The Ten Biggest Dallas-Related MTV Moments

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As you've no doubt figured out by now, MTV turned 30 years old today. Indeed, that's a formidable amount of time -- enough, for sure, for almost any entity to leave a mark.

And, for sure, MTV has made plenty of marks. But beyond its groundbreaking debut as a music-centric cable station and past, even, its establishment as a standard-bearer in the world of reality television, the station's also had a strong effect on Dallas. A number of local artists got their big national break when MTV decided to play their music videos. On the other hand, MTV also helped run a few Dallas-bred acts into the ground. Either way: There's no denying the fact that MTV's 30-year run hasn't gone unnoticed here in North Texas.

So, on that note, we decided to slog through the station's entire 30-year history to look back in the biggest Dallas-related happenings in MTV history. Check out our picks for the best after the jump.

10. Play-n-Skillz on MTV's Made. As producers, brothers and two of the many thorns in Lil Wayne's side, Play-n-Skillz have helped put Dallas on the hip-hop map. And this year, they were featured on an episode of Made, a makeover show that turns ambitious teens into what they want to be "made" into -- i.e. singers, athletes, etc. For their episode as coaches, Play-n-Skillz were given the task of turning two teen girls into marketable pop singers, which, understandably, kind of drove them up the wall. The episode aired last month, which shows that, no matter how relevant MTV is in the world of music, they're still paying attention to us here in Big D.


9. Meat Loaf, "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)." Meat Loaf was born in Houston, but he grew up in Dallas and attended UNT. The above head-scratcher of a video for his song "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" helped launch Meat's 1992 comeback. It featured Meat as a Phantom of the Opera-type character. Not since Bonnie Tyler and "Total Eclipse of the Heart" has a music video been so epically, cheesily theatrical.


8. Pearl Jam Unplugged. This was the performance that helped break Pearl Jam into the mainstream, while similarly contributing to the national rise of the Seattle grunge sound. So, you ask, why are these guys on this Dallas-intensive list? Well, because they've got some serious Dallas ties, courtesy of former drummer Dave Abbruzzese, who joined right after they finished recording their legendary album Ten. Before joining Pearl Jam, Abbruzzese was a Deep Ellum mainstay; he grew up in Mesquite, and played with legendary local hard rockers Course of Empire as well as his own band, Dr. Tongue. He drummed with Pearl Jam throughout their heyday, and left after Vitalogy, at which point he returned to Dallas, where he lives to this day.


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23 comments
Jason
Jason

No mention of Toadies or Tripping Daisy?

I seem to recall their videos in pretty heavy rotation on 120 minutes or Alternative Nation!

DAC
DAC

Edie Brickell & New Bohemians' "What I Am"?

Fletch
Fletch

I think the Dallas link to Pearl Jam is pretty iffy.  I agree with others about the Toadies and ZZ Top...at least before Pearl Jam.

Liles
Liles

Dude. Hagfish on "120 Minutes". Toadies Possum Kingdom on in heavy rotation. The Tabitha Soren special on the Plano heroin epidemic. The DOC on "Yo! MTV Raps". Erykah Badu "On and On". MC 900 Jesus on "Beavis and Butthead" was probably tops, though. 

ChrisU
ChrisU

Mike Judge played bass for Dallas great Anson Funderburgh. also, Stevie Ray Vaughn's Unplugged right? that great 12 string Life by the Drop, c'mon!

GSyn
GSyn

Don't be fooled.  Mike Judge can not deny his Dallasness.  His professional bio seems skewed...is it to avoid similarities between persons living and dead?  I don't know, but when he was making Frog Baseball for Spike and Mike's Twisted Animation Festival, (which he got some help from over at Allied Film and Lab, over at Las Colinas) he was living in lower Greenville Avenue area.  I don't see that on his bio anywhere tho...hmmmm

GBC
GBC

How could you leave out ZZ Top??  Dusty Hill and Frank Beard grew up in Dallas (2/3 of ZZ) and played all over Big D in the American Blues and before that in the 60's with the Warlocks.  ZZ was a mega top group in the early days of MTV and won more than one award!  So much for Pantera they were so much bigger than them on MTV it's not even funny.

eb
eb

Mike Judge is from Albuquerque.

Laura
Laura

oops, sorry - typo.

ChrisU
ChrisU

oops a revisit shows no 'life by the drop' ....but still. one of the first Unplugged performances.

JLR
JLR

zz top loves to claim they are a houston band.  It's the classic "from dallas, but not from dallas" band thing to do 

Laura
Laura

I put the Pearl Jam thing in because of its enormous effect on music and pop culture in general.  The Toadies were great, but Pearl Jam Unplugged was a huge game-changer for MTV.  As much as we in Dallas love to salivate over the Toadies, they really haven't had much of an impact beyond this city.

MattL1
MattL1

This article says nothing about LHHS.

Guest
Guest

Where does that article say that he didn't graduate from Lake Highlands?

Laura
Laura

One of the first, but not one of the most impactful.  Most people remember "Unplugged" for Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Clapton, and a couple others.  Perhaps this is unjust, but pop culture is rarely fair when it comes to good musicians.

GBC
GBC

Dusty and Frank were born, raised and played HERE for a decade untill they joined up with Billy Gibbons to form zz top.  I have never heard them say they are a "houston" group, they claim to be a Texas group in both their songs about Texas and interviews.  The Houston connection is simply because Billy was born their and they use Houston as a sort of Hdq. for the band.  Another thing the article says that Don Henley is the only remotely " Dallas-based artist to win an MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year, which it did in 1985, the second year of the VMAs' existence".  Dude, ZZ won Video of the Year for a group in 1983!  Not very well researched.

Dudebro
Dudebro

Yeah, you're right. The article doesn't support my claim, but it does say the characters were based upon his experiences in Albuquerque.  No mention of LH.

GBC
GBC

Well, right now they don't even have a site, it is under construction.  Beyond that, how can they include Pearl Jam?  Don't they claim to be a Seattle band?  When did they ever  give a "heads up" to Dallas or Texas for that matter.  They have a bass player that has some disputed connection to Dallas, 2/3 of ZZ is from Dallas!  In addition, do you remember the verse from their biggest song ever; "I've been up I've been down, DALLAS Texas, Hollywood, I say lord take me downtown I'm just looking for some Tush"  Sung, by the way, by Dusty Hill from Dallas, Texas!

Laura
Laura

Everything on every ZZ Top site says "Houston".  If they want to disown us, then we shall in return disown them.

Laura
Laura

I know a guy who went to high school (in Dallas) with Mike Judge.  He might be originally from Albuquerque, but seriously: B&B has Dallas written all over it.  When I moved here seven years ago, I suddenly understood why B&B is what it is.

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