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August 1, 2006 10:41 AM   Subscribe

MTV turns 25 today. Music Television, otherwise known as MTV, was launched with its first broadcast on 1 August 1981, 25 years ago today. Famously, the first video broadcast was the Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star." Ironically, MTV evidently isn't going to acknowledge its anniversary on-air in any way, with a spokeswoman saying that "We made the decision when MTV was founded to always stay young and evolve with our audience. To do that, it has been important to serve our audience at that moment, not our audience of yesterday." This is about par for the course, though, since when was the last time that MTV actually broadcast music videos? A broader question: does anybody who wasn't weaned on MTV (or anybody who was, for that matter) care anymore?
posted by blucevalo (121 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Actually, VH1 Classic is airing the entire first day of broadcast starting, damn the St Pete Times soul permanently to hell for not mentioning it yesterday (it was apparently press-released 19 July), last night at midnight.

Was anyone geeky enough to roll tape on that? I'd dearly like to see it.
posted by baylink at 10:48 AM on August 1, 2006


VH1 Classic is showing the first 24 hours of MTV right now and again Saturday. I caught some of it last night. I have five words to describe it: Chock full of Rod Stewart. MTV's best years were the mid 80s, that brief era where it seemed like they were always playing something new and interesting.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:48 AM on August 1, 2006


The first 62 videos played on MTV, according to Wikipedia.
posted by keswick at 10:51 AM on August 1, 2006


Thanks keswick, I was just Googling for a list like that.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:54 AM on August 1, 2006


Neat list. I wonder what the original video of Talking Heads' "Once in a Lifetime" was like? I remember the Stop Making Sense version was pretty fun.
posted by pax digita at 10:57 AM on August 1, 2006


They did have a retrospect in video form around 3am this morning on the ADD show, playing all the major videos of the last 25 years. It was pretty intresting and i'm sure they'll play it again, and again, and perhaps... again.
posted by Derek at 11:01 AM on August 1, 2006


Re "Once in a Lifetime," I haven't seen it in years, but if memory serves, it was pretty awesome.

Here's a Youtube link to it.
posted by blucevalo at 11:02 AM on August 1, 2006


Just for the record, MTV does indeed show videos -- but they appear on MTV2, Vh1 Classic, etc. When the cable spectrum was split into multiple channels per operator, it gave Viacom the option of farming the videos out to dedicated outlets. (Disclaimer: non-partisan former MTV Networks employee.)

If you want old-skool MTV flavor, I highly reccommend MTVU, which isn't available everywhere. From amateurish newsbreaks to Death Cab videos, it feels like the "real" MTV never left. (Except for, you know, the other Dr. Dre.)

Also -- look to Asia and Africa for a sense of how MTV used to work in the US, and is now homogonizing culture *within other continents. (*Which is different from imposing Western dreck on proud indigenous peoples. Not better, just different.)
posted by turducken at 11:03 AM on August 1, 2006


Neat list. I wonder what the original video of Talking Heads' "Once in a Lifetime" was like? I remember the Stop Making Sense version was pretty fun.

And you may find yourself ten years old.

And you may find yourself sitting in front of a large tv set.

And you may switch to a new channel to see this tall gawky guy floating on these digitally simulated waves and singing.

And you may ask yourself "What the hell is this?"

That was the first video I ever saw. It blew me away! I'm not big on nostalgia but 80s MTV discussions always bring it out in me.
posted by jason's_planet at 11:05 AM on August 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


Nice list keswick. Rod Stewart really dominated Day One.
posted by yeti at 11:06 AM on August 1, 2006


I remember going to high school parties where we sat around and watched MTV. Gah.
posted by JanetLand at 11:09 AM on August 1, 2006


MTV's best years were the mid 80s, that brief era where it seemed like they were always playing something new and interesting.

Actually, '92 to '96 were pretty fun, when modern rock and gangsta rap were ramping up and MTV didn't know which aspect of them would hit with the masses. Maybe my memory is just being kind, but it's kind of hard to imagine MTV going out of their way to promote Flaming lips or Deep Forrest today.

Moral: MTV is at it's best when the kids are just a little bit ahead of it.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:09 AM on August 1, 2006


I thought MTV was great until they started rolling out more stuff like "Yo! MTV Raps!" and House of Style. Some of the game shows were amusing, but I miss seeing videos. I prety much swore off MTV when they screwed over "Headbangers Ball."
I wish that we could take over one of the many home shopping channels and just air old metal videos. :-D
posted by drstein at 11:12 AM on August 1, 2006


Thanks blucevalo!

