An oral history of MTV  NOV 02 2011

Pitchfork has an excerpt of I Want My MTV, an oral history of the first decade of MTV.

I got word that Pepsi had bought the first spot in the 1984 Grammy telecast and they were gonna play a new Michael Jackson Pepsi ad. I'm like, "Michael Jackson belongs to MTV, not the Grammys." I wasn't gonna let it happen. So I called Roger Enrico, the head of Pepsi, and said, "Roger, I've got a major problem. This Pepsi Michael Jackson spot that's gonna run in three weeks on the Grammys? That should run on MTV first."

"Well, Garland, I've already made a deal with the Grammys." I go, "Wait a minute. You know how we do world premieres of videos. What if I world premiere the commercial? And what if I give you 24 promos a day for two weeks leading up to it? Would that interest you?"

He goes, "How much do you want for this?" I said, "Nothing." He goes, "What? You're telling me you would promote a commercial 24 times a day for two weeks before playing it? Garland, I like your style. Done." So it played for the first time on MTV.

(thx, jon)

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