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Thread: MTV Turns 30

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    Default MTV Turns 30

    It's way too easy to turn this into a MTV BASHING THREAD, so let's try to look at the positive memories for those of us grew up on the channel in the 80's thru early 90's...

    MTV Turns 30



    For original MTV VJ Mark Goodman, the news that music network is celebrating its 30th anniversary this weekend is hard to fathom. "It's freaking weird," he tells Rolling Stone. "I've lived like three lifetimes since then. It's just so long ago, and yet it also seems like yesterday. It's a weird number – and it's hard to believe that we're still talking about this 30 years down the road."

    MTV launched on August 1st, 1981 at 12:01 a.m. The first images broadcast were the launch of the Apollo 11, followed by a video for the Buggles song "Video Killed The Radio Star." The network has gone through countless permutations since then, but this weekend VH1 Classic will commemorate MTV's founding with a three-day marathon of footage from the 1980s, including a re-broadcast of the network's first hour, starting Saturday at 6 a.m.

    Mark Goodman was a 28-year-old disc jockey when he auditioned for the new network in 1981. "During one of the auditions I had to interview Robert Morton – who went on to produce David Letterman's show – as he pretended to be Billy Joel," says Goodman. "He was just being a total fucking asshole on purpose to make it the worst possible interview. In another round, I had to talk to the audience about the Eagles, whose photos were pasted up on a poster board on an easel."

    In the earliest days, MTV was only available in a limited number of cities. When they launched, the VJs had to travel to New Jersey to watch it because even New York cable companies didn't offer it. "Part of the job was to hang out with cable operators and convince them to pick up MTV," Goodman says. "Within six months we started getting these stories back from small towns in the Midwest and in the South where people were going into record stores and asking for the Buggles, who had been off the shelves for about three years by 1981. I also remember doing an appearance in Cheyenne, Wyoming at a record store where thousands of people showed up. I said, 'What's going on?' They said, 'You.' I was completely blown away, and I said, 'Okay, it's working.'"

    It took a little while for all the major artists to begin making videos. "I think we only had 300 videos at first," Goodman says. "Which is why you saw Andrew Gold every few hours. We also had lots of Rod Stewart, and even acts like Charlie Daniels. One of the early success stories was Duran Duran. We started playing 'Planet Earth' early on and it got them wide exposure. We started to hear about British bands coming to the States and being shocked by how many people showed up."

    The new platform served as a tremendous boost to the record industry. "We sort of propped it up when there was kind of an indulgence in the industry," says Goodman. "We were coming off Saturday Night Fever in 1979 and the industry had this gigantic bubble and then things got awful quiet. We came along just in time and revitalized things, or at least opened people up to more music."

    Goodman left the network in 1988, but has returned periodically for specials. He recently hosted a variety of shows on VH1 Classic. MTV had a huge celebration for its 20th anniversary in 2001, and reunited all five of the original VJs at a concert special in New York. "As far as I know, MTV isn't doing anything in particular to celebrate the 30th," Goodman says. "MTV doesn't want people to think about how friggin' old they are. The people watching now were so, so not born when we launched. They were light years away from being born."

    Original VJ JJ Jackson died in 2004, but the other four do regular work for Sirius XM. "This weekend, me and Nina Blackwood and Alan Hunter and Martha Quinn are going in the same studio," Goodman says., "We're going to recreate, musically, the first five hours of MTV. And we're going to tell stories from the old days, and people like Rick Springfiefld, Nick Rhodes and Eddie Money are going to stop by to talk about their earliest impressions of MTV."

    Despite his deep history with MTV, Goodman admits that he hardly watches it these days. "I have no interest in stuff like Jersey Shore," he says. "I have an 18-year-old daughter and I have watched other shows with her, but it's not for me. I'm 30 years past the demo."
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

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    I thought it was funny that VH1 Classics was doing the 30th year tribute to MTV this weekend instead of... well!... MTV!

    MTV did offer up blocks of The Jessey Shore though.