Its funny, but that Talking Heads video seems even more striking now than when it came out - David Byrne's odd motions, the spare look, and low-end effects all make feel very very different from anything today.
posted by blahblahblah at 11:12 AM on August 1, 2006


MTV was fun at first, but I've come to the conclusion that it did more damage to popular music than anything else.

On the plus side, the women in hip-hop videos have given me hours of...um..enjoyment.
posted by jonmc at 11:15 AM on August 1, 2006


"This is 120 minutes, and I'm Daaaave Kendalllllll." It sounds stupid but this exposure to Billy Bragg and Robyn Hitchcock changed my life.
posted by unknowncommand at 11:16 AM on August 1, 2006


I, for one, am relieved that MTV is keeping their dirty mitts off of the old 1980s MTV. What comes to mind is something analogous to Ticketmaster resurrecting Woodstock at the Verizon-SBC Coliseum and sticking Snoop Dogg up there to MC the event.
posted by rolypolyman at 11:17 AM on August 1, 2006


Three words: Flock of Seagulls.

Age 14, walked into a Service Merchandise with a whole bank of televisions, all tuned to MTV.

"I Ran."

And lemme echo jason's_planet: What the hell is this?

Is there anything for today's crop of 14-year-olds that feels as revolutionary as this?
posted by kgasmart at 11:17 AM on August 1, 2006


If MTV always wanted to stay young -- does that not mean sort of staying the same? Do they change youth or do youth change it?

Or, rather, if MTV debuted today -- would the first day be the same?
posted by skepticallypleased at 11:18 AM on August 1, 2006


well, kgasmart, it was stuff like Flock Of Seagulls and Duran Duran that turned me into a metalhead in the early 80's, so I suppose in a backhanded way I should thank them for sucking.
posted by jonmc at 11:19 AM on August 1, 2006


MTV now is all derivative reality show garbage. There's no reason to celebrate what it's 'evolved' into.

But I do remember staying up to watch Beavis and Butthead. And the days in college when we'd watch videos under the influence of various substances instead of going to class.
posted by ninjew at 11:22 AM on August 1, 2006


blahblahblah: Yeah, totally. Talking Heads were (and still are IMO) ahead of their time. Check out "Crosseyed and Painless" too. Almost every song on Remain in Light still gives me goosebumps.
posted by blucevalo at 11:23 AM on August 1, 2006


Is there anything for today's crop of 14-year-olds that feels as revolutionary as this?

Yep. Youtube.
posted by blucevalo at 11:25 AM on August 1, 2006


Case in point.
posted by ninjew at 11:26 AM on August 1, 2006


It's funny, it was heavy metal in the 80's that turned me on to Echo and The Bunnymen, and new wave. So I guess I should, in a backhanded way, thank the metal bands for sucking.
posted by oddman at 11:26 AM on August 1, 2006


Is there anything for today's crop of 14-year-olds that feels as revolutionary as this?

Yep. My Space.
posted by oddman at 11:27 AM on August 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


14. "Howard Stern is a Dirty Jew" by Mel Gibson

Still a few bugs in this Wikipedia thing, I see.
posted by yhbc at 11:31 AM on August 1, 2006


*beats up oddman*

Take that new waver!

just kidding. It was the Maiden/Sister/Priest metal that I got into, not the hairmetal stuff, and I found my way to older rock, R&B, punk, post-punk and everything else, too. But for a 13-year-old with flooding hormones, synthpop was a fucking anathema.
posted by jonmc at 11:31 AM on August 1, 2006


FTA: "And if MTV is to stay a trendsetter, she'll have to maintain the same kind of anything-is-possible spirit she has encouraged since MTV's inception."

Stay a trendsetter? Don't you have to be a trendsetter in order to stay a trendsetter? What trend(s) are they leading? The 24/7 craptastic semi-scripted "reality" show trend? 4 Hours of "My Super Sweet 16" followed by 4 hours of "Pimp My Ride" followed by...you grt the idea. MTV is corporate suckitude personified.
posted by MikeMc at 11:33 AM on August 1, 2006


Everything is revolutionary when you're 14, because you have no frame of reference. Ever run into something revolutionary after 40?
posted by InfidelZombie at 11:33 AM on August 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


But for a 13-year-old with flooding hormones, synthpop was a fucking anathema.

