Buckethead Flashbacks 4 – MTV VMA Awards August 29th 2002
Good evening everybody, in today's Buckethead flashback we're going back to 2002 to take a look at one of Buckethead's most viewed TV appearances, MTV's VMA Awards. So, let's begin. Woo!!
In January 2001 Guns N Roses front-man Axl Rose returned with a brand new line-up that now included guitar hero Buckethead. Promising.
(Kurt Loder- What took you so long? Axl Rose – Just trying to put this monstrosity together)
The band played 2 well received shows before canceling a European tour, twice. And then pretty much disappearing for a year and half. Never-mind.
Returning in August 2002. the band played a handful of shows and then made a stop in New York City for the MTV VMA's.
The band had a brief rehearsal the day before the show with Buckethead wearing a glorious looking oddball mask, and Axl Rose actually making a rare rehearsal appearance.
On the day of the show, the band's appearance was kept secret with the exception of old fake giggle faced gimp boy Jimmy Fallon and his not-so-subtle references.
(“have a little patience” – Jimmy Fallon)
The band finally made their long awaited mainstream TV return performing a medley of 'Welcome to the Jungle' 'Madagascar' and 'Paradise City' and it didn't exactly set the world on fire.
Axl Rose's Vocal performance on 'Jungle' and 'Paradise City' were, with all due respect, awful. Although 'Madagascar' was passable. Some people have blamed the fact the band had to wait 2 hours backstage in a private trailer not being able to warm-up, and Axl himself put it it down to it being a “new band”
(Interviewer – What are your memories of that night? Axl Rose – Catastrophe)
(“A whole new band thing, took everybody a little bit to get going” - Axl Rose)
For me personally, I saw them live in London 3 days before the VMA's and thought they were great. And that day I became a 24/7 fan of Buckethead.
Although Axl's vocal performance at the VMA's wasn't great, it was energetic, unexpected and great for Buckethead. Showcasing his skills and persona to a whole new audience.
If you the watched the performance live as it happened you probably left it thinking 1) what's happened to Axl's voice and 2) Who was that guy with the mask and bucket?
After the VMA appearance, the band went on a now infamous tour that saw multiple riots and cancellations before the concert promoters pulled the plug on the band and said 'fuck this shit' canceling the rest of the tour.
Buckethead left the band just over a year later, going on to release over 300 albums, compared to Guns N Roses 1. Good choice.
So, the 2002 VMA awards wasn't good for Guns N Roses, but it was good for Buckethead. Woo!!