I think my first exposure to MTV came in the fall of 82, not long after I started college. My parents came to Lexington on a Saturday for Parents’ Weekend and stayed overnight in a hotel by the interstate. When I went over to see them that evening, the television was on, as per usual. In flipping channels, I came across a station playing one music video after another. While I’d seen the occasional vid between movies on ONTV while in high school, this was something entirely different.
The folks didn’t get cable until they moved to Florence from Walton in September 83, after which I could get an MTV fix whenever I went home. We had no access on campus until a few months later, when the student center at Transy opened (I’ve written before how my friends and I wasted hours and hours watching videos there). While there are many gaps in my mid-80s video knowledge (yeah, I missed out on the ten-part series of “Leave It” shorts that Godley and Creme did for Yes), I’m certain it’s still too vast.
Whether I’m correct or not, I claim this is the first song I ever saw on MTV, back in that hotel room my parents occupied in October 82–I suppose it’s fitting that I remember the images, particularly the mythological figures, more than the music. While that would have been a little before it was released as a single in the US, it was well after it hit in the UK. “Poison Arrow” is at its peak of #25 this week. I’m not too much of a fan of ABC outside of The Lexicon of Love, but they really knocked it out of the park on that one disk. I see that Lisa Vanderpump of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame has the female lead here.