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August 01, 2006

Back in the Day

In honor of MTV turning 25 today, here's the very first video the station ever played:

We don't need to kvetch about how MTV doesn't play videos anymore, now that we have YouTube.

In other news, I'm thinking of attending the Hugos in a silver lame suit and a skinny tie, just like the Buggles are wearing at the end of the video.

Posted by john at August 1, 2006 10:22 AM

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Kevin Q | August 1, 2006 10:46 AM

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland has an interesting exhibit on music videos, and this video features prominently. It's actually about the only thing I remember from the museum.


Tim Elliott | August 1, 2006 11:10 AM

On a related note:

Today In Music History - Aug 1, 1981
Australian singer Rick Springfield started a two week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with 'Jessie's Girl.'

See the drama played out here with "The Sims 2" characters:


Scalzi's correct - YouTube is a treasure trove for old videos, but the capture and compression often leave much to be desired.


Jas | August 1, 2006 11:37 AM

NPR this morning commented on the anniversary, saying that the channel was now older than some of it's viewers.

I don't know about you, but I've seen what they're playing on MTV anymore, and it's unlikely that they have any viewers older than the station is...

Lars | August 1, 2006 12:14 PM

That's the most interesting music video I've seen in a while.

Did the Buggles mean to look so painfully awkward on camera?

BTW, when did we start signing our posts?


Emily | August 1, 2006 12:16 PM

MTV is 26 days older than I am. Go go gadget quarter-century!

John Scalzi | August 1, 2006 12:30 PM


"BTW, when did we start signing our posts?"

Who says we did?

Lars | August 1, 2006 12:41 PM

Nobody I guess. I just go with the flow.

Is the list of accepted mentees for the SLF mentorship program going to be released soon? It's the first day of the program already, and I'm sweating bullets.

M.A. | August 1, 2006 01:05 PM

I've never actuallly gone to the Hugo thing, but if you wear silver lame I'll definitely be there!

Stephen G | August 1, 2006 01:39 PM

Ever since the Pitchfork article on 100 Awesome Videos, I've been having fun going through YouTube, finding fun videos, and posting them. It's fun watching YouTube rocket up the early ascent phase of the Napster parabola.

Lars | August 1, 2006 02:18 PM

Stephen G,

YouTube won't end up like Napster -- at least it doesn't have to -- because Napster was a P2P network relying exclusively on copyright infringement for its success. A great deal of the material posted on YouTube -- most, I think -- is posted legally, by its rightful owners.

They've already begun culling the pirated material. Family Guy episodes can no longer be viewed with YouTube (frown smiley)

Will YouTube get greedy and start charging membership fees like Napster? Possibly.

Stephen G | August 1, 2006 02:38 PM

Goodness, that's a lot of use of the word "fun" up there in my comment.

I'm wondering how well YouTube would be able to police themselves. According to their own press they're getting some 65,000 new videos a day. That's a bunch to sift through to find copyrighted materials. The RIAA has shown it's not content with the "show us the copyright-infringing works and we'll remove them" approach, and technological approaches like filtering on the video's name fall short.

Andrew | August 1, 2006 05:03 PM

Personally, I've been working on composing "X killed the Folk Song star". The problem is deciding if X is Birth Control, No-Fault Divorce, or Alcoholics Anonymous. But I'm sure one of them is to blame. Think of how many folk songs are based on the lack of access to one of the above.

A.R.Yngve | August 2, 2006 07:45 AM

I heard the song when I was a kid -- and enjoyed it -- but I actually hadn't seen the whole video until I found it here! (Thanks. :))

How quaint it seems now. Have noticed all the language tropes that occur in the song -- and elsewhere -- that refer to old or obsolete technology?

"You can't rewind, you've gone too far,"
"You're sounding like a broken record,"
Or even:
"Hold your horses"...

The silver-lamé suits are still cool, though. (What with global warming, heat-reflecting silver lamé is going to be THE thing to wear in the 21st century!)

pcomeau | August 2, 2006 07:46 AM

comment from wife... (on wearing a silver lame suit to the Hugos)

"Only if he can get the glasses..."

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