[quote]Oldie: "John and Bo Derek teach Shania to count to 10" by George Emerson
John Derek is the sixty-nine-year-old director of Bolero and Ghosts Can't Do It, both of which are classified as "soft porn" by The Film Encyclopedia. But today he is in the kitchen of the faux-Mediterranean villa on his ranch in Santa Ynez, California, almost apologizing for having made a country-and-western video. "I'm not into country music," insists Derek. He blames his wife, Bo, for taking him into shooting "this ****" -- a little number starring the Canadian country singer Shania Twain.
The video was for the song "Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?" from Twain's breakthrough album The Woman in Me. It features a shot of the singer strutting into a country diner and testing the seams of her scarlet evening dress. For the next few minutes, she flounces onto tabletops and into the occasional cowboy's lap, but attracts no notice from the ranch hands, who are intent on eating their breakfasts.
In reality, says Derek, the cowboys -- all locals who frequent the Long Horn diner near his ranch -- "were in high cotton. They couldn't believe it, with her rubbing against them, and dancing at their table, and singing to them."
Not everyone likes the video, however. "She's the highest-paid lap dancer in America," scoffed Nashville star Steve Earle.
But some scoffing is inevitable when an album sells almost 6-million units, and Derek seems unperturbed. "Everybody needs help," he says. "I mean, Christ, you know, if God came down we'd have to help Him, too -- visually, I mean."
Later in the conversation, Derek up-grades the Twain video to "sort of sweet and sort of silly." It helped, he says, to use a lot of young people: "They weren't hard men. They were sort of, ah, budding, budding young guys."
He steps away to buzz his wife through the ranch's security gate. In a moment, Bo, star of 10 and producer of the Twain video, glides into the kitchen. She professes admiration for Twain, "especially for hanging in with John, 'cause he's not easy. He's very opinionated, outspoken, and tough."
Tough at first, maybe, but now downright complimentary. Twain, he allows, has something. "I mean obviously she has it. It can't be just her goddamn singing and wiggling around."
Saturday Night Magazine 1996