120 Minutes Rewind, Video — April 12, 2015 at 3:36 pm

Earliest known footage of MTV’s ‘120 Minutes’ surfaces: Watch J.J. Jackson host in April ’86

120 Minutes

We’ve posted a number of memorable clips over the years as part of our “120 Minutes” Rewind feature, but this is a true rarity: some 35 minutes of J.J. Jackson-hosted footage from the earliest-known recording of an episode of MTV’s seminal Sunday night music-video show that took viewers “two hours into the future” every week.

The footage — uploaded and sent to us this weekend by frequent “120 Minutes” Rewind contributor mrbriefcasetv2 — is from the April 27, 1986, broadcast, which the ever-handy 120 Minutes Archive lists as its earliest-known episode. The show debuted on March 10, 1986, so this would be, by our count, the eighth episode ever aired, although the 120 Minutes Archive suggests it’s only the fourth.

As you can see from the video posted below, the 35-minute reel spans the entire two-hour show, with many, but not all, of the music videos cut out. Still included: videos from Latin Quarter, The Untouchables, Cactus World News, The Go-Betweens, Roaring Boys and Laurie Anderson.

What you get is a lot of J.J. Jackson — one of several rotating hosts used until “120 Minutes” creator Dave Kendall took over in 1989 — plus music news (including the announcement of Andy Rourke’s short-lived departure from The Smiths) and “120 X-Ray” segments on both The Untouchables and Laurie Anderson (“Is Laurie Anderson a genius or simply just a weirdo? The ‘120 X-Ray’ reveals all,” Jackson promises).

There are also some great commercials, including a Max Headroom ad for Coke and a pitch for Judas Priest’s new record (“It’s 1986, do you know where your children are?” Rob Halford asks). Oh, and a promo for an upcoming guest VJ slot by “Cosby kids” Malcolm Jamal-Warner and Tempestt Bledsoe.

Check it out in all its glory below:


Video: MTV’s “120 Minutes” with host J.J. Jackson — April 27, 1986




  1. Archie Cabebe

    For the curious on the playlist, here it is:

    Lou Reed – No Money Down
    The Blow Monkeys – Digging Your Scene
    The Art of Noise – Peter Gunn Theme
    The Epidemics – Never Take No For An Answer
    Bodeans – Fade Away
    Hoodoo Gurus – Bittersweet
    Boys Don’t Cry – I Wanna Be A Cowboy
    Latin Quarter – Modern Times
    X-Ray: The Untouchables
    The Untouchables – What’s Gone Wrong
    Cactus World News – Years Later
    King – Alone Without You
    Platinum Blonde – Somebody Somewhere
    Vanity – Under The Influence
    Chacko – Once Bitten, Twice Shy (No, not the Great White song!)
    The Go Betweens – Bachelor Kisses
    Roaring Boys – House of Stone
    Oingo Boingo – Stay
    John Farnham – Break The Ice (From the motion picture “Rad”)
    Sharks – Only Time Will Tell
    Wild Blue – Fire With Fire
    X-Ray: Laurie Anderson
    Laurie Anderson – Language Is A Virus
    Rob Jungklas – Boystown
    Jean Beauvoir – Feel The Heat
    Peter Frampton – All Eyes On You

    Reference Link:

  2. “Laurie Anderson (“Is Laurie Anderson a genius or simply just a weirdo? The ’120 X-Ray’ reveals all,” Jackson promises).”

    The second choice.

  3. Possibly the only time MTV ever mentioned Genesis P-Orridge

  4. Peter Frampton?

  5. I never knew Andy Rourke quit the Smiths… and was replaced by a guitarist no less.

    • Chronic Mumblings

      Nor I.

      From Wikipedia:
      “Meanwhile, Rourke was fired from the band in early 1986 due to his use of heroin. He allegedly received notice of his dismissal via a Post-it note stuck to the windscreen of his car. It read, “Andy – you have left The Smiths. Goodbye and good luck, Morrissey.”[14] Morrissey himself, however, denies this.

      Rourke was replaced on bass by Craig Gannon (formerly a member of Scottish new wave band Aztec Camera), but was reinstated two weeks later. Gannon stayed in the band, switching to rhythm guitar. This five-piece recorded the singles “Panic” and “Ask” (the latter with Kirsty MacColl on backing vocals) which reached numbers 11 and 14 respectively on the UK Singles Chart,[7] and toured the UK. After the tour ended in October 1986, Gannon left the band, having played on six studio tracks and was thereafter regularly referred to as ‘The Fifth Smith’.”

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