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Martha Quinn is older than the president (some perspective on MTV’s 30th anniversary)

Today is MTV’s 30th anniversary. It launched on Aug. 1, 1981 – or about 4 months after the first space shuttle mission. NASA finally retired the shuttle fleet last month.

MTV signed on the year President Reagan nominated the 1st woman, Sandra Day O’Connor, to the U.S. Supreme Court. She retired 5 years ago.

When MTV signed on, Barack Obama was 19 years old.

I was 15, although we didn’t get MTV until I was almost out of high school. I made do with “Video Jukebox” on HBO and “Night Tracks” on TBS. “Night Tracks” played videos all night long, so I’d tape it and watch it, a few videos at a time, throughout the week.

MTV was born the same year as Alicia Keys, Elijah Wood, Justin Timberlake and Paris Hilton.

MTV was born the year Anwar Sadat was assassinated and Hosni Mubarak became president of Egypt. He was ousted about 6 months ago after 18 days of demonstrations and is now in a coma.

The No. 1 song on the radio the year MTV was born was “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes.

Bette Davis was 72 years old at the time.

Kim Carnes is 66 years old now.

Martha Quinn — one of the 5 original VJs — is a 52-year-old mom, but she looks about the same now as she did then. (She hosts a show on the 80s channel on Sirius XM.)

Martha Quinn is older than the president of the United States.

MTV doesn’t have VJs anymore.

MTV is older than the CD (the first CD players went on sale in the U.S. in 1983), the Mac (1984) and the Transformers (ditto).

MTV is older than Shia LaBeouf (he’s 25).

MTV is older than the Web (born 1991-92).

If MTV was a person, it would be old enough to run for a seat in the U.S. Senate, but it would need to wait 5 years to run for president. (The media age of a U.S. senator is about 62.)

When MTV signed on, stores still sold 8-track tapes.

Stores still sold beer to 18-year-olds in some states (the National Minimum Age Drinking Act didn’t pass until ’84).

“Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles, the first song played on MTV, had been out about a year.

The singer, Trevor Horn, is 62 now. He became a famous record producer. He’s worked with everyone from ABC to Yes, from Paul McCartney to LeAnn Rimes. He makes good records.

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152 thoughts on “Martha Quinn is older than the president (some perspective on MTV’s 30th anniversary)

  1. Martha Quinn…I had her frozen at her age back then. Wonder if she and the M in mtv could ever make a comeback.

    Miss the music part. I don’t remember breakfast, but I remember the first video I saw on MTV was Robert Palmer, Looking For CLues

    • Every picture I found of Martha Quinn today looks a lot like Martha Quinn then. She’s got that Dick Clark/ageless teenager thing going on.

      I doubt the music will make a comeback. I read something the other day about how YouTube killed the video star; you don’t need MTV to see music videos anymore.

  2. Nice perspective. It’s amazing that 30 years has passed. Do you have a stat on when MTV stopped showing music videos for the majority of its broadcasts. That’s a number I’d like to know. :)

    • Wikipedia says it was showing about 8 hours of videos a day in 2000 and that it was down to about 3 hours a day by 2008. I don’t know whether it shows videos at all anymore. I stopped watching sometime during the Clinton administration.

  3. It has always been kind of strange to me that I can remember every single artist that I liked from MTV (from Duran Duran to Missing Persons to Corey Hart to Prince to Michael Jackson to The Clash) and I can sing all the lyrics to all their songs and today I am a housewife and mother of three living in the suburbs and it doesn’t help much to be able to sing “Rio” when I can barely the exact dates of all my kids birthdays without making myself think real hard about it…

  4. We didn’t have cable at my mom’s house, but my dad did. I’ll never forget being at his house and seeing MTV for the first time. I thought that finally I could be one of the cool kids. Never happened. But thanks to MTV, I found my first favorite song (Sweet Dreams by The Eurythmics) and my first favorite video (Don’t Come Around Here No More by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers).

    • Annie Lennox has a great voice. Coincidentally, that Tom Petty song was produced by Dave Stewart, the other half of Eurythmics. Now, back to the countdown. I’m … Casey Kasem.

