Transvestites, Oral Sex, And The Worst Video Ever Made
by Mike Hsu,posted Sep 25 2012 3:45PM
We were the last family in Natick, Massachusetts to get cable TV. It was 1982 and I was a nerdy freshman at Natick High School with a bad haircut. I was the only one home when the cable guy showed up sometime between the hours of 12pm and 4pm. When he said he was finished hooking it all up the first thing I asked him was, "What channel is MTV on?" He flipped it over and there it was: The Fixx, "One Thing Leads To Another". Finally I was able to see other guys with bad haircuts make asses out of themselves and be succesful at it. After about 4 hours my Father came home and told me to get my ass off the couch and let him watch the news. If you were a teenager in the 80's you understand.
Which is why I love "I Want My MTV" by Rob Tannenbaum and Craig Marks. It's way more than a nostalgic trip through a silly decade. It's an amazing oral history of the birth of what some of it's founders called an "asinine idea" and the incredible odds that were against it. In the interview below I talk to Rob Tannenbaum about how MTV not only changed music but popular culture and some of the more debauched behind the scenes stories of blow jobs(involving a local Massachusetts artist), boozing, and what the majority of people he interviewed think is the worst music video ever made.(again, involving a local Mass musician.)
Hit the play button to listen:
Here's a sample of what some have called the greatest advertising campaign of all time. "I Want My MTV" overloaded cable operator's switchboards and forced them to pick up the channel.