Warning: Video contains explicit content.

Numbskull

The controversial “Numbskull” video shocked many fans upon its release, with its disturbing content of drugs, sex and self-mutilation, and destroyed Tim’s pretty pop boy image. Director Darran Tiernan said of the video in 1999:

“The video was filmed at the Gramercy Park Hotel in Manhattan, New York City, in room 1504 over a 24-hour period. The inspiration for the video came about during several conversations between Tim and myself. The ideas was to deconstruct Tim’s present image to look at him under a lens in a completely different light. The song of course is the main inspiration. Taking the raw primal scream and relentless musical power as starting points. It’s a lost weekend. It’s basically about being wild and free.”

Tim Wheeler speaking in 2000:

“There was an MTV conference recently and they were showing record companies examples of things you can’t do with videos. Every single possible category came up with “Numbskull”. So it’s become an MTV training video”

Mark Hamilton added:

“Tim went AWOL in NYC, exorcised a few demons and ‘Killed Bambi’ in this self made shocker which was swiftly banned. MTV used it as an example of, “what not to do” in seminars with young directors! Inspired the slogan, ‘Real Drugs, Real Blood, Real Sex’ which backed our T-shirts at that years Glastonbury.

“I think all the hype about the video is stupid. I think it’s an artistic masterpiece promoting a healthy ‘back to basics’ moral stance. Tim was sick of some of the “boy band” comparisons that were flying about around the 1977/Nu-Clear Sounds era and wanted to kill them off. He disapeared for a while to NY and had his cousin turn up and shoot the video in the hotel he was staying. He then sent Tav the “I’ve Killed Bambi” note along with the footage.”


  • Released:
  • Director: Darran Tiernan
  • Shoot location: Manhattan, New York City, NY, US