I’m watching MTV30 and the replay its very first hour of programming on VH1 Classic. This is great stuff. I never actually saw the launch so this is fascinating to me. I do remember the stories of MTV and its impact on music. I didn’t get cable until 1984 so I heard a lot about MTV, but never got to see it until three years into its existence. I’ll list the the videos on the playlist from that very first hour on August 1, 1981. It’s hard to believe MTV is 30 and it’s also hard to believe that videos were once its focus. It’s not anymore as we all know now, but the videos were fun while they lasted. And so were original VJ’s Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, J.J. Jackson, Alan Hunter and Mark Goodman. And I was able to name them all without looking them up.
So for that first hour, I’ll list everything played. All times are approximate.
0:00 — NASA Footage with preparation of launch sequence for the Space Shuttle.
13:00 — The famous Saturn V rocket launches and we see the Moon Man with the MTV logos on the flag.
13:45 — First video airs on MTV, “Video Killed The Radio Star” by The Buggles. Good video to air signifying the new revolution, but it was really a bad song.
17:00 — Technical difficulty then promo airs showing the evolution of music on records, radio and introducing MTV, Music Television.
18:00 — “You Better Run” by Pat Benatar airs. I loved this song. And Pat Benatar was hot!
21:00 — Introduction of VJ’s Alan Hunter, Martha Quinn, J.J. Jackson (RIP!), Nina Blackwood and Mark Goodman.
23:00 –1st ad airs for “The Bulk” binder.
23:30 — 1st movie ad on MTV for “Superman II”
24:00 — Ad for Dolby Laboratories. Dolby Stereo!
24:30 — Mark Goodman transitions into a Rod Stewart video. “She Won’t Dance with Me”
27:00 — MTV promo
27:15 — “You Better You Bet” by The Who off “Face Dances”. I was a big Who fan back then.
31:00 — Mark Goodman returns to tell us MTV is broadcasting in stereo and he promotes the MTV Dial Sticker which viewers could write in for and get it by mail.
31:50 — Technical difficulty
32:00 — Mountain Dew ad. I think Dew still advertises on MTV.
32:30 — PSA for Interfaith Hunger Appeal
33:00 — Kevin Cronin of REO Speedwagon promotes the first concert to be aired on MTV for Saturday, August 8. REO Speedwagon!
33:30 — “Little Susie’s On The Up” by PH.D. My musical knowledge in the 1980′s was pretty good, but I don’t remember this song. I think it was played on the radio for like 15 seconds.
36:00 — “We Don’t Talk Anymore” from Cliff Richard. Hoo boy. Video pickings were slim in those days. This is a bad song. Video isn’t much better. One aside, Cliff Richard now sings at Wimbledon during the fortnight. I kid you not.
40:00 — Much better. “Brass in Pocket” by The Pretenders and Chrissie Hyde. Loved this song. Still do. “Gonna use my arms. Gonna use my legs. Gonna use my style. Gonna use my sassy. Gonna use my fingers. Gonna use my, my, my imagination.” This video was played a lot in the early days of MTV.
43:00 — MTV logo appears again.
43:30 — “Time Heals” by Todd Rundgren. Not a good song nor is it a good video. I like Todd Rundgren. This is a bad song. Trying to be cutting edge by trying to be a Salvador Dali painting. It ain’t working.
46:00 — Mark Goodman is back talking about the MTV Dial Position Sticker to tell you where your dial should be to hear the station in stereo.
47:00 — Ad for Chewels sugarless gum. Is Chewels still around?
47:30 — Dead air.
47:40 — Sudden fade into “Rockin’ Paradise” by Styx. Oh, this first hour of videos on MTV is brutal. No wonder it hasn’t been seen in 30 years.
52:30 — Ad for Andron Cologne for men and perfume for women.
53:00 — Ad for Atari video games!
53:30 — Next video is “When Things Go Wrong” by Robin Lane & The Chartbusters! Boy, I remember them. I liked this song. Video concept is weird.
57:00 — Transition into Mark Goodman.
57:20 — A feature on The Ramones! 1! 2! 3! 4! Gabba Gabba Hey!
58:00 — Mark Goodman says MTV is going to do for TV what rock did for radio.
58:50 — Ad for The Movie Channel complete with some tape bleed.
59:20 — MTV promo
End of the hour.
Great stuff. I can watch this again and I will!