Happy Birthday MTV, Even If All You Give Us Now is Jersey Shore Repeats
My parents didn’t let us watch cable. Back in the 80’s, that meant spending the night over at my friend Jerry’s house. His dad had everything. HBO, Skin-a-max, but we also loved watching the Headbanger’s Ball on MTV. I would overdose on MTV, and go home in a toxic music video coma. Yea, that’s right kids, there was a time when MTV played music videos not the Jersey Shore, Teen Moms, or 16 and Pregnant. MTV ruled! They broke new bands, and still gave you a healthy diet of the biggest hits of the day.
It all started on this day in 1981 when they fired up the classic moon man and the Buggles song “Video Killed the Radio Star”. Funny how that song became associated with the 80’s because of MTV, even though it had actually been out for two years already when MTV launched (By the way, can you name the second song played on MTV? I’ll fill you in later).
Still, MTV was cool back then. If you wanted “Dave TV”, Cyndi Lauper, or the Thompson Twins, you could find it all in one place. If you were lucky, Martha Quinn or that dude with the ridiculous blonde mullet would have your favorite artist in for an interview and Kurt Loder kept you in tune with all the music news you needed.
That all ended shortly after the Pauly Shore era of MTV in the late 80’s, when they launched the first reality show “Real World” and stopped emphasizing music. The good news is that even though MTV and VH1 are dead, you can still discover some great music on MTVU and VH1 Classic where music still lives. Still, it just isn’t the same. I just wish MTV lived up to their name again. Good thing we still have Youtube.
Oh, and that second song played on MTV….Watch it below.
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