3 PSB "Easter eggs"

In CD/DVD parlance, an "Easter egg" is a hidden bonus feature, provided as a pleasant surprise for the consumer. There was a time when Easter eggs were genuinely exciting, but now they've become commonplace. Though originally intended as true gifts to the fans, more recently they've become astute marketing ploys, manipulating people into feeling that they're getting something "extra" for their money. This is especially true when the manufacturer or distributor states right up front that Easter eggs are there for the finding, in some cases going so far as to come right out and tell us how to find them instead of leaving them for us to discover on our own. It almost defeats the purpose—unless, of course, it's meant as a selling point.

Now, such is the expectation of Easter eggs (at least on DVDs) that when it was announced that PopArt would not include the video for "Absolutely Fabulous," rumor and speculation quickly spread that it might nevertheless be included as an Easter egg. Alas, it wasn't.

Neil has said that he now disapproves of Easter eggs, although that apparently hasn't always been the case. On at least three occasions PSB releases have indeed included such hidden bonuses.

1. The song "Postscript" hidden at the end of Very

The most famous and most fabulous PSB Easter egg, offered (in 1993) when such bonuses were still an extremely new, rare, and exciting phenomenon. I distinctly remember the tremendous thrill of accidentally discovering this hidden track without having heard or read anything about it beforehand. It was, in fact, the first Easter egg I'd ever encountered—aside, of course, from the edible variety that children go hunting for on Easter Day. An example of how the Boys were on the cutting edge of their art.

2. The hidden graphics in the original Very packaging

"Postscript" wasn't the only hidden bonus included with Very. The original orange "Lego" packaging—itself a cutting-edge design element—hid, behind the CD tray, a sheet of paper with tiny helmeted Chris- and Neil-heads, forming a "polka-dotted" field. You could discern this by holding the jewel case up to a bright light or, much more clearly, by pulling off the CD tray (risking, however, breakage in the process). I found this only after first noticing a little picture of Neil's face looking up at me through the center spindle on which the CD rests.

Also, "hidden in plain sight," so to speak, are slight variations in the Neil- and Chris-heads on the front and back covers of the insert booklet. On first glance, all of the little heads look identical. But on the front cover, one Neil-head (the one in the fourth row) is subtly different from the others, showing Neil with a slightly more serious expression and a mild smirk. And on the back cover, one Chris-head (in the lower-left corner) is also unique, showing Chris's head bowed a little. The same thing occurs on the Very Relentless packaging as well, with the "serious" Neil head on the Very sleeve and the "bowed" Chris head on the Relentless sleeve.

3. The "For Your Own Good" projection video on the Montage DVD

On the Boys' Nightlife tour they opened their shows with the song "For Your Own Good," played before they even appeared on stage, with a projection video displayed in their stead. This video, which consists simply of Neil's and Chris's digitized heads rotating back and forth, is accessible on the Montage DVD only after you watch the three more "upfront" video extras ("I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More," "New York City Boy," and "You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk") all the way through. The Montage booklet makes no secret of this feature, not only telling the reader about it but stating how to find it. Neil has said that he specifically regrets the inclusion of this video, at least as an Easter egg, because he regards such "game-playing" with the consumer as absurd.