The VMAs represent everything I’ve come to hate about what currently passes for “pop” as well as the baldfaced commercialism of… well… everything – that this site so vigilantly follows. I don’t remember exactly when I stopped watching the VMAs but it was at least four or five years ago.

Posted by: Joshua on September 9, 2001 04:36 PM

Perhaps the problem with the VMAs is one that MTV has helped contribute to: In its 20 years it has taken music and turned it into “product” in a way that is unlike it had ever had been before. Consequently, it is all about the Next Thing. Churn, churn, churn. Those bands with any substance, talent or fundamental chops MUST give way within a short period of time so that the Next Thing can garner the disc sales. It is all about spiking up, always having something that, they hope, goes up higher and to hell with those that fall off the screen. So it ends up that there are a bunch of talentless mopes who get the face time—for now.

Posted by: gsv on September 11, 2001 08:33 AM

MTV won’t change. Its soulless programming of artists it chooses will continue unabated until a pop music movement comes along to either change or destroy it.

—Johnny Loftus, “Naughty Baby Did a No No,” 9/7/01

The comments and excerpt above were written in response to the feces-smeared yawner that was the MTV Video Music Awards 2001. At the time, we at Glorious Noise declared the Pop movement dead, and suggested that music’s cyclical nature would bring about something new in the year to come. And well, we were right – in a way. In 2002, MTV aped the more visceral sounds of MTV2, putting its considerable marketing, promotion, and revenue-generating juice behind the New Garage movement. Groups like The White Stripes and The Hives rose to unlikely levels of rock stardom, and even spawned imitators like The Vines, who are basically This Year’s Silverchair – representing New Garage’s inevitable second wave of blunt imitation. But if last night’s VMAs proved anything, it’s that nothing ever really changes at MTV. In 2002, a pop music movement did come along to change the one before. But instead of destruction, we’re left with assimilation. It may be a different sidewalk, but it’s the same old cracks.

The 2002 VMAs marked a rebuilding year for MTV. Over the hill veterans like Britney Spears and Puff Daddy were given plenty of playing time, but it was simply a nod to the championships they’d won the network in the past, and their no-trade clauses. Spears appeared in a laughable BD/SM latex getup that was only topped by crazy old Michael Jackson’s Voltron-as-world-dictator outfit. In a display befitting an aging, feeble King (of pop), Jackson received a standing ovation. Puff Daddy was given a chance to re-capture his old glory, but the moment was wasted on a confusing medley that featured a scampering Usher, Busta Rhymes crawling out of the mosh pit and Diddy’s usual atrocious rapping. Appearances by ancient mariners like Spears, Puff, and Jacko were offset by an entire stable of youthful hip-hop and R & B artists who were a jumble of oversized clothing, headbands, and posturing. Curiously absent from the festivities was the fiery rap gospel of Cee-Lo (another MTV2 success who MTV evidently decided not to invite) or the organic flow of Nappy Roots. Mainstream hip-hop is in definite need of a blood transfusion; hopefully by NEXT year’s VMAs, MTV will have changed the locks on Sean Combs and his ilk.

Though they’re no longer an item, you’d think that Britney would have had the decency to warn ex-beau Justin Timberlake about debuting new material on the VMAs. Spears’ 2001 impersonation of Lot’s wife, python in tow, was actually better than Timberlake’s soulless approximation of Michael Jackson’s best moves. Don’t call it a comeback, Justin. Maybe Lance has some room up in Space for your junk.

Despite all the lip service paid to The New Garage, MTV seemed to want to use the “genre” as a simple prop to occupy its time. The Hives appeared on stage in full Hives glory, performing a manic version of “Main Offender,” and were quickly ushered off stage in favor of The Vines. Pardon me, but wasn’t it Pelle Almqvist and the boys that all the pretty people were anxious to see before the show began? In a classic MTV gaffe, the Hives were pigeonholed, then codified, then made to move out in favor of something shittier. Doesn’t matter; Pelle was still able to rasp one of his classic one-liners on the outro. MTV knew it had to make stars out of The Strokes, Jack and Meg White, and The Hives in 2002 if it wanted to see a profit. And while it’s kind of disappointing to see The White Stripes’ gritty rock duality bandied about on national TV, it’s also sublime in the inexplicable paradoxes it creates. Porn star doppelgangers Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen presenting a VMA to The White Stripes? Jack couldn’t resist thanking the Olsen Twins with a “Where the fuck am I?” gleam in his eye.

