the original 5 VJs on MTV when it launched in the Summer of 1981
(almost 30 years ago!), Martha Quinn charmed music
fans everywhere with her adorable style and upbeat attitude. At
52, she is still charming us on the radio with
the 80s music we love. We’d like to thank Martha for
taking the time
to answer our questions about the early days of MTV, her Fountain of
Youth secrets, her take on 80s music and what she’s up to now. You can
stay connected with Martha by listening to The 80s on 8 on
Sirius/XM as well as on her
Can you give us some inside skinny on the behind-the-scenes happenings
in those early days at MTV? Did you all (5 VJs) get along?
One of the best things about
MTV is that I got introduced to Mark Goodman,
J.J. Jackson, Nina Blackwood
and Alan Hunter. When I first met them, they were the coolest people I'd
ever met. And because we all worked together, shared a dressing room
together, they were forced to hang out with me. It's like you have older
brothers and sisters and your mom tells them, “you have to baby-sit
little Martha today, she has to come along with you all day.” I was so
ecstatic to be with all of them, and that's still true today!
What is your favorite artist
interview that you got to do as an MTV VJ?
Definitely one of my favorites was Paul
McCartney. I'm a die-hard Beatles fan and I got to interview Paul in the
the Capitol Records building. Linda was alive at the time and she had
just published her vegetarian cookbook. She autographed a copy for me
and it's still one of my most precious possessions.
What work are you most proud of?
I'd like to switch that question around
to “What's my overwhelming feeling about having been at MTV” and it is
that I feel so insanely lucky! I don't know how kismet worked
it out that my friend Buzz Brindle at WNBC radio in New York City said,
“Martha, you should be a VJ on MTV” and within 3 hours I had completed
my audition. 2 days later I was hired. I'm so grateful for that day
because I became part of something that could never ever be recreated.
The first time something innovative happens, it's always a little more
special, like the first Saturday Night Live crew. That excitement, the
newness, can never be done again. I am so blessed to have been there for
One of our readers would like for
you to talk about your role as Bobby Brady's wife, Tracy, in 1990s “The
Bradys.” We all grew up watching The Bradys, what was it like to be a
part of that?
When I first walked on to that Brady
set, and saw those stairs coming down, it was the weirdest, strangest
experience. It was like, “I know this house!” There I was
working with Florence Henderson, Robert Reed, Marsha, Marsha,
Marsha...it was crazy. I'd try to play it cool though. I would say, “Oh,
hey Chris Knight,” but inside I was thinking, “Oh my God, it's Peter
What music did you listen to in the
80s? Is there certain 80s music/artists that you have come to like more
now than you did then?
absolutely! I really appreciate the second era of synth pop a lot more
than I ever did. Pseudo Echo, Depeche Mode, Erasure, The Cure...they
were not so much on my radar in the 80s, but because of Sirius/XM,
they're way more so now.
We get a lot of feedback about today's MTV and it's move away from
music. How do you feel about the direction that MTV's taken?
Here's the thing: even if MTV played
videos 24/7 today, it would still be Lady Gaga, Ke$ha, Akon,
Travie McCoy featuring Bruno Mars, The Black Eyed Peas. Even if they
still had the exact same format...it still wouldn't be
I saw you talking once on MTV about
renting and re-renting "Fast
Times." Such an awesome movie. What's your favorite part?
I love every scene that Jeff Spicoli is
in. Sean Penn was such a genius. “I'm going to fly to London and jam
with the Stones.” hahaha! Unfortunately, now that I'm a mom, there are
some scenes that I completely cringe at. Bathroom? Need I say more???
You are clearly taking the same
thing as Ralph Macchio and Corey Feldman, fellow 80s icons that also
seem not to be aging. What is your secret?
What is my secret to not aging? A
Our Twitter and Facebook readers would love to learn more about what you
do to prepare for your shows on The 80s on 8. How much control
do you have over the content of your show? How do you choose what to
That's an excellent question! I do tons
of prep. I'll hit Google first thing. Today for example, I was searching
“Tuesday, May 3” to see what comes up. In the State of Washington
they're flying flags at half-mast because of a Marine that was killed in
Afghanistan, and I'll talk about that. I might find out about a
celebrity's birthday or whatever...I read all of the gossip columns so I
can talk about Kristin Cavallari getting engaged to a Chicago Bear...you
know, important stuff! I never ever in a million years cover politics
because [laughs] that's really not my thang. I follow all of my favs on
Twitter like Duran Duran, Boy George, George Michael. It's so cool
'cause basically as soon as George Michael tweets it, I can get the
piece on the air to 80's fans from coast to coast!
The songs on the channel are chosen by
the very talented programming department at Sirius/XM. My job is to
provide the witty interstitials!
We are fans of yours on Facebook.
How do you feel about social media and its ability to connect you with
I love social media! Every single day, I
thank God for it. I love being able to talk directly to this
rad community of 80s maniacs. We all get together, courtesy of
my Facebook page, a big club of 80s fanatics. We hang, chat, and
support each other. If one of us goes into the hospital, we're like, “Oh
my God, how are you doing?” It is the greatest thing, I love
Listen to a message from Martha!
Aside from The 80s on 8,
which we listen to all the time, what else are you up to these days?
The thing about me is, I'm a full time
mom. A lot of people do their job and that's their job and then they're
parents on the side....I'm a parent with a job on the side. So, mostly
what I'm up to these days is feeding dogs, taking care of kids, trying
to cook food that kids will actually eat, spending time on my Facebook
page, and launching all of my other wacky projects. My latest thing is
Martha Quinn's 50 Sit-up Club. 50 sit-ups a day. We've vowed to get a
one-pack by summer!
Thank you, Like Totally 80s, for keeping
the eternal flame of the rad years burning on your awesome Facebook page
Check out our interview with Nina
Check out our interview with Alan