Today marks the 30th anniversary of MTV.
MTV made its debut shortly after midnight Aug. 1, 1981. “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll,” were the words that preceded the opening that included a montage featuring a guitar riff playing over the familiar image of an American astronaut planting an unfamiliar flag on the surface of the moon. The flag was emblazoned with a big, block capital “M” and the smaller, handwritten letters “TV.”
The first week’s MTV show was comprised of roughly 80 different videos. “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles started off the iconic TV show followed by Pat Benatar’s “You Better Run.”
Unfortunately this is not an all important celebration for me, as I grew up in a cable-free household and my exposure to MTV was very limited. I missed out of the 3pm obsession known as TRL (Total Request Live) and I am still not entirely sure what a VJ is.
In honor of this occasion, Time magazine put out a list of the 30 All-Time Best Music Videos. I am sad to say, that after looking through the list, I think that I have only see 3 of the videos on this list: Thriller, Put a Ring on It and Bad Romance.
By the time I started watching MTV post-college, the focus changed from music to reality shows. And while I was never a big “Real World” or “Road Rules” fan, I am happy (or maybe I should really say, embarrassed) to report that I watched Laguna beach from day one.
So Happy Birthday MTV – you certainly changed the image of music (and added to the reality TV craze) over the past 30 years.