MTV turns 40

I was surfing social media today when it came to my attention that today is MTV’s 40th anniversary.

Aggie has a point. It’s been quite some time since music has been the main mission of MTV. These days, it’s mostly “reality” shows. Ever-increasing music licensing fees bear a lot of the blame. Here’s a more humorous – and not entirely inaccurate – explanation for MTV’s fall from rock-and-roll grace.

If you’re nostalgic for the old days, this article contains a link to a Youtube playlist of the first 100 videos that aired on MTV.

RIP, Dusty Hill

I was sad to hear of the passing yesterday of ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill. Hill, 72, played bass for the band, as well as providing backing and occasionally co-lead vocals. In accordance with Hill’s wishes, ZZ Top will continue on with the band’s guitar tech, Elwood Francis taking over on bass.

I’ve been a big fan of ZZ Top since I bought the album Tejas in the late 70s. They were huge in the 70s, but really hit their stride in the 80s with the release of the chart-topping Eliminator. The music video from “Gimme All Your Lovin'” got massive airplay on MTV.

Rest in peace, Dusty Hill. Your music made the world a much cooler place.

Ten Years Gone

WordPress informs me that today is the tenth anniversary of my registering this site. I had been blogging at a Blogspot site for almost seven years before that. I switched to WordPress after encountering some complications with the old platform.

It’s hard to believe that I’m in my seventeenth year of doing this blogging thing. Of course a case could be made that I’m barely blogging these days. I guess I’m not sure in what direction to take this blog. I’ll continue to do the Friday Movie Quote posts for sure. I’ll have to give some thought to what else I’m going to do here. I don’t want to shut things down, I’m sure about that. I guess the first thing I need to do is find my motivation. I know I left it around here somewhere. 🙂

In the meantime, here’s an appropriate song to mark the occasion, Led Zeppelin performing “Ten Years Gone,” from the Physical Graffiti album. This performance was recorded in 1979, shortly before the death of drummer John Bonham.

Shot in The Dark

This was a rough week for rock and roll, what with the death of guitar virtuoso Eddie Van Halen yesterday. But there is some good news. Legendary rock band AC/DC has released a single from their latest album, Power Up. The single, “Shot in The Dark,” is up at the band’s official Youtube channel. To save you the trouble of sifting through mountains of cat videos on Youtube, I have embedded it below.

Pretty good tune, in my humble opinion. Brian Johnson is back on lead vocals, after taking a break for health reasons during the band’s last tour. Stevie Young has taken over rhythm guitar after the death of his uncle, Malcolm Young.

I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of this album. It’s due out next month. I’ll probably buy it on CD. Yes, that’s right, I still buy physical media. Don’t judge!

Running with the Devil

I recently ran across this video on Youtube. This is supposedly the first live recording of the song “Running with the Devil,” the first track on side one of Van Halen’s self-titled debut album.  It was recorded in Pasadena on May 29, 1976.

I saw this song performed live in October 1982 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY. The band was in the middle of their Diver Down tour. The show was on October 9, the day before David Lee Roth’s birthday, so the guys encouraged the audience to sing “Happy Birthday” to him.

I saw this show the week after seeing 38 Special, which I saw a week after seeing Blue Oyster Cult. My ears were ringing until Christmas. Good times.

Go, Go Godzilla

I saw this on Youtube the other day. Blue Oyster Cult did a remote live performance of their hit “Godzilla.”

I saw this song performed live – and in person, when such a thing was the norm – back in 1982 in Potsdam, NY. I saw .38 Special the following week, and Van Halen the week after that. Needless to say, my ears were ringing for a few weeks afterward. But great shows all.

Programming note: I hope to have my Friday movie quote up by early afternoon tomorrow. I need to get back into the habit of regular posting here. I’ve been falling down on the job for too long.