New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.14: Nada Surf’s Popular Video filmed at Bayonne High School

The summer of ’96 saw N.J’s Bayonne High School make national headlines when rock band Nada Surf filmed their “Popular” video there. Popular is a track from their debut album High/Low produced by Ric Okasek featuring lyrics ripped from the pages of Penny’s Guide to Teen-Age Charm and Popularity (Gloria Winters 1964). The video featured some actual Bayonne High Cheerleaders, and several scenes where the B.H.S football team hits the showers, leering at each other.

After the video was a hit on MTV, Bayonne High publicly announced how offended they were and claimed that the video made their football team out to be gay. God forbid anything’s ever said about a high school football team. I can’t speak for other states, but in N.J high schools, football players are the golden children. They’re basically exempt from ever getting in serious trouble, and many of them get passed through classes they have no chance of ever passing. So take that football players! I busted my ass in high school while I personally knew players who didn’t put in half the effort I did, got horrible grades, and still passed with no problems. It’s looked at as if the players are doing the school a favor so the school pays it back.

The primadonnas who ran Bayonne High School 12 years ago couldn’t take a friggin’ joke. I bet this Nada Surf video is their biggest claim to fame. B.H.S’ case is irrelevant because we’re bound to notice a bit of homoeroticism anytime we’re shown scenes depicting male athletes showering together. It’s universal, not just in New Jersey. Nada Surf rebutted by explaining that the video wasn’t meant to poke fun at the football players and that the video actually maintained a heterosexual vibe. Leave it to a school system in N.J to come out with such a ridiculous claim. Can’t we take a damn joke? Many of the employees in N.J’s various educational systems (ASIDE FROM THE HARDWORKING TEACHERS!) are paranoid, corrupt, fogeys. If they had any reserves about filming a sarcastic rock video at their school, they shouldn’t have let them film there in the first place!