  5. At the time that you guys were celebrating the launch of MTV, and all things new and beautiful, I was doing what you are doing now: I was remembering the wonders of 30 years before. In my case, it was the flourishing of doo-wop and rock and roll, the birth of the space age, and the end of wartime rationing. OK. I am cool. I have gotten used to sucessive generations nostalgicising about things that I still think of as new. Most important of all: I understand about the old folk in the fifties rhapsodising about talking movies, electric recording, and Artie Shaw. “Aint it funny how time slips away?”

    • It’s weird the first time it happens. I overhead some teenagers at Target once talking about how they wished they’d been around in the ’80s. I’m thinking, Why?!

      • I have. The difference, though, is that most of the people waxing nostalgic for the ’90s were at least old enough to remember the music. All this, however, has given me a better understanding of my dad. :-)

        I was working at AOL and said to a colleague, I’ve been working on a Mac longer than some of the people here have been alive. A woman asked me how long, and I answered, “Since 1985.” She responded that she was born in ’86.

  6. Love it Todd! MTV is older than a lot of technology and yes, we were still purchasing 8-tracks, 45s, 33″ albums and tapes when it was born. Eggads! it is cool that it has been able to evolve and stick around, but sad that the music is non-existent on the regular channel (save the overnight hours). They still have the best music awards show and I admit to still watching some of their reality TV marathons.

    • I think I finally tuned out when during the season of The Real World where they’re in Hawaii and one of the roommates nearly died of alcohol poisoning. I thought, They need a responsible adult on this show, and that’s when I realized I’d outgrown MTV. :-)

  7. We did not have cable at home to watch it when it was first launched. I was in 10th grade, We had it on sometimes at school. It was a new thing to watch music.
    Over the years It was on at my businesses, that or VH1 having music videos play, on a TV provided both sound and something to watch. I miss the days of the original concept of music video TV.
    This does not make me feel old. I feel a part of our music history was also a part of my life. Rock on

  8. Joe says:

    MTV doesn’t have VJs anymore, because there are no more Vs? Whenever that stupid game show started, was it Remote Control?, is when MTV started its downward slide.

    • Mistletoe says:

      Hey, I LIKED Remote Control. Especially Sing Along with Colin! And at least it incorporated music videos as part of its content.

      • I’m with Mistletoe, Remote Control was a great show. I stopped watching MTV when The Real World came on…but maybe that’s just because I was in college and no longer a posters-plastered-all-over-my-wall highschool girl.

  9. I think it was in the documentary, “I Need That Record” where Mtv (which also owns VH1) was said to stop running videos because they no longer wanted to pay for the licensing. If that’s true, not only does it explain why the same handful of songs make it into whatever countdown happens to be aired (and most often in the form of filler shows on VH1), then we can also thank shitty copyright legislation for effectively kill the video star. At least on Cable TV.

  10. What a great post! Thanks for doing all the background work for what was happening then and some of the ‘where they are now’ bits. I loved Martha Quinn. I thought she was SO cool!

  11. We didn’t have cable, either. We only got to see bits of MTV when we traveled across town to visit our cousins. I remember my aunt complaining that the kids seemed to be spending all their time cooped up watching tv anymore.

    Amy did, too, become one of the cool kids. She’s just being humble.

  12. noloserslikemebro says:

    I think that in honor of it being MTV’s 30th anniversary, instead of having practically a three day Jersey Shore marathon, they should take a least twenty four hours to show what MTV was like in its glory days (You know, the days of Daria and Cyndi Lauper…or something like that. Whatever, you know what I mean.)

  13. Great recap of MTV’s history, you forget all the things that happen in-between. I will always remember “TRL”, that was the hot show when I was a teenager, it was cancelled in 2008

    enjoyed it!

  14. Hurray for MTV!!!!!!

    Where would we all be without MTV paying for freemasonic music videos to indoctrinate children with like thisone. Yay!

    Where else can you get occult/ luciferian/ freemasonic rituals thinly disguised as music award shows like the VMA’s – Yippee!

    (I mean apart from the My favorite blogging platform Oscars of course!)

    What other channel puts freemasonic/ illuminati symbols all over its idents, logo’s and adverts – just to let your subconscious know exactly who’s running the show – and who’s bringing up your children! HA HA HA HA!

