My family moved from Western Massachusetts to White Plains, New York in 1983. Back in those dark days, there was no cable in the hinterlands of western New England (at least where we lived), so moving to a metropolitan area like White Plaiins (which is about a half hour north of NYC) was quite an eye-opener for me. I was fourteen years old.
This was my first exposure to MTV. Back when it still had the format of an FM radio station, play songs(videos), brief interludes of djs(vjs) introducing songs, and commercials. It was a great concept, but, in retrospect, bound for what it's become today. But this isn't about the evolution of MTV into what it is today, this is strictly waxing nostalgic.
If my memory serves me well, the first video I saw on MTV was "White Wedding", by Billy Idol. Man, what an experience! A great hard rocking song with gothic imagery and interludes that had nothing to do with anything. Again, I'm getting off-topic. The evolution of the music video is a topic unto itself. I'm here to talk about the music.
I was inspired to write this based on something I posted on the "What are you listening to" post the other day. I was introduced to artists such as The Violent Femmes, Romeo Void, Siouxie and the Banshees, Talking Heads, and Laurie Anderson through MTV. At its inception, MTV was a revolutionary thing which knew no boundaries and was not beholden to the corporate ethos. What hasbecome of it is the inevitability of success. Back then, you would see old videos like "These Boots Are Made for Walking" by Nancy Sinatra, "Light my Fire" by The Doors, and even more obscure songs like "Fire" by The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.
The infancy of MTV was an important factor in my musical development, Maybe I'm cynical, but I don't believe that today's youth will get the same caliber of musical influences today that I got from the early days of MTV.