Dave Kendall brings MTV’s 120 Minutes to 1st Wave on heels of show’s 30th anniversary

From 1986 until 2000 (with other iterations in more recent years), MTV’s 120 Minutes exposed viewers across the country to new, groundbreaking music that otherwise wouldn’t have been found on the airwaves. It is at least partially to thank for bringing grunge into the mainstream and for giving artists from Lou Reed, The Hoodoo Gurus, and Platinum Blonde to Buckcherry, Crazytown and Incubus a platform to be discovered well before the days of Internet streaming.

On the heels of the show’s 30th anniversary, its creator and former host Dave Kendall is taking over SiriusXM’s 1st Wave (Ch. 33), where he’ll reminisce about the show’s early years, the artists behind the music and will play those revolutionary songs that we first heard on 120 Minutes.

Kendall has recreated the look and feel of the original 120 Minutes for 1st Wave, which you can watch in video form, complete with his new on-camera VJ segments, the original music videos and classic interview snippets, right here:

Ahead of his on-air special, Kendall has shared his six most memorable moments from the show. Relive the best of alt-rock’s past below, then tune into 1st Wave for his in-depth special on Friday 4/22 at 9 pm ET and again Saturday 4/23 at 9 am and 4 pm ET; Sunday at 1 pm ET and On Demand on the SiriusXM app and webplayer.


Reading Festival – Sonic Youth, Mudhoney, Courtney Love

Backstage at Britain’s Reading Festival back in 1991 was a melting pot of familiar faces and legends-to-be. Nirvana, Iggy Pop, James, The Sisters of Mercy, De La Soul and many more were rekindling friendships or grudges, launching new ones and dining on famously awful British food.  An interview with Sonic Youth became a free-for-all, with Courtney Love making her MTV debut on camera.

Iggy Pop – David Bowie

Many of our interviews delved beyond the usual superficial questions. In this episode, Iggy Pop talked about the emotions behind his music, and how David Bowie saved his life as well as his career.

Christmas with Trent Reznor and the Ramones

One of the funniest – and definitely cheesiest – episodes of 120 Minutes was our 1989 Christmas party with The Ramones, They Might Be Giants and Nine Inch Nails all bearing gifts. Joey Ramone could barely contain his excitement as he pulled mothballs and a Gothic Pez dispenser out of his Christmas stocking, while the rather serious interview with Trent Reznor in this clip was rendered absurd by my Santa hat and the fake snow swirling in the background. 

Rotten – Tijuana

Johnny Rotten was a notoriously difficult guy to interview, and he delighted mocking and antagonizing us poor MTV VJs. He could also be quite funny, as this shopping trip in Tijuana, Mexico illustrates.

Mojo Nixon – Debbie GIbson

Mojo Nixon was a raucous and hilarious guest, and if you hear him on Outlaw Country you’ll know he hasn’t turned down the volume. On this visit to the MTV studios, he didn’t perform his touching tribute Stuffin’ Martha’s Muffin, but instead tackled another celebrity in this rendition of Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two-Headed Love Child.

The Cure

On 120 Minutes we generally tried to strike a balance between alternative music’s bigger names and the underground artists that weren’t getting exposure. But in this episode, we devoted the entire show to an in-depth investigation of The Cure.

For a free 30-day trial, check out siriusxm.com/freetrial.

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