MTV Turns 30: What's Your Music TV Memory?


Thirty years ago today, MTV premiered with rocket-launch footage and a broadcast of "Video Killed The Radio Star." On Twitter today, viewers have been sharing their memories of the network's three-decade existence. A few thoughts from random tweeters, our followers, and an Atlantic editor:

@TheAtlanticENT The video of the Chili Peppers "Real Men Don't Kill Coyotes" blew my 16 y.o. brain across the room. #iwantmymtvless than a minute ago via Echofon Favorite Retweet Reply

I hate to admit this, but 30 years ago, when MTV came out, I thought, as a 13yo, that it was of the devil. #iwantmyMTV #redstatechildhoodless than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

Sure I have some fond memories of early MTV. But it also gave us the musical apocalypse "We Built This City" #iwantmymtvless than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

MTV memories: 'Singled Out,' back when dating shows ended in a date, not marriage; my parents forbidding me from seeing 'Beavis' #iwantmyMTVless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

I can still hear my dad questioning why I would want to watch music videos when I could listen to music on the radio. #iwantmyMTVless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

@TheAtlanticENT 1st understanding of our reality tv future came when I mistook a Real World castmember as someone I knew personally #mtv30less than a minute ago via TwitBird Favorite Retweet Reply

hot summer days in middle school were spent in my next door neighbor's basement family room having "name this video" races. #iwantmyMTVless than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

@ProfMTH @TheAtlanticENT @MTV / my earliest and favorite memory is staring at mtv all day long for Jump by Van Halen to come onless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

Thoughts, observations, memories about MTV? Leave a comment below.

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Spencer Kornhaber is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic, where he edits the Entertainment channel. More

Before coming to The Atlantic, he worked as an editor for AOL's and as a staff writer at Village Voice Media's OC Weekly. He has also written for Spin, The AV Club,, Field & Stream, and The Orange County Register.

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