Actually, when I was a hormonal 13-year-old, synthpop was a godsend. (But so was metal, so was postpunk, so was 80s R&B ..... )
posted by blucevalo at 11:36 AM on August 1, 2006


MTV Get Off the Air
posted by psmealey at 11:38 AM on August 1, 2006


Hey, remember when MTV2 used to play music videos?
posted by Kronoss at 11:39 AM on August 1, 2006


Ever run into something revolutionary after 40?

I'm 40 years old, and I humbly submit that most everything I run into these days, technologically anyway, is either revolutionary or has revolutionary potential. The question I have is whether the forces that are interested in keeping a lid on that potential (see the net neutrality debate, etc.) achieve their goals.
posted by blucevalo at 11:40 AM on August 1, 2006


Happy birthday MTV - you still suck!
posted by homodigitalis at 11:40 AM on August 1, 2006


Actually, when I was a hormonal 13-year-old, synthpop was a godsend.

*shudders*

There's plenty of music which I don't like, but can see why someone would. I've never been able to do that with synthpop.

*spears Nick Heyward and Simon LeBon with sharened stick, roasts them over fire*
posted by jonmc at 11:41 AM on August 1, 2006


I agree, unknowncommand, 120 minutes opened so many musical doors to me - I don't think I'd be the indie rock chick that I am without it (I could be a Britney fan for all I know -- aaah!). And now I have to deal with crap like My Super Sweet 16 which causes me major pain (but is still kind of addictive - ugh).
posted by echo0720 at 11:44 AM on August 1, 2006


One of these years, I'm going to be able to get through an August 1 without someone bringing up the Buggles.
posted by jjg at 11:47 AM on August 1, 2006


From CNN'c coverage:

August 1, 1981. The first video? The slyly prophetic "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles. Only a few thousand people on a single cable system in northern New Jersey could see it.

Which isn't exactly true. My brother and I watched the debut as it came on the air and we lived in southern Jersey.
posted by NationalKato at 11:48 AM on August 1, 2006



*beats up oddman*

Take that new waver!

just kidding. It was the Maiden/Sister/Priest metal that I got into, not the hairmetal stuff, and I found my way to older rock, R&B, punk, post-punk and everything else, too. But for a 13-year-old with flooding hormones, synthpop was a fucking anathema.
posted by jonmc at 2:31 PM EST on August 1 [+] [!]


*Clocks JonMC on head with secret agent sunglasses and kicks him in the nuts with knee high engineer boots.*

Sorry had to come to the Rescue of a fellow Bunnyman fan.
posted by Skygazer at 11:48 AM on August 1, 2006


"VH1 Classic is showing the first 24 hours of MTV right now and again Saturday."

Not on MTV or MTV2 or even VH1 but VH1 Classic, now that's pride.
posted by MikeMc at 11:50 AM on August 1, 2006


Youtube.. Myspace.. I wonder if twenty-five years from now MeFi will have threads about the 25th anniversary of those things, and will there be people saying how they rocked at the time but suck now etc ad infinitum. The more things change.
posted by ZachsMind at 11:50 AM on August 1, 2006


I wonder if twenty-five years from now MeFi will have threads about the 25th anniversary of those things,

Yes, Zach, and there will be a Behind The Blogs: Metafilter airing in 15 years, which will feature tearful interviews with stavrosthewonderchicken on his conversion to Druidism, quonsar on his helium addiction, and many others simply trying to come to terms with my death in a freak can opener accident.
posted by jonmc at 11:53 AM on August 1, 2006


Video killed the radio star. Nuff said.
posted by eperker at 11:55 AM on August 1, 2006


"But for a 13-year-old with flooding hormones, synthpop was a fucking anathema."

What? Pale, skinny girls are hot!

Thanks, Skygazer now lets go stand over in the corner and look down on everybody else. If "Bring on the Dancing Horses" we can nod our heads in subdued enthusiasm. Perhaps one of the cute skinny, pale girls with the awesome boots will dance slowly.
posted by oddman at 11:56 AM on August 1, 2006


What? Pale, skinny girls are hot!

They're ok. But sluts in skintight jordaches with fluffed-out hair are hotter.

Me and my crew will drown you out by cranking "Run To The Hills," and slamming on the corner.

or we could call a truce and make a joint effort to annoy preppies.
posted by jonmc at 11:58 AM on August 1, 2006


Oh yes! I'd forgotten about the preppies. Tell you what let's go get the goths (us New Wavers are pretty tight with them) and Rap kids and beat the crap out of the preppies. Well, mostly you metal kids and the rappers will do the beating. We'll stand off to the side with the goths exchanging make-up tips and mocking them viciously.
posted by oddman at 12:05 PM on August 1, 2006


Old Fart comment: we used to have a local Denver PBS station (12) playing music videos before MTV was even a gleam in the eyes of the suits. (Is that a mixed metaphor or a faux-surreal MTV-type image?)

Now it's on all the time on my daughter's TV and I sit down and watch "Date My Mom" or "Sweet Sixteen" or the occasional video (no, I don't like your grill and I don't care how much it cost, shut the fuck up)...I realize that the degradation and sluttification of the channel doesn't rate up there with global warming, but it's still pretty sad.

Makes me nostalgic for Barney.
posted by kozad at 12:06 PM on August 1, 2006


sounds like a plan. I'll go buy some cheap malt liquor and we headbangers are tight with the punkers so I'll get them. The deadhead kids will supply the weed.
posted by jonmc at 12:07 PM on August 1, 2006


I realize that the degradation and sluttification of the channel doesn't rate up there with global warming, but it's still pretty sad.

Turn on any of the other music video channels, like Fuse, and you'll find this is not solely MTV's downward path. This, my friend, is the music of today's youth.

Then again, so was the music of my youth.
posted by NationalKato at 12:11 PM on August 1, 2006


..and Echo & the Bunnymen, while not my bag, aren't what I was talking about. It's the Haircut 100/Duran Duran/Animotion type shit that drove me insane and into the arms of Dee Snider back in the day.
posted by jonmc at 12:11 PM on August 1, 2006


"Me and my crew will drown you out by cranking "Run To The Hills," and slamming on the corner."

Thanks jonmc, now I'll have that fucking song stuck in my head the rest of the day.

"White man came across the sea...he brought us pain and misery."

Arrgghhh...Must.Not.Headbang.In.Office.With.Door.Open.
posted by MikeMc at 12:16 PM on August 1, 2006


for good measure: the best hard rock video of all time
posted by jonmc at 12:18 PM on August 1, 2006


Happy birthday MTV - you still suck!

Yea, I find it hard to get all teary eyed about the anniversary of something I hated in the first place.
posted by octothorpe at 12:20 PM on August 1, 2006


Oh yeah!
posted by Bearman at 12:20 PM on August 1, 2006


Yeah, Echo was post punk. Haircut 100/Duran/ Spandau Ballet/ were basically referred to as the "new romantics" which was basically commercial New Wave. Or bands for girly girls who wore lots of bracelets, leggings and day glo sneakers. They were hot too. Along with the pale skinny ice queens and the jordache wearing metal chicks who put out and drank lot's of beer. I think girls were just generally hotter in the eighties.
posted by Skygazer at 12:21 PM on August 1, 2006


Oh yeah!

Er, to Panama, that is.
posted by Bearman at 12:21 PM on August 1, 2006




Oh yeah!

Er, to Panama, that is.


I chose 'Panama,' because it perfectly does what a video is supposed to do: visually illustrate a band's appeal, in the case of VH, pyrotechnic riffs and unbridled hedonism. The resulting video makes me want to guzzle Jack Daniels and snort blow out of a stripper's buttcrack.

Now that's artistic success.
posted by jonmc at 12:25 PM on August 1, 2006


Hey, NationalKato, where ya from? I, too, enjoyed some of that early MTV in Southern Jersey. Willingboro, to be exact.
posted by grubi at 12:26 PM on August 1, 2006


Medford Lakes, grubi. 'Round Cherry Hill way - at least Cherry Hill mall was where I used to go to see those Duran Duran chicks.
posted by NationalKato at 12:36 PM on August 1, 2006


I want my Martha Quinn.
posted by neuron at 12:36 PM on August 1, 2006


are you gonna be Stuffin' Martha's Muffin?
posted by jonmc at 12:38 PM on August 1, 2006


I wish I still had my Remote Control sweatshirt.

Or that I had gotten my picture taken with Colin Quinn or Adam Sandler. Or even Kari.

