Nina Blackwood dishes on fellow VJs, John Waite and current state of MTV: 'I think it sucks!'
In a quartet in which each personality was reaching for the brightest corner of the spotlight, original MTV veejay Nina Blackwood might have stolen the show in the new tell-all book, VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave. In the book, Nina details her many celebrity would-be suitors (John Taylor! Joe Cocker!) and the startling fact that her relationship with one of the biggest '80s solo stars inspired a hit record we all know by heart.
Nina joined the Stuck in the '80s podcast crew for a 40-minute chat last week. Click here to download the show (and find out how to win an autographed copy of the MTV book). Here are some highlights from the interview.
So how was the book tour?
Of course it's always great when the four of us get together. It was very, very intense in that there was more hoopla going on than we were actually at MTV. I think on some levels, especially for Martha, Mark and myself, I felt a deeper bond with us. Alan, I kept telling him to shut up! ... We're like brothers and sisters. The love is still there."
So Alan is the chatty one now?
"You know what's funny? The dynamics changed. When J.J. (Jackson) was alive, all of us deferred to J.J. He was kind of the leader in that regard. And so Alan was the funny one; he was the jokester. And so the dynamics were we had the father figure. We had Mark, who was the older FM brother. We had me, who tended to be the quietest; Martha, the little sister and Alan the jokester. But now, I never remember Alan blabbling so much in the day. I think the dynamics shifted a bit without J.J. being there. And with Alan, he's more of a comedian mentality. And comedians try to fill all the spaces. Dead air is bad. I told him to shut up on the Today show. Oops!"
In the book, we were shocked to read the chapter where you tell readers that John Waite's Missing You hit is actually about you, even though other women claim it's about them. Tell us about the relationship.
"That was really, really special, and it still is. We're still in communication via email and stuff like that. I couldn't not talk about John because he was very much a part of my time at MTV. ... And just to clarify, he contacted me after the book came out ... he wrote back and he said, 'The song is your song. I never would have said that if it wasn't.' I was very happy about that. I believed him, but there were all these other people saying stuff and was like, 'Well, maybe that's not the truth,' but there you go."
What's your verdict on where MTV is today?
"I left before any that reality TV sh--. I was so busy with the stuff I was doing, I didn't have a chance to watch MTV anymore. I wasn't part of watching the transisiton. Why they did what they did, obviously it's a bottom line financial thing. Obviously there're making a lot of money. Alan and Martha will be diplomatic about it ... I think it sucks. I understand everyone wants to make money, but at least keep some core of what Music Television was about. I'm disappinted that it went into the direction that it did. And I don't think it's cutting edge anymore."
Click here for the full interview from Stuck in the '80s.