Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I LOVE The 80s

Flipping around tonite, since Discovery has seen fit to make me wait until tomorrow night to see Mike Rowe again. I happened upon the last hour of Vh1's top songs of the 80s countdown.


Music and videos I haven't seen in forever!

Jessie's Girl

Time After Time

Like a Virgin

Don't Stop Believing

Pour Some Sugar On Me

Livin On A Prayer

Of course, most of the songs I heard, plus a whole lot more, are readily available on my iPod. But the videos? I miss the videos.

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I remember life in college. Get up in the morning and turn on the tv. Of course, rarely was it ever off MTV...then again, this was also back when the "M" in MTV stood for "Music". Back then, it was like turning on the radio. Wall to wall music, 24 hours a day, with 5 shifts of "VJs". These were 3 men and 2 women who acted like dj's on the radio, except with music videos. We had JJ Jackson, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, Nina Blackwood and Martha Quinn.

JJ Jackson was the old radio veteran. Mark Goodman had long curly hair and was the 'rock' hottie. Alan Hunter was the blonde haired, blue eyed boy next door with a little edge. Nina Blackwood hosted "Headbangers Ball" and Martha C Quinn was the cute girl.

Of course, this was a time before cell phones, blackberries and the internet. A time before iPods and "downloading". A time when the term "multi~tasking" didn't exist. Life was simpler. You got up, you got dressed, you went to school, you came home, did your homework and had your social life...all to an MTV soundtrack.

MTV had standards back then. If a video came to them with questionable content (explicit sex, nudity, heavy with violence) they would refuse to play it and send it back for editing before airing. I remember watching Friday Night Videos on USA Network to see the "uncut" versions of DuranDuran's "Girls on Film" or David Bowie's "China Girl" just to see what we were missing. By todays standards...what we were missing was mild.

During each hour, videos would play, then there'd be a break where the VJ would come on and talk about the music, give you tour info and music news and generally act as seguay between videos. At the top of every hour, and animated Apollo~era rocket would take off and the MTV theme music~nothing really more than some cool guitar riffs~would play, signaling that it was indeed the top of the hour. On the half hour, a shorter version of the rocket went up. This was really the only way we knew what time it was, since the whole 24~hour news channel "lower third" concept hadn't been invented yet. Sadly, the day the Challenger exploded on takeoff changed all that. I remember on the hour after the accident, the usual rocket did not go up. Instead, a senior vice president of the network was on, explaining that, at least for the time being, there would no longer be a rocket out of respect.

Live Aid was the crown jewel, and possibly the pinnacle of MTV back in the 80s. Two concerts, one in JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, the other at Wembly Stadium in England, going on simultaneously, being broadcast live, all to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. Brainchild of Bob Geldoff of the Boomtown Rats, Live Aid would go on to become the stuff of legends. Phil Collins played Wembly Stadium, then flew across the pond, to play JFK. The biggest names in music played. All for a good cause.

Of course, time passed and I graduated college and went on to the business world. Music started to change and I found myself watching less and less of MTV. MTV itself started to change, too. The original 5 VJ's were eventually replaced. A new 'regular' show~a game show~was now on MTV's schedule. Then more "regular" shows started showing up. Eventually, the "M" in MTV was silent. Now, its rare to find a music video television. It makes me sad, really. And seeing a show like this countdown tonite makes me nostalgic and wanting to yell


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Sarah said...

Grown-ups shouldn't watch MTV anyway. I'm more of a Vh1 kind of girl...and only when it's Flavor of Love.

Lisa said...

I only watch Vh1 when its an 80s show ;)

Sarah said...

I know...I usually get notified that it's on LOL