VJ by Nina Blackwood
The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave

76%

7 Critic Reviews

Nina, Mark, Alan and Martha...tell stories from their six years as young America’s cultural guides, ranging from the good to the bad to the David Lee Roth.
-The Daily Beast

Synopsis

The original MTV VJs offer a behind-the-scenes oral history of the early years of MTV, circa 1981 to 1985, when it was exploding, reshaping the culture, and forming “the MTV generation.”

MTV’s original VJs offer a behind-the-scenes oral history of the early years of MTV, 1981 to 1987, when it was exploding, reshaping the culture, and creating “the MTV generation.”

Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, and Martha Quinn (along with the late J. J. Jackson) had front-row seats to a cultural revolution—and the hijinks of music stars like Adam Ant, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, and Duran Duran. Their worlds collided, of course: John Cougar invited Nina to a late-night “party” that proved to be a seduction attempt. Mark partied with David Lee Roth, who offered him cocaine and groupies. Aretha Franklin made chili for Alan. Bob Dylan whisked Martha off to Ireland in his private jet.

But while VJ has plenty of dish—secret romances, nude photographs, incoherent celebrities—it also reveals how four VJs grew up alongside MTV’s devoted viewers and became that generation’s trusted narrators. They tell the story of the ’80s, from the neon-colored drawstring pants to the Reagan administration, and offer a deeper understanding of how MTV changed our culture. Or as the VJs put it: “We’re the reason you have no attention span.”
 

About Nina Blackwood

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Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter, and Martha Quinn were the first MTV VJs and are all radio hosts on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s Big 80s channel. Nina Blackwood was one of the first MTV VJs and is a radio host on SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s Big 80s channel and host of two radio shows nationally syndicated by the United Stations Radio Networks, "Absolutely80s" and "New Wave Nation." Gavin Edwards is the author of five books on music. A contributing editor at Rolling Stone, he has written for The New York Times Magazine, Details, and Wired.
 
Published May 7, 2013 by Atria Books. 338 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on May 26 2013
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for VJ
All: 7 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 1

Publishers Weekly

Below average
on Mar 11 2013

...brilliantly conceived but regrettably dull and lackluster book...

Read Full Review of VJ: The Unplugged Adventures ... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Peter Roche on May 06 2013

...entertaining, enlightening read that transports today’s soccer moms and dads back in time some thirty years, when they were latchkey kids eager for an inside scoop on what’s hot in music and fashion.

Read Full Review of VJ: The Unplugged Adventures ...

Huffington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Michael Varrati on May 14 2013

...the memoir's block quote style allows each of the VJs to recount their version of the story in the first person, providing a delivery that is both cutting edge, but very much rooted in the oral tradition of yesteryear.

Read Full Review of VJ: The Unplugged Adventures ...

The Daily Beast

Good
Reviewed by Melissa Leon on May 07 2013

Nina, Mark, Alan and Martha...tell stories from their six years as young America’s cultural guides, ranging from the good to the bad to the David Lee Roth.

Read Full Review of VJ: The Unplugged Adventures ...

Chron.com

Above average
on May 17 2013

VJ is...a great, more personal companion volume to “I Want My MTV,” the definitive oral history of the channel in which the VJs also participated.

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The Big Story

Good

"VJ" will evoke nostalgia in readers who remember the '80s.

Read Full Review of VJ: The Unplugged Adventures ...

Spunky Bean

Good
Reviewed by Myndi Weinraub on May 30 2013

...fans of pop culture will find this a fun, fast and essential read...

Read Full Review of VJ: The Unplugged Adventures ...

Reader Rating for VJ
77%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 391 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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