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August 29, 2015

Short-Lived Shows: VH1 Storytellers

by Adam Finley, posted Feb 22nd 2006 12:43PM

vh1 storytellersI have an insatiable appetite for useless information. When something or someone in the world of entertainment catches my interest, I want to know everything I can about them. I listen to DVD audio commentaries incessantly, I scour the internet for meaningless trivia about TV shows and actors... it's almost like a sickness.

It's my love of meaningless tidbits that drew me to VH1 Storytellers more than any other live performance show (save for Sessions at West 54th). The idea of the show was very simple: a band or solo artist would perform in an intimate venue in front of a few fans and then talk about their songs. The show only lasted one year, perhaps because not everyone cares as much about Michael Stipe's incoherent ramblings as I did, or watching Billy Idol flirt with young girls in the audience. Still, the show offered an interesting look at the creative process. Considering that VH1 is now nothing more than a channel where people talk about stuff from the 80s twenty-four hours a day, you can't blame me for pining for a show that was actually about music and not, you know, how awesome BurgerTime was.

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Springsteen did one last year around the time Devils & Dust came out. It's out on DVD and it's great. He only plays about 8 songs but he breaks them down almost line for line. Thunder Road alone is worth it. The show on VH1 was only an hour, but the DVD is over 90 minutes.

February 22 2006 at 3:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My personal favorite moment was Don Henley doing a rapped version of "Life in the Fast Lane." It worked a whole lot better than it had any reason to.

February 22 2006 at 3:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm dissapointed as to how few of the episodes are on DVD. Most of the artists that are out, I don't care about at all. Does anyone care how Billy Idol wrote "Rebel Yell?"

Personally I really enjoyed the episode with "No Doubt." They play different versions of popular songs, and you really get a feeling for how their songwriting goes.

February 22 2006 at 2:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan H

Yeah, I liked this show too although I wasn't really a fan of most of the artists they had on. I like DMB and I think Coldplay was on too. Unless that was Unplugged.

It is interesting that they didn't beat that show to death. They really need to change their name from Video Hits 1 to "a place where music goes to die".

February 22 2006 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson episode was a classic. One of my favorite albums.

February 22 2006 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It wasn't really only one season, I think they just had trouble finding artists to do the show. It still will pop up every now and then (there was a new episode within the last year, I just can't remember the artist), but it certainly doesn't have a regular time slot like Behind the Music did. It was really a facinating show, one I wish would show up on a more regular basis. Isn't it funny how when VH1, excuse me, vh1, has a good show that they don't beat to death (e.g. "Pop-Up Video" and "I Love the..."), the viewers want more. Hmmm.

February 22 2006 at 1:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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