I’m young (ok, old) enough to admit that MTV changed my life. TOTALLY changed my life.
I went from being that teen-ager who would stay up all night playing records while reading the liner notes to being that young “on my own/have my first job/old enough to drink” woman who stayed up all night watching my favorite singers on TV.
Reading took a back seat – my liner notes were replaced by the on-screen TV graphics of the group’s name and song title.
MTV made me feel alive; made me feel proud of my generation, my music and my preferred choice of culture – watching TV.
As the new book, "I Want My MTV The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution" by Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum hits stores, I thought I would share some thoughts on the network. (You can read Marks and Tannenbaum's Guest Author Blog here)
My 10 favorite MTV Moments are:
1. D’uh – The Launch
Ok, I didn’t actually see the actual launch – but just like all those people who said they were at Woodstock, I really do feel like I was there. I’ve seen it so many times!
I’ve been in TV and the media for more than (cough, cough) 30 years now so it’s so funny to watch the “big launch.” It was “cutting edge” at the time, but now, it just seems cute, kind of sweet, and yes, amateurish. But hey, every revolution has to begin with a small step (cue the astronaut now, please) and when that rocket blasted off, we were the revolution.
Ladies and Gentlemen...Rock 'n Roll
SCARING CATHOLIC GIRLS EVERYWHERE
2. Madonna Like A Virgin - Live at MTV Awards 1984
She made me feel shiny and new!
Holy cow! Madonna's sexually charged performance at the 1984 VMAs was nothing prim, proper or "Like a Virgin."
I had never, ever, evah seen anyone do that on TV! Long before every celeb had their private sextapes "stolen" and they "magically" appeared everywhere - Madonna owned the stage.
Sister Mary Katherine who used to rap my knuckles with the ruler at Our Lady of Perpetual Dreaming of Getting Outta Here was wrong! Dirty thoughts, I mean dirty dancing would make you rich – and a cultural icon.
You gotta give it to The Material Girl – for the oh-so many fabulous MTV moments we have to thank her for (Remember the Madonna/Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera Kiss, Courtney Love’s Drunken Drop-in, Like a Prayer, etc, etc, etc)
Our Madonna was (is) MTV magic.
Pucker up time:
And for those who may have missed it, here's Courtney's, “Am I interrupting here?" classic interruption
3. Thriller –
It was – it is – and forever shall be the video that blew our minds.
No one had ever brought such entertainment into our homes before. The 14-minute horror-dance-singing/mini-movie debuted on 12/2/83 and it was an historic event made even better by the glorious Vincent Price!
Werewolves wearing letterman’s jackets will never be the same.
4. The KISS
No I don’t mean the time when KISS revealed their faces behind all that make-up– that was just scary.
The Kiss – of all Kisses – the Kiss that almost sent me back to Our Lady of Perpetual Dreaming of Getting Outta Here was THE KISS between the royal couple Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley at the MTV awards 1994
Best part, before he puckered up – he told the world, “and nobody thought this would last…” This is the best one minute and 36 seconds of A.W.K.W.A.R.D.
KID ROCK ROCKS HIS WAY INTO HISTORY
5. No Kidding Around
Kid Rock, Run-DMC and my “Freebie” – Steven Tyler (Yes, you know exactly what I mean by “freebie” – c’mon, you probably have one too.)
If you don’t get chills from this 1999 MTV VMA performance – get your butt to a doctor – you’re dead.
Warning: This video is Not Safe for Work – cause you have got to play it LOUDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!
THE PUNCH HEARD 'ROUND THE WORLD
6. Jersey Shore
First, let’s get this out there; I live in New Jersey – Not the Jersey Shore. I don’t have a tattoo and my situation is a lot more complicated than one guy’s abs.
BUT I love MTV’s Jersey Shore – for only one reason: Snooki. I love to hate her and the show.
For too long those of us in Jersey only had Frank Sinatra, The Boss, Bon Jovi’s hair and, well the shore.
But this “Shore” gave us all something really special. This group (who, let’s be honest here – most of them are not even from New Jersey) made everyone want to fist pump and to be a "Jersey Girl." (Yep, hat tip to Bruce)
Best/worst moment of this MTV production – Snooki’s Sucker Punch.
Ok, in all honesty this is a “Borderline” (hat tip to Madonna) vote.
Part of me is so ashamed of admitting to liking/watching Jackass – the other part of me is like, WTH – it was bloody hilarious. The series served as proof that men are truly boys, just wearing larger pants. Watching the series my constant thought was, “where were their mothers?”
Though the show only ran for two years – it remains one of my guilty pleasures.
The death of Ryan Dunn was truly sad, but he and his Jackass friends really made us laugh (and cringe) a lot.
GUNS 'N ROSES WELCOMES US TO THE JUNGLE
8. Jungle Love
For years this was the performance that defined hard rock: 1988’s VMA Guns 'N Roses “Welcome to the Jungle” – classic.
BONO, QUEEN AND THAT CONCORDE FLIGHT
9. One Hot Summer Day
I’ll never forget back in the summer of 1985 I was living in Phoenix and for one very long, hot day I didn’t move from my house and it wasn’t the heat that kept me inside. It was one magical event that lasted the entire day.
The event was of course Live Aid. I loved it all.
My favorite performance: Queen’s “Radio Ga Ga” – Freddie Mercury’s performance was unrivaled that day. The thousands there at Wembley Stadium were as one with him during that song – it still gives me chills.
I remember my biggest concern/worry for the day was would Phil Collins actually make it from London to perform in Philadelphia – and by gosh, he did.
Ohhhhhhh the anticipation, the drama, TV the early days:
“Hello Concorde are you there???"
But the moment that won my heart and kept me a fan these 30 some odd years later was when Bono and U2 performed “Bad.” Forget the awful mullet, or Edge without a hat, or Adam before he was “cool,” this remains my favorite song and this version, some 12 minutes long is epic.
KANYE'S NOT SO SWIFT MOVE
10. Kanye West's Stage Fright
Kanye West v Taylor Swift – Forget all those lesbian kisses, all those faked-up feuds, all those funky/wild/contrived/over the top/meat dresses, forget all those other fake MTV Awards moments – this was “THE MOMENT” when, as the UK Guardian put it, this was when “the world's most powerful male pop star forever crowns himself King of the Douchebags.”
FAVORITE VIDEO OF ALL TIME
11. Bonus Time
And a bonus – my all time favorite music video (remember when MTV was all about the music) ... Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel totally mesmerizing.