Jul 122013

Remember when the M in MTV stood for “music?” (How’s that for a rhetorical old fart question?) I was never the biggest fan of MTV, even at its birth or any subsequent high-water marks, but you could stumble across something unexpected late at night—involving musical instruments rather than kitchen utensils or whatever gets called into play during the station’s numerous reality skankfests.


  7 Responses to “Musical Performances That Actually Took Place on MTV”

  1. BigSteve

    Wow 20+ minutes of David Thomas on basic cable. I also remember when Jules Shear started MTV Unplugged, it was an interesting mix of people. Then it got very rigid and corporate. Also what do they call that MTV series where artists talk about their songs? It was inspired by Ray Davies’ solo shows. That was occasionally good, depending on the artist, but again it became very structured.

  2. Unplugged is the series that started out good, right? Now, the rare times I’m flipping channels and see that it’s on, it’s someone so far from interesting and being spontaneous that it’s not funny.

  3. BigSteve

    It came to me. The Ray Davies-inspired series was Storytellers, which was actually on VH1.

  4. Did Magma ever appear on MTV?

    E. Pluribus Gergely

  5. The only thing I can remember not trying to miss on MTV was 120 Minutes — somebody did this obsessive web site about the show — make your own playists!

  6. misterioso

    Possibly I’d suffer through a Real World marathon before watching that clip in its entirety. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

  7. for as much glitz and BS over substance as MTV was accused of, I feel like I saw a TON of actual live music on MTV over the years. From late night concerts, to MTV award show performances, to RRHOF (they aired a few live) to Unplugged, to Storytellers (I think this was a VH1 thing though) that is more live music that any other time or place.

    Stand outs – Guns & Roses – Live from the Roxy – did more to break them than any video or power ballad.

    Paul McCartney Unplugged (REM, Nirvana, Clapton, Rod as well)

    Of course LIVE AID!

    Very early on, they showed a Frank Zappa concert. I also remember seeing a full length RUSH show late at night.

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