MTV did one good thing for me - no matter how much they sucked then or suck now, I'll always have a soft spot for MTV circa 88.
posted by pinky at 12:38 PM on August 1, 2006


here ya go, neuron.
posted by shoepal at 12:39 PM on August 1, 2006


Not to forget Michael Nesmith's role in this, per Wikipedia:

"Exploring the world of video production further, he created a television program called Pop Clips for the Nickelodeon cable network. The concept was sold to Time Warner/Amex, who developed it into the MTV network. "
posted by schmedeman at 12:42 PM on August 1, 2006


"But for a 13-year-old with flooding hormones, synthpop was a fucking anathema."

C'mon, dude, Duran Duran got the chicks!

Actually, though, MTV turned me onto a whole host of Seagulls/Duran/generic '80s vaguely futuristic keyboard-based nonsense that I later learned to loathe.

Kajagoogoo, anyone?

Ever run into something revolutionary after 40?

As someone who turns 39 tomorrow, I'd sure as hell like to.
posted by kgasmart at 12:43 PM on August 1, 2006


ooo schmedeman! I didn't know that!

And I considered myself a Nesmith fan.
posted by pinky at 12:45 PM on August 1, 2006


(Except for, you know, the other Dr. Dre.)

Embarrassing admission: Until about 1998 I was somehow under the impression that it was the same guy, and wondered why people didn't talk more about how much weight he'd lost.
posted by staggernation at 12:47 PM on August 1, 2006


File under: Last night a VJ saved my life.

The winter of '93 was a particularly nasty one in central Canada, or at least I tell myself that's how I wound up at Daytona Beach for Spring Break. It was unimaginably awful. Disneyland as imagined by drunken frat boys. A softcore porn indoctrination camp. Basic training with beer bongs.

After three or four nights of forced-march "partying," my friends and I finally bailed out and retired to our crappy hotel room early, all of us strung out and irritable. I flipped on the TV. 120 Minutes was on. Thurston Moore was guest VJ, and he was interviewing Beck. He asked Beck a question of some innocuous sort, and Beck responded by rather casually removing one of his shoes and flinging it across the studio. Cut to a video. In my memory, it was Black Flag's "TV Party," but that might've been at another point in the program. Later, they played the sublime video for Sonic Youth's "Teenage Riot."

MTV saved me from a mean bout of fear & loathing that night, and for that I'll always be much obliged.
posted by gompa at 12:56 PM on August 1, 2006


That Panama video reminds me of watching them play Vancouver in May of '84 - it could have been filmed there in my mind (though it was probably the video that helped get our radar up for the live show), and the show was better than the vid - complete truth in advertising, that one.
posted by Bearman at 12:58 PM on August 1, 2006


are you gonna be Stuffin' Martha's Muffin?

Ahh, good ol' Mojo Nixon.... I'm pretty sure he never had a video in MTV, although I sort of vaguely remember he did some spots for them at some point. Used to see him (and Skid) about every other weekend at the Baccanal in San Diego in the early-mid 80's. Between him and the Beat Farmers, you got all the raucous, beer-spewing, rocknroll mayhem you could handle, and way more fun than a video.
posted by elendil71 at 1:03 PM on August 1, 2006


I was listening to Radio Merseyside this morning and they were asking people to call in with examples of their favourite video. Some old man decided it was Hobson's Choice, the 1954 David Lean film with Charles Laughton. Think he may have misunderstood.
posted by feelinglistless at 1:04 PM on August 1, 2006


I've been watching VH1 Classic all day and I've never seen so much REO Speedwagon in my life. I feel slightly dirty.
posted by bayliss at 1:07 PM on August 1, 2006


I fucking live for "Sweet Sixteen" on MTV. I got the season pass and everything.
posted by ColdChef at 1:09 PM on August 1, 2006


for good measure: the best hard rock video of all time

You know, tastes differ. So I can understand that someone might think that "Panama" is a better video than "Ace of Spades" -- a good straight-up performance video where you can practically smell Lemmy. Or that it's better than "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" with the exploding head at the end. Or better than "You Shook Me All Night Long" with the chick with the big knockers.

But that it's better than "Ace of Spades" --AND-- better than "Another Thing Comin'" --AND-- better than "You Shook Me"?

No fuckin' way, man. No fuckin' way.

Besides, "We're Not Gonna Take It" is a better video than "Panama."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:12 PM on August 1, 2006


YouTube killed the TV star.
posted by caddis at 1:12 PM on August 1, 2006


Also, thanks to Rod Stewart and his "Infatuation" video, I became a pervert teenage voyeur...so...I got that going for me.
posted by ColdChef at 1:16 PM on August 1, 2006


where you can practically smell Lemmy.

