On this day in 1987, the song “Here I Go Again” by English hard-rock group Whitesnake tops the Billboard pop singles chart in the United States. Today, what most people remember about the song is its saucy video: The actress Tawny Kitaen spends a great deal of it in a white negligee, writhing and cartwheeling across the hoods of two Jaguars parked next to one another. It is one of the most iconic music videos of the 1980s, and it features two of the most famous cars in pop-culture history.
Whitesnake first released “Here I Go Again” in 1982, on the album “Saints and Sinners.” That early version didn’t crack the charts–so, five years later, the band re-recorded the song and included the new, more amped-up version on their album “Whitesnake.” While they were working on the record, the band’s lead singer David Coverdale started dating a young woman named Tawny Kitaen, who had recently starred opposite Tom Hanks in the movie “Bachelor Party.” When director Marty Callner met Kitaen, he was smitten too–and he cast her immediately in the video for “Here I Go Again.” “I knew I wanted to have a sexy woman in it,” Callner told a reporter. “Sex is a part of rock ‘n’ roll and the song was about sex.”
The video was mostly unchoreographed: Coverdale and Callner simply parked their Jaguars side by side in the middle of the set, blasted the song and ran the cameras as Kitaen improvised. After “Here I Go Again” became such a massive hit, however, directors and record companies deduced that fast cars and scantily clad women were a winning combination, and they scrambled to include them in their videos whenever they could.
The Swallow Sidecar Company, the company that eventually became Jaguar, was founded in 1922 in Blackpool, England. It sold motorcycle sidecars and, starting in 1926, reconditioned car bodies. In the early 1930s, the company began to manufacture its own cars from scratch, and at the end of World War II it changed its name to Jaguar Cars. In 2008, Jaguar sold more than 65,000 cars worldwide.