Learn About The History of Music Videos Tonight

Tonight at PhilaMOCA, Stephen Pitalo hosts a history of the music video from the early days of the format to the early 1990s.


Stephen Pitalo likes music videos. He really likes them. So much so that he has a wide-ranging website about the Golden Age of Music Video, which he says is from 1976 to 1993. And tonight you can learn from his deep knowledge of music videos at The History of Music Videos: Part One at PhilaMOCA.

Pitalo’s multimedia presentation will begin with early jazz films, TV performances and movie musicals before eventually moving into the 1980s and the birth of MTV. It ends with the downfall of hair metal and the beginning of the Seattle grunge and alt-rock scene. Doors at PhilaMOCA (531 N 12th St.) open at 7 pm; the event starts at 7:30 pm.

Afterward, at 10 p.m., Pitalo will host his own version of Name That Video, an old VH1 game show that he once won a Toyota 4Runner on (as you can see above). PhilaMOCA’s description of the event says “contestants compete by answering questions about their favorite music videos, until they must complete the lightning round to win an amazing grand prize package worth well over the price of admission!”

Admission to either of tonight’s programs is $10, with admission to the Name That Video game free if one attends the earlier show.

Tonight’s event is part of PhilaMOCA’s Philly Video Music Festival, which also includes these events:

  • EXTENDED PLAY THEATER: Longform Videos of the 1980s. This includes the showing of an 80-minute video for Mick Jagger’s “Running Out of Luck,” which involves him being kidnapped and delivered to the owner of a banana plantation. 2:30 p.m. Saturday, $10.
  • METAL MOVIE MADNESS: Incident at Channel Q: This 1986 heavy metal B-movie includes a music video for Golden Earring’s “Twilight Zone,” which you may know as “the song that plays on the Twilight Zone pinball game.” 6 p.m. Saturday, $10.
  • THEY MIGHT BE WEIRD: A Burlesque Tribute to Weird Al and They Might Be Giants. This is what you think it is. Liberty Rose curates. It’s followed by a dance party. 10 p.m. Saturday, $14/$17 at the door.
  • LIFE ON THE V: THE STORY OF V66. This is the Philadelphia premiere of a documentary about a free UHF music video channel that aired in Boston for 18 months in the 1980s. 4:30 p.m. Sunday, $10.
  • BACKWARDS WALK INTO THE FUTURE: A Tribute to 120 Minutes. Chris Cummins hosts a tribute to MTV’s legendary show.