why ask why me?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MTV

where were you 25 years ago today? i admit, i was only 4 years old. below are some of the wonderful additions to our fabulous lives due to MTV - and where i was at the time (taken from the above linked article)

i was at my grandparents with my dad watching MTV!!! I am one of the few, the proud, and the "lucky" to have seen:

1. THE DEBUT: Aug. 1, 1981. The first video? The slyly prophetic "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the now-forgotten Buggles. Only a few thousand people on a single cable system in northern New Jersey could see it. Sometimes the screen would go black when someone at MTV inserted a tape into a VCR. Within a few years, millions of kids demanded their parents buy cable so they could see MTV. Along with CNN, it led TV's transition out of the three-channel world. "This was the fuse that lit the cable explosion," said Robert Thompson, professor of popular culture at Syracuse University.

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We HAVE CABLE!!! i was six, and we were the proud "owners" of the slide box cable box.. it had all the channels listed, it was white plastic with a fake wood sticker on top, and you slid the slider to the channel of interest - and then you nudged the tuner wheel to bring the channel into the sharpest focus possible

2. BEAT IT: March 31, 1983. Michael Jackson becomes the first black artist with a video on MTV. The segregation was MTV's early shame, ironic considering its later role in popularizing rap. And the early snub wasn't forgotten: "You don't have all of music television when you are leaving things out," says Los Lonely Boys singer Henry Garza.

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Can you say: at almost 7, i knew this was fake, but something about it bothered me, even back then.... i watched it on a wall sized projection tv at my best friends house

3. THRILLER: Dec. 2, 1983. Less a video than a 14-minute mini-movie with Vincent Price, ghouls and goblins, the premiere of Jackson's "Thriller" was an event. MTV gave it a set time on the schedule — several, even. It was the apotheosis of the idea of music videos as an art form. With director John Landis involved, it also was proof that Hollywood's finest weren't looking down upon what are essentially promo clips.

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What were my parents thinking letting me watch this?? who knows, but i DID!!

4. MADONNA BUSTS OUT: Sept. 14, 1984. Performing "Like a Virgin" at the first Video Music Awards, Madonna popped out of a cake dressed in a wedding gown and writhed through her hit. At that moment, Madonna became a superstar, put the VMAs on the map and set an enduring tone. Who cares about those ugly "moon man" trophies? What matters is making the audience gasp.

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8 years old and singing along... did i KNOW what the words ment..... hummmm, possibly

5. MONEY FOR NOTHING: 1985. The Dire Straits song was about MTV, mocked MTV and became the band's biggest hit because of MTV. It was one of the first videos to feature computer animation, and Sting made a clever cameo echoing his role in iconic "I want my MTV" ads. The rules for music stardom had changed. Being photogenic was now crucial; an eye-catching video made hits. "It was America's first national radio network," says record executive Phil Quartararo.

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WHERE DID MY VIDEOS GO?!?

6. BYE-BYE VJs: Original video jock J.J. Jackson's contract expired in 1985. Nina Blackwood followed him out the next year and so did Martha Quinn, breaking the hearts of countless teenage boys. Alan Hunter and Mark Goodman were next. Only Adam Curry lasted into the '90s. MTV refused to follow its aging first fans, courting teens instead. It also realized that airing videos was a dead end and began aggressively developing other programming. Those were probably the most important financial decisions MTV ever made.

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BRASS MONKEY!!!!!!!!!!!!! - yeah, i was 9... it was on right after i got home from school... and I LOVED IT!

7. RAP BLASTS OFF: Aug. 6, 1986. It's no coincidence that "Yo! MTV Raps!" premiered about the same time rap started becoming the dominant music form for young America. Hip white kids like Rick Rubin or the Beastie Boys may have loved rap before, but "Yo! MTV Raps!" brought it into every suburban living room. "Going from the network that was called on the carpet for not having blacks to this was a huge leap, and it was the right one for MTV," says Christina Norman, MTV's first black president.

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I am a freshman in high school - so yeah, i got the CD - never really got into the whole grunge look - but still.....