That's a scary thought.
posted by blucevalo at 1:34 PM on August 1, 2006


Skygazer:*Clocks JonMC on head with secret agent sunglasses and kicks him in the nuts with knee high engineer boots.*

Sorry had to come to the Rescue of a fellow Bunnyman fan.


Second that. Echo, My Bloody Valentine, Jesus + Mary Chain etc. all kick ass, and Priest isn't even fun on Guitar Hero.

...Now if we can jst get the elusive Shoegazer to come out of the woodwork...
posted by Navelgazer at 1:37 PM on August 1, 2006


In related news (or anti-news, depending on your POV):

"Madonna's Like A Prayer video has been voted the most groundbreaking of all time ..... MTV commissioned the poll of more than 10,000 viewers to mark the channel's 25th anniversary."
posted by blucevalo at 1:40 PM on August 1, 2006


YouTube killed the TV star.

It seems most of the vid's mentioned in this post are on YouTube, and they aren't on MTV, so who's killin' who?
posted by Bearman at 1:43 PM on August 1, 2006


@kgasmart -- 4 words: A Flock Of Seagulls.

:-)

Thanks to whomever pointed out they're rerunning it.
posted by baylink at 1:43 PM on August 1, 2006


Besides, "We're Not Gonna Take It" is a better video than "Panama."

This probably tops the list of conversations I never thought I would read on Metafilter.

we headbangers are tight with the punkers so I'll get them.

I'm curious about this jonmc. Where did you go to school? In my school, in 1984, the punks and the metalheads had at least a fight per week in the high school smoking lounge (yes, those were the days). Both groups hated the jocks (who were a subset of the preps), but they seemed to hate each other more.

For my part, I was a rocker guitarist in a new wave band, so I managed to get along with both groups, but that was relatively rare.
posted by psmealey at 1:50 PM on August 1, 2006


I caught some of it last night. I have five words to describe it: Chock full of Rod Stewart.

Awesome. After reading just the first few comments in this thread, I turned the TV on and found VH1 Classic. Who's on the screen even as I type? Rod Stewart.
posted by melixxa600 at 1:56 PM on August 1, 2006


It is unfortunate that MTV went away from video programming. It is not surprising because what they are doing now is obviously more profitable. But it is surprising that no major cable network has filled the void. I would have thought that there would be competing 24 hour music video channels by now. Perhaps there still will be. I think that videos are a great way to get people to experience new or different types of music.
posted by flarbuse at 1:58 PM on August 1, 2006


@kgasmart -- 4 words: A Flock Of Seagulls.

See, I've so successfully repressed the memory that I didn't even get the name right.

But now, a question about the sort of vague "space" thing going on with so many bands of that era. Was trolling YouTube for vidclips of the old ABC SNL ripoff "Fridays" (and that's a whole 'nother discussion) when I came across this clip of the Cars, circa 1982, "Think it Over."

Check out Ben Orr's outfit. It's like he's a humanoid from the planet Synth-O, and I don't get it; I didn't get it then, I don't get it now. What was with the vaguely futuristic fetish inherent in that outfit and so much of synth-pop as a whole?
posted by kgasmart at 2:01 PM on August 1, 2006


kgasmart's comments got me thinking about one of my favorite characters from St Louis, Tory Starbuck who still dresses/makeups himself into a flock-of-seagulls style new wave rocker on a daily basis.
posted by nomisxid at 2:07 PM on August 1, 2006


Ahh, good ol' Mojo Nixon.... I'm pretty sure he never had a video in MTV

I remember seeing both "Elvis is Everywhere" and "Debbie Gibson is Pregnant..." videos, though the latter might have been on one of those "Al TV" things.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:21 PM on August 1, 2006


25 years after Video killed the Radio Star and it still hasn't been brought to justice? Now THAT's an outrage.
posted by wendell at 2:28 PM on August 1, 2006


After Mojo Nixon came out with his song "Stuffin' Martha's Muffin" I think he was persona non grata at MTV.
posted by caddis at 2:37 PM on August 1, 2006


They were behind the times. I remember watching the Kenny Everett video show back in 1978.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:42 PM on August 1, 2006


I was wrong; he went on MTV after that song was released. That's pretty big of MTV.
posted by caddis at 2:46 PM on August 1, 2006


"This is 120 minutes, and I'm Daaaave Kendalllllll."

