Monday, September 08, 2008

I Want My MTV

There is one woman in music who impacted my life more than any of the rest. She came into my world via MTV when I was fifteen and I didn’t know at the time what was happening. It was the age of Martha Quinn and the time when video killed the radio star.

I was fourteen and living in Oregon. I was going to a new school and to say I didn’t fit in would be a massive understatement. I dreaded school and everyday my classmates seemed to outdo themselves finding ways to make my life miserable. But every afternoon I would go home and lose myself in MTV. It was unlike anything I had ever seen before. My musical life had been limited to the few radio stations that were available and whatever my parents decided to play in the car.

Suddenly the Buggles, Adam and the Ants, Billy Idol, Duran Duran, the Motels, Stray Cats, Joan Jett, the Cars, the Go-Go’s, Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, Human League, Madness, Devo and Depeche Mode were on my TV and in my life. I wanted and had my MTV,

I would record MTV like most people at that time recorded a cassette. I would keep the VHS on pause, waiting for my favorite songs to come on. It wasn’t long before I modeled myself after the images on the screen and the safety pin became the “don’t-leave-home-without-it” accessory. My favorite MTV artist was Billy Idol. I thought he was the coolest person I had ever seen. The hair. The spikes. The leather pants and gloves. That snarl. I practiced that snarl in the mirror and even now, when I feel angry or aggressive, that snarl comes up.

The videos were crude, there were only a few and they were repeated often. It didn’t matter as long as they kept it coming. And our patron saint was Martha Quinn. One of the original MTV VJs. Yeah, there were few others, but none of them even came close.


  1. Oeps... The Snarl... Don't do the Snarl... you look so aggressive. It scares me thinking about it.

  2. Ahhhhhhh, the beautiful days of cliche big hair band rock videos, aaaaaahhhhhhhh... ;-)

  3. Ulco... I thought you liked the snarl ;-)