    No seriously, I’m not even kidding. That’s right – while you’re slaving away doing 2 jobs just to put food on the table your kids are being programmed by the TV with subliminal information. Fantastic!

    Really subliminal like this one Tee Hee Hee!

    What other music channel makes wholesome Christmas idents that are really satanic rituals – acted out right in your face HA HA HA!!!! Brilliant!

    Well you’ve got to make fun of it haven’t you. Otherwise it all gets a bit depressing….

    But seriously, it’s all trash and it is destroying music and culture and dumbing everyone down. Switch it OFF and get a real life AND SUPPORT REAL AUTHENTIC MUSIC AND MUSICIANS with your wallet!!!

    If you think this is all a bit crazy and nutters-ville, then let’s work this through logically… ready?

    So we allow giant corporations that seem to be heavily infiltrated (or simply run) by satanic obsessed secret societies find, manufacture, distribute and broad-cast our arts, entertainment (in this case music) and in doing so have nearly unrestricted access to your children’s minds via the most powerful mass mind control device ever invented (that’d be television for those sitting at the back) … I mean let’s just think about that one …. what on earth did you expect would happen?!!!

    Did you think they’d encourage great, original music, champion original, free thinking, outspoken artists and on put interesting informative high quality shows that enrich culture???

    Or is it perhaps more likely they’d use the medium to dumb down the population, make as much money as possible in the short term and attempt to mold society to be better consumers by championing materialistic aspirations so that people were so busy being mindless consumers in a spiritually dead world of vacuous entertainment that they wouldn’t even notice the creeping corporate fascist take over of their world?

    I think scenario number 2 is more likely don’t you? Oh wait – that’s what’s happening anyway…

    Switch it OFF!!!!!!!!! :)

      • I love the free-thinking, and support professional real musicians, sentiments, but I do not believe a word of the conspiracy theory.

      • I’m fine – really I am! I don’t actually ‘caf’ so I don’t really need to ‘de’.

        I was trying to write with an element of absurdity / parody in my ‘in your face’ delivery style. (Plus it’s a subject I am passionate about). Oh well… ;)

        And as for the other reply re the ‘conspiracy theory’. I admit some of it sounds a little crazy and I don’t mind but I honestly don’t think that label applies here. After all, I did link to plenty of examples and websites with plenty more. You did follow the links right? I mean a lot of it is kind of blatant when you actually look at it.

        For many people working in the ‘industry’ this stuff is considered ‘old news’ (but plenty more still have no idea what they are helping to promote) …. it just doesn’t get any coverage on the mainstream media that’s all. But then again, why would the mainstream media run such disturbing stories about itself?

        Think of all the documentaries you have ever watched on TV about the massive power of the TV as a tool of public persuasion, about how the TV is just about the most perfect mass mind controlling propaganda machine conceivable ……. exactly! There really aren’t any. TV is largely paid for by advertisers. Advertisers obviously don’t want you to regard the TV as a ‘mass mind controlling’ device.

        I’m not saying the TV being in the home of everyone in the modern world is automatically ‘evil’ – it’s just very, very, very powerful for those controlling the programming. Not fully understanding (or reminding ourselves about) the power of TV to influence the masses is like not fully understanding the power of guns to make small but potentially life threatening holes in people.

        What I find fascinating is that most of the comments here are saying the same thing – that MTV has gone down the toilet. And more generally, most vaguely intelligent people can’t stand the relentless stream of formulaic, dumbed down, idiotic Hollywood movies, TV shows and popular music we are all subjected to these days.

        Yet if you dare to offer a sober, common sense explanation as to perhaps WHY our culture is being turned into trash against our wishes (and back it up with plenty of evidence and reasoning) you get called a ‘conspiracy theorist’. M’kay…

        Meanwhile most people continue to believe in the more socially acceptable idea that WE are somehow *choosing* to have this dumbed down culture with our own tastes and with our wallets (consumer driven). But if that were really the case we’d all be loving it rather than complaining about it all the time – right?

        We know corporations now have an near monopoly over mainstream news/ media/ entertainment. So the mechanism is certainly there for them to dictate to a very large extent what we watch/ listen to. It’s only the internet which gives us any respite from these corporations’ extremely narrow programming (in all senses of the word!). And hey presto! – people are abandoning the mainstream media/ mass entertainment in droves now that the internet is giving them the choice to do so.

