MTV turns 25 this month, the Sunday Times reported yesterday. Not that I ever watched it. When I first saw it, it showcased artistes like Michael Jackson, yech! And when I last saw it, the fast-moving images made me dizzy. I realised I was getting old.
There was a time when I loved psychedelia. And some of my favourite movies featured great music. Reading the article on MTV reminded me of Michelangelo Antonioni’s stylish thriller, Blowup, set in the swinging London of the 1960s. It was the ultimate in cool at that time: the music, the photography, captured the era perfectly.
The Yardbirds perform in one scene towards the end. Seeing it on the big screen was absolutely mindblowing.
I searched the Net to see if I could see that scene again. And here it is.
It doesn’t have the same effect seen on the Net. But look at the lineup. That’s Jeff Beck smashing his guitar. He is backed by Jimmy Page. The singer is Keith Relf.
The man entering the disco is the hero, David Hemmings, who plays a fashion photographer. He takes sneak shots of a couple making love in a park. When he develops the film, he sees a dead body and blows up the picture to investigate the mystery.
The Yardbirds in this scene are performing Stroll On.