Saturday, May 21, 2011

MTV Rocks

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 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'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.


daniel said...

Ha! I love it when young people think they are getting old and cant relate to the music of the new generation.Reminds me I'm not alone in this world. My musical journey started with the Akash vani 'Lunch time Variety' in Calcutta, then Radio Ceylon,VOA and Radio Australia. I even dedicated Leo Sayers 'Cant Stop Loving You' on Radio Australia to a girl who is now the missus.But I refuse to give up on my passion for music and still occasionally take part in Praise and Worship with young peiople who are actually kids of friends I played music with in my younger days.

Calliopia said...

Ditto to the above. Or at least, the first half of it. It was all via shortwave radio since TV, much less MTV, wasn't around then.

On a more generalised note, I have a theory that much of the appeal of the music we love is tied up with what we associate with it - usually memories of friends and the growing up years. Like a friend might love a particular song so it grows on us too etc. So I think that the reason why it's so difficult getting into the music of a different generation is that we just don't have the necessary association of memories to really connect with it. We might like a stray song or two but on the whole, I think we tend to blank out most of it. Erm, make any sense this? :D

jay-me said...

Those were the days I was stuck with Mtv because with limited channels,there was nothing else to watch. By sixth standard, I was obsessed with "MTV Most Wanted" and every evening at 6, I was glued to the TV, tapping my feet to The Hansons, The Moffatts, BSB, NSync and every lucky guys who rose on the surface. I wasnt aware there were others singing and banging their heads beneath. I still remember the chanting I always made with the sponsor ad for "MTV Most Wanted"..."MTV Most Wanted together is Durex,the international name for quality condoms, tring tring tring drish!!!LOL

gr135l said...

i dunno if u were there in Pinedale when we had written a huge letter to MTV most wanted, hoping to get letter of the day. we had requested "graduation-vitamin C" and dedicated it to our, Kz, Maong,Moushumi, Bibi, and i were all so ecstatic to post the letter @ Laimu GPO...sadly it never made it to the show..we assumed it could not fit into the post boxes outside GPO hence the Kongs @ GPO didnt bother to process such a frivolous letter..LOL!!! i remember tellin our seniors who had left the hostel to watch MTV for the surprise we had planned..we had made a beautiful collage and even made the letter in the shape of a house..the chimney had a request for the song, the window panes had praises of shanaz was the hostess then)..i wonder what really happened to the letter...aaaahhhh memories!!

sawmpuia said...

memories remains hehe "i want metallica unforgiven" :)

Alejendro said...

keichu Mtv The Grind khan ka lung a len ber mai in ka hria :-P

ku2 said...

@Daniel: you win hands down on the nostalgia bit. The clincher:"I even dedicated Leo Sayers 'Cant Stop Loving You' on Radio Australia to a girl who is now the missus" :)

@Calliopia: Yep, music does acquire a huger proportion when its associated with a memory. My musical taste is greatly influenced by what my parents played while growing up, and while I dont really get the point of "Moliinnnaaa", I like it bcos I can still see my parents twisting to it :D

ku2 said...

@Jay: I thought you hated music-period. Good to know I can still learn something new about you after all this time. Judging by the way you accessorize your clothes, I bet your letter was a sparkly, colorful one :D
Condom lai tak hriatchhuah hi poimoh.

@gr135l: I remember Moush and Ayie talking about that letter. If I remember correctly, none of us got replies to the Matrimonial ads we sent, too. Maybe Laimu GPO had it in for us girls.

Sawmpuia: Red Hot Chilli Peppers! :)

@Alej: Mipa lamah a tla na deuh zawkin ka hria "the grind" kha chu

Mizohican said...

Are you sure it was 1989? :D Rupert Murdoch's (then Hong Kong based) Star network made its entry into India in 1992 only, after the Indian Govt allowed cable services to operate that same year. :)

Two shows on Star TV I loved those days were both on Wednesday nights, back-to-back - Sledge Hammer followed by Tour of Duty. :)

ku2 said...

I think it was 1989, bcos we were in Lunglei then, and I remember moving to Aizawl on Feb 1990 :D Tour of Duty!! The "Paint it Black" theme song and Stephen Caffrey. uiha.