In the culmination of what passes for hip-hop feuds these days, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog egged on the strange Moby vs. Eminem slapfight that Em began with his infamous “You’re old, nobody listens to Techno” line. Tell me, do you still retain street cred if you challenge a puppet to a fistfight while your posse holds you back? Em continued the altercation into his next acceptance speech, calling out Moby from the stage. “Keep booing, little girl. I will hit a man with glasses.” Yes Marshall, but will you pistol whip a puppet?

I watched the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards with my pal Phil Wise. But we both wished we were watching it at Slash’s pad, when at the end of the 3-hour bore Jimmy Fallon creamed his designer jeans (like anyone raised in the 80s should) announcing Guns n’ Roses. But what appeared out of the smoke was not the reunification of one of America’s truest rock and roll bands; instead, Axl Rose trotted out a high school talent show appropriation of his glorious past, sans any of the people who actually made G n’ R great. Off-key, out of sync, and truly pitiful, a slightly worse-for-wear Rose hopped about the stage during an unfortunate medley of “Welcome to the Jungle,” a new song that sounded like what Tommy Lee shit out last night, and the penultimate kick in the teeth to his legacy, a lurching, bloated version of “Paradise City.” We can only hope that Slash, Izzy, and Duff were laughing their asses off over at Slash’s house, confident that their own legacy was made all the more bulletproof by Axl’s buffoonery. (Side note to Wes Borland: Now everyone knows that you stole Buckethead’s gimmick for your stint in Limp Bizkit.)

Roll the credits, ’cause it’s over. But the VMAs will be back next year, three times as boring as this year. Who will be the talk of the town in 2003? Whoever it is, make damn sure that MTV washes its hands and seals its fate. Because in a year where the network and the music industry had a slight chance to bring something new to the table, they opted for wholesale assimilation.

Someday never comes.


(Read Johnny’s review of the 2001 VMA’s—Ed.)

49 thoughts on “DRUNKER THAN PINK”

  1. Can I suggest that next year you guys just ignore this shit completely? I wholeheartedly agree with everything you wrote, but I think we’ve all been bitching about the VMA’s for long enough now. If you’re waiting for MTV to do something new, exciting and appealing, especially if you’re over 30, you’re in for a long fucking wait. Their target audience can’t get into the venues the Hives are packing without breaking the law. I can’t remember the last year that I watched the VMA’s. There’s just nothing there for me.

    It sucks. It’s over. Let’s move one.

  2. It’s not that we want anything to change at MTV. We have no delusions of MTV ever being cool. We watch the show and report on it. Johnny covered last year’s show, he covered this year’s show and he’ll cover next year’s show. It’s what we do here.

  3. I noticed the tv ads for the VMA, but nothing made me want to see it until I noticed The Hives were scheduled to perform. But even that couldn’t bring me to watch it – why subject myself to all that crap just for 5 minutes of something cool? I already knew the rest of the show would be utter regurgitated bile (like it always is). But when I saw the Olsen Twins mentioned along with Eminem, though, I figured they weren’t even trying to pretend anymore. The VMA is for the weak and the stupid, or those too young to know any better.

  4. What I found astonishing was that when the credits were run for those who were to appear, Carson Daly’s name was there. . .the level of one-hand-washing-the-other-while-patting-oneself-on-one’s-back-while-leveraging-self-celebrity-for-purposes-of-increasing-one’s-overall-revenue-possibilities-through-cross-breeding left me creating a multifunctional word that doesn’t do justice to the injustice that this music-powered money machine is performing.

  5. Mac, that is one helluva bit of alliteration. You just blew the VMA’s out of the water.

    I understand you’ve kind of got to cover this crap. I guess mostly I feel sorry for you. Nobody is making me watch it, thank god. Of course, if my son knew Em was on it, I’d be hosed.

  6. I think you terribly misstate the end of the show. Everything besides Sheryl Crow and the Boss were bad until that point (and lip-synched), but what a relief to see a band not lip-synching-yes Axl’s voice was tired from back to back nights in London, and a flight into New York–not to mention the awful system MTV uses–but to call Tommy Stinson (Replacements), Robin Finck (NIN), Brain (Primus), Richard Fortus (Psychadelic Furs), and Buckethead (Bill Laswell, Bootsy Collins, P-funk, Primus), and Dizzy Reed “high-school” talent is a joke and fucks your creditability. They were clearly the high=light of the show and the masses agree. I think a correction should be made to this story. Sorry to break the news to you, but your site sucks and your writing is pitiful. If you need tips make sure to e-mail, and your site (once word get’s out) will clearly be bombarded. Again–get a life and enjoy your negativity–hope you feel better after ripping others–asshole.

  7. I must say that your review is a piece of shit, just like you are asshole, the only good thing about the VMA’s was No Doubt winnig the 2 awards and of course the new Guns N’ Roses, im glad the old members are gone, this new band kicks some major ass, and Axl was better than ever that night, so go and fuck your self retarded fag…..

  8. That whole gnr review is complete bullshit. It’s sad to hear about how terrible everything is from people like you with no self esteem or friends. Virgins in their 30’s or 40’s or whatever you are make the world a terrible place. When Guns n Roses are on top of the world again, are you going to do a 180 degree turn and start kissing his ass, or are you going to just keep complaining that the new music is somehow lame when everything else is horrible hiphop or nsync shit. Just remember that you are lucky to see Guns n’ Roses back. Truly a defining moment in rock history. That’s all

  9. who the fuck wants to read you bitching about everything and everyone?

    you’re an idiot. that is all. Axl Rose will once again rule the music world, you like it or not.

  10. No need for insults like the last–but you cannot disagree–it was nice to see a little RnR spectacle instead of the usual rap and lip-syncing dance band spectacle. The band sounded very good–Axl was nervous and did not sound good–in fact never has on MTV–hasn’t stopped him from selling over 80 million albums worldwid.

    Here is a review from the recent shows–the voice is usually right on–

    Here’s a link to a review:


  11. Loftus has no reason to put guns n roses down. Axl’s voice was different, not bad. It just doesn’t sound exaclty like it did 15 years ago man. You really don’t see the big picture. Guns n fucking Roses are back dude. I’m sorry you obviously have major problems in your personal life. Don’t get me wrong, I really don’t like all the shit on mtv, but when guns n roses show up with an allstar cast it’s time to wake up the sound of serious music. The new song madagascar was incredible. Definately no something tommy lee shit out. By the way, why don’t you let us hear some music you made recently. If you can make any i’m sure its something that evolved from tommy lee’s shit



  13. Well i came here thru a link i found out at some gn’r forum…anyways ur a fucking loser, ur life sucks and right now ur wife is suckin my dick …gn’r is back and ur better get on ur knees and pray cuz ur sorry ass carrer is going down the toilet bastard! BZfukkinLIES

  14. Yea that review was horrible of GNR. Just another fuckin critic who is a complete ass hole! You fucker just wait until GNR is back on top staring down on your punk ass!


  15. Hey mate, your site has some interesting stuff on it, no doubt about that….but I was shocked to see what you wrote about comparing gnr to high school talent. They sounded great. I must agree that axl did have a few issues with his voice, but that could have been due to a million reasons and you shouldnt have shot him down in flames for that.

    I think you need to rethink your review.

