I Want My MTV
The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution
Remember When All You Wanted Was Your MTV? The perfect gift for the music fan or child of the eighties in your life.
Named One of the Best Books of 2011 by NPR – Spin - USA Today – CNBC - Pitchfork - The Onion - The Atlantic - The Huffington Post – VEVO - The Boston Globe - The San Francisco Chronicle
Remember the first time you saw Michael Jackson dance with zombies in "Thriller"? Diamond Dave karate kick with Van Halen in "Jump"? Tawny Kitaen turning cartwheels on a Jaguar to Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again"? The Beastie Boys spray beer in "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)"? Axl Rose step off the bus in "Welcome to the Jungle"?
It was a pretty radical idea-a channel for teenagers, showing nothing but music videos. It was such a radical idea that almost no one thought it would actually succeed, much less become a force in the worlds of music, television, film, fashion, sports, and even politics. But it did work. MTV became more than anyone had ever imagined.
I Want My MTV tells the story of the first decade of MTV, the golden era when MTV's programming was all videos, all the time, and kids watched religiously to see their favorite bands, learn about new music, and have something to talk about at parties. From its start in 1981 with a small cache of videos by mostly unknown British new wave acts to the launch of the reality-television craze with The Real World in 1992, MTV grew into a tastemaker, a career maker, and a mammoth business.
Featuring interviews with nearly four hundred artists, directors, VJs, and television and music executives, I Want My MTV is a testament to the channel that changed popular culture forever.
Music journalists Marks and Tannenbaum vibrantly chronicle the first decade of MTV, the pop culture phenomenon that first rocked television screens 30 years ago. Using over 400 interviews, the authors write that the venture was met with skepticism due to its less than traditional start (auditions for VJs "reeked of sleaze") and seemingly out-of-control content. However, "the channel gave a platform to new acts, asking only that they be beautiful or outrageous." It was entertainment 24/7 and the birth of a new era of excess, big hair, and even bigger budgets. Duran Duran feature prominently for early risqu videos, influencing the hardcore visuals of ZZ Top and M tley Cr e, while black music hit the mainstream with Michael Jackson (and later hip-hop), and women found a powerful icon in the provocative styling of Madonna. At the network, no-holds-barred statements reveal controversy, coke-fueled corporate takeovers, and egotistical stars and ambitious new directors triggering censorship. Still, those interviewed "almost unanimously looked back at this period with joy and happiness, even if they now regret some of the clothes they wore in the 80s." The sheer entertainment value within these pages is priceless, so count down to a very good time.
Crazy dose of reality
An unvarnished portrait of an industry that captured the essence of an era and the harbinger of the ADHD generation. A fun read and a great reference. Never forget.
Must buy for kids of the 80's
I was 11 years old in 1981 and at the time had no idea that MTV was literally shaping the way I saw the world. In fact, I can tell you, until I read this book... I still had no idea. Even if you don't love music but enjoy reading about the history of television (and cable) then you'll want this book as well. Between this book and the ESPN book that came out last spring, you'll learn about the two most important developments in popular culture during the 1980's.
A fun read!
I really enjoyed this book - a fun read, and an insightful look into a transformative era...