The Global Village Gets a Bit Rowdy as the Captains of Video Convene for An MTV Salute
A pumped-up legion of teenagers mustered for hours on Friday the 13th outside Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall, waiting for night to fall and the stars to come out. They sent up screams when a limo pulled up, disgorging a Paul Young or a David Lee Roth. Yet, all said, the Second Annual MTV Video Music Awards was, by rock's usual standards of ruckus and rambunctiousness, a strangely sedate occasion.
The awards themselves ticked off—Don Henley took Best Video (The Boys of Summer) and Bruce Springsteen (noticeably absent) Best Male Video (I'm on Fire). Then the performers, including Pat Benatar, John Cougar Mellencamp and Tears for Fears, came on with a novelty: live, yes live, music.
The evening was rescued by the antics of host Eddie Murphy. Murphy took the cameras and invaded the Music Hall's ladies' room. Later he went outside the building and chose a "co-host" off the street—one Jim Smith, an ordinary Joe with a beer belly and receding hairline, who read his cue cards with aplomb.
Jim Smith kept a fairly low profile at MTV's post-awards party at the Palladium. But David Lee Roth made a splashy entrance, before being shoe-horned into the crush of humanity with actress Sonia Braga on his arm. Roth maintained that he was not upset to have been nominated for six video awards and awarded none. "Last time I lost an award," he pointed out, "Weird Al Yankovic beat me." The Boomtown Rats' Bob Geldof had no such ignominy to live down. Touted for a Nobel prize, Geldof took a special MTV award for his Live Aid project. But at the end of an unusually staid night he delivered an exit line that spoke for all: "It's really boring to be a goody-two-shoes," said the rocker.
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