One of the best things about my generation is MTV. Remember when MTV played videos? I think I started watching MTV in 1983…could have been 1982, but it’s a little fuzzy now. I was probably 8 or 9 years old when I saw my first video. Not sure what it was, but I distinctly remember when Van Halen’s Jump premiered on the channel.
Back then, it was awesome. There were no commercials. There were no reality shows. It was like watching a radio station. Some VJ would talk about random music news and then introduce a video. The introduction was pointless because the information was always in the bottom left hand corner.
It was a great way for bands to promote their songs/albums. I can’t tell you how many tapes I bought after watching the video.
Slowly, but surely, shows made their way into MTV’s programming. They were all music video based. There was Heavy Metal Mania/Headbangers Ball, 120 Minutes, Yo! MTV Raps, and the ever annoying Club MTV.
While I thoroughly enjoyed it, Remote Control was the death knell of MTV as we knew it. It was the first non-video show, at least that I remembered. Soon after more non-video programming found its way into MTV’s daily schedule.
Sadly, now MTV is a shell of its former self. Last time I checked the guide on the satellite, it was all reality TV all the time.
Even before the internet was a big thing, MTV had almost completely stopped showing music videos. Now I’m guessing the kids get their music videos on the You Tube.
It’s good and it’s kinda sad. It used to be a big deal to see your favorite band’s video. You never really knew when it was coming on and if you were lucky, you had a tape ready in the VCR to record it. Kids today get things on demand.
One good thing about today is that local bands can produce their own videos and get them on the internet with relative ease. Of course, I have no idea how one might find those videos, but then again I’m a Gen-Xer who is probably considered an old fogey by now…but I still enjoy the blazing sound of a well played guitar.
You can get a glimpse into MTV’s past by watching Totally 80s on VH1Classic. I get that same thrill of seeing a favorite video or sometimes a video I’ve never seen before for a song I enjoy. Sometimes you’ll even get the unedited, long form version which is like a mini-short movie.
What was one of your favorite videos?