Thursday, March 29, 2012

Feature: Music Videos That... I Remember As a Kid

Welcome to our new Thursday afternoon feature! As we slowly creep towards the weekend, we’ll provide you with a short list of music videos on a topic of our choosing. Want us to delve into the depths of a certain subject that we’re not yet delving into? Tell us! We just want to make you happy.

And now, in no particular order are 5 videos that I distinctly remember as a kid. I tried to narrow it down by using a very general sounding “firsts” category, and kept it to videos I remember from ages of birth – middle school. I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane, aka some stories about me and my dad.

1) The first music video I ever remember seeing, ever:
Oh, Sherrie
Steve Perry

When I was a wee thang, my dad was so excited about having a VCR that he used to videotape all kinds of random shit from TV.  Episodes of M*A*S*H. Cooking shows. Full coverage of the Olympics.  And yes, this video. Why this happened, I will never know, but I imagine him sitting in front of the TV, trying to construct the perfect video mixtape in the exact same way I used to make cassette mixtapes from the radio in middle school.

In any case, you could often find little Geanna in her living room, singing into a pretend microphone about some lady named Sherrie. We played this shit ALL THE TIME. This video is likely the root cause for the reason why I still kinda love Journey (it also doesn’t help that I’m from New Jersey). As Steve Perry’s biggest single from his first solo album, it’s also been referred to as an “honorary Journey song”, if that means anything to you. But seriously, it’s great. And now I will have it stuck in my head for the remainder of today.

2) The first  music video I was allowed to watch on MTV:
Take On Me

Right. So I wasn’t “allowed” to watch MTV until I was probably 14. Because of this, I was totally out of the music video loop from the beginning, except when my dad would find certain ones that were deemed appropriate. I have this vivid memory of him calling me downstairs to watch this one in particular and thought it was the COOLEST THING EVER! Not only is this song catchy as hell, the video has all of the 80’s cheese and pop that any child could ever hope to find.

I mean it really has everything – comic books, motorcycles, coffee shops, TRUE LOVE?! How many times have you wished a cartoon hand would reach out of the page and whisk you away to some kind of weird drawn world where bad guys carry wrenches around as weapons? Don’t tell me that’s just me.

3) The first music video that I confused for an episode of Pee Wee’s Playhouse:
Love Shack

On a family trip to Colorado, my dad’s best friend from college played us this song and showed us this video because he just loved it THAT MUCH (and yeah, it was probably on a video tape). Maybe it was the bright colors or the zany backdrops, but I swore that they were singing inside of Pee Wee’s playhouse. Kate Pierson even has a similar hairstyle as Miss Yvonne! And the flowers looked the same! And… just go with it.

My childhood confusion was probably for the best, since I also had no idea that they were singing about sex, or pregnancies, or whathaveyou. To me, the whole song was about a fun house where you could dance all night and everyone was friends! I mean, that was a place I wanted to be. And I still want to be there, though now for different reasons.

4) The first music video that scared the shit out of me:
Black Hole Sun

Jump ahead  a few years and here we are in the 90s. The angsty, uncomfortable 90s, which just so happened to coincide with my angsty, uncomfortable teenage years. Every morning before going to school, and every afternoon when I got home, I would secretly watch MTV while my parents were at work. The first time I saw this video, I wanted to vomit! A lovely Tim Burtonesque suburban neighborhood gets swallowed into a black hole, as an unaffected Soundgarden plays on a hill somewhere. Melty lipstick and crazy women in bathtubs with dogs haunted my dreams. And all those yucky bugs.

THIS IS WHY I’M NOT ALLOWED TO WATCH THIS CHANNEL, I thought to myself. THIS IS WHY MTV IS BAD! And yet, I couldn’t look away. There was (and still is) something so uncomfortably surreal and haunting about this video that even now, I am pained to watch it. Shiver.

5) The first music video that my dad literally told me to turn off right this second, young lady:
Whatta Man
Salt ‘n’ Pepa, featuring En Vogue

Being unable to forget the horrible feelings brought on by 90s alternative music, I quickly turned my attentions to rap. And who was there to greet me, but Salt ‘n’ Pepa. To this day, this is one my all-time favorite videos. Everyone looks hot. The song is timeless and can be quoted in a variety of social situations. And I know all the words.

Yet, in the midst of all this secret video watching, it was inevitable that I was gonna get caught. And so one sunny afternoon, my dad came home and yelled at me for boppin’ to some S-and-the-P. A slew of things spouted from his lips, including the words, “garbage”, “crap”, and “no-talent”. But it didn’t matter, I couldn’t hear him. The video for “Gin and Juice” was just starting in the background.

And there you have it. What are the first videos you remember seeing as a kid? Share with the group in the comments below!


  1. I definitely recall watching the video for the Karate Kid song. Lets see....yup. Here ya go. And it was always on Sundays before we went to church...for some reason.

  2. This post serves to once again remind me of how much cooler you were than me growing up. When my parents said I wasn't allowed to watch MTV, I foolishly listened. As such I have no memory of music videos before roughly 1996.

  3. I adore this post, Geanna! What a delightful trip down Memory Lane! I felt like I was right beside you "breaking the law" before your dad caught you in the act:) You really captured some of the best videos, bebeh! I still wish I could be pulled into the video when I watch AHA!:)

    I do remember getting home early and also sneaking MTV - however, I began with Dial MTV and the hairmetal bands with Adam Curry:) "My My My, I'm Once Bitten Twice Shy, Baby!" I felt like I was in dangerous territory with all those leather clad guys and biker babes. Of course, New Kids On the Block were also making videos at the same time and I played Hangin' Tough over and over and over. aaaahhh! Memories

  4. I don't know why I can't remember specifically which video it was... maybe Dire Straights "Money for Nothing"? I do remember MTV being on channel 29 back on our original cable provider though, random as that is. Club MTV with Downtown Julie Brown, and then "Just Say Julie" with the other Julie Brown kept getting me confused on who was who; but I really loved those little animated bits between segments and commercials they had. Definitely got into MJ turning "Bad," had no idea why the police were getting involved with U2 on the rooftop (they were just playing to the people!), and I wanted to be singing along with those other fifty thousand people to "Paradise City." I definitely remember not getting the band in "I Want to Break Free" and "Radio Ga Ga" were both Queen, even though it said it at the beginning and end of both videos. But by far, my favorite at fhe time, and also a major case of not having a clue to what the song was really about: Tone Loc's "Funky Cold Medina". Don't front, you know you were rocking out to that jam. And that video for "Jeremy" defiantly started to skew my taste... ah, I can go on and on about those halcyon days of middle period MTV with John Sencio, Daisy Fuentes, and the hilarious Bill Bellamy, Yo MTV Raps!, and the odd but for some reason always rerunning MTV Sports with Dan "Mimbo" Cortes

  5. Tom, can you write for us? Please?