As anyone who was around at the time will attest, there was no shortage of absolute weirdness to be found cycling through MTV’s rotation in 1983. The video for “Sister Christian,” though, struck a serious chord with the station’s viewers. Shot at California’s San Rafael High School, the video’s juxtaposition of religious imagery with cavorting, partying high school kids, interspersed with shots of the band rocking out, was so provocative that it caused more than a little confusion amongst viewers.
“We got all these calls about it,” Kelly Keagy told SF Gate. “One woman in Wisconsin said, ‘Is this a song about nuns selling dope to school kids?’ We said, ‘Uh, sure.’ The song’s about not giving it up before you have to, not letting go of innocence, but people can read into it whatever they want.”
The video was played heavily on MTV, and as a result, Night Ranger’s popularity went through the roof. Speaking with Classic Rock, guitarist Brad Gillis remembered, “That song really did it for us, man. It took us from middle act to headliner. I’ll never forget driving up to a 7,000-seat arena in Wisconsin and seeing ‘Night Ranger – Sold Out’. And it was all because of ‘Sister Christian.'”