I Want My MTV

To follow up on Dave's idea, not only should we wax nostalgic about our favorite videos, but I think we should endeavor to remember what was great about MTV when it first went on the air.

At some point during 1982, a kid moved on to my street whose father was a bigwig with a cable television company that had just gotten the franchise for Fairfax County, VA. My reward soon followed-8 Betamax tapes filled with this newfangled MTV, including some of the first videos I'd ever seen by such classic bands as Haircut 100, Aztec Camera (I know Housley will now tell me that he loves Aztec Camera--they did the acoustic version of Van Halen's Jump that Weasel used to always play on WHFS, when there was a WHFS and it didn't suck)--and even The Fixx (who incidentally just played for free at a club up the street from my house and couldn't even sell that out.

But Dave's first post made me nostalgic for the days when I could actually learn something about music from MTV.

Oh, and I'll throw in another favorite video vote: David Lee Roth's YANKEE ROSE. Like watching a car wreck, with guitar.


dave said...

This is a good topic, kind of the one I was thinking about when I made the original post. All this talk about MTV, or at least what talk there is, does remind me that there was a time when it didn't suck, wasn't a joke, and seemed really culturally relevant.

Bill Clinton came on MTV and that chick asked him the boxers or briefs question. At the time, that was unprecedented -- a presidential candidate who acknowledged that there were voters who were younger than 40. And MTV was the logical place for him to do that. Of course, he also played the sax while wearing Risky Business sunglasses on Arsenio...

We watched MTV when Kurt Cobain died. Seemed better to get that news from Kurt Loder, who has always walked the line between self-parody and somehow semi-legit newsman. At least, well, semi-legit enough for MTV.

But the reason it was cool and significant for me -- and I"m old, so this is when it first came on, back when Little Steve Kistulenz was watching those betamax tapes (well, probably a year after that), is that it seemed to offer a connection that we didn't have in our insulated, isolated little town in the middle of Central Pennsylvania. All of the sudden, we heard the bands at the same time as everybody else. Back before they built that interweb of tubes that carry songs and porn straight to your computer, and before clear channel ruined radio by making all the stations the same, the ability to see Def Leppard in real time was just about the coolest thing that ever happened in Selinsgrove, PA.

TMC said...

MTV's collapse laid out the blueprint for the same collapse that ESPN is currently undergoing.