Back in 1989, my family finally got the much-anticipated Star TV. There were just 4 channels then- Star Sports, BBC. Star Plus and (drumroll please) MTV. While watchable- TV before that consisted of 8 'o' clock Chitrahaar, the McGuyver series and Saturday morning cartoons, there suddenly was this whole new world of watchable TV, all the friggin' time!!
Those of that generation would remember VJs Nonie, Danny McGill and Kamal Sidhu, the Billboard, European and Asian Countdowns, the programs like Headbanger's Ball, MTV Unplugged, and and..okay I cant remember the rest. This was the era of rock. Guns and Roses, Motley Crue, Poison, Skid Row, Warrant, Damn Yankees, hell, it seemed like all MTV played then were a series of wild haired, mascaraed rockers in skin tight leather pants screeching the hell out of electric guitars. The few pop acts like Tommy Page (fnar fnar), Erasure, Crowded House, Colour me Badd etc and hip-hoppers like McHammer, Kriss Kross, TLC and The Fresh Prince, and one hit wonders like Lisa Loeb, The Proclaimers, Julian Lennon and Spin Doctors only added to the appeal. God I loved MTV.
MTV Unplugged, Gawwwdd! I think Eric Clapton's "Layla" was the first song I heard on the show. I still love that song. The other snatches of performances I remember were those of Pearl Jam, Queensryche, Mariah Carey, Stone Temple Pilots, Robert Plant and Nirvana, omg Nirvana. Later on, there were those acts like Dr."its my life" Alban, Snap, those people who sang "Hot stepper", "Another night another dream" etc :D U2 got zooropaed, RHCP gave it away, GnR became Estranged and rocked the Garden of Eden. A new era dawned. Take That arrived on the scene.
I admit to immersing myself in the whole Boy/Girl band scene. Im still a huge fan of Robbie Williams, and the occasional BSB, Boyzone and Spice Girl song. I remember drafting unsent "letter of the day"s to VJ Utt, complete with multi-colored fonts and pictures of artists. But alternative and grunge rock still ruled, and bands like Oasis, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Garbage, No Doubt and Smashing Pumpkins still ruled my "rewind with reynolds pen and rejuvenated -by- biting batteries" walkman. While MTVIndia started to OD on Bollywood songs and boy/girl bands, rock acts like Third Eye Blind, 3 Doors Down, Lit, Train and the like quietly made their way onto the mainstream.
These days I only ever watch VH1's "Classic" and "Rock Rules". Most of the time, its hip-hoppers on show. Im sure those artists are all very talented in their own way and, gah! Im trying to be diplomatic and not diss anyone's musical tastes but, gawd! I happened to watch an interview by Will.i.am about his upcoming video, which he describes as a tribute to women and the legacy they got from their mothers. It intrigued me and I waited for the video. It turned out to be just another video of scantily clad women gyrating to Will.i.am's chant. "Tell me where you got your body from?" and the girls squeal "I got it from my mamma". Technically, he was right, but pleaaassseee. Why don't modern artists like Damien Rice, Regina Spektor, Schuyler Fisk, Stone Sour and the like ever get airplay???
Maybe Im old and set in my ways. I no longer find the appeal of "friday, friday", and learning how to dougie and being a teenage dream. I'd still rather shake my money-maker, make a grown man cry, blow in the wind and crawl into my heart-shaped box. I miss MTVAsia and the era of rock and roll. I always vowed I'd keep up with the times and that when I become a mom, I'd try to be interested in the music of my children's generation. Now I vow I'm going to inundate my kids with rock music from the foetal stage itself by strapping earphones to my swollen belly and playing music thats actually music!
P.S: There's a rumour circulating on the net that today the world will end. Even if it really does, then this post is a fitting swan song for me. Music, music, music. And love- the initial attraction to the love of my life was rock music. He played "Free Fallin'", "Wish you were here", "Loser" and "Plush" on the guitar the night we met. And the music plays on.