Sunday, August 05, 2007

80s Music Video Sunday #33

While growing up, my family always seemed to be a bit behind in the technology game. In our house, phrases like "Now in living color", or "Now in technicolor" meant nothing, as we were the last family on the block to get a color television (and don't even get me started on the lack of a remote control). We were also the last family to get cable television (remember the cable box that sat on top of your television, with a different button for each channel?). Needless to say, this "lethal" combination didn't make us terribly popular when it came to just hanging out and watching television, especially as in our area of Upstate New York, not having cable meant living with three network channels, PBS, and one local channel, which eventually turned into FOX.

In the same way that my younger brother blames his fondness for sugar cereals on the fact that we never had them at home while growing up (we could only have the personal serving-sized boxes on visits to the grandparents, resulting in daily battles as we reserved each box days in advance – "I want the Sugar Pops!" "No! I called it yesterday!" "Mom!"), it wouldn't surprise me to discover that the lack of color and cable in our youth resulted in him today being the proud owner of a seriously high-tech television with a huge screen and several hundred television stations, many of which are in Spanish, due to the fact that he lives in South Florida. And, while I do not share his penchant for sugar cereals (I'm a "Special K" girl), it would not be an understatement to say that I'm wowed by his TV setup (and especially impressed by the fact that my seven year-old niece knows how to configure her own TiVo settings).

Not having cable in the early 80s had its drawbacks, especially for kids our age. We were forced to look elsewhere for our television needs, and missed out on various pop culture phenomena. On August 1st, 1981, when all of our friends suddenly started talking about how they "wanted their MTV", it took us a while until we finally discovered what we'd been missing. We were part of the original MTV generation, and our idols included the newly-coined VJs – Nina Blackwood, JJ Jackson, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, and Martha Quinn. Now, of course, MTV has changed and expanded dramatically over the years, with a veritable plethora of MTV networks around the world, with different formats on both the genre level and the regional level, and to be honest, I don't even know what channel it's on anymore (we get MTV Europe as part of our basic cable package). Over the years, I transitioned from being an MTV watcher to being a VH1 watcher, and these days, I don't watch the music channels at all, with one of the underlying reasons being that I simply can't bear the fact that at some point, most of my favorites tunes suddenly fell under the genres of either classics/oldies or adult contemporary (shudder).

In any event, today's 80s Music Video Sunday commemorates that August day 26 years ago when a brand new television network entered our lives and changed the world of music forever. And it all started with this song by The Buggles, which, though technically ineligible for 80s Music Video Sunday because it was released in 1979, receives honorary 80s status because of the defining role it played in one of the most pivotal events of the 1980s as the first video ever played on MTV.



Video Killed the Radio Star
The Buggles

I heard you on the wireless back in '52
Lying awake intend at tuning in on you
If I was young it didn't stop you coming through

(Oh, oh)

They took the credit for your second symphony
Rewritten by machine and new technology
And now I understand the problems you can see

(Oh, oh)
I met your children
(Oh, oh) What did you tell them?

Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
Pictures came and broke your heart

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

And now we meet in an abandoned studio
We hear the playback and it seems so long ago
And you remember the jingles used to go

(Oh, oh) You were the first one
(Oh, oh) You were the last one

Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
In my mind and in my car
We can't rewind we've gone to far

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh

Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
In my mind and in my car
We can't rewind we've gone to far

Pictures came and broke your heart
Put the blame on VTR

You are a radio star
You are a radio star

Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star

Video killed the radio star (You are a radio star)
Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star (You are a radio star)
Video killed the radio star

Video killed the radio star (You are a radio star)
Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star (You are a radio star)
Video killed the radio star

6 comments:

Safranit said...

Definitely a favorite...and even worth waiting for Marillion.

Savtadotty said...

I was a perverse mother: I approved of my kids' watching MTV as soon as it appeared, because it seemed the only creative thing on TV at the time. As a result, neither one of them has cable to this day. They have old TV monitors for playing videos only. (And so do I!)

Beth said...

An integral part of my walking mix.

nrg said...

I was at a friend's house watching this first ever video... we were also VERY late cable subscribers. No wonder our parents like each other... we only had shredded wheat or corn flakes at my house. sugar cereals were only in the tiny boxes when we went camping. Being the youngest, i always ended up with the Product 19 watching my older sisters snarfing down the frosted flakes and apple jacks and lucky stars with their friends... i have also become a Special K girl...

Lisa said...

I have this theory that people our age who grew up without cable or junk food can spot one another across a crowded room. And they bond, too! ;)

I grew up without cable, too. We used to watch reruns of the Partridge Family and the Brady Bunch on an ancient B&W set that was tucked into a corner of the unfinished, damp-smelling basement. When I was around 14, my mother acquired a very small colour TV set - but no cable. Television, my mother informed her offspring, rots your brain.

We had homemade granola instead of bought cereal, and freshly ground peanut butter from the health food store instead of Skippy.

Somehow, I survived.

nrg said...

ah, yes. freshly groung ORGANIC peanut putter. that you had to stir to mix in the layer of oil on top...

those cereals were only for the weekends. otherwise it was oatmeal or ferrina or wheatina for breakfast...

my dad refered to the TV as the idiot box...