A television program
formerly on the Music Television
) cable network
in the United States
The show featured alternative music
from non-mainstream artists. In MTV's case, "alternative" would be music that would not typically be seen on the network at any other time of the day (see teeny-boppers
, boy band
). 120 Minutes premiered on MTV in 1986
, and was the longest running program on the network, lasting until September of 2000. It aired Sunday
nights (Monday mornings) at midnight
on the east coast
and was one of the last bastions of actual music on the network. For a while, the program moved to MTV2 before being cancelled there as well.
Music videos made up the majority of the program's on-air time. Interviews with artists connected the commercials with the videos. The remainder of the air-time focused on music trivia.
Guitar-based rock videos dominated the program. The genres on the show ranged from new and unknown hard rock acts to the occasional electronica. Mainstream acts did appear, but only if their music consistently had an alternative edge to it.
Many artists had their first nation-wide exposure on the show (see They Might Be Giants, Radiohead, Oasis, Weezer, Alanis Morissette, Green Day, Blur). Countless numbers of artists appeared on the show months and years before they attained popular attention.
A compact disc of live performances from the program was released in 1998.
Hosts of the Past:
Part of the show's charm came from its hosts. These are the men who interviewed many a artist, quizzed us with arcane bits of music trivia, and introduced some of the most memorable and powerful music videos we've ever seen:
1986 Mar - 1990: J.J. Jackson
1990 - 1993: Dave Kendall
1993 - 1994 Mar Lewis Largent
1995 Oct - 1999 Jan Matt Pinfield
1999 Sept - 1999 Dec Dave Holmes
2000 Jan - 2000 Sept Chris Booker
There are gaps in the dates here. Many, many musicians substitute hosted over the years--U2, Victoria Williams, Peter Buck of R.E.M., Primal Scream, Joey Ramone--the list is huge. All of them made the show very diverse and quite interesting to watch.