"And did I mention in the past 30 seconds that Morrissey is a close personal friend of mine?"

Ahhh...the pre-grunge days when alternative rock was Brit pop and "college rock"...
posted by jonp72 at 2:48 PM on August 1, 2006


Back in 2003 I started doing some freelance work for MTV Europe, I was a reporter for This is Our Music. As I'm pretty tired right now I won't go into any details, but let me tell you, I had a blast. I mean, to interview all those independent artists for a new MTV show was exciting and sort of guerrillaish. To this day I can hardly believe that they let us get away with it all, and I'm very grateful that some people at MTV truly believed in us. Since I grew up on a diet of 120 Minutes/Alternative Nation it also felt good to give something back.

That said, the show didn't really cause any shifts in MTV's programming, to say the least. And few people saw it when it first aired.

A shame, I think.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:48 PM on August 1, 2006


I never have to remember my birthday, or my age: all I have to do is watch MTV in July, and it'll remind me of both. (I was born on the same day as MTV.)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:21 PM on August 1, 2006


I think girls were just generally hotter in the eighties.

Sadly, this isn't true. It's just that you (and I) were twenty years younger.

And Bearman:

That Panama video reminds me of watching them play Vancouver in May of '84

Sounds like our paths may have crossed long ago. *sighs*
posted by jokeefe at 3:25 PM on August 1, 2006


This is interesting. MTV drove some to synthpop, others to metal. I saw "Turning Japanese" by the Vapors and "Homo Sapien" by Pete Shelley and decided that I wanted to be punk rock, too. (I didn't know the diff btwn punk and New Wave m'kay?)

Then I discovered Minor Threat, shaved my head, and became about as preachy and self-righteous as the hippies I hated. But much more violent. Fortunately, beer and girls proved more enticing than self-control, so I grew out of it.

I love me some Lemmy, though. I always thought the placement of his microphone in that video -- waaaaay up high, almost over his head, was one of the coolest things I've ever seen in rock'n'roll.

win some lose some it's all the same to me

(bangs head, raises devil horns)
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:44 PM on August 1, 2006


"Once in a Lifetime," I haven't seen it in years, but if memory serves, it was pretty awesome.

Choreographed by Toni Basil.

"The music video for "Mickey" was released in 1982 and was one of the most popular of the early MTV videos. In the video, Basil wore a cheerleader uniform from Las Vegas High School, the school from which she graduated."
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:17 PM on August 1, 2006



posted by monju_bosatsu at 4:21 PM on August 1, 2006


I gotta dispute the goodness of the "Teenage Riot" video. It actually makes the song seem as long as it is. As a matter of fact most of the early Sonic Youth videos are pretty bad, song quality nonwithstanding. I have a compilation of them, the early videos. "Silver Rocket" is the only one that's half decent.
posted by furiousthought at 4:28 PM on August 1, 2006


You kiddin' me? I love "Teenage Riot."

There is a relatively new music-video channel called International Music Feed. Verizon FIOS is offering it, alas. (I have Cablevision.) But I do pay $5 a month for the privilege of being able to watch selections from the channel's playlists in shitty quality on my cell phone.

That's how much I miss music television.
posted by Joey Bagels at 4:50 PM on August 1, 2006


I was 9!
The last time MTV played music videos I was 9!
posted by tomplus2 at 5:19 PM on August 1, 2006


Everybody knows the best Sonic Youth video is "Dirty Boots."
posted by keswick at 5:21 PM on August 1, 2006


The first 62 videos played on MTV, according to Wikipedia.

Split Enz in at no 12! Woot! Viva kiwiana!

I remember not being able to stand most of the music played on MTV until The Chronic came out. Now it's like the opposite - all shitty rap all the time (on the few occasions that music is actually played). I'll take C4 over MTV any day.
posted by supercrayon at 5:49 PM on August 1, 2006


Actually, I think it's not just MTV, it seems to me that plenty of cable channels are much cooler in their early days.

Cartoon Network used to have quite awesome commercials, while now it almost seems like they're starting to edge away from the idea that they're for *cartoons*. Nick had Dangermouse and You Can't Do That On Television, while now they're basically the channel of animator refugees from Cartoon Network. Sci-Fi Channel had lots of classic sci-fi. Comedy Central had MST3K.
posted by JHarris at 5:59 PM on August 1, 2006


Bull In The Heather.

