I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution

I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution

4.3 11
by Rob Tannenbaum, Luke Daniels
     
 

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Named One of the Best Books of 2011 by NPR – Spin - USA Today – CNBC - Pitchfork - The Onion - The Atlantic - The Huffington Post – VEVO - The Boston Globe - The San Francisco Chronicle

For fans of VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave

Remember the first time you saw

Overview

Named One of the Best Books of 2011 by NPR – Spin - USA Today – CNBC - Pitchfork - The Onion - The Atlantic - The Huffington Post – VEVO - The Boston Globe - The San Francisco Chronicle

For fans of VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave

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 four hundred artists, directors, VJs, and television and music executives, I Want My MTV is a testament to the channel that changed popular culture forever.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Music journalists Marks and Tannenbaum vibrantly chronicle the first decade of MTV, the pop culture phenomenon that first rocked television screens 30 years ago. Using over 400 interviews, the authors write that the venture was met with skepticism due to its less than traditional start (auditions for VJs "reeked of sleaze") and seemingly out-of-control content. However, "the channel gave a platform to new acts, asking only that they be beautiful or outrageous." It was entertainment 24/7 and the birth of a new era of excess, big hair, and even bigger budgets. Duran Duran feature prominently for early risqué videos, influencing the hardcore visuals of ZZ Top and Mötley Crüe, while black music hit the mainstream with Michael Jackson (and later hip-hop), and women found a powerful icon in the provocative styling of Madonna. At the network, no-holds-barred statements reveal controversy, coke-fueled corporate takeovers, and egotistical stars and ambitious new directors triggering censorship. Still, those interviewed "almost unanimously looked back at this period with joy and happiness, even if they now regret some of the clothes they wore in the ‘80s." The sheer entertainment value within these pages is priceless, so count down to a very good time. (Oct.)
Grantland
The entire Grantland staff is obsessed with the book -Grantland
Hollywood Reporter
The writers certainly did their homework, chronicling the wild and crazy ride of the network in the words of its own eclectic cast of characters...there is plenty to sink your teeth into with this book. -Hollywood Reporter
Modern Tonic
It's part voyeurism, part nostalgia, part social commentary - the perfect pulp non-fiction read for the cooling months ahead. -Modern Tonic
TG Daily
I WANT MY MTV chronicles MTV as I, and many others, would like to remember it: a lot of fun when it first came on the scene and a joy to watch every day -TG Daily
Hits
Insiders are already buzzing about the book, which does for music television what Fredric Dannen's Hit Men did for indie promotion. -HITS
-Rolling Stone

"Highly entertaining" -Rolling Stone
-New York Times

"It reminded me of those long days watching MTV, back when it still played videos...riveting." -New York Times
-USA Today

"Hilarious, with behind-the-scenes dirt on hundreds of videos. I guarantee you'll have a tough time putting it down." -USA Today
-Very Short List

"Riveting reading, and a book we expect to see on the best-seller lists." -Very Short List
-Playboy

"A smart, decadently entertaining oral history." -Playboy
-Businessweek

"Just as MTV hypnotized viewers, so the jump-cut structure of I WANT MY MTV swiftly compels." -Businessweek
-New York Post

"Rollicking. The golden age of MTV was just as wild and debauched as you would hope." -New York Post
-The National

"A rip-roaring, hilarious tribute to the cable channel that changed pop culture. A wonderfully entertaining and enlightening history, a magnificently enjoyable read." -The National
-New York Daily News

"Riotous and irreverent. Crack it open to almost any page and you're guaranteed a giggle. Every gaffe, scandal, and sexual innuendo comes in for hilarious scrutiny." -New York Daily News
-HITS

"Insiders are already buzzing about the book, which does for music television what Fredric Dannen's Hit Men did for indie promotion." -HITS
-Billboard

"A smart oral history." -Billboard
-NYLON

"A wild trip down memory lane, this cool history makes us '80s and '90s kids totally nostalgic." -NYLON
-Pitchfork

"Hugely readable and insanely fun." -Pitchfork
-Bob Lefsetz

"It makes you laugh, it makes you cry. I couldn't put it down. This is the best book I've read on how the music business really works." -Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter
-Dave Holmes

"An obscenely entertaining (and entertainingly obscene) account of MTV's early days." -Dave Holmes
-Grantland

"The entire Grantland staff is obsessed with the book" -Grantland
-Hollywood Reporter

"The writers certainly did their homework, chronicling the wild and crazy ride of the network in the words of its own eclectic cast of characters...there is plenty to sink your teeth into with this book." -Hollywood Reporter
-Modern Tonic

"It's part voyeurism, part nostalgia, part social commentary - the perfect pulp non-fiction read for the cooling months ahead." -Modern Tonic
-TG Daily

"I WANT MY MTV chronicles MTV as I, and many others, would like to remember it: a lot of fun when it first came on the scene and a joy to watch every day" -TG Daily
author of Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness? -Toure

"MTV changed America and this book will change how you think about MTV. It's a fascinating look deep inside how MTV became what it was from the mouths of those who made it. Everyone who loved or hated MTV will love this story filled with fights, drugs, sex and music." -Toure, author of Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?

