MTV turned 30 on August 1st. Let that sink in for a minute. Does it make you feel old? Well, it might if you take a look back (as I did) at some of your favorite moments, shows, and music that you first experienced via MTV.
As a child of the 80s and 90s, I knew MTV as a TV channel with a rebellious nature, not afraid to rock, or to offend (in contrast to today’s reality channel-version of MTV). Here’s a few of my favorite MTV moments, in no particular order:
1. Mike Judge’s Beavis and Butthead pretty much defined vulgarity in the 90s – which makes it funny to watch now…some of the vulgar moments from B&B seem fairly quaint compared to other shows (Family Guy, South Park) today. It was fitting for an MTV show that music videos were incorporated into the programming – and for such a dimwitted pair, Beavis and Butthead truly did have discerning tastes – as evidenced by their choice of apparel – Metallica and AC/DC t-shirts..
2. MTV was once my primary source of information on new music – without MTV, I might not have heard of bands like Metallica, Nirvana, Deftones, or even Limp Bizkit (well, not all of this is a bad thing).
3. MTV’s Spring Break was a look into the lives of college kids as a 90s teen – it seemed like they were always having a good time (and always good-looking). As an impressionable 14-year-old lad, I watched MTV Spring Break 1997 and was bombarded with sounds of bands I never had heard of before – Deftones and Limp Bizkit. The bands were ripping through their songs with aggression and fury as a procession of models showed off different bikinis – sex and rock and roll? (Sensory overload) What is more American than that? Fred Durst’s red New York Yankees hat, maybe..(or maybe not)
4. MTV introduced me to Nirvana, and shortly thereafter made it known that the band’s frontman was gone, never to return. Kurt Cobain’s death was an event on par with the deaths of past musical geniuses like Jimi Hendrix or John Lennon, strangely increasing demand for Nirvana’s music exponentially at a time when there would be no more from the group. For some reason the old Nirvana videos seemed more interesting than ever, and the music became a part of the lives of all the young grunge rockers of the 90s (like me!).
5. Last but not least, I can’t leave the 2004 Super Bowl off this list. Now, I realize that the MTV-produced halftime show featuring Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson was not aired on the network, but it had MTV’s fingerprints all over it. The network proved once and for all that they had no fear of being edgy – at least until the FCC announced following the JT/Janet debacle that fines for indecency/profanity would be increased exponentially. And Janet Jackson proved that even if her wardrobe “malfunctions”, she will always be looking her best, thanks to the “nipple shield”. Thank you, MTV.
Originally Posted on August 2, 2011 at Radio923fm.com