It’s hard to believe it now, but MTV used to provide some intelligent programming, not to mention actually broadcast shows about music. With its recent and inevitable decision to drop the “Music Television” tag from its logo (read about it in “Rolling Stone”), the network proceeds to embrace the trend of the stupefying of the media (As another example, see how Bravo has turned from broadcasting foreign movies and probing entertainment documentaries like how the Oscars® game is played to reality shows like “the Real Housewives”).
Nowadays, viewers are told to look up to morons like Snookie (pardon if I spelled her name wrong, I don’t even want to look it up), as the article in Rolling Stone has her face filling up the MTV logo, goes to show. Back in the day, actual music journalists like Kurt Loder, who could write, not to mention understand the culture of rock history, hosted programming on the show.
You also had guests like Robert Fripp breaking down the mechanics and aesthetics of Frippertronics. What were these people thinking back then? I don’t know… maybe they were actually expecting viewers to think as well? That doesn’t mean it all had to be highfalutin. Watch this 10-minute clip from 1982 and prepare to be blown away by an actual well-spoken and intellectual musician speaking on MTV and pardon some of the dated cheesy music early on in the clip. To check out the Fripp stuff I’m mentioning, skip to around 8:10)…
Oh, I have to add this music video for “I Advanced Masked” with Andy Summers, which was probably airing on MTV at the time of the same news piece above. Enjoy: