Steal My Sunshine video revisited

Months ago I was looking up various song videos on Youtube. At some point I thought of a song that was on the radio around 1999: “Steal My Sunshine”. Back when it was on the airwaves I was only a bit familiar with it but did not know who the artist was or anything else about it. What I did remember was that it was a neat catchy song.
After some quick research, I found that the song is by a Canadian band called Len. Len was started by siblings Marc and Sharon Costanzo. Steal My Sunshine was from their third album titled “You Can’t Stop The Bum Rush” and according to Wikipedia, it peaked at #1 in Canada and reached #9 in the U.S. and #8 spot in the U.K.

The song sampled and looped the bridge portion of Andrea True Connection’s “More More More”. The song was originally recorded on an 8 track half inch recorder and almost wasn’t included on the album.

The video itself was shot using a $200,000 budget. The band used the money to fly themselves and numerous friends to Daytona Beach for several days and filmed the video in one afternoon. There is no theme to the video, just the band members and their friends having fun. To me the song is a lighthearted fun summer-type song, so this sort of  video seems appropriate.

After seeing comments on Youtube that it was shot in Daytona Beach, I looked up some of the  landmarks on Google Maps. Using the Daytona Beach Pier as a reference point, I was able to find some of the areas where some of the scenes were filmed. Recently I took a long road trip from my hometown of Houston to various cities in Florida. On my way up from Cocoa Beach to Jacksonville, I stopped in Daytona Beach for a couple of hours, walked around and took a lot of pictures.

Several things have changed in the area. The pier and boardwalk are still there but have been updated. The pier no longer has a Gondola and a Joe’s Crab Shack now occupies the building where a casino was. According to a couple of locals, the gondolas on the pier were taken down because of hurricane winds and will not be reinstalled.

**EDIT** I went back to Florida in February 2013. While there I spent a half day in Daytona Beach and spent a couple of hours trying to find some of the filming locations that I didn’t see in 2012. I pasted several still frames into a PowerPoint slide, printed it out and took that with me. (Yes, I am quite a nerd. A Len-nerd to be specific). I talked to employees of the arcades on the Boardwalk and they helped me find a few of the locations.

The gondolas can be seen in this still-frame.

Pier in 2013DSC02484

The entire pier

The boardwalk, which runs perpendicular to the pier, is where the first scooter scenes were shot. On the far left an Italian restaurant, Graziano’s Ristorante & Pizza is visible.

Graziano’s is no longer there but another pizza shop is. According to an employee of a shop a couple of doors down, Graziano’s closed a couple of years ago and shortly after another individual opened another pizza shop in its place.

I found this picture on the internet of the boardwalk area from years ago. In the video the Scooters were parked amidst the palm trees.

This shows the current location where the first ‘scooter scene’ was shot. The scooters and palm trees were located where the red umbrellas and tables now stand.

At 1:30 into the video, the group are riding scooters. On the left side of the still frame, a swimwear sign is visible along with a fireworks store further back. A quick search indicated both the firework store and Sand Box swimwear are still there. In my most recent trip (February 2013) I found the stores and took a picture where this scene was shot.Sharon Marc scooter Sand Box swimwear

Picture in 2013 showing the Sandbox Swimwear store and Phantom Firworks further on back. 
DSC02468

At 2:03 LEN is seen walking into an arcade. Long story short, there was some confusion as to which arcade this was (presently there are two arcades). I asked the managers of the two arcades currently on the boardwalk, and they concluded this was taken at Midway arcade which closed a few years ago.

The two arcades currently on the Boardwalk. (Joyland and Mardi Gras)

Joyland ArcadeJoyland arcade

Boardwalk and Joyland on the right, as seen from the pierjoyland-arcade-3-wideshot

At 2:05 there are two lighted “Change” signs in an arcade.change

I did run across one of these signs (although not working and painted yellow and not green like in the video). An arcade employees said when Midway arcade shut down, the adjacent arcades took some of their machines.DSC02481

At 2:37 in the video, it shows people riding go-karts.

