well, including drummer Rich Mercurio, bassist Jack Daley, keyboardist Andy Burton and backing vocalists Jessie Wagner and Sara Devine. John Martin plays all the horns.
The song and other Phillips originals were recorded at Shorefire Recording Studios in Long Branch in October 2019, during a break in a Disciples of Soul tour, for an as-yet-unreleased album. Phillips and the musicians recorded the songs quickly — just one to three takes each, she said — without any pre-rehearsing, though Ribler sent charts and copies of her demos to the musicians beforehand.
“He said, ‘Don’t you worry. You’re ready, we’re ready. The guys are sweethearts, you’re gonna have fun, you’re gonna love it,’ ” said Phillips, who lives in Pine Beach and was a member of the band Everlounge for many years. “And he was absolutely right. It was, like, a dream.”
Phillips came up with the concept of the video and her husband Chip, who works in the video field, help her create it.
“I said to Chip, ‘You know what, I want to have all these people twisting, but have it be the Trump administration, you know. So I can be singing right at them.’ So that’s what we did.”
She says that she helped with some of the video work but that he did most of it. About 300 hours of work, she said.
“He took scenes from these two (public domain) movies and edited them, and then slowed them down or sped them up to go with the rhythm of the song,” she said. “And then I started running around online, finding photos of everybody … we had to try to find photos where they didn’t have too much going on in the background. And I downloaded those. And with Chip’s program, we put them into the video.”
For some of the Trump administration figures, it was “kind of funny to just leave (them) truly looking like bobble-heads,” Phillips said. “But some of them, we had fun trying it to make look like they were really in the movie. But that was painstaking. God bless Chip.”
To get everything to match, visually, they made everything black and white, including the footage of her singing and playing guitar, which was originally shot in color
They credited the video to Cathartic Productions.
“We’ve all been bombarded with those faces on the news every night, watching them manipulate facts and try to manipulate US, and it felt cathartic to make bobble-heads out of them and manipulate THEM for a while, for some comic relief,” said Phillips. “This was our way of venting.”
We need your help!
CONTRIBUTE TO NJARTS.NET
Since launching in September 2014, NJArts.net, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to NJArts.net via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to NJArts.net to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.