VHS Mixtape 2: Time Machines, MTV and Phil X 2
VHS Mixtape number 2 comes mostly from the late 80s/early 90s. It's a tape that sat in the VCR and was used to catch cool things that I saw. It starts with videos off of MTV. If you have non-mainstream tastes, or if your favorite Poison song was the 2nd single not the 3rd that was the ballad that everyone wanted to see, you better have that tape in and be ready to hit Play and Rec so the full "Fallen Angel" video is in the archives (not some edit that drops the beginning part with the family around the dinner table). This tape starts with Weird Al’s video for "UHF." I watched this so much before I ever saw the movie that when I did became a game "Oh There's That Part From the Video."
Followed by another novelty: Sam Kinison's "Wild Thing." The main function of that video was to play “Hey There’s that Guy From that Band!” Oh, and see lady parts wrapped in fishnets. But, seeing this video now almost makes me sick. The sexual politics of Hair Metal haven't aged well.
It always fascinates me that a family will gravitate towards a certain channel. I can only speak for my experience in Western Nebraska where our TV came from Denver. Our family was a KCNC 4 NBC family with a little bit of KWGN 2. I grew up with The A-Team, Cheers, Cosby, Midnight Caller, Quantum Leap and SNL. I never saw Growing Pains in its first run, I only heard about it through recess talk about the ABC sitcoms.
LL Cool J on MTV News was next, reminding people that it was not a comeback; he had, in fact, been here for years.
Oh yes, now the good stuff: Phil Collins’ "Two Hears" video! The "Hey Ya" of 1989.
Hey it’s Kevin Seal! For a few seconds at least.
Then the opening of Late Night with David Letterman. Love that growl and the keyboards.
That was cut off in favor of Phil Collins again. Thank goodness for that. A few years later I would put Dazed and Confused on the same tape twice in a row, so I wouldn't have to rewind it to watch it again right away. This must have been my thinking here. I sure hope it was that. And not that I was so blinded by my love of "Two Hearts" that I thought I was needed to catch it again to be sure I had it for posterity.
OK, back to Letterman...for a few seconds.
Then, The Bangles' video for "In Your Room." Well, I’m glad that cut away happned. Who would want to watch the architect of modern comedy in his early days?
Next a MTV Rock Block featuring, of course, more Phil Collins! Those puppets are scary. As was my late apparent 80s Phil Collins obsession.
Quick cut to some Just Say Julie.
Then: Weird Al!
After that is more videos; Bon Jovi, Elton John, and Cheap Trick. Man, MTV was kind of weird.
Next, finally some stand-up! It’s a clip from a show called Comedy Tonight. I don’t know who that guy is but he is wearing a sport coat and he has an un-ironic mustache.
Like this clip of Ellen, but not this clip of Ellen.
Next, Tom Petty’s "Don’t Come Around Here No More."
After Tom the tape cuts to Robert Klein on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson from January 13, 1989.
After Robert and Johnny finish we welcome the star of the Days and Nights of Molly Dodd…No! Forget that, we need to see a Kix video.
This episode was about an ever present 80’s threat: Cults. But, the best part was the Avoid the Noid commercial.
Finally, The Time Machine. Recorded from TNT. This movie came on one afternoon and my dad said he like it, and that was enough for me. That was the day a lifelong love of time-travel started. This move was made at a time when the hero could be a smart good guy. He didn't have to act for love or hugs. He could go back to the future to save humanity with books, for the sake of being good.
After The Time Machine the tape ended with a bit of Saturday Night Live from December 3, 1988 and a Hans and Franz sketch with Danny DeVito and musical guest The Bangles. What no love for Phil Collins?
End of Tape.