Love is elusive and innocence lost in a new video from The Dandy Warhols, for the band's idiosyncratic pop song "Catcher In The Rye." Like the song's namesake novel, the video opens on a sullen Holden Caulfield character, complete with a red hunting cap and a suitcase in hand, smoking and strolling aimlessly down the sidewalk. A young woman on the other side of the street catches his eye and, after they exchange a few glances, he takes off running with the young woman in pursuit.
Near the end of J.D. Salinger's novel, Caulfield takes his younger sister, Phoebe, to a zoo, where she rides a carousel. And that's where the two characters in The Dandy Warhols' video end up — the man reclining on a bench as he watches the young woman ride a carousel. It's a rare moment of joy for both of them. But the moment is abruptly spoiled with an unexpected and open-ended question.
"I simply told [director] Mike [Bruce] that the song is about love that doesn't need anything in return," Dandy Warhols frontman Courtney Taylor-Taylor tells NPR Music in an email. "I'm not even sure that exists, but I didn't tell him that. He did an astounding job. I still get a little choked up by the end."
"Catcher In The Rye" is from The Dandy Warhols' latest full-length, Distortland, released earlier this year on Dine Alone Records. The video features Duke Nicholson (Jack Nicholson's grandson) as Holden Caulfield and Caitlin Carmichael as the young woman.