RIP Mike Bezzeg, Canada’s first VJ

In 1979, a new TV showed up on Calgary-area cable systems called FM Moving Pictures. The unpaid host was Mike Bezzeg who, for the next five or so years, introduced music clips that we’d soon be calling music videos. Occasionally, artists would drop in for an interview.

As far as anyone can tell, this made Mike Canada’s first VJ.

Mike’s audience was small but they paid attention to the kind of music that appeared on the show. Shows like FM Moving Pictures began to show up on cable access across the country and as occasional after-school or late-night programming. Then MTV arrived in 1981 and everything exploded.

MuchMuch appeared in 1984, which is the same year Mike decided to fold his tent. Last year, he launched a YouTube series featuring more interviews.

Mike died this week as a result of the coronavirus, but not how you might think. He was in a car accident after dropping off food to a friend in quarantine. He died in hospital at the age of 66.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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