The new head of Viacom, which owns MTV, wants MTV to get back to music and reality shows. He says, New Viacom CEO Bob Bakish said, “Music and live is going to be an element of our strategy.”
I remember when MTV first started, it was August 1, 1981, it was just music, all music videos, all the time. We had it on in our house all day and night, it was like having the radio on. I don’t know when it got into other types of programming or why. It’s sort of like the Travel Channel, which I love, but that channel is not much about travel.
When MTV was new, we didn’t have cable at our house yet and a friend was telling me about it. I couldn’t grasp the concept of just having music on the tv non-stop. I guess with all new things, until you see it, you can’t grasp the idea.
This Billy Squire video above, “Rock Me Tonight,” was shown what seemed like non-stop in 1984. I don’t know why, but I liked it at the time, now it seems silly, but it brings back so many memories seeing it. I also remember the first video shown right after midnight on 1984 was “Jump,” by Van Halen. I also remember calling up MTV on Friday nights for the Friday Night Video Wars, where they had two videos going up against each other and you would vote on one. I remember Duran Duran’s “The Reflex” as being number 1 for nine or 10 weeks in a row. Funny the things you remember.
The first 30 videos that showed on MTV can be seen here. Do you know the first video that was ever played on MTV without looking? That’s a common trivia question. It was the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star.”
And remember the original VJ’s – Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter and JJ Jackson? I saw Mark Goodman and Martha Quinn on tv recently, they still look good.