Friday, July 21, 2006

VIDEO? Killed The Radio Star?

"No. I don't think so."

Nor did radio kill the video star. Whatever any of this means.

But something killed the video star.

And do you know what it was?

If you are over 25 years old, surely you do. Just think about it.

MTV played videos all the time in the early 1980s. A college student's dream. And there was this new thing called stereo TV. It fit perfectly with the new music video channel. One of the videos MTV delighted in playing was called "Video Killed The Radio Star." It's premise was that radio was on the way out, and a new dimension to music was beginning due to the music video.

MTV wasn't all garbage programming back then. Okay, there was some garbage. Most of the programming was, however, videos. And videos were supposed to make music radio obsolete.

But sometime, not too long after a certain video appeared, MTV began it's short spiral into garbage programming and essentially quit showing music videos. And I propose it's all because of this band and it's freaky video. We saw how silly the whole concept of "music videos" was.

It's true. Where are the videos now? Confined to the upper stratosphere of cable and DISH channels, where no one can find them easily.

It pains me to say it, because the band is one of my favorites, but I am putting forth the theory that this one band single-handedly destroyed video music. Which was probably a blessing in disguise. Because it exposed video music for what it was- just plain silly. Music is much better when the imagination plays along with it.

And they were able to do this despite a great song, great vocals, great guitar, and a great (yes, I used that adjective one more time) synthesizer.

And so, enter Beavis and Butthead.

Still don't know what I'm referring to?

It's one of the most ridiculous, and I think unintentionally hilarious, things I have ever seen.

In the video, there's a drummer that appears spastic and who appears to be playing with a pair of long chopsticks, there's over-the-top "acting", lots of "air instruments", an unattractive chick, a lead singer who can't stop flapping and flailing, and a criminally inexpensive "wardrobe" for the whole band.

Still don't know?

Well, we're about at the end of the post, so just take a guess if you don't already know. Then go to Caffeine and Irony to watch the video and read a hilarious play by play outline of the goofy moments, complete with the time of occurence.

Then check back and tell me if you agree with my hypothesis.


  1. When I was a child we had cable for about 3 months. That third month MTV went on the air.

    I wholeheartedly agree music is best with the listener providing the mental images. That way we all get to star in our own productions!

    Radio? Dead? ROTFLOL!!! Nope, it just grew up and started talking.

  2. Now see, I got too carried away with my own attempt at cleverness. I should leave that to the Quipper. He showed me the video you're talking about not too long ago saying it was the worst ever or something like that. Flakiest - yes, worst-- I doubt it!

  3. Mr. Maximus,

    Mrs. Quipper absolutely loved - LOVED - that video when I proudly showed it to her.


    I think the Van Halen "Jump" video is close to the top (bottom?) of the worst music video list, too.


  4. Mrs. Quipper has good taste, then, Rick!

    I did not mean to label this as the worst video ever. It is brilliant in its unintentional silliness. My proposition is most people would want to remember this song un-videoed (word?), and that most people, including MTV, probably realized for the first time that music is better without the images after seeing this song.

    "Jump" is campy too, but with Diamond Dave everything is, at least I think, intentionally campy.

    Wow this was a long comment on my own blog. But I'm not narcissistic.

  5. Sir Scottius,

    Agree, the unintentional comedy meter is pegged by this video.

    BTW, it's your blog, you can write if you want to.


  6. Rick - you would write too if it happened to you? ;)

    Scottius - I guess I am a complete 80's freak. I didn't think that video was that bad! I forgive Steve Perry his weird faces, 'cause the man could belt it out! The chick looked pretty standard for the 80's. I went to high school with some girls who didn't look much different than that! I felt the shot on her, um, posterior was a bit gratuitous. And I don't get the warehouse scenery. What kinda girl was this? :) I think Running in Circles should add this song to their playlist, though.

    My mom didn't get cable 'til I'd left home. I watched videos while babysitting.

  7. Barb, have you heard me sing Steve Perry before? Or our other male singer sing Steve Perry?

    Don't worry, neither has anyone else. And there's a good reason for it. :P

    I actually like Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' better.

    Rick / Quipper / Bassist for Running in Circles