Monday, March 31, 2008

MTV 1981

When I was younger, so much younger than today, I visited my grandma's house. She lived alone, smoked a brand of cigarettes I never heard of, drove her automatic transmission sedan with two feet, and she had cable. I used to lay on the rug in her living room, it was a hard and itchy wall to wall affair, low nap, with a sort of meandering line thing going on between the lumps of nap. It had a peculiar smell, exactly like the rest of the house. A smell from the past. 

Anyway, I would watch her TV. 1981 or 1982 maybe. It was summer. I should have been outside, but we (my sister and I) didn't have much to do outside in Kenmore, so I stayed in. Watching cable. Watching... MTV. First there was that video by REM, The One I Love. Just them playing on stage singing. Kinda good song, maybe I heard it before, maybe not.

And then this song came on... which I'd never heard before, but would again and again.

Cable never came to my house. I never had it growing up. My cousins had it, my grandma had it, but no one else I knew had it. When I finally got cable after college I couldn't afford MTV, it was a premium channel and I was your textbook Basic Cable Subscriber. Over at a friend's place we'd catch the only videos on MTV that weren't on at 2am - on Beavis and Butthead. At 11pm. It was good and damn funny, but I wanted Music on my television. I wanted to know what was awesome and new every time I tuned in. MTV hit a home run on the first pitch with me. But I was never a real fan. Never had season tickets.