Quantcast

THE CHRONICLES OF MTV

Chronicling the history of MTV, A&E premiered a TV special of Biography: I Want My MTV on 9/8 with exclusive interviews from MTV’s founders, VJs, artists and journalists, as well as rarely seen archival footage and outtakes. And hairspray. So. Much. Hairspray.

Originally premiering at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, the doc—produced and directed by Tyler Measom and Patrick Waldrop—dives into how MTV pushed the boundaries of art, sex, gender and race, while becoming the standard for music trends in the ’80s and ’90s. 

Throughout the 86-minute film, interviews and clips from Bob Pittman, John Sykes, Judy McGrath, John A. Lack, Gale Sparrow, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, Les Garland, Michael Nesmith, Tom Freston, Fred Seibert and more give a glimpse into how MTV went from its humble beginnings to the pop culture-defining, influential network it is today.

“MTV really opened the door for this new creator generation to say, ‘How do I want to express myself?’,” said McGrath, who served as CEO of MTV from 2004 to 2011.

From some of the first music videos like The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star,” and The Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night,” to facilitating a “second British invasion” with English rockers like Rod Stewart, Billy Idol and Sting—who were never short of videosthe nostalgic doc includes artists looking back on the network. Regrettably, we still do not know what a Buggle is.

“When we launched, we only had about 250 videos and that’s not enough for a network,” said Pittman. Sparrow added, “It had to be pretty bad for us not to play it.”

Featuring the iconic “I Want My MTV” promo campaigns with Mick Jagger and Pete Townsend, unseen clips from a 1983 interview with the late Davie Bowie, the making of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” moments from the first VMAs in 1984 and even the start of reality TV with The Real World, Biography: I Want My MTV narrates the massive influence that MTV had on American youth culture.

What it couldn't possibly capture, however, is how ridiculous our haircuts were at the time.

NEAR TRUTHS:
THE AGENCY SAGA
What do you want from live? (6/11a)
REVENUE CHART: OLIVIA’S ARMY
Looks like she's got staying power. (6/11a)
SIGNS OF HITS LIST
We're reading the tea leaves. (6/11a)
WATCH THE FIRST OFFICIAL VIDEO FOR "FEELING GOOD"
The Black Music Month celebration continues with a classic from a legend, (6/10a)
MUSIC’S HOTTEST FIRMS: HERTZ LICHTENSTEIN YOUNG & POLK LLP
Is there a lawyer in the house? (6/11a)
RHYTHM, BLUES AND THE FUTURE
The musical tapestry we know as R&B.
WHO'S NEXT?
Predicting the next big catalog deal.
JUST THE VAX, MA'AM
Once we all get vaccinated, how long before we can party?
WORLDWIDE GROOVE
How is globalization bringing far-flung territories into the musical mainstream?
 Email

 First Name

 Last Name

 Company

 Country
CAPTCHA code
Captcha: (type the characters above)