Saturday, April 3, 2010

Pop Clips (1980)

Back in 1980, when I was four, we were the only ones on the block with a new thing called Cable TV. A lot of the neighbors would want to come over to watch TV shows they couldn't get anywhere else, or movies, or just see things with better reception than at home. One of the cable channels was called Nickelodeon, which I frequently tuned into in the mornings, as they had a two-hour sort of poor man's Sesame Street type of show, called Pinwheel.

Later on in the week or maybe on the weekend, at around 9:30 PM, there was a music-video show called Pop Clips, and Dad used to let me stay up to watch it with him. My sister would either be in her room, or at a friend's house overnight, but my Dad and I would see videos from the newer bands of the day, or old favorites still going strong.

Among the videos I remember seeing were "Love Stinks" by the J. Geils Band, "Do You Remember Rock & Roll Radio?" by the Ramones, "Play The Game" by Queen, "Fish Heads" by Barnes & Barnes, plus cuts by newer bands like Cheap Trick, the Police, the Knack and the Shoes. One particular favorite was "One Step Beyond" by a nutty bunch of guys called Madness, with a bunch of funny-looking guys doing all kinds of hilarious dances throughout the song. We would just crack up watching this one! I would get to brag to my sister the next morning about all the cool videos I got to see.

I don't remember how long the show was on, but it was interesting and fun to watch, and--yes--it was the precursor to MTV. One other thing that amazed me about the show later was finding out that it was created by Mike Nesmith of The Monkees.
After the show was over, as was the channel's broadcasting day, there was a clip of a mime-type character would wave goodbye and then turn out a light, with the Nickelodeon logo across the bottom of the screen. I didn't know what a nickelodeon was at that time, so I assumed that it was the name of the guy onscreen, and maybe that he was the channel's mascot.

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