The idea of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh spoofing an Adele video for the annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast came in a dream.
The faux fur coat was a $17 find from the Garment District, the second-hand clothing emporium in Cambridge. And those ornate oversized sunglasses? They belong to Joyce Linehan, the mayor’s chief of policy.
Set to Adele’s hit “Hello,” the sepia-tone video poked fun at how the city’s courtship of General Electric Co. tested the budding bromance between Walsh and Governor Charlie Baker.
While Adele brews a pot of tea in her video, Walsh sips a cup of Doughboy Donuts coffee in his City Hall office as he longingly waits for the governor’s call. As the British songstress belts it out in a fur coat, so does the mayor as he wanders Boston Common wearing Linehan’s sunglasses.
When Baker does finally ring, Walsh delivers his rendition of Adele’s famous chorus line: “Hello? Hey gov, I’ve been trying to reach you. I’ve called about a thousand times. Can we talk about GE?”
The video was the brainchild of Gabrielle Farrell, one of the mayor’s press secretaries. It came to her in a dream a month ago shortly after a brainstorming session on how to turn the mayor into a funny man for the traditional political roast.
GE had been all over the news after deciding in January it would move its world headquarters to Boston, after city and state officials worked feverishly to put together an incentive package.
Farrell brought the idea to the rest of the team – which also included Linehan, Eoin Cannon, Kris Carter, and Nancy Kwan.
Kwan, who along with Cannon writes speeches for the mayor, offered to sketch out story boards and find the coat.
“Seeing the mayor in a fur coat who is not going to laugh at it?” Kwan figured. She headed straight to the Garment District, which was holding a half-price sale.
“I got the biggest coat I could find,” she recalled. It now hangs on the back of Linehan’s office door.
Carter, whose day job is the co-chair of the mayor’s office of New Urban Mechanics, is a self-taught filmmaker and had all the equipment to shoot the video. Filming took place one Sunday morning, plus after work.
As for securing the rights to an Adele song, Linehan looked into that. Linehan, who was in the music business before, found that copyright regulations allow for parodies.
So does the mayor even know who Adele is?
“He knows,” said Farrell, adding the mayor suggested at one point, “maybe we should do Adele day.”