        This surely proves we do NOT want to be dumbed down. And that logically implies it is being forced on us to some extent and for some other reason than consumer’s tastes and wants.

        And so my previous comment (and this one) really just boils down to:

        (1) there is now a near monopoly in entertainment/ media industries as the whole thing is owned and run by just a handful of mega corporations

        (2) these corporations care more about money, power and control than enriching art and culture (like duh!)

        (3) this industry which is so influential to society (as music/ movies/ art/ news massively affects our minds, thoughts, attitudes and behaviours) has attracted all sorts of control freaks and power obsessed types who you would definitely NOT want to have babysitting your children

        (4) yet so many of us still let them virtually bring up our children and influence their minds via the TV/ movies etc.

        If that constitutes a crazy ‘conspiracy theory’ then yes – I hold my hands up and plead guilty! :)

        If some of my previous comment’s evidence of occult, freemasonic. satanic goings on in the industry seems a little too far fetched then please remember that we live in a world where the people ‘running everything’ including presidents and prime ministers, media moguls, business tycoons (many of whom proclaim to be God fearing Christians in public) gather annually in a secluded Redwood forest in Northern California to dress up in robes and ‘cast off their conscience’ in ancient mock child sacrifice rituals – and who knows what else they get up to?!! (BTW several books have made some extremely shocking accusations).

        And this sort of thing rarely even makes the news! (but with plenty of media moguls attending such rituals – why would it?!). Again, it is only the independent internet which is bringing such strange goings on into the public consciousness. Expect more and more crazy and disturbing stuff to keep getting exposed – particularly with regards to the ‘establishment’. Bohemian Grove is tea in the park compared to what will eventually come out – and with plenty of evidence to back it up too. But I digress…

        Does anyone honestly believe the nose diving of our mass entertainment culture (now that it is being almost exclusively run by giant corporations) into dumbed down, inauthentic, violence obsessed, militaristic, idiotic, stupid, horrible, worthless, moronic, brain rotting trash has NOTHING to do with the people running the industry making it?

        We know for instance that the Pentagon has a department devoted to ‘tweaking’ Hollywood movie scripts in return for free hire of (tax funded) military equipment. This is freely admitted. For example ‘Top Gun’ was essentially a Pentagon propaganda recruitment film used to revive dwindling recruitment post Vietnam. They even put recruiting booths in the cinema foyers when the movie first came out. And it worked!

        Why would popular music / fashion/ TV shows be immune from this kind of interference if we know it goes on in movies routinely? And despite there being plenty of evidence for it why is the onus still always on proving it is going on rather than disproving that it is going on?

        Isn’t it more ‘wacky’ to imagine Rihanna (for example) came up with the idea of making militaristic videos for her songs by herself? Videos which sexualize guns and tanks and even bombs and depict an Iraq -esque military base as a kind of cool casino, lap dancing club (a place to get laid and rich and have a good time, basically). I mean come on…. even my dog can see it’s blatant propaganda.

        But I’m not trying to convince anyone to ‘believe’ any of what I say. But aside from all the complains and moaning about ‘the state of music today’ etc I do wonder has anyone ever even thought about any of this or started to actually research the subject?

        If not why not? Is it because the mass media never brings such subjects up? Is it because you don’t want to be labelled a nutty ‘conspiracy theorist’?

        I really, really don’t mean to come across as antagonistic (or caffeine fueled!), but I do believe that if we *value* and *care* about good music, art, films and even TV shows (anyone?) we need to be able to identify all that is bad and rotten and understand why it is so. Only then can we make informed choices….. which is the only kind there is. (An ill-informed choice is not a true choice).

        Just imagine caring about good health and researching food but being accused of being a ‘conspiracy theorist’ every time you identify junk food and / or a junk food chain.

        Do fast food chains care about your health or enriching our cuisine? – No of course not. Everyone knows that! But would you be alarmed if there was a fast food kiosk in the corner of every living room in the country?

        Do entertainment/ media corporations care about music, films and art or enriching our culture?

        Of course not. Would you be alarmed to find a corporate mass media screen in the corner of every living room in the country? Touché!

        So to wrap it up…. IMHO there’s no need to complain about or the ‘hate’ these corporations and the awful crap they churn out. Just move on and support something more to your liking – if there is nothing out there of worth currently then your willingness to support it will ensure there soon will be!

        That’s the power of the consumer, right! :)

  15. The Kim Carnes/Bette Davis age comparisons really gives me pause. For a brief while in the early 90′s I considered filing a class action suit against MTV for shortening the attention span of an entire generation and also giving us unrealistic expectations of what parties and school life should look like (aren’t there a ton of music videos set at a party or school?) But truly I loved the MTV of the 80′s. Your historical perspective is very cool. I remember “Night Tracks” too, because I didn’t get my MTV until 1985.

  16. Wow, I am the same age as MTV! Oh how it has changed over the years. We need to go back to more music videos and less reality tv! Martha Quinn..I hear her on the radio, she looks great!

  17. Love it!

    I used to be such an MTV junkie growing up, and probably would be if they were still music oriented. Honestly, I think they’d get better ratings if they just went back to playing music videos (from then and now…but mostly then).

  18. psycoblogger says:

    I was 19 and got married that year, I saw it when it first came on. Loved Downtown Julie Brown and Pauly Shore, they where my favorite VJ’s. It’s not about the music anymore, hasn’t been for a long time. Still married though, to the same guy.

  19. Pingback: Nice piece I found on MTV’s anniversary… « themixedbagblog

  20. srqpix says:

    Back in the day just before MTV came on the air I was working for a cable company (I won’t say which) but we used to show a video program called “The Video Music Channel”. It was all on 3/4 inch video tape we used to use it to fill-in breaks in local origination programing. One day they sent us a letter and told us to pack up all the tapes and send them back, shortly after that MTV came on he air, and that’s about all I’ve got to say about that.

  21. Well, right back at ya Mr. Pack. Congrats on the FP honors. Fun post. You always work the pop culture well. Maybe in honor of the occasion I’ll call 1-800-DIALMTV and ask for Adam Curry.

  22. Martha Quinn is just a couple years younger than I am…
    I remember trying to record music on reel-to-reel recorders…
    A four-track reel-to-reel, with independent recording of each track, was the big thing; I remember trying to copy some of the effects that Firesign Theater did.
    Wow,

  23. Eva McCane says:

    the true mtv is dead. i can no longer bring myself to watch it…brings me to tears. mtv used to have great music, and great videos, and unplugged jam sessions, and funny game shows. now it’s pregnant teens and douche bags all aiming for fame. and the worst part is…they get it. and all the while the youth of america are watching (for everything other than music…despite the station being MUSIC tv). envious of drunk dipshits, trainwreck celebrities, and slutty young girls. i want my old mtv back.
    http://www.icouldntmakethisshitup.wordpress.com

  24. Pingback: MTV’s 30th Anniversary: A Curtain Call for Mass Media | NathanAcosta.com | Blog and Online Home of the Young Professional

  25. I want my MTV – MY MTV – not today’s MTV. I was just glad my parents had cable so that I could talk about MTV at school and not be labeled an even bigger geek for not watching it :) I remember seeing ZZTop’s “Legs” video and wishing that someone would come give me the same makeover…LOL

  26. MTV, wasn’t that the station that use to play music videos?

    Being the same age as the president, I remember the launch of MTV well (which makes me sad) but I’m surprised to learn I’m younger than Martha Quinn (which makes me happy).

    Fun post, thank you! And congratulations on Freshly Pressed!

  27. Fun post. Congrats on making freshly pressed!

    MTV, the early days. Brings back a ton of memories I was 19 or so and remember hanging out and watching MTV in the student union between classes back in the day. Madonna, The Police, Talking Heads.

    I had a 1 year anniversary MTV sticker I sent off for plastered on my JVC receiver. Martha Quinn was one of favorites – so perky and hip. She does look about the same today.

    Cheers!

  28. They should make a song called “Internet Killed the Video Star.”

    I remember MTV in the very early 1990s and it still had that “we’re not every other channel.” They had weird cartoons and even played videos all of the time. It seemed like it was special. I remember how all of that seemed to change with Total Request Live. I don’t remember what year it was but I remember saying, “Wait…. what the hell happened to the music?”

