Patt Minfield

Yesterday's post was on Steve Isaacs, but today's post is on probably the most influential MTV VJ on me: Matt Pinfield.

If you watched 120 Minutes in the mid- to late-'90s, you remember Pinfield as the portly guy with a shaved head and a raspy voice. I remember that description of him, but the most shiny quality about him was his vast musical knowledge and friendly manner. He knew more than the average record store geek and he didn't throw around any record store geek attitude in the process. He showed me how being a big fan of the music led to other fields of knowledge. Not only did he know the players, but the producers, record covers, obscure references, videos and so on. He was definitely the guy you'd go to for his opinion on stuff. So where do you go for his opinion now? That's rather interesting.

First, I gotta mention the TV show, Farmclub was a merging of website, talent show and American Bandstand for the nu-metal, modern rock and mall punk crowd in 2000. This was definitely not my cup of tea as bands like Limp Bizkit and Hoobastank were considered heavy and rocking in their time. Seeing Pinfield go from being a guy that could read off something like the names of the Stranglers' first four albums off the top of his head to talking to cheesehead aggro-rock bands, I felt kinda bad for him.

Now, Pinfield seems even more busier than ever. He had hosted a show on New York's KROCK for a time, but he's been on Sirius Satellite Radio, HDTV and VH1 as of late. That's awesome that he's staying active, but that's not all of the stuff he's been doing. He's been an A&R rep for Columbia Records for a few years now with bands like Coheed and Cambria. As the A&R guy, he's the cool guy at the label that understands his bands and tries to get them good things to come their way from the higher-ups. A&R is a path that has seen many notable people come through (ie, Lyle Preslar, formerly of Minor Threat, and Mike Gitter, formerly of the Boston-area zine, XXX, for starters) and I'm glad to see somebody like Pinfield do this.

I remember when Pinfield was hilariously spoofed in a Bloodhound Gang video. Frontman Jimmy Pop Ali donned a baldcap, called himself Patt Minfield and proceeded to spill all sorts of random facts about Courtney Love and Pat Smear and tied them all together before the song started. Pinfield himself enjoyed the joke as the video was played in its entirety one night on 120 Minutes (future airings of the video chopped the intro off).

Why I bring up all these tributes to people like Steve Isaacs, David Sadoff and Pinfield is simple: these guys were accessible guides to the true power of music (especially underground music) for me. They weren't the type that would laugh at you and tear you down because you liked Lap of Luxury more than Give 'Em Enough Rope or Dookie more than Never Mind the Bollocks. They were open-minded dwellers in the past and present world of music.

As somebody who's met plenty of people that just want to talk about what sucks about music today, I truly appreciate the ones that seek out good music in any arena. As somebody that's seen people get into the music industry more for the opportunity to be seen with rockstars, I appreciate the ones that actually care about the power of music above everything else. Finally, I appreciate the ones that are willing to enthusiastically tell you anything and everything about a band or artist that you're curious about. I've seen people in that exact same position be incredibly rude, flaky jerks to those curious and I think that sucks. I can't change those flaky jerks, but at least I can try to emulate what I've found to be the better way of going about this.


Anonymous said…
yes, pinfield WAS the go-to rock guy. i fully remember how he just knew everything about everyone. he was definitely one of the better vjs. i wasn't annoyed by his knowledge, i appreciated it. he knew how to conduct an informative interview as well.