Today is a monumental occasion my dear readers and is forever marked in history as the day that the very first video played on the brand new video network called MTV. That historic moment came thirty five years ago in 1981 when “Video Killed The Radio Star” by The Buggles appeared across the television screens of the viewers who actually had access to the network. From that that moment the music industry was forever changed and video clips for new songs from both new and older artists were pretty much a requirement. I found a link to the original video and have embedded it for your enjoyment below. It was quite the quirky clip but I loved it and The Buggles featured a keyboardist named Geoff Downes who would grow to larger fame in the future as a member of Asia and eventually join into the band Yes. Check out the video.
Personally speaking, I didn’t have MTV straight away and actually very few in my immediate region had it. My friends in NJ would constantly call me to tell me just whose videos they were watching and since long distance calling was not all that cheap, my learning about this would start up some wonderful parent vs teenager dramas. Hey, I needed to know who was on the network since I was a growing musician and absolutely loved a whole lot of music. Can you feel me there? We NYC residents had a video feed called U68 which was not all that easy to access since you had to go to a confusing “UF” selection on your television dial and mess with the aerial while hopping up and down on one leg. You get the picture. Not too easy. When we finally got MTV in my area and the family had it as a part of their cable package I lived on the network. I would watch it before heading to work or school and late into the night when the folks had finished watching whatever they wanted to see. You see in ancient times most families only had one television. As far as the videos I would see, there were a lot of Heavy Metal, Hard Rock and Classic Rock artists offering up clips and some of the fondest ones for me came from Def Leppard, Triumph, ZZ Top and Night Ranger. Yeah I even enjoyed the Duran Duran and Billy Idol ones and when David Lee Roth started doing his own clips I would have thought I was in heaven. Okay I am getting nostalgic here. Down below I’ve embedded the link to the MTV Wiki since this milestone is finding me being reflective on my own history since their whole shebang has been pretty well lined out already. You don’t need me to regurgitate someone else’s words. Nowadays there is nothing resembling the stuff that I used to focus on and instead we find endless shows about teenage pregnancy, being rich spoiled and having a party built for you and even the worst program ever – “The Jersey Shore”. Oof. You younger music fans really missed out on some glorious music television but oh well, you have your mobile devices and connections to YouTube and can see anything video related you want at a moments notice so don’t feel too bad.
Please let me know in the comments what your first exposure to the MTV Network was. Closing up I found another clip of “Video Killed The Radio Star” which is a live performance from 2004 and features most of the original band from the album and video. Its pretty cool and the song still rocks. Oh and at the end of the song singer Trevor Horn says “put the blame on VTR” which means video tape recording. You young folks might not know the term but its what you call DVR now 🙂
Official Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MTV