And man, I just watched Teenage Riot again, to see if I was wrong. At first I thought I was. But you tell me if you watch that and your attention doesn't start to drift away from the screen about three, three and a half minutes in. Not the song, just the screen. That ain't the sign of a good video.
posted by furiousthought at 6:01 PM on August 1, 2006


I'm a little young to have caught the early Sonic Youth videos, but the video for the "Superstar" cover had me mesmerized. (and the SY version is, needless to say, far superior to the Carpenters')
posted by Navelgazer at 6:36 PM on August 1, 2006


I've been watching VH1 Classic today, and they're not even really showing the "first day". They're just showing the same videos they showed that day (out of order) with their regular DJ pimping little bits of clips of stuff from the early days with really annoying "Old Navy" ads.

Leave it to Mtv networks to make even their retrospective review of their own network's birth suck.

I wonder if there even is any of the original broadcast day footage floating around somewhere?
posted by inthe80s at 6:48 PM on August 1, 2006


How to piss off both the new wavers and the metal-heads. (for those not completely sick of YouTube)

Kinda has a Matix feel to it, no?
posted by Bearman at 7:05 PM on August 1, 2006


re Mojo Nixon:

I was wrong; he went on MTV after that song was released. That's pretty big of MTV.

Yes. He did those funny between-video spots for them (like Randee of the Redwoods--haha, anybody remember that guy?). I recall that one was about "road years", and how touring and playing shows puts more mileage on you than regular years. "Ever wonder why Mick Jagger looks like Don Knotts? Road years, man!"

Seems like they even did an "MTV World Premiere" for "Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two Headed Love Child"...
posted by First Post at 7:10 PM on August 1, 2006


anything after 1994 pretty much blows... 88-94 were the golden years... the videos, Remote Control, Liquid Television, 120 Minutes, Real World when it was groundbreaking... There was a sense of having fun and thumbing noses at the suits... now they have become the suits, interested only in selling to 15-17yr olds with a lot of disposable income...

it's really sad when you think about it...
posted by WhipSmart at 7:38 PM on August 1, 2006


I remember Randee of the Redwoods. I saw one spot and laughed my ass off. He was talking about this killer drug he got off on called aspeerin (a.k.a. aspirin). That was Mojo Nixon? Funny stuff, man, funny stuff.
posted by Man-Thing at 8:11 PM on August 1, 2006


Dave Kendall nowadays
posted by destro at 9:26 PM on August 1, 2006


They were the suits all along, they just used to be better at pretending they weren't.

Also Randee
posted by drezdn at 9:38 PM on August 1, 2006


Apparently there weren't any black artists in the early 80's
posted by Balisong at 9:46 PM on August 1, 2006


no there were not. black artists apparently first started making music in the 90s, whereupon they took over the music business. amazing that. the more amazing thing is that music has now disappeared. people now watch each other enjoy spring break instead. music is dead.
posted by caddis at 10:01 PM on August 1, 2006


Not that Mojo and Randee are one and the same, but just did similar work in MTV spots. Then there was that crazy cab driver guy, and a coupla others.

As for the no black videos, somebody didn't believe me the other day when I told them that MTV was fairly controversial in its early stages for not showing any videos by black artists. The only one they played for a long time was Herbie Hancock "Rockit", with the robot things; Hancock himself only appears in the video for a few seconds in a small monitor on the screen. And that was it. For years. Things changed a lot with the release of Michael Jackson's "Thriller"...then there was Doctor Dre and Ed Lover and etc., and nowadays if you do happen to catch a fleeting view of a musical artist on MTV, chances are they're a hip hop/R&B performer. So that's one thing that changed a lot over the channel's history...
posted by First Post at 10:06 PM on August 1, 2006


I don't get it Bearman, how is that supposed to piss off New Wavers and metalheads?
posted by oddman at 10:06 AM on August 2, 2006


The only important artifact that MTV has ever (and will ever) spawned is Beavis and Butthead.
posted by psmealey at 10:21 AM on August 2, 2006


I'll admit to having a soft spot for early 80s MTV. But you know what was better - Night Flight on the USA Network.

In fact, I just recieved 12 dvd's worth of Night Flight today from a guy who was selling them on the NF message boards.

Anyone interested email

kctexan@comcast.net
posted by vronsky at 2:15 PM on August 2, 2006


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