Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I want my MTV!

Early on a Saturday morning, a little 7 year old girl sits in front of her TV set, anticipating the launch of what is going to become one of her favorite channels for the next 10 or more years of her life.
The date: August 1, 1981
The little girl: me
The channel: MTV
I can’t believe it has been 25 years already!
Back in 1981 I was lucky enough to have one of the VPs of then Telecable Nacional (today Telecable de Tricom) living a block away from home, which is why our neighborhood was one of the first, if not the first, to have the Telecable service installed. Don’t ask me how I knew anything back then; remember there was no internet or anything, but I knew that MTV was going to launch that day and I was psyched about it.
I remember sitting on a green beanie in the family room in front of our TV (yes, it was a color TV, but with no remote, and a betamax next to it (it later became a VHS, which had a remote, but with a wire)). I do remember that there were other TV sets at home, but they were all B&W (yes dammit, I’m that old). The TV had a little white box attached to it. In order to see cable, I had to put the TV on U and then turn the channels on the white box. Anyways, I was staring into the TV set, awaiting that moment. If memory serves me right, it was scheduled to appear on channel 18. There was some sort of image on the screen, I think it was that cool sketch of Neil Armstrong walking and jumping around on the moon with different colors, the MTV logo or something of that sort, but my memory is not that good. Suddenly, the countdown started. The spaceship was about to launch. Then, finally, the words came out: “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll!"

After introducing the Vjs, the first video ever to be broadcast on MTV, "Video Killed the Radio Star" by "The Buggles" came on.

And I never looked at music the same way again... All day, all night, in stereo...
It was a love affair made in heaven.
After that moment, there was nothing that could come between my MTV and me. All I did was watch MTV, all I did was talk about MTV, all I could think of was MTV.
Nina Blackwood, Martha Quinn, Alan Hunter, Mark Goodman" and J.J. Jackson, the original VJs, were the coolest people on Earth. As time passed, they introduced me to the world of music (I once wanted to be a VJ or a DJ just because of them). Then came the shows: the Video Music Awards, the Movie Awards, Remote Control ("Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye", "Hit the Road Jack, and don’t you come back no more, no more, no more, no more"), Club MTV (with Downtown Julie Brown as host; I still have the original 4 Club MTV Party To Go CDs). It was so fun!
I remember seeing my Diva for the first time on MTV. I also remember watching Wacko Jacko’s "Thriller" there for the first time as well.
All I needed to know I learned from watching MTV. There was no "Friends" back then, only MTV.
After a while, MTV started turning towards rap music, a genre I don’t really like, so I started watching less and less. Then they started playing too many shows, especially reality TV. I watched the first few episodes of "The Real World" and realized that I just didn’t "dig" it, so once again I started watching less and less. Of course, some of the shows I did like. I remember watching Aeon Flux, specifically the episode where the chick was making out with someone and you could see the way her tongue moved inside the other person’s mouth until finally she reached a molar, unlatched it and deposited or retrieved something from it. I was so surreal!
Then there was Beavis and Butthead. So many laughs, so many stupid things…. I got a kick out of them. I laughed as well when watching "Celebrity Deathmatch" I loved all the carnage!
The last shows I watched on MTV were "The Osbournes" and recently a few "Punk’d" episodes, by then I just tuned in to watch them and after they were over I immediately tuned in another channel.
For me, sadly MTV has lost its original essence. All they do right now is play a bunch of shows that just don’t appeal to me. I long for the days where the only thing on my TV was MTV. I can’t even remember the last time I even saw MTV.
Now, and since I’m definitely an 80’s child, I sometimes go to VH1 to enjoy some good old music videos (and to think that back then only old people watched VH1... does me watching it mean that I have turned old??).
No, I ain’t old. I’m just a young person with lots of experience.
I want my MTV!!!


annush said...

you forgot Daria you old hag! :P

Chanfle said...

Lo mas grande es que hicieron MTV 2 para poner videos y ya nada mas estan dando programas y muy pocos videos. Por suerte esta Vh1 Classic que si pone videos y de los mejores.

Anonymous said...

Why dont you try to get Yasuri Yamileth video on MTV it will be a hit!!!! con to y Gillete....

Bracuta said...

Ummm... I never saw Daria, I don't even know what that is... I leave that to you Generation Y people...
Yeah, I guess I'll have to settle for VH1.
Yasuri Yamileth on MTV would be Da S..T! Tú te imaginas????

Anonymous said...

Maybe my 37 year old mind is starting to play tricks on me, but I remember the launch of MTV being at 12:01 AM of August 1st. Not in the morning.

Bracuta said...

12:01? Not as I recall... I clearly remember the sun being out... but then again, maybe my memory is playing tricks on me...

Anonymous said...

Taken from Wikipedia.org:

Type Cable network (Music/youth culture)
Country United States
Availability National; affiliated services available internationally
Owner MTV Networks (Viacom)
Key people Tom Freston - President, MTV Networks
Launch date August 1, 1981 at 12:01am

Bracuta said...

Goodie then, I guess what I recall is the lights on in the living room.

Anonymous said...

Cool :)

But you're right Bracuta, MTV went downhill as soon as they started playing all the rap and hip hop in the mid 90s and replacing music videos with TV shows. Bring back the original MTV! Long live Nina Blackwood!!

Kiki A.Ortiz said...

NENE!(mi hermano)por favor que queremo ve uini de puh (cuando no era una cosa manganzona ) ...
nene:que no q toy viendo mtv
NENE! que por favor queremo ve miki mauz clob!
nene:que no q toy viendo mtv
Ta bien nene pero yo toco la bateria!
y ahi comenzaba chillin a ve mtv :P

Winch said...

MTV era tan cool.. Me acuerdo del MTV10 (cuando MTV cumplió 10 años) como si fuera ayer... Fue un concierto y su madre y Aerosmith tocó Dream On en una versión orquestada que estuvo mortal...

Anonymous said...

Oh God I was addicted to MTV when they begun. I remember watching it since I was on 6th grade, and I still love it when I was on 9th. My favorite VJ was Alan Hunter, he was so handsome and Martha Queen as well. I remember a lot of videos, specially the ones from The Fix, The Tubes, Madonna, Duran Duran, The Police, The Pretenders, Loverboy, Men without Hats, Men at Work, and so many others.
But then, when they started to play another kind of music and so many shows, I started to watch VH1 and didn't like my MTV as I liked it when they started.

La Claudis said...

el primer video de MTV "Video Kill the Radio Stars" lo vi en una television en el area de deportes del club naco! eso nunca se me va a olvidar yo tenia como 8 años y jugaba tenis bajo la tutela de Antuña! ay que tiempos aquellos! muy completo y buen post! felicidades!

Libélula said...

OMG!!! Yo me acuerdo en mis tiempos de "Metal" que me acostaba con Headbanger's Ball y me levantaba con Rude Awakening... Back when MTV was actuially about MUSIC... I miss my MTV :(