From the Publisher
"Highly entertaining" -Rolling Stone Rolling Stone

"It reminded me of those long days watching MTV, back when it still played videos...riveting." -New York Times New York Times

"Hilarious, with behind-the-scenes dirt on hundreds of videos. I guarantee you'll have a tough time putting it down." -USA Today USA Today

"Riveting reading, and a book we expect to see on the best-seller lists." -Very Short List - Very Short List

"The sheer entertainment value within these pages is priceless." Publishers Weekly Publishers Weekly

"A smart, decadently entertaining oral history." -Playboy Playboy

"Just as MTV hypnotized viewers, so the jump-cut structure of I WANT MY MTV swiftly compels." -Businessweek Businessweek

"Rollicking. The golden age of MTV was just as wild and debauched as you would hope." -New York Post New York Post

"A rip-roaring, hilarious tribute to the cable channel that changed pop culture. A wonderfully entertaining and enlightening history, a magnificently enjoyable read." -The National The National

"Riotous and irreverent. Crack it open to almost any page and you're guaranteed a giggle. Every gaffe, scandal, and sexual innuendo comes in for hilarious scrutiny." -New York Daily News New York Daily News

"Insiders are already buzzing about the book, which does for music television what Fredric Dannen's Hit Men did for indie promotion." -HITS- - HITS

"A smart oral history." -Billboard Billboard

"A wild trip down memory lane, this cool history makes us '80s and '90s kids totally nostalgic." -NYLON NYLON

"Hugely readable and insanely fun." -Pitchfork Pitchfork

"It makes you laugh, it makes you cry. I couldn't put it down. This is the best book I've read on how the music business really works." -Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

"An obscenely entertaining (and entertainingly obscene) account of MTV's early days." -Dave Holmes - Dave Holmes

"The entire Grantland staff is obsessed with the book" -Grantland - Grantland

"The writers certainly did their homework, chronicling the wild and crazy ride of the network in the words of its own eclectic cast of characters...there is plenty to sink your teeth into with this book." -Hollywood Reporter - Hollywood Reporter

"It's part voyeurism, part nostalgia, part social commentary - the perfect pulp non-fiction read for the cooling months ahead." -Modern Tonic - Modern Tonic

"I WANT MY MTV chronicles MTV as I, and many others, would like to remember it: a lot of fun when it first came on the scene and a joy to watch every day" -TG Daily - TG Daily

"MTV changed America and this book will change how you think about MTV. It's a fascinating look deep inside how MTV became what it was from the mouths of those who made it. Everyone who loved or hated MTV will love this story filled with fights, drugs, sex and music." -Toure, author of Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?
Toure, author of Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?

"Before Google and before Apple, MTV was the one post-60s American enterprise that really transformed the culture. And now we have this definitive, riveting, revealing, amazingly well-reported insiders' account of how an improbable group of visionaries made it up as they went along. You want I Want My MTV." -Kurt Andersen, author of Heyday and Reset, and host of public radio's "Studio 360"

"I Want My MTV is such a big, wild joyride of book, made to be read with glee and nostalgia and marvel. It's also a thoughtful and astonishingly well-researched historical document, of course, but mostly it's just a total gas. It's all in here, folks! Girls in cages! TV executives on blow! Dudes in eyeliner! Chicks with guitars! Pyrotechnics, consumerism, fame, destruction and shamelessness! Anyone who came of age during the glory days of MTV will be-page by page-steadily transported right back to your boyfriend's parent's wood-paneled den, to savor once more the life-changing lessons of decadence and magic we learned from cable TV." --Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed

"I Want My MTV is the definitively funny-yet loving-chronicle of music video's golden age: the hopes, the dreams, the drugs, the hair, the legacy of Tawny Kitaen. And for gossip, it's packed tighter than one of Heart's spandex bustiers." -Rob Sheffield, author of the national bestseller Love is a Mix Tape and Talking to Girls About Duran Duran

