The MTV Video Music Awards are this weekend. The only reason why I know that is because I’ve been wanting to write this column and looked up when the awards ceremony would be this year so I could post it beforehand.
That’s the extent of my knowledge of MTV and today’s music scene. I can’t remember the last time I actually tuned in to watch.
It’s easy to understand how someone like me could be so apathetic. MTV hasn’t played videos in years and doesn’t even stand for “Music Television” anymore, it’s fair to ask whether the Video Music Awards have outlived their usefulness.
It’s also a reminder of what the show used to mean. Edgier and hipper than the Grammys, the VMAs used to be mandatory viewing for anyone who liked music. Additionally, so many great, memorable and controversial moments happened on the show that you felt like you missed out if you didn’t experience it as it aired. Madonna writhing around on stage in a wedding dress. Prince giving us “Under the Full Moon” the sequel to Under the Cherry Moon that we didn’t know existed. Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth burying the hatchet — in each other. Kanye being Kanye. The list goes on and on.
And, of course, there have been plenty of less-than-stellar moments. Some have even managed to kill off an artist’s or band’s careers. Here are some of the biggest ones:(more…)