I’ve had a stormy relationship with VH1 Classic since we first met about five years ago. I’d see him now and then over at a friend’s house and became sort of smitten with the way he’d impress me with some arcane video I hadn’t seen in years and years and the way ol’ VH1C would go for hours and hours without stopping. Pure classic video stamina. Impressive.
Once we became “a thing”, that all changed. The minute VH1C moved in, I started noticing bad behavior – sneaking in non-video programming like old “Behind the Music” episodes, playing the same moldy videos over and over and over (“Relax” again, anyone? How about “Take On Me”?), adding new videos from the early to late ’90s to the mix (seriously, does anyone anywhere need to see “Smells Like Teen Spirit” again anytime before 2020?). Where I once Tivoed “We Are the 80s”, “All Star Jams” and “The Alternative” daily, I got so fed up with being treated like a Brazilian porn star, I finally gave up. (Have you seen Brazilian porn? It’s crazy, man.) What happened to the hot guy who would surprise me with the Buggles “I Am a Camera” or even Cheetah? (Have you seen a Cheetah video? It’s crazy, man.)
However, VH1C stumbled in late last night a little drunk (maybe coked up, I’m not quite sure), and begged for me not to leave him. “Ah shwear to gawwd,” he slurred, “Imma changed man. Jess gimmie a chansse to proof ittooyoo.” And right then and there, at 4 am EST/1 am PST, VH1C pulled out a little package called “The Vault”.
“The Vault” is a new show that started last night, obstensibly dedicated to playing videos the channel used to show here & there, but have been consigned to the back of the bus while more popular bands/videos ate up the majority of airtime. While the mix isn’t incredibly obtuse and obscure, they did play quite a few things I haven’t seen on the channel in some time. Here’s last night’s playlist:
Malcolm McLaren – Buffalo Gals
Spys – She Can’t Wait
Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros – Coma Girl (wasn’t this from 2003??)
Baltimora – Tarzan Boy
Warren Zevon – Searching for a Heart
Howard Devoto – Rainy Season
3rd Bass – Brooklyn-Queens
Duran Duran featuring Grandmaster Flash & Mele Mel – White Lines
Marc Almond – Tears Run Rings
China Crisis – Arizona Sky
Sir Mix-a-Lot – Posse on Broadway (whoa!!)
The Outfield – All the Love in the World
Tara Kemp – Hold You Tight
Freuer – Doot Doot
Yes – Hold On
Noiseworks – Take Me Back
Bryan Ferry – Is Your Love Strong Enough?
Bonnie Tyler – It’s a Heartache
Howard Jones – Pearl in the Shell
Roger Waters – What God Wants
Beach Boys – Dance, Dance, Dance
Go-Go’s – Yes or No
Christmas – Stupid Kids (no way!!)
Roxette – Church of Your Heart
Grace Jones – Slave to the Rhythm
Corey Hart – It Ain’t Enough
Is it perfect? No, but it’s a start. I’m not sayin’ I’m ready to take him back just yet, but let’s say his foot is in the door. Check out “The Vault” when you see it on your DVR schedule – I believe the next go ’round is Thursday morning at 4am EST/1am PST. Think of it as Step Two in VH1 Classic’s 12 Step Program of Not Sucking Anymore. You know what would help? If “The Vault” had a really knowledgeable, funny, engaging and bald host from the greater Los Angeles area. It would instantly be the greatest show in the history of the channel. Or at least the latest.