Remember the first time you saw Michael Jackson dance with zombies in "Thriller"? Diamond Dave karate kick with Van Halen in "Jump"? Tawny Kitaen turning cartwheels on a Jaguar to Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again"? The Beastie Boys spray beer in "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)"? Axl Rose step off the bus in "Welcome to the Jungle"?
Remember when all you wanted was your MTV?
It was a pretty radical idea - a channel for teenagers, showing nothing but music videos. It was such a radical idea that almost no one thought it would actually succeed, much less become a force in the worlds of music, television, film, fashion, sports, and even politics. But it did work. MTV became more than anyone had ever imagined.
I Want My MTV tells the story of the first decade of MTV, the golden era when MTV's programming was all videos, all the time, and kids watched religiously to see their favorite bands, learn about new music, and have something to talk about at parties. From its start in 1981 with a small cache of videos by mostly unknown British new wave acts to the launch of the reality-television craze with The Real World in 1992, MTV grew into a tastemaker, a career maker, and a mammoth business.
Featuring interviews with nearly 400 artists, directors, VJs, and television and music executives, I Want My MTV is a testament to the channel that changed popular culture forever.
©2012 Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
"This colorful oral history of MTV’s early years doesn’t pull punches or waste time. A relentlessly entertaining book, an endlessly quotable volume." (The Onion)
"Wildly entertaining. Music and culture fans of a certain age - you will want this book." (The Washington Post)
"Here’s all the dirt on MTV’s early days, in one of the funniest books ever written about pop music." (Rolling Stone)
This was simply the most entertaining, engaging audiobook I've listened to in years. It's not just for MTV fans, or just for the demographic that currently watches it in droves. Personally, I never enjoyed watching MTV nearly as much as I enjoyed reading this book about it. If you are even slightly interested in music, popular culture, television, the entertainment industry, or musicians themselves, you will probably love this book too.
It's a remarkable story, of course. This scraggly little video jukebox of a cable channel literally changed television, music, motion pictures and popular culture. More than once. But the key to making this so much more than just a factual recreation of a game-changing cable channel's history lies in a single, brilliant idea: they don't just tell the story, but let the participants themselves tell it in their own words. Culling choice nuggets from literally hundreds of interviews with rock stars,video directors, executives and the scores of people who surround them, the authors then edit and compile pieces of those interviews into a tightly woven narrative. They provide some backstory and context to each part of the music channel's history with concise chapter introductions, and let the rest of the story unfold through the words of the people who created that history. It's messy, honest and human, and the perspectives of the different parties are often contradictory. Just like the real world. Unlike "The Real World," the story-lines are always interesting,
Seriously -- if this sounds even a little intriguing to you, get this book. It's like being invited to the largest MTV reunion ever, full of rock stars and directors and executives, and getting to listen in on each of them as they tell the story of their involvement. It's pure entertainment, flawlessly executed.
First, the narration was fantastic, absolutely made the listen come alive. I missed out on the hey-day of MTV. Too wrapped up in rejection of pop culture because of the horrid deceptions of religion, I missed out and am bitter about that, but this book and listen brought it all back to me as if I had been there in front of my television mesmerized as millions were. Let's face it though, I did see glimpses of MTV in the middle of its high run and who am I kidding, I was so naive, I really could not have understood its power. But enough. This book is utterly entertaining to the max. and should not be missed by anyone who enjoys the history of pop culture in any form. I would put this book in my top three best listens with no hesitation. Thanks for a great experience!
Long distance commuter who loves audio books. After an hour drive, I sometimes struggle to leave the car because the book is THAT GOOD!
At the onset of I Want My MTV I knew I was in for a great ride. It was like a time warp back to my early teens. All the cast was set, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Divo and Motley Crue. There were great scandals such as MTV originally being perceived as a white and rock only channel. The corporate battles over rotation and budgets and of course the question of who really started this thing? It was very entertaining to also hear the behind the scenes story on many of my favorite VJ's. What a cast of characters. It was a great plan to create a microcosm of the typical American youth stereotypes. There's the jock, the beauty, the brain and the rebel. It was like a real life version of a John Hughes movie that lost control and became Animal House.
As entertaining as the book is, it is also a great insight into the nature of a start up business. If you enjoy books about company origins or the history behind a company, this is a book to consider even if you are not a fan of MTV. There are many business lessons to learn from this story. From protecting intellectual rights and corporate battles, to partnering with other industries and raising capital, this story provides a great example of the risks required to get a great idea "off the ground".
My favorite scene in the story is when MTV solicits its fans to attack the phone lines and mail boxes of cable operators requesting MTV in their area. The cable companies soon asked for mercy as they were held captive to fanatics demanding, I WANT MY MTV. Even as I write it, what a great marketing scheme, MY MTV. Getting your customers to identify so passionately with your product that not only do they demand it, but they possess it and call it their own. What a great lesson on connecting with your customer and supplying a product to a market that has gone overlooked. In this case, America's youth.
