Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Girl in the Video Epilogue: I Want My MTN!

logo adapted by Leigh Cullen @DesignLeigh

Or rather, MTN wanted his MTV, so I tracked down the 20 people who kindly agreed to be interviewed for the first-ever oral history of the music video from the POV of the stars. No, not the bands—the stars. The ones who shine in the distance, unnamed. In other words, the love interests.

I am profoundly happy about the enthusiastic response the series has gotten. 

Sherrie Swafford said Steve Perry liked her interview. 

Lysette Anthony said Bryan Adams thought her interview was good.

Michael Jacksons nephew Taj tweeted that the Kelley Parker interview was wonderful.

I’ll let the Internet elaborate on the rest:


 Yahoo! Music 7/18/13 (last I checked, 4.5K shares on Facebook!):

Swafford, who has long shied away from the spotlight, was recently found by Marc Tyler Nobleman, author of the Noblemania blog, while he was working on a piece about all the lovely ladies who appeared in the Separate Ways video [MTN: Actually the project, as you have seen, is about lovely ladies from 13 videos; there was only one in Separate Ways]. She declined to be interviewed or photographed, but gave him a short statement acknowledging that his detective work was spot on and giving him the low down on her current activities.
a-ha Facebook post 7/20/13; 
more than 4,800 likes, 680 shares, 210 comments

a-ha retweet 7/19/13

Huey Lewis and the News Facebook post 7/22/13; 
more than 320 likes, 30 shares

Huey Lewis and the News liked on Facebook 7/20/13

 Huey Lewis and the News Facebook post 7/30/13

Martha Quinn (VJ) 7/19/13





Kurt Loder (VJ) 7/15/13

More than 700 likes, 100 shares, 60 comments. 
Journey fans = any way, they want it.

Peter Lenkov (husband of Audie Lenkov) 7/17/13

Julie Anne Rhodes (ex-wife of Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran) 7/14/13

MTV Hive favorited tweet 7/19/13

Yahoo Music favorited tweet 7/19/13

Alan Hunter (VJ) 7/12/13

 It even made an app.
(And a fun app—it’s right there in the name:
Guess What? It’s Fun.)

More reactions:

“Total score for Nobleman! (Steve Spears, Stuck in the 80s)

…big shout out to author Marc Tyler Nobleman, who’s been tracking down and interviewing a lot of the video babes of MTV’s classic era. … They’re pretty entertaining. (SPOILERS: When music videos first became a thing, nobody knew what the hell they were doing!) Check it out!” (Popdose)

“[Marc] was able to...get Kym [Herrin] to spill her guts, to agree to a feature story…who is this dude? Hugh Hefner? Marquis de Sade?” (Santa Barbara News Press Blog)

“Thanks, Huey, for sharing this from noted geek historian Marc Tyler Nobleman. :) Also, saw where MTN interviewed the girl from ZZ Tops ‘Legs’ video...AWESOME!” (Facebook share by John D. Nole via Huey Lewis and the News)

“This is the greatest! I’ve wished for a long time that someone would cover this topic in detail and you have come to the rescue.” (wuenchdog, in a blog comment) 

Someone get this man a book deal and a Pulitzer. (@SmashCutMag)

Easily the greatest interview series in journalism history. What happened to the 80s MTV video vixens? (‏@AndyGlockner, a Sports Illustrated writer)

“Marc Tyler Nobleman: true American.” (Southsidesman, in a comment under the Yahoo! article about my Devon Kidd interview)

EXCELLENT job finding and interviewing our childhood favorites and memories. Its a theme that just works.” (@RickCanton)

“I guess if I had just made one video, it would have led to fame of some kind. Should have tried out rather than just sitting home watching them.” (friend Tammy, on Facebook)

Ive gone down the rabbit hole with your blog. Literally cannot stop reading. So, thank you for this! Im in awe of your research abilities. I think of myself as being pretty darned good when it comes to stuff like this, but you, sir, are the man!” (Shana, by email)

Huey Lewis and the News posted it on their site.

I heard from Greg Kihn’s people.

And I even heard from one of the guys who sang na-na-na-nas in the 1968 “music video” for “Hey Jude” (wearing glasses and tie and appears in close-up starting at 3:28).


Dex said...

Wow, that's amazing! Congrats on all the publicity!

OldSchool80s said...

Marc, Congratulations again on this wonderful series of interviews. I enjoyed them all and hopefully sent a few readers your way. Now that they are ALL posted, I intend to do some further posting about them. You should be rightly proud.

Marc Tyler Nobleman said...

Thanks both! OldSchool80s, I am sure you sent people to the interviews and thank you again. I welcome any continued effort to spread the word.

I plan to do more...

hobbyfan said...

I think you've found the subject matter for your next book. Since MTV now has distanced itself from its storied musical past in favor of reality TV that really isn't, IMPO (more exploitation than anything else in some shows), maybe you could write a book that would complement the one the VJ's themselves wrote.......

Anonymous said...

just found this and it is fascinating! so much of the reaction seems to be from 80s boys, of course, but 80s girls remember these videos well. we hated some mtv chicks (tawny kitaen) and loved others (bunty bailey) and they often sparked trendlets (I remember my cousin and my best friend running out to get the white leather jacket from "separate ways").

looking back now, it's interesting and probably telling in all sorts of ways that we didn't really make a distinction between female musicians and video chicks when we responded to the visuals. I remember copying joan jett's "crimson and clover" eye makeup and martha davis' retro black suit from "only the lonely," and envying susanna hoffs for the way the guys swooned over that eye-flicking moment in "walk like an Egyptian" just as we envied wendy frazier for the way they swooned over that last shot with her gazing at the guy as they drive away.

it was amazing to see ms. frazier, actually, because we ADORED that video and tried to get that look all summer of '84. the eliminator girls were fun but my particular group didn't go for that style, but the way they made her over was totally awesome. the hair, the makeup, the OUTFIT! the pink shoes were 9West- I had them in two colors.

followup would be fascinating. the "sister christian" girl brings back such memories, since my friends and I graduated from catholic high school just as that song hit. I've always wondered about jenny from "867-5309"- we envied her hair so desperately! and there was the girl in the payolas' "eyes of a stranger," with the ruffled blouse. thanks for this- so evocative.

Marc Tyler Nobleman said...

Lilli - LOVE this recollection. Thanks for sharing! As it happens, round 2 of this series has been in the works all year. It will post in July...and indeed includes both Sister Christian and Jenny!

Unknown said...

Marc, would you happen to know who the blonde model/actress is in Marshall Crenshaw's "Whenever You're On My Mind" video from 1983? That would be a tremendous help. Thanks.