Memorable Rock and Roll Moments from the VMAs

VMAs

Now that the VMAs have turned into the place to be seen wearing the latest whatever, and now that hip hop and rap rule their very limited video broadcasting, here’s a look back at the most memorable rock and roll moments from a show that got its start playing videos… and nothing but videos.

1989
At the height of Guns and Roses’ career, Axl Rose joined Tom Petty for an interesting pairing of vocals on Petty’s hit “Free Fallin.”

1992
Grunge was ruling the rock and roll airwaves and the kings of the scene, Nirvana, ran through their hit “Lithium.” At the end of the performance, bass player Kris Novoselic threw his bass into the air and misjudged the catch. The bass caught him square in the face and he left the stage bloodied and dazed.

1993
Pearl Jam had taken the grunge crown from Nirvana and brought out Neil Young to help them rock through “Animal” and “Rocking In The Free World.”

1995
Courtney Love made one of her first major televised performances since the death of her husband Kurt Cobain. She and band Hole performed her single “Violet” before destroying their instruments on stage.

1997
Marilyn Manson was in full effect doing “Beautiful People.” After the electrifying performance, host Chris Rock is heard yelling “Run to church right now or you are going to hell!”

1999
Kid Rock proved his rock and roll mettle when he stood in toe to toe with Aerosmith vocalist Stephen Tyler and rap super group Run DMC for “Walk This Way.” This was one of the VMAs most electrifying performances as Rock and Tyler tossed mics back and forth to each other, never missing a beat, and nailing the classic rock/rap duet.

2000
In a classic off stage moment, Rage Against The Machine bass player Tim Commerford climbed on top of some stage scaffolding during the broadcast and refused to come down. Allegedly, there was something he was protesting but it was never quite revealed what the stunt was all about.

2002
Axl Rose, with his new version of Guns and Roses, closed the show with a man playing guitar with a KFC Bucket on his head. Yes, that’s Buckethead shredding it up on “Welcome To The Jungle.” Bruce Springsteen’s pre-show heartfelt rendition of the “Rising” outside in the rain gave the night a good rock and roll kick start.

2005
The Killers lit it up after winning the Best New Artist Award and jammed through their hit “Mr. Brightside.”

2009
Green Day launched into “East Jesus Nowhere” and infused the show with its only rock and roll performance.

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