  16. You are either deaf or jealous, you unfulfilled, pitiful whoever!When Axl Rose stepped on stage the other night, it only took Him a few seconds to show you that He is the most stunning, powerful and brilliant rock singer in the world. The man has talent and charisma enough to endow ten wannabe musicians with it. I’m more than sure you would be the first to stand in the line. The crown and the throne are His again. In fact, they have never been lost for noone else could have ever had any claim to them.The expression in His Voice speaks of a thousand emotions, passionate and true. And the truth is we need Axl Rose!

  17. dude you’r a asshole how dare you say that to the man hwo show the world what real rock and roll is, gnr is and always be the greatest band in the world as long as AXL ROSE is in it.

    so go fuck your self asshole or better your own MOME

  18. To call your article “psuedo intellectual” would be a truly generous assessment. For one, the new Guns N Roses is a who’s who of solid musicans whose credits speak for themselves (see the Informer’s above post). Secondly, Axl’s voice was not off key. Not only was he on key, but he was clearer than 10 years ago, if you were really listening then to know the old GNR’s sound and legacy. Third, ease up on the negativity a little. I’m sure you could pass for a fine writer if you were’nt so busy trying to pass yourself off as a brilliant one. Don’t try so damn hard. Everyone’s got they’re limitations.

  19. Hey,

    Axl had some monitor problems–but thank God a band that did not lip sync is back, a little spectacle is good for rock–cool site btw, just lay off those with balls enough to actually play live knowing that MTV has the worst sound system in history!!! Oh yeah, Slash is really great (have you heard that tird album called Snakepit)–sealed his fate about 6 years ago once Axl realized that Slash could only write 1980’s riffs that sounded as fresh as a dead skunk on the side of the road.

  20. Is this the only way you can attract attention? By spitting on a best rock out there today? Is that the best you can do? I found your hatred-filled “review” about Guns N’ Roses laughable (note: THAT shouldn’t be considered a review; not even an R). I strongly recommend you to find professional help. You’d be a delight to a shrink.

    Yeah, and take a music lesson or two. Or get a fresh new pair of ears.

    – Chandler

  21. Guns N’Roses had to be the biggest thing i’v seen on mtv since they play on the ’92 VMA’s. Welcome To The Jungle was better now then when the old band could play it. The new song MADAGASCAR is one of there greatest songs and i can’t wait to hear the new album. Now i will say Paradise City could of been better. The new band has played that song alot better. But all in all its was great and you don’t know SHIT FUCK FACE!…Its A Whole New Jungle So Wake Up Time To DIEEEEEEE!!!

  22. Axl’s 30 second wail at the beginning of


    is one of the greatest In Your Face Rock of all Time

  23. It’s a sad day when the act that steals the show at the MTV music awards is criticised this way. They should be revered for what they did, bringing people to their feet with classic songs, played to perfection and sung with feeling. I doubt the pop-trash and white-rap acts that polluted the rest of the night will have that effect 15 years from now. GnR are one of the best bands in the world. I don’t care if Slash isn’t there. The band sounds great without him.

  24. By the looks of it, perhaps GNR should get Andrew WK to open for them when they come back from China. At least their fans would get along…

  25. Wow, unreal. You GnR turds are so ridiculous. Obviously, johnny recognizes the greatness and far-reaching influence of GnR. However, you must be some kind of retard to think that performance was anything but the unofficial burial of Axl Rose. Pretty much everyone I know that watched the VMAs, actually felt bad for Axl.

    It may have been a chance for him to resurrect something great, and he blew it. I could hardly watch. If you think GnR is going to be “back on top” anytime soon, you have another thing coming.

    And PS, the new band resembles a rob zombie hodge podge of third rate performers.

    Buckethead, nuff said.

  26. One other thing to add is that the other former members walked away from GN’R, so I doubt they would all be gathering at Slash’s house to laugh at Axl or the new GN’R. There are countless interviews that Slash has stated that he still has a great deal of respect for Axl (something this reporter obviously lacks) and wishes him the best. Sure Axl sounded a bit off in some parts, but ‘Madagascar’ sounded brilliant, it’s up there with classics like ‘Estranged’. Truly amazing stuff, from a truly amazing band. Welcome back Axl, now how about that new album???