    I imagine it’s the same way people realize they are old. You notice things slowly start to change and then, one day, you wonder what the hell happened.

  29. I thought the “M” in “Mtv” stood for “Martha”. I thought it was Martha television. We were just out of college and coudnt afford to go out so we sat around drinking the lone 6 pack we could afford and watching Mtv. I recall a U2 special in particular. Wow, that really dates Bono.

  30. Great read…brings back some good memories. And then there’s that “holy smokes I feel old” bit. It’s ok, though. We had just moved to another state across the country and I didn’t know anyone. My mom got cable and MTV for us to help us get by. We ended up being a little bit cooler because we were some of the first people in our new neighborhood to have it. Made some friends and the move didn’t seem quite so bad after that. But…damn I’m old… ;)

  31. MTV ended abruptly when I started college and could no longer sit in front of the tv for hours on end waiting for the Romantics to play “what I like about you”

    Congrats on the FP! Great post.

  32. Pingback: Happy Birthday Mtv |

  33. Todd, you’re an amazing conglomeration of factoids. Great post, but actually a little bit depressing to read how old everything that was once cool has become.

    Congratulations on FP AGAIN! Really Todd, what would WordPress do without you?

  34. I still can’t get over the fact that MTV celebrated the big 30th anniversary weekend by playing (and replaying) hour blocks of random over on VH1 Classic! They couldn’t even dig up three full days of interesting snippet memory lane, instead just reshowing 6-8 hours of it. There were a few interesting bits that I caught (ex: Radiohead performing Creep live on some Summer deal and lots of those epic Dennis Leary promos).

    Also, it was interesting that they have been airing the first hour from the vault, glitches and all. The commercials were pretty interesting (also could could tell they had them taped and had to start said tape, a dead air lag between each block).

    Personally, I think the newfangled reality TV non M-TV doesn’t want to be associated with its music past in some ways. The newer generation has no idea what it once was other than what they hear from their ‘elders’. Makes me feel ancient.

    -Melissa

  35. tatterednotes says:

    MTV is (just barely) older than me…I was born in November…but I remember being 10 years old and my town still didn’t have it available.

    The first video I remember seeing on MTV was Losing My Religion by R.E.M.. I remember begging my mom to let me watch The Real World and crying when I saw that Pedro Zamora died from AIDS related complications.

    I used to live for 120 Minutes and was thrilled to the core every time a little band I liked was showcased.

    I avoided the channel at all costs during Spring Break and used to have the video game for Remote Control (does anyone else remember that show?)…

    MTV stopped being about the music a long time ago, but it feels like it’s somehow a huge part of my adolescent years.

    I think the channel lost it’s balls when it canceled MTV News and banked more and more on Road Rules and the Movie Awards…but maybe it’s a good thing, considering the out-sized egos of the big music stars of today, perhaps it is a blessing in disguise their videos don’t play every other hour anymore.

    I really did make my dad call up and say “I want my MTV”, I thought about applying to be on The Real World, and I was stoked when MTV2 was first launched, but really, I’m just over it.

    I still have a crush on Serena Altschul though…

  36. Pingback: MTV: From “defining a generation” to just “degeneration” | TOTALLY BANANAS

  37. Jo says:

    MTv used to be the best… But now is all about Jersey Shore and all that crap! I remember growing up with it back in 2000 when it was really Cool!

  38. I can’t believe today was MTV’s birthday! Thank you for posting these interesting facts! The one comment that you made that saddened me the most was the fact that MTV no longer has VJs. I feel that the original intent in establishing MTV was to make a channel devoted to music (hence, Music Television). Now MTV has lured away from its original focus and insists on airing shows about dating, teen mothers, and werewolves. At least we still have the MTV Video Music Awards right? There are days when I miss coming home from school and tuning into TRL. When TRL ended and they had a whole 2-4 hour finale it was a sad day for MTV (or at least for me it was!). Maybe MTV will one day revert back to airing music related shows! Who knows! Nothing is impossible!

    Overall, a Happy Birthday MTV is in order! It’s always good to reminisce on the good old times!

    If you don’t mind, I just started my own blog recently and I would like to post the link along with my comment! It’s http://www.logicmeetsreason.wordpress.com, I invite you and your readers to take a look at it, comment, and subscribe!

