VJ Roundup

I spent most of last week in New York, celebrating the release of VJ with the mighty Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, and Martha Quinn. Thanks to the PowerHouse Arena in Dumbo, Barnes & Noble in Tribeca, and the Apple Store in Soho for hosting us, and to everyone who came out–it was a huge pleasure to see you all.

A number of people have been kind enough to write about the book. If you’re curious to see what people who aren’t me thought of VJ (I thought it was awesome, but I’m not exactly an impartial source), you could check out:

The Associated Press review

The legendary gossip columnist Liz Smith riffing on our Madonna chapter in the Chicago Tribune

A feature article on the CBS News website

A Huffington Post love letter to the VJs

An interview with Martha and Nina in USA Today

The Daily Beast interviewing all four VJs

“32 Facts” about the VJs in Time

An interview with Mark and Martha in The Boston Globe

A review on examiner.com

And a tweet from Duran Duran.

Thanks to all of you!

posted 16 May 2013 in Buy My Stuff, Links and tagged . 2 comments

2 Comments on VJ Roundup

  1. Chris Molanphy Says:

    Props to Mark for this answer (and boo on Daily Beast for mistaking “AOR” for “A&R”):

    “The people who were writing the channel—Bob Pittman as the head of it all—they were radio and record-label people. In 1981, there was still A&R radio, and that was rock radio. Rock radio didn’t play Michael Jackson and wouldn’t have played Michael Jackson even with Eddie Van Halen on guitar. But I also say in the book that J.J., who was Mr. Rock ‘n’ Roll, pointed out that we were playing, let’s say, Culture Club. Well what’s the difference between that and some R&B act except they were white? He pointed out that it’s the same music and yet one we play and one we don’t. That said, the reason we started playing it is not because the music was getting more popular but because the record labels were leaning on us and they owned our programming. They were leaning on us, and they were saying, ‘Look, we want these artists played on your channel.’”

    I know they want to believe the “black music wasn’t AOR, it was genre not race” angle—but Mark’s answer (with an assist from J.J.) is a more complete answer, honestly. Even before “Billie Jean,” by late ’82, it became embarrassing that MTV would play dancey/post-disco British new wave but not actual R&B. There’s no “genre” excuse for that.

  2. Rule Forty Two - » July 13, 1985 Says:

    […] part of my research for VJ, I rewatched Live Aid (or more precisely, the DVD box of it). A few aspects of the show that seemed […]

Leave a Reply

Keep up to date with new comments on this post via RSS.