Ellie Trapp, 13, of Newport Beach was in school Wednesday afternoon when she heard the news that INXS, an Australian rock band, was shooting a video on the Balboa Peninsula.
"And so," she recounted later that day, standing outside the Balboa Inn, "I ran out to the pay phone at recess and called my dad. He left work and picked me up and drove me over here."
"Now," said Anja Breton, also 13, "we're missing social studies and P.E."
Ellie's arms and pants had been signed by various band members after much pestering by her. "Just think," she said. "INXS could have been filming anywhere on earth , and they're here in Newport Beach.
"It's too freaky! I can't believe it!"
Ellie and Anja were the first of INXS's fans to arrive on the scene. Dozens more followed as the shooting--for "Devil Inside," the band's newest single and video--continued well into the night.
The night before, Tuesday, shooting in a local bar had lasted until 4 a.m. The band was somewhat more under the gun Wednesday, having to be in Toronto for a concert the following night.
The shooting moved into a pinball parlor where a gigantic, loud, smoke-spewing machine ("actually a mosquito fogger," a technician said, "without any insecticide in it") was being used to turn the parlor into a dank mystery spot. It is there that video watchers will see INXS encountering all kinds of subcultures and sociopaths who, according to the song's lyrics, "have the devil inside."
Hanging around picturesquely, those "subcultures" (actually professional extras) turned the peninsula from "white-bread bunny beach heaven," as one observer described it, to something wholly other and far tougher.
Several said they didn't mind having to miss the U2 concert in Los Angeles that night. "Are you kidding?" one said. "INXS beat out U2 any day! That U2 is just a bunch of sloppy dudes. Bono needs a bath."
Inside the parlor, everything was nearing readiness for lights-camera-action. Director Joel Schumacher ("The Lost Boys") was about 10 minutes behind schedule . . . and losing his marbles. "After this is over," he said, "will somebody buy me a T-shirt that says, 'Too Old for Video'?" When the shot was delayed yet again, he pleaded, to no one in particular, "Come on--make an old man happy."
One person who was extremely happy was Ellie Trapp, who had managed to wiggle her way into the parlor and alongside singer Michael Hutchence, and who had persuaded a passer-by to take pictures of them hugging (much to Hutchence's girlfriend's annoyance.)
"Don't you wish you were part of my generation?" Ellie asked everyone who wasn't.