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Hey, kids! Remember back when America's record executives got together and figured out that by schlepping their stable of musically inept artists onto MTV without any electric instruments, and recording it, they could double their money on the studio-produced crap the same artists put out just months before? Well, I sure as hell do. So, for your entertainment, I am delighted to regurgitate...
The 5 Absolutely Worst Acts My Eyes Have Ever Had The Displeasure Of Witnessing
5) Nirvana on MTV's Unplugged, 1993.
The best disasters you see on television are the ones you catch flipping channels. After five minutes of this debacle, I was certain of two things: 1) Kurt Cobain is what Morrissey from the Smiths would've turned out like if he listened to KISS and Skynard as a child, and 2) junkies at the bus stop provide much more bang for my entertainment dollar than junkies on my MTV.


by John Spaeth
art by Wayno

Like their parents, graying Woodstock survivors now want pop music to be "nice" and relaxing, but don't have the balls to bust out the Mitch Miller. Hence "sensitive" Metal (Tesla), heart-breaking ballads from coked-out blues croakers/absentee dads (Eric Clapton) and two inexplicable acoustic tours from disco/classic rock perennial Rod Stewart (C'mon! Who really wants to hear "Hot Legs" redone for mandolin and flute?).

Unplugged Fun Facts

With "unplugged" tours, money allotted for amplifiers and auditorium electric bills can easily be used to pad a performer's drug fund (or Dreyfuss IRA).
4) Jonathan Richman live in San Francisco, CA, 1999.
I'd seen Jonathan Richman about three times before this most recent appearance-all acoustic sets. But this one rubbed me the wrong way.

3) Let's just say anything I've ever seen Jewel do.
Every time I see her big whining face (which I believe appears every half-hour on VH1) shrilling some poor excuse for a ballad, I ask God why she didn't make the career choice made by most Anchorage women who aren't horribly disfigured: shaking their money-maker for the overpaid, sex-hungry workers who populate the Alaskan fishing and oil industries.


2) Hippie chick singing Public Enemy songs at a vegan food co-op, Olympia, WA, 1991.
Some things are so ill-conceived that you must reject your own better judgement and just watch. The reason I stayed through this musical torture is the same reason why I watched two entire episodes of The Secret Diaries of Desmond Pfieffer.

1) L.L. Cool J on MTV's Unplugged, 1991.
Who says rap is a music form based on electronic beats and samples? Most music historians and hip-hop producers, I guess. MTV, in stark contrast, posed the rhetorical question, "Who needs street credibility anyway?"

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