Lewis Largent on MTV’s “120 Minutes” in 1993
Lewis Largent, an alternative-music tastemaker first as a DJ and music director at Los Angeles’ alt-rock powerhouse KROQ in the 1980s, and then as host of MTV’s “120 Minutes” in the early 1990s, died Feb. 20 after a long illness, his family confirmed to Variety. He was 58.
Largent grew up in Southern California and got started in music as an intern at KROQ in the mid-’80s, eventually becoming a DJ for the powerful alternative station in Los Angeles and then, by 1989, he was named the station’s music director, according to the Los Angeles Times.
He moved on to MTV in the early ’90s, succeeding Dave Kendall as host of “120 Minutes” — the network’s much-loved Sunday night alternative oasis — from 1992 to 1995. There he interviewed the likes of Cocteau Twins, Juliana Hatfield, Pavement, PJ Harvey, Bjork, Goo Goo Dolls and more.
Matt Pinfield, who followed Largent as “120 Minutes” host beginning in 1995, noted the news of his friend’s passing on Facebook: “I am completely gutted. I loved Lewis very much. I am at a loss for words.”
Doug “Sluggo” Roberts, a KROQ colleague of Largent’s who is now on Sirius XM’s 1st Wave, wrote on Facebook about how welcoming Largent was when he first started at the station. “He walked ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ into the studio to me to play for its first official spin, and we marveled, knowing that this was gonna change everything,” Roberts remembered.
And John Norris, the former MTV News correspondent, wrote on Twitter: “How tragic. Not gonna lie, I always wished that I was as cool as Lewis and he could not have been more chill and humble and kind. RIP friend. My thoughts are with Julie and his family and loved ones.”
According to Variety, Largent remained in his job as MTV’s vice president of music programming until 1999, then became senior vice president of A&R at Island Def Jam Records, where he worked until 2004.
Largent is survived by his wife Julie Greenwald, CEO of Atlantic Music Group, and their two children, Variety said.
Below, some old footage of Lewis Largent on “120 Minutes.”
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