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    30 years.....wow!!!
    Remember the Heroes - 9/11/01

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    Watched a little of the VH1 Classic thing and when they showed a clip of Pee Wee Herman's return at the 1991 VMA's I was hoping they would continue it for the VH Poundcake performance that followed as you could see the amps and shit on stage. But of course with pretty anything VH related the past years it was another dissapointment.
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    MTV would probably make a killing if they were smart enough to launch a channel devoted to it's past---- ala VH1C. All the old VMAs, videos, and VJs, I can't believe they haven't done so already. Rather we get dumb kids knocking each other up and out. It's a no-brainer.
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    It turns out that MTV is done more harm than good to music. Now 3 minute music video's are more important than the music. I jumped off the MTV bandwagon sometime in the mid 90's other than Beavis and Butthead of course.

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    MTV turned 30. But Music Television died about 10 years ago.
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    MTV who?? Stopped watching it probably mid-90's except for B&B. I'll only watch B&B when it comes back on.

    Couldn't stand Julie Brown - what an annoying voice. But, I always liked watching Head Banger's Ball and the game show Remote Control.
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    Began watching MTV at about the time it began. Where I grew up in Baltimore County, my neighborhood had just received access to Caltec Cable a few weeks prior to onset of MTV. Cable was a new novelty to me, as was MTV.
    MTV became less important to me by 1987, which was when I got my driver's license and got more into parties, drinks, and girls. Sometimes I would watch Headbangers Ball or 120 minutes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeoBandit View Post
    MTV turned 30. But Music Television died about 10 years ago.
    Was just about to post thoughts along those lines. The MTV that we had in the 80's is NOT the same steaming reality show shit-pile that is on now. Not even close.

    I miss the Sunday Night Concert - Journey, Greg Kihn, Asia, Dave Edmunds. Saw some damn good shows back then.

    Friday Night Videos Fights were kinda cool too. I remember the first MTV House Party contest where you stood to win a ton of freakin hotshit (at the time) stereo equipment and wanting so damn bad to win that thing. Mama Lowlife warned me against it though, being all of 13 years old.
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    I watched a bit of the VH1 Classic stuff on MTV this weekend. It reminded me that the buzz of appointment viewing is gone nowadays. I used to leave parties early on Saturday nights to catch Headbangers Ball or race home from the bus stop after school because new VH videos from 1984 were in heavy rotation. Now, I can go to youtube in 2 seconds to watch almost any video or DVR those videos on VH1 Classic and FF through them at mach speed. I love the technology but there's something to be said for the buzz of waiting all week to watch a VH Unleashed special on MTV.

    MTV had some awesome contests back in the day. Lost Weekend, Win a Radio Station, Win a Town... You name it - MTV had it all.

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    Even in the mid nineties, when I was getting up in the AM, MTV was still playing videos, though "shows" like the Real World were getting more and more popular.

    I remember older MTV when I was younger, and VJs like Adam Curry, and I really liked Martha Quinn, but my most vivid memories were in my formative years.

    I have fond memories of junior high and high school with Matt Pinfield, MTV Sports with Dan Cortese, MTV Jams with Bill Bellamy, Daisy Fuentes, Singled Out with Chris Hardwick and Jenny McCarthy, Kennedy, Kurt Loder, John Norris and Tabitha Peters and MTV News, Simon Rex, and John Sencio.

    I think the execs at MTV have done a great job at staying relevant when the music video started to become less important.

    I think MTV launched a lot of careers that radio may not have, but I also think the music industry is better off today with less of an emphasis (though it can still be powerful) on image.

    And damn it, I actually like Hootie & the Blowfish. So :-P

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    The first ten to twelve years were memorable and fun. After that, not so much.

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    MTV was only cool till 1993.
    Then it was all down hill from there.

    MTV 1984 - best ever!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bugs Meanie View Post
    I still love Kari Wuhrer.
    Can't imagine why...




    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

 

 

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