Rolling Stone
Highly entertaining -Rolling Stone
New York Times
It reminded me of those long days watching MTV, back when it still played videos...riveting. -New York Times
USA Today
Hilarious, with behind-the-scenes dirt on hundreds of videos. I guarantee you'll have a tough time putting it down. -USA Today
Very Short List
Riveting reading, and a book we expect to see on the best-seller lists. -Very Short List
Time
The sheer entertainment value within these pages is priceless. -Publishers Weekly
Playboy
A smart, decadently entertaining oral history. -Playboy
Businessweek
Just as MTV hypnotized viewers, so the jump-cut structure of I WANT MY MTV swiftly compels. -Businessweek
New York Post
Rollicking. The golden age of MTV was just as wild and debauched as you would hope.-New York Post
The National
A rip-roaring, hilarious tribute to the cable channel that changed pop culture. A wonderfully entertaining and enlightening history, a magnificently enjoyable read.-The National
New York Daily News
Riotous and irreverent. Crack it open to almost any page and you're guaranteed a giggle. Every gaffe, scandal, and sexual innuendo comes in for hilarious scrutiny. -New York Daily News
HITS
Insiders are already buzzing about the book, which does for music television what Fredric Dannen's Hit Men did for indie promotion.
Billboard
A smart oral history.-Billboard
Nylon
A wild trip down memory lane, this cool history makes us '80s and '90s kids totally nostalgic.-NYLON
Pitchfork
Hugely readable and insanely fun.-Pitchfork
Bob Lefsetz
It makes you laugh, it makes you cry. I couldn't put it down. This is the best book I've read on how the music business really works.
The Lefsetz Letter
Kirkus Reviews
The architects of MTV get more play than Madonna and company in this outrageous yet surprisingly lucid account of the cable channel's defiant first decade of decadence. The Material Girl, The Boss and The King of Pop all helped define what MTV was for most viewers during the 1980s. But this oral history, as told by a star-studded cast of recording artists and industry insiders, is really the story of guys like John Lack, Bob Pittman and Les Garland--"the suits" behind the scenes who rolled the big record companies for all they were worth and revolutionized the way the world got its music, at least for a while. Mostly candid reflections--some complimentary, others conflicting--provide a real sense of what MTV was like before Snooki took over. Torrents of cash and cocaine flowed freely in an archaic atmosphere of almost nonstop sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll--not to mention the crazy bands and unhinged performers. Beneath all the partying, however, lurked insidious instances of myopic racism, rabid sexism and rampant exploitation. For a time, many black artists could not get their videos played on MTV unless their name was Michael Jackson. Supermodel Cindy Crawford never saw a paycheck the first year she did House of Style. And yet, for most concerned, we're told it was all a blast. Even the most shabbily treated VJs pine for the halcyon days of MTV media mayhem. Some of the book does feels incongruous--e.g., long sections detail the endless negotiations associated with media empire building, while seminal moments such as Live Aid receive short shrift. Nonetheless, music journalists Marks and Tannenbaum have done a fine job of both celebrating MTV and deconstructing it. Thirty years ago, "video killed the radio star." The tables, of course, have turned; the media landscape has changed dramatically, and YouTube has supplanted MTV's relevancy. This book has a rocking good time putting it all in context. A funky-fresh exposé on the 1980s arbiters of cool.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781469204130
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
09/25/2012
Edition description:
Unabridged
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 5.50(h) x 1.70(d)

What People are saying about this

Kurt Andersen
Before Google and before Apple, MTV was the one post-60s American enterprise that really transformed the culture. And now we have this definitive, riveting, revealing, amazingly well-reported insiders' account of how an improbable group of visionaries made it up as they went along. You want I Want My MTV. (Kurt Andersen, author of Heyday and Reset, and host of public radio's "Studio 360"
Rob Sheffield
I Want My MTV is the definitively funny-yet loving-chronicle of music video's golden age: the hopes, the dreams, the drugs, the hair, the legacy of Tawny Kitaen. And for gossip, it's packed tighter than one of Heart's spandex bustiers. (Rob Sheffield, author of the national bestseller Love is a Mix Tape and Talking to Girls About Duran Duran
Elizabeth Gilbert
I Want My MTV is such a big, wild joyride of book, made to be read with glee and nostalgia and marvel. It's also a thoughtful and astonishingly well-researched historical document, of course, but mostly it's just a total gas. It's all in here, folks! Girls in cages! TV executives on blow! Dudes in eyeliner! Chicks with guitars! Pyrotechnics, consumerism, fame, destruction and shamelessness! Anyone who came of age during the glory days of MTV will be-page by page-steadily transported right back to your boyfriend's parent's wood-paneled den, to savor once more the life-changing lessons of decadence and magic we learned from cable TV. (Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed
From the Publisher

"I Want My MTV is the definitively funny-yet loving-chronicle of music video's golden age: the hopes, the dreams, the drugs, the hair, the legacy of Tawny Kitaen. And for gossip, it's packed tighter than one of Heart's spandex bustiers." -Rob Sheffield, author of the national bestseller Love is a Mix Tape and Talking to Girls About Duran Duran
Toure
MTV changed America and this book will change how you think about MTV. It's a fascinating look deep inside how MTV became what it was from the mouths of those who made it. Everyone who loved or hated MTV will love this story filled with fights, drugs, sex and music. (Toure, author of Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?
Dave Holmes
An obscenely entertaining (and entertainingly obscene) account of MTV's early days. -Dave Holmes

Meet the Author

Craig Marks was the top editor for two influential music magazines, SPIN and Blender. He is the editor-in-chief of Popdust.

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I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Makes it all seem so ridiculous and makes you want your MTV all over again.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Video killed the radiostar