The music video, directed by Marty Callner, takes place on board the battleship USS Missouri. It depicts Cher and her band performing a concert for the ship’s crew. The video was filmed in Los Angeles on Friday night, June 30, 1989, while the ship was stationed at the former Long Beach Naval Shipyard at Pier D. In the video, the band plays on the foredeck, and the ship is rigged with spotlights, light racks and strobes.
The Department of the Navy had granted permission for the music video shoot because of its potential for boosting Navy recruitment The Navy initially selected the battleship USS New Jersey for the video. However, New Jersey was out to sea when Callner needed to do an initial site survey, so he toured its sister ship, Missouri, instead. During Callner’s visit, Missouri’s public affairs officer, Lieutenant Mark Walker, convinced him to change the filming location to Missouri.
The Navy received criticism for allowing the video shoot, especially from World War II veterans who saw it as a desecration of a national historic site that should be treated with reverence. USS Missouri was the site of the Empire of Japan’s surrender on September 2, 1945, thus ending World War II.
Featured Image: “If I Could Turn Back Time” music video scene / Image: via Youtube / Producer(s): Diane Warren, Guy Roche/ Label: (Geffen) interscope.com