Mikey's Classic Brushes With Greatness (The Original MTV VJ's Book Signing; 2013)

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Mikey's Classic Brushes With Greatness (The Original MTV VJ's Book Signing; 2013)

Post by mikeyicon » November 8th, 2016, 6:07 pm

Back in the early 80’s, I spent a lot of time watching MTV when it was the ultimate national resource for music. My mom indicated that by me spending so much time in front of the TV watching so many of these unique music videos, it would probably end up screwing me up later in life. She was probably right, but I’m very fond and proud to have spent so much time using this platform to introduce me to popular music and the stories behind these bands. Remember, back then there was no internet or technology, and this stuff mattered a lot more. And those VJ’s were my babysitters when my parents or real babysitters weren’t around. They were Alan Hunter, Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, and JJ Jackson (RIP!). They were like gods to me introducing me to musicians that have been on the soundtrack of my life: Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, Bruce Springsteen, A Flock Of Seagulls, Men At Work, Lionel Richie, Def Leppard, and on and on and on. We all know what MTV has become after the music industry died. Yet, back then it was simply a different time, a magical time that I truly miss.
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MTV VJ Heroes
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A book written by the four living VJ’s came out in 2013, and as a historian and fanatic of not just music, but the music business, I was excited to purchase and read this. And when I found out they would be doing only a few book signings in my area, there was absolutely no way I was going to miss the opportunity to thank them in person. I just had started my new job, but was sure to bolt a bit early on the day of the signing. It would be taking place at Barnes & Noble on Rt. 17 in I believe Paramus, and I was crossing my fingers it wouldn’t be the typical book signing and that they would allow photos and interaction with the guests.

I got there early while waiting for friends. The line wasn’t as bad as I expected, but I figured I would just wait for them to show up. I walked around the store and got a little star-struck when the four of them walked past me headed to their area. Martha and Alan marked out for my MTV T-Shirt, and I did my best Wayne and Garth impersonation saying I wasn’t worthy to be in the presence of these people who had such a huge influence on me. Even I got starstruck!

My friends got there, and we figured we would try and get at the end of the line as there was some indication that it was a book signing only. But as we got closer, it looked like others were ignoring the publicist from the book company and taking photos with the VJ’s. And the VJ’s didn’t seem to mind perhaps since the turnout wasn’t huge and this was really a celebration of their legacy in which only those who were around in those days could appreciate. The first one we met was Nina Blackwood, I had to thank her again for everything she has done. She remembered me from our quick encounter before they hit the signing area, and was really sweet leading to a nice photo.
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Nina Blackwood
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Next up was the legendary Alan Hunter, (HUGE influence!). He also was very kind and appreciated all of the thanks I was giving him. He also was curious where I got the MTV shirt. I joked and told him JC Penny for $9.99 and hoping he had a cut of the sales. We got an over the table but quality photo with him.
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Alan Hunter
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Then there was Martha Quinn. Not only was she probably my first TV crush, she also got bonus points for being Bobby Brady’s wife on the short-lived Bradys series in the early 90’s. She was a bit quiet, but sweet and appreciated the kudos. Another great photo.
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Martha Quinn
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Last up was Mark Goodman. He wasn’t very talkative, but was happy to take the photo. Since we were perhaps the last people to get the book signed and photos, we decided to stick around and chat some more. Mark Goodman announced for those that stuck around, they would be doing group shots. I was more than happy to take advantage of this opportunity (which btw is one of my personal favorite photos in my collection).
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Mark Goodman
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Since I was caught in the moment and getting more time to chat with them about the history of the channel. I figured why not also get my T-shirt signed? All of them were more than happy to do it, and Nina lovingly joked that it might time to cut us off. (Trivia for those 80’s music fans, the song Missing You by John Waite was actually written about his past relationship with Nina Blackwood)

I walked out of the Barnes And Noble so happy that I made the trip and had the opportunity to meet these people who were a huge part of my childhood. For those that didn’t grow up during the 80’ or a fan of history of television, they aren’t important. For me and my fellow MTV generation, these four had a huuuuggggeee impact that only those of us who were alive during that magical era can appreciate.
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The MTV VJ's
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Nina Signing
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Re: Mikey's Classic Brushes With Greatness (The Original MTV VJ's Book Signing; 2013)

Post by 16times » November 14th, 2016, 6:11 pm

What a great report and photos ! I can't believe I just saw this. NICE JOB ! :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Mikey's Classic Brushes With Greatness (The Original MTV VJ's Book Signing; 2013)

Post by mikeyicon » November 14th, 2016, 9:57 pm

hahaha, and I thought people had lost interest in my experiences and writing. Glad you enjoyed amigo.

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Re: Mikey's Classic Brushes With Greatness (The Original MTV VJ's Book Signing; 2013)

Post by WOODMO » November 14th, 2016, 10:30 pm

Yeah I missed this too. Very cool, definitely a blast from the past.

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Re: Mikey's Classic Brushes With Greatness (The Original MTV VJ's Book Signing; 2013)

Post by mikeyicon » November 15th, 2016, 10:52 am

gracias amigo, it was a real treat.


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Re: Mikey's Classic Brushes With Greatness (The Original MTV VJ's Book Signing; 2013)

Post by Greg2600 » November 15th, 2016, 11:36 am

Very cool meet. These folks were a teeny bit before my time, although I would die for a 90's MTV reunion with Daisy Fuentes, Idalis, Kennedy, Karen Duffy, Serena Altshull, Tabitha Soren, Dan Cortese, etc.
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Re: Mikey's Classic Brushes With Greatness (The Original MTV VJ's Book Signing; 2013)

Post by mikeyicon » November 15th, 2016, 12:54 pm

really, Greg? I had you pegged for perhaps the same age or maybe a few years younger than me. Note I also was watching MTV in 1981 and 1982 when I was four and five (so you can do the math!). I remember those other names too, but they can't light a candle to the original 5 (although I adored Daisy Fuentes and Kennedy). Remember, back then, all they did was interview the rockers and introduce videos, which was great for me. Martha Quinn was probably my first music related crush. Ironic that I did my internship at MTV back in the day and wasn't uncommon to ride the elevator with Kurt Loder, or John Norris or other on-air talent.

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Re: Mikey's Classic Brushes With Greatness (The Original MTV VJ's Book Signing; 2013)

Post by Greg2600 » November 15th, 2016, 1:11 pm

I watched videos for sure back in the Thriller era, but the VJ's never made an impression on me. To be honest, I was more of a fan of MTV News in the early/mid 90's. That and MTV Sports, as the musical end had gone either rap or metal, and I wasn't that big on either. Norris was a good VJ, but I never liked Loder.
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Re: Mikey's Classic Brushes With Greatness (The Original MTV VJ's Book Signing; 2013)

Post by mikeyicon » November 15th, 2016, 2:34 pm

Kurt Loder was,is, and always will be a tool. There was just something magical about the original five, and their story is pretty amazing. Also they are part of my "marilyn moments", memories of a much simpler time. BTW, besides I assume you know Martha Quinn also appeared on The Bradys as bobby's girlfriend. :) I did enjoy MTV a lot in the late 80's/early 90s also, as you know from our shared experience with Michael Ian Black from The State which I still believe to be the best sketch comedy show of all time, but it's not for everybody!!!!


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