  39. I remember watching world premiere’s of videos like they were movies. My sister and I would make a day of it. Our parents would be gone and we would plan our day around a certain world premiere.

    Good memories!

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

  40. Awesome post about MTV turning 30, MTV is born in the same year as HP Parviainen from The Dudesons (Turns out The Dudesons in America series is an MTV series). MTV has changed a lot for the past 30 years. Although I don’t mind the MTV shows like Daria and reality-stunt related shows like Viva La Bam and The Dudesons in America, I wish it plays more music videos like they did back in the 1990s.

  41. Congrats on the FP Todd. I read this yesterday and felt particularly old knowing that I’m older than MTV and yet I don’t know the first thing about it. Never watched it, or had it on our tv. Too cheap to buy cable back then …and busy doing other things in life. Jeanne

  42. I think I lived and breathed MTV throughout my Jr. High/Highschool years. When I was younger I screamed everytime Duran Duran came on, later it was Skid Row or Poison. Even today, when my husband and I discuss an 80′s song, I remember the video.

    Great post!

  43. Amazing how MTV has changed. I watched it all the time back in the day when there were really videos and it wasn’t just reality tv. But MT was the birthing place of reality tv as well (The Real World). I loved Martha Quinn. She was funny and quirky. Thanks for bringing up good memories!

  44. dlockeretz says:

    Good stuff! For some reason this “remember when”/putting time passage into perspective stuff never gets old with me. Thanks for the memories.

  45. I refuse to admit I have a daughter nearly the age I was when MTV signed on. And I’m not going to my 30th high school reunion later this month. It’s just a gathering of friends.

    Old friend.

  46. stmarie says:

    In 1991 my company got a call to do video playback at Mitchell’s Orient Express Restaurant on Wilshire in Los Angles. So I shlepped a Sony 1″ tape machine and 15 19″ Monitors up to the second floor of the restaurant, put them on baker’s racks and played back videos for 4 hours. It was Viacom’s Press Party announcing a new cable channel called Music Television Network. One of the things I remember was a lot of the attendees were walking around saying. “Who would stay at home and watch Music Videos all day?” LOL Who knew?

      • stmarie says:

        Since then I have worked on the Tila Tequila. Tool Academy and Jersey Shore reunion shows. More to come. LOL

    • stmarie says:

      I want to make one technical correction. It was an Ampex VPR 2 1 in tape machine. At that time the Sony machine weighed north of 190 lbs and would not have gone up the steps without a forklift truck. LOL the Ampex weighed a mire 125 lbs was a lot smaller and three people including myself carried it up the steps.

  47. Pingback: Poptopia! & Happy Birthday MTV « Best Leave It Unsolved

  48. I remember when MTV launched. My friends and I were blown away. We sat around for hours waiting for Bruce Springsteen’s Dancin’ in the Dark video that featured a very young Courtney Cox.

  49. Pingback: Where was this 011 « Mirror Universe

  50. Good post, love the historical perspective on MTV. I remember how excited I was when I first got MTV, and how many hours I sat watching videos. I haven’t had the channel on in years–decades, maybe. ( I’m older than MTV, the president, AND Martha Quinn. Younger than Kim Carnes, though.)

    • Maybe it’s because I like DIY, but I like those old videos better than I do the slick ones I see now sometimes by accident. They had no budget, so they did the best they could with what they had, and sometimes it turned out really well.

  51. j says:

    Martha Quinn is still hot. If you doubt it, Google “Martha Quinn now”, check out the images and look for one in which she is lying on her belly on the beach. Absolutely gorgeous.

  52. samuel says:

    Night Tracks! Man, I was one of my favorite all-time music video shows! Never been able to taped NT. Todd, you said recorded a few videos from Night Tracks?

  53. Reblogged this on Todd Pack's Messy Desk and commented:

    I originally posted this one year ago today. It’s gotten the most clicks, the most comments and the most shares of anything posted here, and “Martha Quinn” brings more people to the blog than any other search term. MTV turns 31 today, and Martha Quinn, in case you’re wondering, is now 53 but doesn’t look it.

  54. Pingback: Video Vignette | Author – Michelle Lynn Brown

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