Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Happy Birthday MTV!
MTV is 25 today. Man, am I old or what?
As noted in my Factoid #37, a friend of mine designed the now famous logo. He was part of a 3-person, tiny design firm and they beat out huge icons who were fighting for the gig. While walking the streets of the city, he spotted a Mack truck with that big M on the front. That was the inspiration for the M, but the "TV" came from his love for Winky Dink as a kid. (Where you put a plastic screen on the television and drew on it). Defacing the M with the graffiti-like "TV" made the whole thing perfect.
It was a cool place to be at that time...the offices run by brilliant people who were essentially kids. Bob Pittman, the first president of MTV, was only 29 or 30. You just knew that this was something very special...very big.
Suddenly, the business of cutting a record also included making a video. Some artists, like Phil Collins, objected. They felt that the listener should be conjuring up his or her OWN imagery from the music, not locked into the vision of some director. There's a part of me that agrees. But it became inevitable for everyone to jump on the video bandwagon if they wanted to remain commercially viable.
Being married to an art director for CBS Records, and friends with the MTV crowd, I had a very exciting social life at that time. Concerts almost weekly, listening parties at the homes of the artists, seeing the likes of David Bowie walking the hallways at CBS (larger than life, really), attending premiers. It was a blast and although my life couldn't be more different now, I'm glad to have those memories.
Now, about that hair...