After just finishing "Inferno" by Dan Brown, which was, to me, a page turner with so much going on, I needed to turn to something light, easy and fun. So I loaded the new book VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave
onto my Kindle. It was written with the original VJs Nina Blackwood, Martha Quinn, Alan Hunter and Mark Goodman. Fifth VJ J.J. Jackson died of a heart attack in 2004.
The book is done very conversationally, as if your'e sitting in a lounge with them just talking and having drinks, bopping between remembrances of each VJ. They talk just a little about what they were doing before MTV came along, and then the fun part, where they relate their various tales, together giving us a picture of what those early days were like at the pioneering music network. They even dish a little bit about some of the bands and artists that came through. For instance, Frank Zappa? THE most difficult interview Nina Blackwood ever encountered. He was, to put it bluntly, an asshole to her. But it's all good, it's all rock and roll.
When MTV launched in 1981, I was 16, and we didn't have cable. Lots of places didn't even have it at that point. But once we did, which didn't take much longer, it was amazing. MTV was exciting. It really WAS all about music then. I feel bad for the younger set today who have the current MTV which is, let's face it pretty far removed from what it started out to be.
I'm still reading it, not even halfway through. But it's taking me back and making me long for the days of Diamond Dave swinging through the air in Van Halen's "Panama" video, Boy George gender bending in the Culture Club videos and Michael Jackson giving us "Billie Jean" and "Thriller". And I feel fortunate to have been able to experience that first wave of an exciting new musical outlet. What are your early MTV memories? Were you there for the launch at 12:01am, Saturday June 1 1981?
This is what that launch looked like:MTV First Day Saturday August 1st, 1981 12:01... by Dale0823Pictures came and broke your heart...