Wednesday, October 19, 2011

MTV Under the Microscope in New Book

My mom never let me watch MTV when I was a kid. It was crude and too mature for us, she'd say. Which, looking back, was true. (Even now it offends me a large portion of the time.) Not that VH1--which I watched religiously--was all that much better. But at least what VH1 did was truly about the musicians and the music videos and not about the late teen-early 20-something insanely unrealistic lifestyle. It had a different kind of merit, that's for sure. MTV's tactic never made much sense to me, to be honest, especially given it's supposedly music television that is less and less focused on the tunes every day.

I'm not the only one baffled by this change in concept, and I'm certainly not the only one who misses true VH1 and early MTV style video programming ("Pop-up Video" anyone? which apparently has made a recent reprise). Even people in the music biz are curious about this crazy evolution. Take former Blender editors Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum, for example. They were so intrigued they've investigated the matter for us viewers in their new book I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution.

The Observer's "Very Short List" tells us a little bit about it:
Can you imagine a world without MTV? If so, the joke’s on you, because MTV hasn’t been itself for something like 20 years now—ever since it strayed from its raison d’ĂȘtre and pretty much stopped airing music videos.

In this fascinating oral history, ex–Blender editors Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum tell the story of Music Television’s incredible first decade. The authors have done their homework, interviewing hundreds of VJs, musicians, and industry insiders—most of whom sound like they’ve been waiting years to get these stories off their chests. It all makes for riveting (if occasionally revolting) reading, and a book we expect to see on the best-seller lists.

See the original review HERE

I'm not typically one to be instantly curious about nonfiction titles, but this one jumped out to me. I may have to check it out.

While I decide though, let's flash back to the "Pop-up Video" phenomenon I mentioned earlier...I cannot stop thinking about it now!

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting. I, of course, am old enough to remember when MTv played all videos all the time. And we watched it, all the time. In the early days of our relationship, David and I used to play MTv through the stereo with the TV off. I always wondered what happened....