Saturday, August 24, 2013

Teens Only | I Want My MTV

When I was a teen...don't you just cringe whenever anyone starts a sentence with that?

But seriously, when I was a teen, I was witness to the beginning of MTV. It launched on August 1, 1981, and I think during the 80's I probably logged over 3,000 hours of watching/listening to awesome music videos. That's just an estimate. I really have no idea how many hours I sat in the front of the TV with MTV blaring through. But it was a lot. My parents might (probably would) say it was way too many hours. Oh well.

I loved music so much I even hung around some bands. My favorite "local" hit of the 80s was "Seventeen" by the James Blonde Band. That music was "it" and still makes me want to dance. 
Ah....those were the days.

I'm not saying MTV isn't still awesome. It's got Girl Code, Catfish, and Ridiculousness. But where are the Pet Shop Boys? Huey Lewis and the News? Phil Collins? I even remember the first music video ever aired: "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles. I remember sitting in the family room and thinking, "This is the coolest thing. Ever."

Since "retro" is so much a part of pop culture, there may be many of you out there wondering about the music scene of the 80's...specifically the baby days of MTV. Well, you're so in luck. 

There's a new book out titled VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave. It's a behind-the-scenes oral history of the explosion of MTV featuring the first VJs (video jockeys): Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, Martha Quinn, and the late J.J. Jackson. MTV not only helped launch -- or re-launch -- the careers of many famous musicians and bands, it really was the beginning of reality television. At least I think so. If you are at all interested in the phenomenon that was MTV, you should check this book out.

In the meantime, you can still hear the great sounds of the 80's on Sirius XM Radio. I just stumbled upon it a few weekends ago. Needless to say, I've got Peter Gabriel, Bananarama, Journey, Glass Tiger, and all the other great artists/bands of the 80's filling up my house. And that, my friends, is really awesome.

So take a trip back to the 80's and delve into the history of MTV. 

Happy reading...and I'll see you next week.

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