The Romantics 1980.

In 1981 MTV Music Television hit the airwaves with the words, “Ladies and Gentlemen, rock and roll.” I wondered what it would do for the bands in Michigan. Local Detroit bands didn’t take long to start making music videos on their own. In the beginning, videos were cheaply made with Mom and Dad’s video camera.  A band that had a record contract had the record label fork over some money to have a music video professionally made.

Before MTV Bands in the 60s were making what they called promotional videos of live performances or would lip sync to their hit song to get into venues and promoters. In the 80s Local Detroit bands got in the game as bands from England already got a big head start on all the bands in America.

Detroit history, The Look was the first Local Detroit band on MTV with its “We’re Gonna Rock” clip in 1981. MTV rotated the band’s 1982 follow-up video of the single, “You Can’t Sit Down,” a Dovells R&B cover. The song made American Bandstand’s “rate-a-record” with a respectable score of 94. The Look got lots of  Detroit radio airplay.  Dave Edwards continues to write and record currently.

After some digging and with the aid of social media let’s take a trip back to some bands from Michigan that made us pack local venues 7 nights a week. Here are some Awesome Local Detroit Bands Videos That Ruled The 80s And 90s

  • The LOOK

    The Look was the 1st Detroit band on MTV in September of 1981, and they were inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame on June 1st, 2015.

  • Toby Redd Can't Get A Job

    The early days of Toby Redd featured Chris Mazzola on drums. Future Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith went on to replace Chris on their second album titled, ” In The Light.” 

  • The Almighty Strut - AC ACTION

    The Almighty Strut”   In the 80s set them apart from the many other bands using the name “Strut”. An early line-up of the band featured Charlie Huhn, former vocalist/rhythm guitarist for Ted Nugent’s band. And Gunner Ross who played with logs for drumsticks. D.C. SteelEarl Lee PearlGunner RossJimmie James.

  • "One at a Time" by Flash Kahan

    Flash Kahan” (pronounced KAY-han) was a band from Detroit, Michigan that consisted of guitarist Doug Kahan, guitarist Bruce Mechan, keyboardist Matt De Raad, saxophonist Tomo Tomas & a drummer who went by the pseudonym, ”The Baron’. They were signed to Capitol Records with the help of Bob Seger’s manager, Punch Andrews. Another band that got airplay on MTV.

  • Bitter Sweet Alley - Time to Move


  • Seduce - Crash Landing, Music Video



    Hair / Glam Metal (Heavy Metal) band from Detroit, Michigan. The band Seduce was featured in the movie The Decline Of Western Civilization: The Metal Years and the soundtrack that was released with the film. This is a great headbanging tune off their self-titled debut from 1985. Signed to I.R.S. Records

  • DC Drive - You Need Love

    Dc Drive is: Joey Bowen, Mark Pastoria, Brian Pastoria, Doug Kahan, Michael Romeo, Jimmy Romeo. Video made 1991 United Artists Theatre, Detroit MI featuring Cholly “Pops” Atkins.

  • Trash Brats - Downtown Nowhere

    Not all Detroit Bands had a huge budget.  For The Trash Brats, the music did the talking as well as the incredible show this band played live in concert. Music Video shot on Kodak Ektachrome 160 color reversal stock. Shot at Saint Andrews Hall, Detroit MI.

  • Motherload - Down

    Motherload with Matt Mathews. A band that came after Sweet Teaze.  The band was a bit more harder edge then Sweet Teaze and got to open for some major acts along the way. Including this video recorded at Pine Knob.

  • Rhythm Corps Satellites

    Rhythm Corps is an alternative rock band from Detroit, Michigan beginning in the 1980s. They released  two full-length albums. They are most well known for their hit “Common Ground.” Singed to Sony Records. 

  • Sponge- Molly ( 16 Candles)


    Sponge from Detroit, Michigan with vocalist Vinnie Dombroski, guitarist Mike Cross, bassist Tim Cross, drummer Jimmy Paluzzi, and guitarist Joey Mazzola. Hometown favorites in concert. Some lineup changes but Sponge continues to perform live and record new material. 

  • The Romantics - When I Look In Your Eyes

    Detroit’s own Romantics formed in 1977 in Detroit. The band is often put under the banner of power pop and new wave. In 1983 saw huge MTV play with their album, “In Heat.” with hit singles, Talking in your sleep, and One in a Million. Most recognizable for their hit, What I Like About You. 


  • Marshall Crenshaw - Someday, Someway

    Marshall Howard Crenshaw Born in Detroit, MI.  Musician, singer, songwriter, and guitarist best known for hit songs such as “Someday, Someway,” a US top 40 hit in 1982, “Cynical Girl,” and “Whenever You’re on My Mind.”

  • The Rockets - Desire

    Rockets  1980 doing “Desire” from the No Ballads album. Featuring Jim McCarty, Dennis Robbins, Johnny “Bee” Badanjek, David Gilbert, Donnie Backus, and Danny Keylon.

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