The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave

By Nina Blackwood; Mark Goodman; Alan Hunter; Martha Quinn; Gavin Edwards
(Atria Books, Hardcover, 9781451678123, 336pp.)

Publication Date: May 7, 2013

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MTV’s original VJs offer a behind-the-scenes oral history of the early years of MTV, 1981 to 1987, when it was exploding, reshaping the culture, and creating “the MTV generation.”

Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, and Martha Quinn (along with the late J. J. Jackson) had front-row seats to a cultural revolution—and the hijinks of music stars like Adam Ant, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, and Duran Duran. Their worlds collided, of course: John Cougar invited Nina to a late-night “party” that proved to be a seduction attempt. Mark partied with David Lee Roth, who offered him cocaine and groupies. Aretha Franklin made chili for Alan. Bob Dylan whisked Martha off to Ireland in his private jet.

But while VJ has plenty of dish—secret romances, nude photographs, incoherent celebrities—it also reveals how four VJs grew up alongside MTV’s devoted viewers and became that generation’s trusted narrators. They tell the story of the ’80s, from the neon-colored drawstring pants to the Reagan administration, and offer a deeper understanding of how MTV changed our culture. Or as the VJs put it: “We’re the reason you have no attention span.”

About the Author

Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, and Martha Quinn were the first MTV VJs and are all radio hosts on SiriusXM Satellite Radioe(TM)s Big 80s channel. Nina Blackwoodwas one of the first MTV VJs and is a radio host on SiriusXM Satellite Radioe(TM)s Big 80s channel and host of two radio shows nationally syndicated by the United Stations Radio Networks, "Absolutely80s" and "New Wave Nation." Gavin Edwards is the author of five books on music. A contributing editor at Rolling Stone, he has written for The New York Times Magazine, Details, and Wired.

Praise For VJ

eoeThis is anessentialread for anyone who was there or for those who missed it when MTV really meant Music TeleVision. These 5 VJ's were thrown into a completely new format and made it work beyond anyonee(TM)s wildest dreams. Mine included.e
-Rick Springfield

eoeAt last--the real inside story of the MTV explosion that rocked the world, in all its giddy excess, from the video pioneers who saw all the hair, drugs and guitars up close. VJ is the wild, hilarious, addictive tale of how one crazy moment changed pop culture forever.e
-Rob Sheffield

eoeIn this wry, engaging oral history, the original veejays recount with bemusemente"and occasional horrore"their meteoric rise during MTV's heady first years. The first chapter commences with a big-haired, big-mouthed David Lee Rothe" and from there the rollicking pace never lets up.e
-Jancee Dunn

eoeThere was no such job as a 'VJ' when this unlikely crew was chosen to serve as our hosts at a revolution. Their story is a revealing inside look at the highs, lows, and hairstyles that defined a generation.e
-Alan Light

eoeVJ is a near textbook on ingenuity, luck, perseverance, fame, and the adjustment to life post-fame. There are also at least fifteen paragraphs that made me think, "I can't believe they're actually revealing this!"
-Richard Marx

eoeFor latchkey kids of my generation, the original MTV VJs were the best babysitters we ever had. When our parents weren't looking, they gave us secret glimpses into a better, sexier world. They were the coolest people, on the coolest TV station, with the coolest jobs on the planet. This is their story.e
-Michael Ian Black

eoeMTV hit the airwaves during the golden age of album rock radio and massive rock touring, and took it all to another level. VJ is a fun and informative ride, told through the eyes of the five people who experienced the MTV phenomenon from the most intimate perspective possible.e
-Kevin Cronin

eoeCrazy days and nights in a different time--Nina, Mark, Alan and Martha will bring it all to life for you. This book is a joyride!e
-Jane Wiedlen

eoeDishy, hilarious, wild, and poignant.e

eoeNirvana for pop culture fansea totally tubular testament to the excess of the e~80s.e

"[A] highly entertaining snapshot of a wild-frontier moment in pop culture."

"Delicious...A slice of nostalgia from the people who were there, and wading through those pages is like going home again."

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