Excerpt from I Want My MTV

I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution is a new oral history of the first decade of MTV by Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum. It features “interviews with many of the era’s major players.”

Pitchfork is running a (loooong) excerpt – here’s an excerpt of their excerpt:

DARYL HALL, Hall & Oates: Videos began to attract wannabe Cecil B. DeMilles, who had almost unlimited budgets and did whatever they felt like. “Adult Education” is a perfect example. We brought in a director I didn’t know [Tim Pope], who was newly hot. He didn’t have a clue what to do with the song. The plot? I couldn’t tell you. It’s some sort of primitive de-virginizing ritual. Everybody was dressed in kind of faux primitive war paint, John Oates shook some kind of magical stick, and there was a virgin laying on a table. That’s all I know.

PHIL COLLINS, artist: “Against All Odds” was a nightmare. I was standing in two inches of cold water, in my Wellingtons. The shoot started at 6 p.m. and was supposed to finish around midnight, but the crew had a problem with the tracking for the camera. Come 6 a.m., I was still there, still standing in two inches of cold water.

GERRY CASALE, Devo: It got to a point where the contract would say, “You shall feature the lead singer 35 percent of the time in medium close-ups or close-ups.” And when you’re hiring extras, you might be told that the singer’s girlfriend didn’t like the girl you’re putting in the video because she’s too pretty. She’s jealous and thinks the singer’s gonna screw her, so you can’t have that girl. Or, if you put guys in the video, they couldn’t be better looking than the band. These are all things I was told.

More at: Pitchfork.

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