Twenty years ago today, the Perry Farrell-spawned Lollapalooza festival — which, in retrospect, joins Nevermind as perhaps the best historical encapsulation of “the year punk broke” — made its debut in the sun-baked Arizona desert with performances by Nine Inch Nails, Living Colour, Siouxsie and the Banshees and Jane’s Addiction.
To mark the occasion, we present this 10-minute reel from YouTube user capeshokusa of coverage by MTV’s “120 Minutes” of that first tour stop on July 18, 1991, at Compton Terrace in Tempe, Ariz., just outside of Phoenix.
The footage features venerable host Dave Kendall interviewing Trent Reznor after Nine Inch Nails’ set was cut very short by overheating equipment, and there’s a dash of Henry Rollins and some face time with the Butthole Surfers (Kendall actually proclaims, “We’re cuddling up with the Butthole Surfers!”). Plus, for some reason, there’s also a video by the band Poopshovel.
After that first year, Lollapalooza crossed North America six more times in the ’90s before going on hiatus until the revived Jane’s Addiction resurrected the trek in 2003. The following year, a two-date traveling fest — with Morrissey and The String Cheese Incident headlining their respective dates — was canceled due to poor ticket sales.
And, in 2005, Lollapalloza was reborn yet again as destination festival in Chicago — the ultimate of ironies, since Farrell’s original concept was to turn Europe’s summer destination festivals into traveling roadshows. Lollapalooza returns to Chicago for its seventh year Aug. 5 through 7.
Got any particular Lolla memories? Share ’em in the comments below.