Friday, March 18, 2011

120 Minutes later

Obviously, being in the UK our flavour of 120 Minutes was Paul King presenting Chapterhouse videos until someone made it stop - two hours of sitting on a sofa in a shared house saying "do you reckon he ever got the paint off those shoes?" (Actually, nobody had MTV in those days, and the programmes circulated on fuzzy VHS tapes, sourced from richer friends' parents' homes.)

In America, where the alternative music pickings in the mainstream were a bit thinner, 120 Minutes was treated with a bit more respect. But surely it was of its time? Bringing it back now feels a bit like that horrible mid-70s revival of Ready Steady Go.

Bob Mould - while happily acknowledging that the original was pivotal - isn't exactly welcoming it back with open arms:

“The show really invested in careers,” notes Mould. “The 1990s may have been the last time you see that investment. 120 Minutes elevated new artists and framed them as career musicians. But even now, my attention span is shorter. It’s a whole different game.”
The original 120 Minutes could coast quite a bit - with very few places you could see, say, Husker Du, it was simply enough to stick them on the telly. That won't work any more, because Mould and Hart dance to my demand if I type in that little box up there to the right of the screen. MTV2 going to need something unique, and surprising. For all those 120 Minutes. And hope the kids want their grandad's alternative.


Francis said...

My girlfriend’s parents had Sky and I used to make a point to try and be round there when it was on. Great memories and a fantastic program but, if they were going to bring back a 90’s indie show that would never work in the present day then I vote for Snub TV

Becky said...

I see your point and I agree that it's going to take more than just bringing back the old show to make it relevant, but... but... MATT PINFIELD. I revered that dude. He was my gold standard for music geekiness. And anything that gets him back on tv is all right with me.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

Ooh, yes - a Snub TV revival would be a totally different thing

I don't understand the Pinfield thing - he reminds of this guy:

Becky said...

Dude, no. Looks aside, Matt Pinfield is a music geek to the core. He knew so much about every band that came on 120 Minutes and it all came across as total love of the music.

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

I might be being very unfair to him - especially since I've never actually seen him present anything.

But I bet he doesn't have a catchphrase as smart as 'You know what you've done. I know what you've done. And, pretty soon... trading standards will know what you've done'.

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