Tuesday, August 01, 2006

TV: I Wanted My MTV

MTV is 25 years old today, placing it well out of its current demographic. Now it knows how the rest of us feel. Play some damn videos already!

We didn’t have cable when the network debuted. It had been up and running for some time before I finally saw it at a friend’s house after school, back in the days when you could score free Showtime by jamming toothpicks into the back of the converter box. Rosemarie had it worse. Queens wasn’t wired for cable until – actually, if recent events are any indication, it may still not be. She had to rely on NBC’s Friday Night Videos to get her music television fix.

VH1 Classic is marking the occasion by rebroadcasting MTV’s first day. Finally a chance to catch up on those Cliff Richard videos you may have missed. But no period ads? I’m disappointed.

I won’t link to ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ by the Buggles. That’s too easy. (The second video aired on MTV, for those scoring at home, was ‘You Better Run’ by Pat Benatar.) Instead, here’s my tribute to the network that transformed my youth: the first video that I ever saw on MTV, over at the Petersons’ place. I give you ‘Yellow Pearl,’ by Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott.