Sunday, February 10, 2008

Call your cable company, and say.....

My pal Seraphim Gleck posted a comment to Kate/Susan about Rick Springfield and a little show on TBS called "Night Tracks."

Our cable system was woefully behind the times, and we didn't get actual MTV until Fall 1984. The first time I ever saw actual MTV, however, was May 1982 in Knoxville when we went to visit friends of my parents. Their sons were a couple of years older than me, heavy into guitars, and loving MTV. The first video I saw? "Don't Talk to Strangers" by Rick Springfield. Le swoon. I also remember seeing "Any Way You Want It" by Journey and something by Cheap Trick where Rick Neilsen played this 5-necked guitar. I was in shock; they were in awe. And a love affair with music went to a whole 'nother level.

Of course, again, our cable system was hardly hip -- and even though we've been DirecTV customers for 11 years now, our town still has the same cable system and it's still sucky compared to Charter, Comcast, Time Warner, etc. So we had very few options. Good ol' Casey would still on occasion have the "Spotlight Song of the Week" on TV's AT10 and show the video. USA Network had "Radio 1990" which was a pretty cool, edgy show. NBC was coming out with "Friday Night Videos" .... but not just yet. So leave it to Ted Turner to help us out.

"Night Tracks" -- ah, how I loved thee! From 11:30 until the wee small hours of the morning. I usually sat up until 2:00 AM to watch the videos on my little B&W RCA. I remember the first U2 video I ever saw -- a double helping with "Two Hearts Beat As One" and "New Year's Day." I saw "Total Eclipse of the Heart" a bazillion times. And one of the best videos ever .... "New Frontier" by Donald Fagen (off one of the BEST LP's ever).

We got MTV, and then "Night Tracks" fell off the radar. I'd tune in on occasion, but MTV had it all. At least, back then they did, and what I wouldn't give for MTV to just create a network called MTV rerun. And all they would need to do is replay every single second from the opening on August 1, 1981 until somewhere around ..... August 1, 1990? Right now, I'd even pay good money to see an episode of "Remote Control," or "Yo! MTV Raps" (and yes, even I can't believe I'm saying that). Or "Dial MTV" where Motley Crue's "Home Sweet Home" was the number 1 video for something like 22 weeks in a row.

But I miss those early days, when "Night Tracks" was what I had to guide me in this brave new frontier. For those of us who rocked back then, I salute you!!!


Seraphim9 said...

I don't know when the cable system in the Bainbridge, GA (where we were living at that time) finally got MTV. As of October of 1984 I know they didn't have it because that was when we moved from Bainbridge and back up to Albany, GA. I KNEW that Albany had MTV because I would be glued to it in the den of my grandparents' house when we'd go up there to visit. I thought I was uptown because I got to watch videos whenever I wanted and brag to my friends back in Bainbridge!

bolivar said...

Sometimes I wish MTV would do something revolutionary again, like... I don't know, ACTUALLY PLAYING MUSIC VIDEOS AGAIN!!! I could give a rat's ass about stuff like "The Real World", although "Parental Control" & "Next" are good for a laugh. But do you remember when they played music videos from all styles of pop music? There was also the "Saturday Night Concert" & the "Sunday Night Special". Not to mention contests - the Asia in Asia contest, being a roadie for the Boss, and so on. It was pretty cool - a nice snapshot of my high school years. I miss it!

Word verification: "savle". What??

Talmadge G. said...

Or the John Cougar Melonhead contest back in '84, when MTV gave away a pink house.