I just finished reading my courtesy copy of the book "I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution"
At a little under 600 pages, this is a big book. It is equal parts chronology of MTV as it is of the music video as an art form and a business. The story is told by the 'cast of characters' themselves, with an introduction by authors Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum at the top of each chapter.
This sometimes makes for a somewhat tiring read, as even I had to reference the 'cast' list in the back of the book several times to remember the person a paragraph or quote was attributed to. This style also allows for a very credible version of history. Co-author Rob Tannenbaum visited my house last year in Los Angeles and recorded over 5 hours of conversation, followed by numerous emails. My quotes are precisely as I recall saying them, so I assume the same is true for all participants.
Anyone who watched MTV and music videos in the 80's and 90's will enjoy this book, as it details the evolution of a revolution from all the angles. It filled in a lot of gaps for me, in particular about the making of the videos themselves. Many stories I had heard or witnessed personally, but the majority I hadn't.
For me the book also filled in a number of gaps of how and why certain events took place during my 7 year tenure at the channel. I now know with certainty that Axl Rose and Doug Herzog were responsible for replacing me as the host of Headbangers Ball. For that I say, fuck you very much. That show was my passion.
There's a lot of laundty airing in the book, which makes it exciting and fun to plow through, but also recalls fond and sweet memories of a time when a generation was coming of age. I'm definitely missing a lot of stories, characters and angles, but their omission in no way detracts from the documentarian's mission.
Speaking for myself, but I'm sure others will agree, as MTV slowly dissolved into the all-snookie-no-music-channel, it brings closure to the era and the people that lived it.