Though it was not my original intention, it looks like I’m going to end up sharing every video that MTV aired on August 1st, 1981, its first broadcast day. Let’s keep things going with the 8th video that aired on that day, the video for Todd Rundgren’s Time Heals.
Though it was never as big a hit as some of his other songs, Time Heals was a very personal song for Rundgren. He wrote it while he was still dealing with two traumatic events. First, he and his girlfriend were the victims of a violent home invasion in August of 1980. Just a few months later, he learned that, before the assassination of John Lennon, Mark David Chapman made a trip to Rundgren’s home town of Woodstock, New York. Before fixating on Lennon, Chapman was reportedly obsessed with Rundgren and there was much speculation that Rundgren was Chapman’s original target. The song was about how Rundgren needed time to heal all of those recent traumas.
Rundgren produced this video with the music that he made from producing Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell. At the time, expensive music videos, like this one, were unusual. Though it may not longer seem so, this was considered to be very avant-garde for 1981. At that time, most music videos were just performance clips, often lifted from concert films or TV appearances. MTV would soon change that forever.
The First Videos Shown on MTV: