Remember when parents couldn’t decide which was worse — rock & roll or TV? VHI does. Here, the top 10 collisions of those two pernicious forces.
1. THE BEATLES PERFORM ON THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW.
The pop-culture big bang: Music, haircuts, and attitudes would never be the same. (Feb. 9, 1964)
2. ELVIS AIRS ON NBC.
Clad in skintight black leather, Elvis Presley reclaims his crown with this smokin’ comeback special. (Dec. 3, 1968)
3. MTV LAUNCHES.
The fledgling network’s first clip is — what else? — the Buggles’ prophetic ”Video Killed the Radio Star.” (Aug. 1, 1981)
4. SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE PREMIERES.
The cutting-edge comedy show features weekly performances by the cream of the rock crop — Janis Ian was the first musical guest. (Oct. 11, 1975)
5. MOTOWN 25 AIRS.
And the How’d He Do That? award goes to Motown alum Michael Jackson for his laws-of-physics-defying dance move, the moonwalk. (May 16, 1983)
6. AMERICAN BANDSTAND PREMIERES.
This seminal rock-music series hosted by Dick Clark would keep kids dancing for 38 years. (Aug. 5, 1957)
7. ABC AND MTV AIR LIVE AID.
U2, Bruce Springsteen, Queen, and other A-list musicians rock out in an effort to end world hunger. (July 13, 1985)
8. THE MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS LAUNCH.
And a young singer named Madonna steals the show, writhing about in a wedding dress while singing a sexually charged ”Like a Virgin.” (Sept. 14, 1984)
9. ELVIS THE PELVIS RETURNS TO THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW.
This time from the waist up. (Jan. 6, 1957)
10. THE WHO PERFORM ON THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS SHOW.
The British rockers cap their performance by blowing up Keith Moon’s drum set. (Sept. 17, 1967)