Tuesday, September 11, 2007

We Want Our MTV (The Old One)

ABC News (the squarest of squares) asks -- without the slightest hint of irony -- has MTV lost its appeal?

I was 13 years old in 1981 when video killed the radio star. MTV was like a gift from the gods: music on TV without commercials. Time was irrelevant in the 24x7 music video world and we watched MTV at ridiculous hours of the day and night all summer long. Veejays JJ Jackson, Alan Hunter, Mark Goodman, Martha Quinn, and Nina Blackwood rocked our world.

Ah, nostalgia.

If radio was mainstream, MTV was bleeding edge. Previously unheard of bands with catchy videos were propelled to stardom overnight without ever having to play their radio dues. MTV viewers were perpetually ahead of the music curve, delighting in access to music produced by anyone with enough money to rent a video camera.

I watched less MTV as I entered my 20's, around the time that the ratio of commercials to music skyrocketed. I stopped watching altogether when it bizarrely quit playing music videos in favor of The Real World and other reality based shows. Pity, that, because for the next 15 years my sole introduction to new music was an assembly line production of overly hyped, pre-programmed radio crap. Web based music has provided some relief but my kids are way more comfortable navigating that medium than I am. My ipod playlists suffer for it since I'm still listening to much of the same music I liked Back In The Day.

And now everyone wonders why we need to see Britney Spears flop at the VMA show just to make it interesting? MTV abdicated their role in the music industry 20 years ago and everyone knows it.


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