Before Madonna gave her speech honoring Michael Jackson, before Obama declared Kanye a “jackass” and before Lady Gaga bled out all over the stage, there was the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards Red Carpet pre-game. TheBestSteph, HMXThrasher, HMXJohnD and I were there to witness this year’s shenanigans.
Our sweet The Beatles: Rock Band stage was set up at the end of the red carpet, just before the entrance to Radio City Music Hall in New York. As our wonderful crew guys set the stage up, hundreds of curious passers-by and celebrity-hungry teens gathered behind the police blockades on the sidewalk, just waiting to get even a tiny glimpse of someone famous. I won’t lie, it was kind of creepy. When we arrived around 4pm to set up, a solid four to five hours from the opening of the carpet, there already were thirty or so people already camped out on the sidewalk. The previous night around 2am, TheBestSteph and I saw kids camped out on the sidewalk in sleeping bags just so they could get a good spot.
As the sun set and the red carpet time drew near, the area of West 51st and 6th looked more like a concert stadium than Rockefeller Center. Sun down and lights up, it was time for some The Beatles: Rock Band action. HMXThrasher and TheBestSteph rocked out with our friends MTVMarc and MTVPete, while the rest of us stood by watching the seething crowd.
The reality TV personalities lingered on the carpet, some of them walking down multiple times to get as much face time as possible. The sea of kids on the sidewalk screamed louder than I thought possible. We overheard, “I love you, guy from 'The Real World!'” and “You were always my favorite Cheetah girl!” For the first hour or so, HMXJohnD pointed out the reality TV people. I learned a lot about "The Hills" from the screaming fans behind us. MTVStarBex was interviewing people on the carpet about The Beatles in front of our stage. Spoiler! PEOPLE LOVE THE BEATLES!
Joe Perry of Aerosmith stopped and chatted for a while about how The Beatles influenced him. He smiled and gave us the thumbs up while we played The Beatles: Rock Band on stage. OK Go showed some love for the Fab Four and even joined us for a song. My attention was pulled from MTVStarBex talking to Green Day over to Joe Jackson and his entourage of ladies as they sauntered past us into Radio City. Truly a Twilight Zone moment. Speaking of Twilight, I had to make sure my ears weren’t bleeding after Taylor Lautner walked down. Boy oh boy the girls love that young man!
HMXJohnD pointed out Taylor Swift to me as we stood by the stage. I was 80% sure I knew who she was before he explained, and little did we all know just how famous she would become that night. Yes, we also saw Kanye walk down with his Spirograph inspired hairdo.
But by far, better than Green Day, and Kings Of Leon, better than Lady Gaga’s mesh Phantom of the Opera homage gown, and better than Tracy Morgan, Sean Paul, Diddy, Fall Out Boy AND Joe Perry was the appearance of Jack Black in full Eddie Riggs attire, battle axe and all, jumping up on the The Beatles: Rock Band stage to talk briefly with us about music games and Brütal Legend. In the eyes of this game-hearted gal, he was the biggest star on the Red Carpet that night.
Jack Black as Eddie Riggs from Brütal Legend