8. ENTER GRUNGE: Sept. 29, 1991: Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video killed the hair metal scene and signaled the ascendancy of grunge. The images themselves were an arresting accent, with the tattooed cheerleaders and what seemed like an underwater pep rally in a dank gymnasium. "The band, the sound and the imagery in the video was sort of a breath of fresh air — or a scream," said MTV series development guru Tony DiSanto.

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ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ - but i DID fall in love w/ clapton and proceeded to buy lots of his music

9. CLAPTON UNPLUGGED: March 11, 1992. Only the most desperate of fading 1980s bands — Nuclear Valdez, Squeeze, the Alarm — responded to MTV's first requests to show off their acoustic chops. But fans responded to the intimacy and stars soon lined up: Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen (who got nervous and insisted on an electric guitar) — and Eric Clapton, in his first performance since his son died after falling from a skyscraper window. "Everybody who was there felt something special was going on," says Van Toffler, president of MTV's music services. Clapton had to be talked into releasing the show on CD, and it became his biggest-selling album.

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he he he he he, and this is how i spent my junior & senior year in high school

10. HEH-HEH. COOL: March 24, 1994: Who'd have thunk that "Beavis and Butt-head" would make the cover of Rolling Stone? When Toffler received a pilot tape of two adolescent cartoon characters playing baseball with a frog, he watched it nearly 100 times. "You have a feeling in your bones that there's something different about it that's unique and it will either flop miserably or succeed brilliantly." It was stupid, gross-out humor — but many older people secretly wished they could act that way.

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They made living in NYC look SO COOL & EASY

11. REALITY BITES: June 23, 1994. It's hard to recall a time when setting up a group of strangers in a camera-filled home was a new idea. But the 1992 debut of "The Real World" "invented reality TV," says Thompson. "It's absolutely ground zero." And the inclusion of Pedro Zamora, who was gay and soon to die of AIDS, in the 1994 season did more to promote tolerance than hundreds of public service announcements. "It was probably the most riveting piece of television I had ever seen," says Brian Graden, then a young, gay man and now an MTV programming exec. "I had never seen someone like myself reflected back to me ... it really changed things for a whole generation of gay people."

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I admit, i was talked into watching THIS EPISODE - and i LOVED it - but after watching this one, i never got into the show.... maybe because i wished it was really happening?

12. ASHTON PUNKS JUSTIN: March 17, 2003. "Candid Camera" with an edge, the debut of Kutcher's series "Punk'd" had a crew posing as the "Tax Enforcement Agency" seizing Justin Timberlake's possessions after saying he owed $900,000 in back taxes. The title is now ensconced in the popular lexicon.

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Again, i was talked into watching.... and i laughed... sort of - but i'm still not sure why......and can we really be suprised they didn't stay together

13. CHICKEN OR TUNA?: Aug. 19, 2003. "Newlyweds" followed the telegenic Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey as they navigated marital bliss. They truly became famous when cameras caught Simpson confused by whether a can of Chicken of the Sea contained tuna. Presto! America had a new favorite dim blonde.

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*YAWNNNNNNNNNN*

14. THE KISS: Aug. 28, 2003. It was MTV's idea to bring back Madonna for a reprise of "Like a Virgin" for the 20th video music awards, and MTV's idea to pair her with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. The open-mouthed kiss that she planted on the two young stars? That was pure Madonna, and it outranked the creepy Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley for most memorable kiss.

Those of you who stuck w/ me... thanks for going on a walk thru memory lane with me! What are yours?

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2 Comments:

  • Oh my God...Brass Monkey...

    "We got the bottle - you got the cup/Come on everybody let's get fff..."

    Need I say more??

    And even though it's not music related, I really liked the first few seasons of "The Real World." :)

    By Blogger Me, at Tuesday, August 01, 2006  

  • Yeah being Canadian MTV was not really a part of my life. Interesting post though. We get it now and I remember tuning in recently and seeing that there were never any music videos on. So weird.

    Scott

    By Blogger Scott, at Wednesday, August 02, 2006  

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