MTV Turns 30

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.

Psych Me Up!

On my swim team, we had a thing called “secret psych.” Before meets, we would randomly get assigned another one of our teammates, and we were their secret psych. We would put together goody bags that contained power bars, Gatorade, green and gold nail polish, and if you were a good secret psych, a mix tape. These tapes contained various “Jock Jams” tracks like We are the Champions, Another One Bites the Dust, or Whoomp, There It Is!

One of my favorite presents was a mixed tape that Abby made me before my high school state meet sophomore year. This was the first year that Abby was away at college, and I missed having her around, particularly on the pool deck. Going to college in Ohio, Abby was introduced to a new genre of music: country. This tape was my first introduction to the Dixie Chicks and Tim McGraw. Weird for a psych up mix, but it worked.

In college, we progressed from mix tapes to mix CDs. Before the Ivy Championships, we would make a team CD that had one song from each of the girls (an idea I stole from Abby’s experience at Kenyon). It was always interesting to see the range of songs that girls considered “inspirational.” You were always guaranteed to be introduced to at least one new song. Now whenever I hear “Lose Yourself” by Eminem, I always think of my college swim team (I know, we were so ghetto!)

In college, because I was swimming 20+ hours a week already, I didn’t go to the gym, like many college students. I didn’t feel like I was missing out on much though because the gym at school wasn’t very impressive. It was old and there weren’t any tvs to keep you occupied while you ran on the treadmill or used the elliptical. If I did hit up the gym, I would need an awesome iPod playlist or something to read. Needless to say, my workouts never lasted much longer than 30 minutes.

During my senior year, they opened a new gym at the law school, that had cardio machines, each with their own tvs. I am embarrassed to say that second semester senior year, I spent more time working out than going out. I hadn’t developed an obsession with working out, nor was I training for anything in particular. The reason for my two to three hour-long elliptical obsessions was MTV. I didn’t have cable in my dorm room, so I would spend hours working out just so that I could watch “The Real World” and “Road Rules.”

After college, I moved home for a little. During that time I got a job at a hospital and in the basement, there was a small workout room that had one small tv, that was cable ready. Again, my addiction to MTV fueled my working out. I would go down into the room every Monday at 8pm and run on the treadmill for 60 minutes… the entirety of Laguna Beach. I thank LC, Lo, Stephen and Kristin for my great physical fitness that year.

I am happy to say that I am nearly over my MTV obsession. Now when I work out, I mostly watch the food network. I am not sure that is much better though. Now when I come upstairs from the gym, I am starving and saying stupid Rachel Ray phrases like “Yummo” and “Delish.”

So whether it is Jock Jams or the Barefoot Contessa, I am happy to have some motivation in my life. Now I just need to find someone to be my secret psych and give me goody bags before I go to work!