True, MTV spends too much time on those stupid game shows and "Real World" crap when it should be about the music, but MTV is still better than nothing. And it certainly has earned its reputation over the years as a daring trend-maker that changed the face of television.
It doesn't seem like that long ago that Diana Ross quite literally felt up Lil' Kim on live MTV, Chuck D interviewed Strom Thurmond, and Madonna's breasts exploded from her bustier on the first MTV Music Awards. And who can forget when Nirvana trashed Kurt Loder's hotel room? When Radiohead's Thom Yorke almost drowned on MTV Beach House by diving into a pool with combat boots? Remember when Tabitha Soren was featured in the Beastie Boys' "Fight for Your Right" video?
It's all there (and more) in living color, in MTV Uncensored [Pocket Books], a 20th birthday present to itself and its fans has a million pictures, and is a fun read that you can flip through, remembering music and celebrity over the past 20 years. It's like the Rolling Stone books except with the MTV lack-of-sensibility.
With more stars than there are notches on Tommy Lee's bedpost, their irreverent walks down memory lane and delicious images of yesterday and today's pop-culture icons jostle with spontaneous onscreen and backstage shots grabbed from video history as it was being made. One old-timer interviewed in the book says that working at MTV is "the most fun you can have with your clothes on." Well, I dunno know about that-I can think of things involving chocolate, great books and music, and Ms. Pacman--but I'll grant that MTV Uncensored is certainly a good time.