Before MTV came along, rock radio made zero sense to yours truly. I was familiar with Kiss and Queen, and while flipping through rock mags, noticed that bands such as the Ramones, the Pretenders, Cheap Trick and Van Halen looked mighty cool - but I could forget about hearing them ever on mainstream radio, as it seemed to play only blah, boring schlock. And then... MTV came along.
Suddenly, I could actually hear and see what the heck all these artists were about. But it seemed like almost as soon as MTV arrived (It launched on August 1, 1981, but my town didn't get it until the summer of '82), its programming became increasingly regimented, and the charming, low-budget quality of early videos was soon replaced with mega-buck clips that tried to compete with full-length films.
Still, it was MTV's early years that stuck out as a favorite of mine, and I had always wanted to read a book that explained how the channel came to be, the stories behind both classic and obscure videos, and the upside and downside of the channel's popularity and influence on the industry and with viewers. After conducting over 75 interviews with VJs, directors, musicians, and MTV executives/employees, my fifth book overall, MTV Ruled the World: The Early Years of Music Video
, was issued in early 2011.
I pulled some tidbits straight from the book for this quiz. Can you spot the facts from the fakes?