Another still-frame of the go-karts

The go-kart track today (photo taken by me)


At 2:51 in the video, the group is in a food/concession area. Arcade games are in the background. The employees of the arcades could not definitively say where this was. It may have been in the now defunct Midway Arcade or Joyland. bar stools


Food area of Joyland Arcade. Conceivably it looks like it could have been the same area, but who knows.

bar stools 2013

Pictures I Took Of Jantzen Storefront
(Taken in 2013)DSC02474

DSC02475

(Taken in 2012)

Boardwalk View From Pier in 2012

Len has several other videos on Youtube. In fact I made a playlist of them. Check out LenVEVO , len2006 and LENOfficialTVfor a complete list. Both the album and single versions of Steal My Sunshine and a few other songs by Len are available for iTunes.

Since I originally published this post, LEN released not only a new single “It’s My Neighbourhood” but a new album titled “It’s Easy If You Try”. The album has been released in Canada and is available on iTunes. Be sure to follow LEN on Twitter and on Facebook. I hope to see them in concert sometime soon. 🙂

Also check out this behind-the-scenes video of Steal My Sunshine that LEN recently released on their official Youtube channel.

Hager

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22 Responses to Steal My Sunshine video revisited

  1. pierocampa says:

    Cannot listen to the song from here (Germany) for copyright problems..
    Very interesting and well-detailed post, Greg!

  2. markmckayark says:

    Great blog post. It’s hard to believe that this video was shot almost 14 years ago!

  3. Pingback: Behind the Scenes of the Len "Feeling Alright" Video Shoot - Not Your Average Dad

  4. RS says:

    Nice post! Thank you for the nostalgia.

  5. Pingback: Nearly-Naked Watermelon Salad | food to glow

  6. Sandy Smith says:

    Your blog is great. A few years ago I also had the same weird idea of figuring out where LENS SMS video was filmed. I was able to locate the site after searching for Graziano’s Pizza. I hope to visit Daytona Beach too!

    • hagertx says:

      thanks for the comment. Glad you like the post. It was fun visiting there- it’s a nice beach. and I had fun doing the ‘research’ on the filming locations. 🙂

  7. The Writer says:

    Ahh, I remember this song. In my head, I actually thought it was older. It sounds more mid-90s. Also, I notice the VICE logo — I thought VICE was a newer creation. Now I have to look up the history of VICE.

  8. Tony says:

    Crazy. Here I thought I was the only person in the world looking this stuff up lol. Your pics and details confirmed a lot of my detective work. I guess brilliant minds work in a similar manner. And wow… Seems this song was fresh out just yesterday.
    As a side note, I wonder if Sharon is still a stunner?!

  9. JD says:

    is it just me or does everyone think they were probably banging?

  10. Shady Katie says:

    The snack bar was in the Midway, as it was the only snack bar on the right side of the arcade as you walked in. Only a shell of the boardwalk remains; Hurricane Andrew initiated the city to make a move for the land in an eminent domain order. The owners of Midway literally packed up and left in the middle of the night.

    The owners of Wicked Wanda’s and Walking Charlie’s sold off to the guy who owns Joyland. aThey still own Fannie Farkle’s Arcade in Gatlinburg, TN. As for Dino, he bought up the rest of the arcade and has been fighing with family for years over the ownership of half of the property. His sister Lisa (Lisa’s Gifts) claims ownership of that shop and Joyland.

    • Shady Katie says:

      Sorry, I meant to say Dino bought up the rest of the boardwalk.

      Daytona Beach was the best place to grow up in the 1980’s and 1990’s. The city thrived for decades, until Hurricane Andrew damaged part of the boardwalk and chased tourism away. Add to the fact that the city council chased MTV off the beaches for Spring Break, and the place became a ghost town. The palm trees on the boardwalk were an attempt to block the lights from the ocean view; sea turtles migrated to shore by following the lights. They beached and laid eggs, eventually forcing vehicles off the sand from Main St. Pier until past the bandshell. That was all the boardwalk could handle.

      To look at what they have done with that whole area is a corporate bloodbath. Look up old pictures when Big Daddy Rat owned the shops around the boardwalk, things were mom & pop all over.

      • hagertx says:

        Katie,

        Thanks so much for the info. This helps piece together some of the bits about the filming location that I was hoping to find.

        Thanks again,

        Greg (Hager)

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