  27. please please PLEASE post the addy for the guns n roses forum that all of these meatheads are coming from. I haven’t laughed this hard in a month. I mean you think these metal loving hessians don’t exist anymore or have at least moved on to another band but they haven’t. They’re still here and they finally figured out how that “internet thingy” works. Two words of advice for GnR fans…MOVE ON!!!…Hey I hear that Skynyrd’s closing the VMA’S next year so pass it on…

  28. “Truly a defining moment in rock history”

    “the performance is the greatest thing I have ever seen on television”

    “classics like Estranged”

    I am an old school GNR fan from back in the day, with the ticket stub to prove it. But I sold my CDs of everything they did after Appetite long ago. You people are fucking nuts.

  29. Liked your review of the VMA’s. I’ve grown up with MTV and came of age during the hair band days. I think they’re suffering from a real identity crisis and need to stop playing both ends against each other. Remember how long it took them to recognize hip hop at the first VMA’s. Now they’ve placed so much stock in Brittney’s crowd they have to pay off causing moments of lunacy (Jacko really thought he was getting an Artist of the Millenium Award).

    I was lucky enough to catch G’n’R in LA in 1992, and refuse to call any Axl project without Slash and Duff, guns n roses. The musicians are great (huge brain fan during primus days) but without Duff’s punk and Slash’s blues influences it aint the same.

    If Kurt was still here would we be going through all this? Or for that matter John Lennon?

  30. Whoa. I can’t wait to read the barbarian horde’s commentary on Johnny’s 2012 VMA review after Britney makes her triumphant return to the stage.

  31. You do know that most these post were all the same person, right? It’s just some burnout rambling….

    That wig on Axl was truly inspired by that last scene in “Joe Dirt” when he gets his more “updated” hairdo — all Spade needed was that bandana to hold it on

  32. hey i loved the guns n’ roses concert it was the best they were great so stp puttin it down!

    and robin is a hottie!

  33. Damn… I fall out of the loop for a couple weeks and I miss the best mudslinging the site has seen since the original Andrew WK brawl. I wish I had seen the GnR performance just to have a frame of reference for the above ‘debate.’

  34. I was away awhile, too. Yay…. Johnny Anus is back! With another great article.

    The thing that most disturbed me about the MVA’s was that shitty camera effect they used. I felt like I was watching “The Last Waltz” or something.

    That, and the fact that they ran credits over GnR’s final song (which they wisely corrected in the rebroadcasts).

    (I like the Vines too, Calder.)

  35. The Vines and The Hives could have ruined the image of live bands all over the world.

    Luckily Axl saved them.

    His voice sounds like he needs work. I saw an interview where he said the first run down the stage almost knocked the wind out of him.

    That is why he struggled.

    I am 26 and was first learning about girls and partying when the first took off.

    To think that they are all done you are insane. Pink Floyd still has an album in the catalog top ten from 1976, and Kiss who has always sucked can sell out a 4 month tour in a minute.

    Fans are fans and GNR never fell off, they stopped making music. I am probably not their biggest fan but your review is ridiculous.

  36. your all retarded. So is Buckethead. GNR aint GNR

    without the old members. you people who say it was the best thing you ever saw when guns n roses

    performed at the vma’s are teeny boppers who listen to fuckin horrible pop and finnally heard somethin semi-good. Axl’s the shit. the rest of the band is not. Slash and the old members aint stuck in the 80s. there just not doing industrial rock and electric shit. there doing rock n roll,

    and they didnt sell out like everyone else. Axl needs to wake up, fire buckethead, and bring Slash

    n the rest of the old band back.

  37. That show was a travesty. Poor, poor Tommy Stinson. What have you gotten yourself into? Maybe a toaster was dropped on his head or something, and he doesn’t remember who he is… Come on, man, you’re one of the greatest bassists in the history of rock! Are you really that hard up for cash that you’re gonna spend time kissing the ass of AXL ROSE!?!?

    Just another sign of the Apocalypse




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