I'm not sure when this change actually took place, but I noticed the other night that VH1 Classic changed the name of its Modern Rock programming block from The Alternative to something that brought back some good memories for me: 120 Minutes. Of course, said block is actually 180 minutes long, so the name doesn't make much sense, but still, it's nice to see the nod to history and some brand recognition.
And I see a lot of this sort of thing on VH1 Classic: old shows, wall-to-wall videos, the MTV 20th anniversary tribute day that recreated the first day of MTV programming... hell, there's even some old MTV staff kicking around from time to time. I've seen bald fountain of music trivia Matt Pinfield on there before, and last night I saw a segment with Mark Goodman, one of the original MTV VJs (actually, Goodman is probably the original original VJ, seeing as he was the guy who introduced that first day of MTV programming). It's almost like they're trying to soothe those of us in the 30s and 40s age bracket that grew up on the original MTV, making the transition easier for folks who still equate "VH1" with "I don't so much rock anymore."
But the way I see it, VH1 has long since moved past the "all Phil Collins, all the time" era and is now "all reality shows and comedians snarking about current events and/or the recent past, all the time." And MTV's programming model has always been pretty Menudo-esque: once you reach a certain age, you're no longer welcome. So I'm glad to see there's at least one music channel on cable (digital cable... buried WAAAAAAAAAAAY down in the line-up, but at least it's there) that still remembers us and tries to feed us the programming we want to see. They still slip in the occasional movie, show, or special event, but it's still mostly videos. That shouldn't seem like a novelty, but it is, and I'll take it, thanks.
But please, Viacom, don't take the music away from this one, too. Stop trying to make everything younger and hipper for the 14-23 year old crowd. Hey you kids, stay off of my music channel!
Speaking of 120 minutes, here's an interview with Juliana Hatfield in two (short) parts from what seems to be 1995: