37 years ago today, MTV first started to broadcast. Over the course of the day, the station aired 116 music videos.
Everyone knows that the first video to ever be shown on MTV was Video Killed The Radio Star by The Buggles. But did you know that the 36th video aired was Blotto’s I Wanna Be A Lifeguard?.
Who were Blotto? A new wave band from Albany, New York, they had a strong cult following among college students in the late 70s and early 80s. Much like the Ramones, all the band members used pseudonyms and took Blotto as their last name. Among the members were: Bowtie Blotto, Broadway Blotto, Cheese Blotto, Lee Harvey Blotto, Sergeant Blotto, Blanche Blotto, and Chevrolet Blotto.
I Wanna Be A Lifeguard was probably their best known song, as it was adopted as an anthem by the Jones Beach lifeguards. Before they made their MTV debut, Blotto and I Wanna Be A Lifeguard were championed by Dr. Demento and, like all good, quirky New York bands, they appeared on both The Joe Franklin Show and the Uncle Floyd Show. Today, it’s clear to see that Blotto were ahead of their time. The band’s mix of humor and music are tailor-made for the age of YouTube and social media.
As for the video, it was filmed by video production students at SUNY Albany and it feels like a cross between two quintessentially 90s shows. Starting in a shoe store and ending on the beach, I Wanna Be A Lifeguard is Married With Children meets Baywatch. Since the video came out ten years before either one of those shows premiered, I Wanna Be A Lifeguard was as ahead of its time as the band that performed it.