Love him or hate him, you have to pity Billy Squire. A very successful music artist who made it as a recording artist. Who was then asked to reveal himself to the world through a video performance set to music. Unfortunately for Billy Squire, his introduction through music video was both an embarrassment and a career breaker. Note to self, if you are ever asked to do a music video, avoid a bedroom shot where you dance around the room like a fool. Billy Squire's story identifies a pivotal point in music history. A point when image became equally, if not more, important than musical talent. A point that some have argued ruined the music industry. Yet more scandal for your listening pleasure.
A captivating story beginning to end. I found I Want My MTV to be an uplifting story about making an idea work. In its infancy, MTV sounded like a destined failure or at most a soon to pass fad. Decades later MTV still continues to exist as it redefines itself as generation after generation pass along. In addition to the great story, the narrator does a fabulous job. The approach to the narration is reminiscent to a Behind the Music episode. Very well executed book.
Not sure there is anything comparable. Perhaps the "making of the President" series?
His voice is far more interesting than the voice in my head.
The rock star sitting on the elephant for a video, and the elephant bolts off to go mate with the rock star still attached. I laughed for HOURS!
This is just a FASCINATING book with SOOOO many interesting stories about people from this time!
A high school grad of 1989 and connoisseur of 80s music, I really enjoyed this book. The story spans the time from when the above pictured moon-landing footage was used to promote the network all the way to long after I stopped watching and reality TV took over. Lots of behind the scenes tales about Madonna, Michael Jackson, and bands such as Van Halen, Motley Crue, and Bon Jovi.
The book can become a collage of sorts, drawing heavily on longish quotes from those central to the network. I liked the book about NBC, the Jobs biography, and I hope Netflixed comes to audible soon. My kind of stories!
Compared to many of my friends, I didn't even watch MTV that much growing up, but as an adult so many years later, I'm constantly reminded of the network's influence on my life. In a way, this warts and all oral history is like becoming reacquainted with an old friend as an adult, and understanding that person in an entirely new way.
There's a lot of fun behind-the-scenes stuff--excess, decadence and lots of embarrassing hair.This book kept my interest throughout. I was impressed with the wide array of industry figures (including quite a few artists) cited in this book. I also appreciated the wide variety of opinions the authors chose to illustrate controversial (or at least contentious) subjects.
The narration is great, and perhaps most satisfying, the question "Why doesn't MTV play videos any more?" is examined with care.
This well-written, well-researched book could be of interest to anyone who is a fan of pop culture. But to a child of the 80s, this is very close to being a "must-listen."
Yes, because it is interesting and humorous,
Just the many humorous stories. How videos were made was interesting.
No. He did very well.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
Let's stipulate that if you've reached this review after clicking through on this title, you must be interested in its subject (MTV) and the treatment promised in its subtitle (uncensored). If that's not true, stop right here, this book is not for you. But if your interest has been piqued, you are in for a treat. One great treat. A 20-hour treat.
Do not fret -- this is not 20 hours about how a bunch of executives started a cable network, no matter how influential that may have been throughout all facets of pop culture. That would most decidedly be unfun (though that story is well- and amply-told in a balanced manner).
No, the vast majority of I Want My MTV is about how many of the best known (and worst) videos of the 1980s and early 90s were made. Thriller, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Bohemian Rhapsody, Addicted to Love, Sledgehammer, Rio, We're Not Gonna Take It, Rock Me Tonite -- and on and on and on. The videos -- that's what brought you here, right? That's why you're considering this book. Well the good news is, that's what you're going to get.
What makes it even more fun is that the authors, having interviewed hundreds of insiders -- artists, directors, veejays, TV execs, music execs, managers, crew, et.al. -- stand back and let them tell their own stories. This is what you'd call an oral history, with short 1-2 page intros to each chapter followed by a series of interview excerpts. At its best, multiple sides of a story (often controversial) are presented back to back, in the participants' own words.
I loved parts of the 80s music scene, hated other parts, totally missed some of it. No matter, whether I liked a particular video or genre or not, the way the story is presented here -- no other word for it: Fun. Do yourself a favor -- take the 20 hours and enjoy yourself.
This book is told in snippets of quotes from people who were there in the beginning years of MTV. It shouldn't work. But it does. I honestly was bummed when it ended. I am of the MTV generation, and it was enlightening learning about how the networked started and how it helped -- and sometimes hurt -- music. Fascinating.
I live and work at a lighthouse in central California since '97. I have been surfing since '82 and have a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from UCSC. I was a naturalist for children from '97-03. Zen Buddhist.
I grew up watching MTV and while I was not as addicted to it as some of my friends, remember how it changed us all. This audio is filled with all the key players accounts and fills in all the secrets. Many laughs!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.