The Drifters
Credit: L. Busacca/WireImage for EMI Music Publishing

An MTV classic is at last being let out of the vault. 120 Minutes, the long-running alternative-music series that spotlighted indie artists and bands not typically featured on the MTV lineup, is set to re-launch Sunday on MTV2 at 1:00am ET, with that chrome-domed font of encyclopedic musical knowledge, Matt Pinfield, back as host.

Fans who’ve never forgiven MTV for abandoning music in favor of reality shows about the attention-seeking, fame-whoring, and alcohol-guzzling, were particular dismayed when Minutes was cancelled in 2003 after a 17-year run. But they can now take heart: the premiere lineup tonight includes Sleigh Bells, the Black Angels, and Das Racist. And future guests set to join Pinfield on the 120 Minutes set at the Lower East Side’s Arlene’s Grocery include Dave Grohl, Lupe Fiasco, Kings of Leon, and PJ Harvey.

To commemorate the launch of the new show, we asked Matt Pinfield to take a ‘90s nostalgia trip and give us his favorite moments from the old 120 Minutes, a list that includes early signs of friction in Oasis, a lyrical tribute from Perry Farrell, and, of course, a drunken Jon Spencer meltdown. Take a look at Pinfield’s favorite memories after the break:

Depeche Mode (March 7, 1993)

“When I first hosted the show, I was filling-in in 1993, and, at the time, artists were hosting. So when they asked me to come in, I was to work with Depeche Mode. Although Dave Gahan was great, Martin Gore the keyboard player was totally out of it. Completely spaced. He was not ready for TV. And for years I’ve always tortured Martin about that. ‘Remember when you made my first shoot the hardest shoot ever?’ I still give him crap about that.”

Oasis (Oct. 15, 1995)

“During that first show I did with Oasis, they ended up fighting over which football team is better in their hometown of Manchester: Manchester City or Manchester United. While the cameras were rolling, they were ready to brawl on the set— ‘City’s the best! No, United’s the best!’—and I just looked at the camera and said, ‘Obviously these guys aren’t going to come to an agreement right now, so it’s time for a commercial.’”

Frank Black of the Pixies (March 17, 1996)

“I always take the music seriously, but it’s important to have fun too. So Frank and I put our two bald heads together, which looked like an ass basically.”

Radiohead (Sept. 21, 1997)

“Thom Yorke invited me to do an interview with him backstage at Radio City Music Hall, and it ended up in their movie Meeting People Is Easy, and the premise of that movie is how miserable it is to be doing interviews all the time. But our interview was the only bright moment in the film. He’s smiling, laughing, having a good time. It’s the one moment of relief in the whole documentary. And also when they came in to play from their album The Bends, they did a whole bunch of songs from that album at 9:00am and Thom’s voice was incredible. A lot of artists came in over the years, and would be jetlagged, or out all night on the Lower East Side drinking before the shoot—and we usually shoot early in the morning—so I was impressed with how polished they were at such an early hour.”

Porno for Pyros (Nov. 2, 1997)

“Perry Farrell got rocked on a bottle of cabernet, and he changed the lyrics of their song ‘Kimberly Austin’ to ‘Matt Pinfield.’ Quite an honor. Imagine that song being about you?”

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (Dec. 20, 1998)

“One of the craziest moments was when Jon showed up to do a pre-Christmas show, and he was so rocked. He was in his Santa suit, but he was drinking a bottle of whisky and almost disrobed in front of the camera. He nearly stripped down! He was out of control!”

Music Mixers, are you planning on tuning in to 120 Minutes re-launch tonight?

The Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix

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