Tuesday, August 01, 2006

MTV's birthday -- oh, for the old days

I read today that MTV would not even be mentioning on-air the fact that this was it's 25th birthday. Apparently they are a network that "looks forward, not back" to paraphrase the audio clip in a newscast this morning from a network executive.

Why wouldn't the network want to mention the anniversary, play a few clips, interview some musicians about the impact music videos have had on their careers, etc.?

Maybe MTV didn't want to spotlight the past, to bring up old memories of a time when they, oh I don't know, actually PLAYED VIDEOS.

Yeah, for about a decade or so, MTV was a pretty cool network. Then they got a little too full of themselves, and it all went downhill. Oh sure, after the downfall started, I still watched a few seasons of The Real World, the first season and a half of The Osbournes, a Road Rules now and then. But that was a while ago, and now I barely ever put MTV on.

So since the network isn't going to look back, I thought I'd offer up a few memories of mine, and feel free to share some of yours by adding a comment at the end of this post.

There have certainly been some memorable events on MTV -- including, in no particular order...

Live-Aid: 17-hour event to raise money for Africa in a fight against hunger. U2 became global stars that day. Phil Collins played in London, hopped a Concorde and played a set in Philly, drumming for Led Zeppelin that day. Mick and Tina closed the show, and Queen stole the show. A truly great event that spawned many similar fundraising efforts over the years.

Live-8: The event itself was spectacular. MTV's coverage was spectacularly awful. Constant commercial breaks during performances, and the unforgettable cutting away from once-in-a-lifetime performances -- a Pink Floyd reunion WITH Roger Waters -- to show vapid veejays in the crowd talking to drunks in the crowd.

That may have been the last day I watched MTV.

Martha Quinn: The stoners loved Nina Blackwood. Martha was my gal.

Any David Lee Roth video: Diamond Dave, thanks for the laughs!

TRL: Hundreds of screaming teens, and oodles of Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera videos. The show that also gave us the classic Mariah Carey meltdown.

The Real World: Before this series became a caricature of itself, it was actually a decent show.

Vanilla Ice flips out: MTV was "celebrating" the 25 lamest videos with comedians Jon Stewart, Denis Leary, Janeane Garofalo and Chris Kattan making sarcastic remarks as each video was shown. They get to "Ice, Ice, Baby", and none other than Ice himself (or Rob Van Winkle as he wanted to be called) came onto the set with a baseball bat to ceremoniously shatter the tape of his video, thus "destroying" it so MTV could never play it again. Ice didn't stop at just bashing the video. He went on to destroy the set as well. At first glance it looked like a setup -- until you saw the terror in Kattan's eyes.

Madonna's "Borderline" video: I was 13, and I was in love.

Ahhh, I could go on and on. The VMA's, Bill Clinton's appearances that helped him win in '92, The Osbournes, Thriller, The "paint the mutha piiiiink' Mellencamp promotion, The "Money For Nothing", and "Sledgehammer" videos, Remote Control, The Grind...

Thanks for 25 years MTV. At least 10-15 of those years have been pretty good. Now play a video once in awhile, ok?

"Borderline" would be a good start.

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