Moment With Mel: MTV Is 40 Years Old
If you grew up in the 80’s, then you wanted your MTV! The music video channel started on August 1, 1981 when I was 11 years old. The first video they played was “Video Killed The Radio Star” from The Buggles. No one knew how huge and impactful the music channel would be. It truly helped to shape me into the music fan that I am now, without question.
Growing up in the Charlotte/Gastonia area, local radio played rock music, but not a lot of heavy rock. MTV truly shaped my love of rock music. And not only did it introduce me to so many bands, it helped to launch the career of so many artists. Before the reality shows like “Jersey Shore” and “The Real World”, MTV was all music, all the time. And for someone interested in music, it was my go to. I watched constantly.
The first time I heard/saw Guns N Roses, Def Leppard, and Tesla was on MTV. They’re just a few of the bands that made me love music at an early age. MTV was about the music, but it gave us so much more. It gave us fashion, makeup, style and attitude. It gave us ridiculous haircuts, tight spandex, and outrageous spectacle.
As a kid, I’d watch MTV everyday. It developed by passion for rock music. The Scorpions, Ozzy, DIO, Ratt, Dokken, Def Leppard, and the list goes on. Then, as a teenager in 1987, at the age of 17, I discovered “Headbanger’s Ball”. That was it for me! I truly fell in love with heavy rock then. Bands like Anthrax, Pantera, Motorhead, Iron Maiden and Metallica. I remember when I was 17, and my mom told me I’d “grow out of” the hard rock. I’m 51 AND it’s yet to happen! LOL!
Watching Martha Quinn, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, Nina Blackwood, and J.J. Jackson as well as Riki Rachtman made me want to be involved in music. Honestly, I never thought about radio, I just wanted to do what they were doing. I wanted to interview bands and be into the music like they were. Mostly in my radio career, I’ve worked at rock stations. K 104.7 is the first non-rock station I’ve worked for in years. It was odd at first but we play so many 80’s tunes, so I love it!
So many bands were truly made into superstars due to MTV, and not just rock bands. Culture Club, Cyndi Lauper, Wham!, The Go-Go’s are just a few. MTV was unlike anything else music wise. It introduced so many genres of music to so many people. It gave me such an appreciation for music as a whole, and definitely made me into the rocker girl that I still am at heart.
Honestly, I could probably write for hours about MTV. Their saying, “I Want My MTV” was so true for me! MTV gave me a list of bands to love, which gave me a list of bands that I wanted to see live. And of course, live concerts were also a huge part of my life in the 1980’s. I had so much fun with my friends going to see bands that we first saw on MTV.
There are many times miss the “big hair days” of the 80’s. I look back on the memories I made with friends and they are truly some of my all time favorite memories. It’s wild how my years of radio have led me to meet so many of the people that I watched on MTV as a kid. I’ve met my idols of music! Without question, as a true music fan, that has been the coolest part of my radio job. Many of the rock stars I saw on MTV as a teen, I’ve been able to meet as an adult. And it’s so awesome!
Concerts are still a big part of my life. Any time I have the chance to see someone I loved in the 1980’s, I go to their show. I’ve been on a few rock cruises which are definitely throw backs to the MTV days and the 1980’s. It’s a way for me, and many others, to re-live some of the old school rock days. I’m planning on going on The Monsters of Rock Cruise in 2022. Alice Cooper is headlining and the rest of the bands are all from the 1980’s. Nothing like a boat full of folks that grew up in the 80’s rockin’ out to the bands we grew up with. So much fun!
Cheers to 40 years of MTV! I won’t lie though. It makes me feel old! I can’t believe it’s been that long. Some of the memories of the 80’s seem like they happened yesterday. I’m sure you feel the same when looking back on those days. I mean, if you grew up then, you totally get what I mean. Long live the early music video days of MTV!