So, where were you thirty-two years ago? Me, I was a new high school graduate, still living at home, working, and trying to decide what I wanted to do with my life. I’m sure I thought I was going to save the world from some calamity or another.
But, what I wasn’t particularly taking in back on that August day in 1981, was the brand new “video” channel MTV.
Yes, this is indeed the anniversary of the launch of the Music Television channel. Memory is strange sometimes, especially when trying to place events within the timeline of your life, but if I’d had to venture a guess, I would’ve sworn I was still in school during the heyday of the channel, but apparently I would’ve been wrong.
But I do remember how popular it was among folks of roughly my age (and my younger sister), and I remember I just wasn’t completely sold. Mostly, I wasn’t overly fond of a lot of the music they played, with or without videos. But I did like the first song they played . . .
As I got a little older, I developed a bit more appreciation for the network and spent a little more time watching it. But as time continued to roll along, the strangest thing began to happen: MTV played less and less music. This was especially disheartening when I really started getting nostalgic for some videos from my youth and they were no where to be found. Every once in a while, I still get a little hankering to watch some video or another, but these days, YouTube is the much better alternative over MTV. And the thing that’s most surprising to me is that even though I was never a huge fan of MTV, I still sort of wish it was just the simple music video channel it started out to be. I think I’d appreciate it more now than I ever did before.
Coincidentally, another new television channel launched today: Pivot, which is some sort of new premium channel. Pivot isn’t a music channel, and apparently it really was coincidence that they launche on the MTV anniversary, but that didn’t stop them from paying a bit of homage to the network with a more up-to-date version of “Video Killed the Radio Star”. I like this version, too.
So, where were you thirty-one years ago? Catching the video train early, or waiting for it to come back around?