Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Blotto - I Wanna Be A Lifeguard

The 36th video played on MTV's first day was the humorous and slightly bizarre "I Wanna Be a Lifeguard" by Blotto.  The video music channel continued to play the video for some time, and it became something of a trendsetter -- in its early years, MTV played a small number of eccentric videos mixed in with more traditional counterparts.  This gradually ended by the late 1980's.

Blotto was an unlikely success story.  The band formed in 1978 in Albany, New York and built a small following over the next couple of years.  Named after a dog in the 1931 Thorne Smith novel The Night Life of the Gods, the group used pseudonyms -- all with the last name Blotto (a nod to the Ramones).  Their comedy-infused new wave was not totally out of place with acts like the B-52s and The Tubes leading to gigs in metro New York (coincidentally, the headquarters of MTV).

In 1980, the band cut an EP - Hello, My Name Is Blotto, What's Yours and worked with some students at SUNY Albany to make a video of "I Wanna Be A Lifeguard."  The result is below.  In retrospect, videos with any kind of story were rare in the early days of MTV, giving the band a leg up.

Unfortunately, this early exposure did not lead to a huge amount of success as MTV was just starting its meteoric rise.  Blotto did release some additional work including an LP (1983's Combo Akimbo) before breaking up in 1984.  The surviving members of the group (bassist "Cheese Blotto" (Keith Stephenson) passed away in 1999) continue to perform periodically as of this writing.


2 comments:

  1. You Don't Get More 80's Than That!
    Love It
    Everyone has YouTube
    What I Go To On Your Site Is For The Best
    Thank You For The Effort
    Diggin It
    -Sam

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    1. Thanks, Sam, appreciate the kind words as always. We work hard to put up the best in rare eighties videos; it is nice that you like them. Keep the faith.

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