In another installment of the “this will make you feel old” series, MTV marks its 40th anniversary on August 1 of this year, and the milestone will be celebrated with an exhibition at the GRAMMY Museum Mississippi in Cleveland, Mississippi.
MTV Turns Forty: I Still Want My MTV, opens Friday, May 14, 2021. Why is it in Mississippi? Because one of MTV’s founders, Bob Pittman, is a native of that state.
In addition to exploring the history of MTV, the exhibit will feature memorabilia from some iconic performers who became superstars thanks to MTV exposure. On display will be the dress worn by Madonna in her video for “Vogue” and the leather suit Michael Jackson wore in the clip for “Dirty Diana,” plus contracts from his other video shoots, including the making of the “Thriller” video.
You’ll also see the acoustic guitar played by Duran Duran‘s Simon Le Bon in the video for “Save a Prayer,” the 1986 MTV VMA Video of the Year Award won by Dire Straits for “Money for Nothing,” the acoustic guitar Bret Michaels played in Poison‘s video for “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” and additional memorabilia from Aerosmith and Run-DMC, who teamed up for the genre-breaking 1986 video for “Walk This Way.”
Also on display: interview footage, notes and sketches of the original idea for MTV from Pittman and co-founder John Sykes, interviews with original MTV VJs Nina Blackwood, Mark Goodman, Alan Hunter and Martha Quinn, and exhibits about important moments in MTV history, like Nirvana‘s MTV Unplugged, and the launch of shows like The Real World and Beavis and Butt-Head.
The exhibit will run through the summer of 2022 and will also travel nationally and internationally.
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