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Monday, June 3, 2013

Book Review: "VJ The Unplugged Adventures Of MTV's First Wave"


It's 2013 and I'm guessing that many people under the age of 30 don't even know what a VJ is.

But... if you grew up in the early 80's when MTV was still the network to visit if you wanted to see music videos then you most definitely know the names Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, JJ Jackson and Martha Quinn better known as the original MTV "Video Jockeys."

The new book "VJ The Unplugged Adventures Of MTV's First Wave" lets the people who invented the format tell their story.  With the help of co-author Gavin Edwards, the book is entirely comprised of first person interviews by all the surviving VJs (JJ Jackson passed away in 2004).

Every single juicy details is covered... salaries, drugs, hating and dating.  The VJ's do not hold back when discussing the greatest job they have ever had.

"VJ The Unplugged Adventures Of MTV's First Waveis a must read for anyone who grew up in the MTV heyday but I'm not sure how people who have never seen MTV the way it was meant to be seen would relate to these behind the scenes stories.

When the VJs talk about the sparse sets and the lack of scripts, researchers or tele-prompters it sounds like a nightmare in the age of computers, cell phones and Google.  But to them it was just business as usual gorilla style television at its best. Just turn the camera on and improvise until it was time to throw to the next Loverboy video.

For the under 30 readers I recommend checking out some YouTube clips before you crack the spine of VJ The Unplugged Adventures Of MTV's First Wave."  People over 40 can just dive right into this 336 page time capsule and remember how great MTV was before teen moms, jackasses and New Jersey douchebags fucked up the whole network.

Drumroll please... 10 out of 10 drumsticks!!!

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