Yes, today is Memorabilia Medley day. That’s Amanda’s topic, and good on her for doing it on the Tuesdays she writes.
In the meantime, ’m trying to find my own way here (ha), and I have decided to tackle a subject we’ve rarely written at length about: MUSIC VIDEOS.
My thoughts are simple: let’s talk about music videos. I was an MTV kid/teenager, and if there is one thing (or thousands of things) I know, it’s music videos. Latch Key kid, Teenage Housekeeper Extraordinaire, Unpaid Babysitter – this was my life, from the age of about 11, on until I moved out of our house for college. At first, I watched whatever music video programs I could find on our local TV – including a Spanish-speaking music video program whose name is escaping me at the moment, despite spending a silly amount of time trying to Google it online. I couldn’t understand one sentence of their introductions, but I had no problem identifying the name “Duran Duran”, which really, wasn’t that the important thing? I found the music video shows and watched them religiously until the blessed day that MTV became a fixture in my household.
From then on, laundry was late, and dinner was almost never quite at the stage my mom wanted when she walked in the door at night. As a result, I was grounded a lot. It was a small price to pay for the world that MTV brought me. I’m still not sorry about those chores and homework not quite getting done. Don’t tell my mom.
The rule each day was simple. School was out at about 2:20, and I had until 2:45 to get myself home, inside the house and call my mom at work. (My school was right down the block. I could walk to the end of the street, cross, and go through the gate to be there, so it was close) If I didn’t call, I was grounded. If I was dead, my mom was going to drag me back into this world, and then kill me herself. (Yes, she said that. No, she didn’t make sense, but somehow…I knew she wasn’t joking, either. Those were the days when a parent could threaten bodily harm, never actually follow through, and yet kids like me believed them.) Lord help me if I forgot my house key, or couldn’t get in the house because I’d forgotten my house key, used the spare, and didn’t put it back.
Yes, that happened. More than once. Good times. Thanks to the nice old lady named Gwen who lived next door. In many ways she was like a grandma, and I loved seeing her after school. She always had fudge popsicles waiting for me, a TV I could watch, and a phone I could use to call my mom! I wonder if she knew that she was at least partially responsible for keeping me alive and out of trouble back then.
Assuming I didn’t lock myself out of the house, once the phone call was made to my mom, I was “free” to do what I wanted in the afternoons, or so she would say. I’d add that I was “free”, as long as I did every single scrap of laundry (wash, fold AND put away before my mom got home at 4:45pm), started dinner, and completed my homework. My mom ran a tight ship. If I still had homework after dinner, I was in big trouble. I can remember being in near constant worry about my chores and homework when I was in sixth and seventh grade. Then…MTV arrived.
Truthfully, I can’t remember exactly when MTV became a thing at our house. I know it had to have been before Live Aid. I am sure it was after Richard Blade started doing MV3, because I can remember watching that. If I had to guess, I would say we must have gotten MTV around 1984? Maybe a little earlier? I just know that once that channel opened my eyes to the world of music, there was no shutting them. I became completely captivated. So much to learn, so little time. My mom would come home from work, and on some days, I hadn’t moved from my perch on the end of her bed, my backpack still hanging from my arm as it sat on the floor in front of me. Homework hadn’t been completed. I never hit “Start” on the washing machine. Dinner wasn’t started, and I hadn’t even practiced clarinet yet. This was huge, particularly on the days when she’d have to leave work early to come home and drive me to Los Angeles for orchestra rehearsal.
Wow, I’d kind of forgotten all of that. I’m lucky to be alive.
But the videos! Those three or four minute snippets of worlds I couldn’t imagine for myself as an eleven or twelve year old mattered. I was introduced to new bands, new cultures, and sparkling, technicolor fantasies. Yes, middle school was tough. High school wasn’t always the greatest either. Videos, at least for me, transported me from my worries, if even only for three and a half minute intervals. (Thank goodness for super long versions!)
So, on the Tuesdays I publish, I’ll pick a video from DD’s catalog and write about it. After Duran Duran’s videos have all been written about, the sky is the limit. I don’t think I can hope to discuss them all, but I am absolutely going to pick the videos that meant the most to me, and share them. Don’t hold me to a timeline, let’s just enjoy the journey.