Some viewers tuning into VH1 Classic next weekend may wonder if they’ve slipped through a time portal. The network will devote its weekend programming to a special celebration of MTV’s 30th anniversary. Whoa, that’s a little scary for some of us who actually remember when MTV came on the air, but at the same time, it might be kind of cool to see some of that early MTV footage.
MTV has evolved far beyond what I remember watching during those early days and it bears little resemblance to the channel that was worthy of the name “Music Television.” It’s now loaded with shows about teen moms and other televised pablum that makes me wonder why they still call it MTV. Do they even broadcast anything music-related on that channel these days?
Anyway, I suppose that’s enough of “You kids get off my lawn!” from me for one day. These days I get my music video fix from the occasional classic concert on Palladia, which is owned by the same media company that owns MTV, so I suppose they deserve some credit for continuing to put worthy music-related content on the air.
The same media giant also owns VH1 and VH1 Classic, which takes away a little more of the sting that resulted from the destruction of MTV is I knew it, and with the new MTV 30th anniversary special coming up, perhaps I’ll catch a glimpse or two of the channel’s former glory.
Use of the word “glory” to describe MTV’s earliest days on the air may convince some that I’ve lost my marbles, but at the time MTV was truly revolutionary. All of a sudden it was like we could watch radio! Being 20 or so years old at the time, it was early in my long-enduring affair with rock and roll and my passion for it was burning particularly brightly.
I don’t know how many hours I spent perched in front of the television waiting for my favorite music videos to come on – some of them because they featured my favorite artists and others due to generous helpings of female eye candy that was draped, posed or strutted around strategically during the course of the video. Some videos even managed to achieve the convergence of the two – the music video holy grail!
Music videos are like cell phones now-a-days – they’re everywhere! Is there video of a band that you cannot find on YouTube? I’m not knocking it, and it’s a great tool for new acts to get themselves seen. Obviously it’s great for music lovers, too. Around my house, it seems to be the primary destination for those who want to listen to the latest hit single. I’ve lost count of the number of times my wife has played Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” from YouTube.
Next weekend’s special is likely to be of interest to music fans like myself who hold onto fond memories of the “classic” MTV. According to the network, the program will feature “clips from favorite classic series including Remote Control, YO! MTV Raps, Beavis and Butt-Head, Headbangers Ball, The Real World, Liquid TV, Club MTV and more unforgettable moments from MTV specials including The MTV Movie Awards, VMA’s and Live Aid, among others.
As I remember it, all of that stuff came after the MTV I was acquainted with, which was made up of VJs, music videos and (eventually) commercials, but maybe they’ll throw in a few clips from the very early days as well.
The MTV 30th anniversary special starts at 6:00 am on Saturday, July 30th and concludes at midnight on Monday, August 1st.