The MTV of the 1990s had really began to evolve from its first decade. Somewhere in the mid to late 80s, segments were set aside to appeal to certain genres like Yo! MTV Raps, 120 Minutes and Headbanger’s Ball. Non-music video content was creeping in more and more as well. Most notably, the animation showcase Liquid Television and the reality series Real World.
The transformation away from being Music Television, to what could best be described as “Miscellaneous” Television, wasn’t yet in full effect, so there was a new set of VJ’s to “spin” some distinctly 90s music videos.
Like the videos of the 80s, these videos also created a few now famous and familiar characters. Since we covered a few well known videos from MTV’s first decade last week, let’s find out who some of the 90s “video stars” were and what became of them.
Of course we, have to start with the one many people are “buzzing” to know.
The Bee Girl in Blind Melon’s “No Rain”
Blind Melon’s neo-hippie lovefest where an awkward young girl in a bee tutu goes in search of a little love, acceptance and place where she can just dance and “bee” herself. This character was so popular, Bee Girl costumes popped up at Halloween parties on college campuses everywhere. This charismatic little gal was Heather DeLoach (now 38), who did some acting up until 2008, including a couple of episodes of ER, but is really best know for bringing the Bee Girl off the cover of Blind Melon’s self-titled album and into our hearts.
Today she is doing pretty well outside of the entertainment business, but she and her Bee Girl will always be a team. She even included several “bee” elements in her wedding to a financial advisor. The character was so famous, she reprised the role a year later for Weird Al Yankovic’s Red Hot Chili Pepper’s parody “Bedrock Anthem,” and Pearl Jam’s 2003 album Lost Dogs included the song “Bee Girl,” inspired by her warning against the evils of fame. Don’t worry, she’s doing just fine.
She wasn’t the girl on the cover of the album, however. That was an old family photo of drummer Glen Graham’s little sister, Georgia.
The Bride in Guns N’ Roses’ “November Rain”
In the early 1990s, Stephanie Seymour was pretty well known as a model. By the time she was dating Guns ‘N Roses frontman Axl Rose (briefly), she had already appeared in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and had been a Victoria’s Secret angel. She appeared in both “November Rain” and “Don’t Cry” for the rockers, but her first actual “acting” gig was for a video game, Hell: A Cyberpunk Thriller. She played a weapons expert.
Nothing ever came of her relationship with Rose, but she went on to have several more acting and modeling gigs, wrote a book on beauty, designed a line of lingerie for Barney’s of New York, and was spokesperson for Estée Lauder. She became one half of a power couple with film producer and magazine publisher Peter Brant.
The Cross-Dressing Shoplifter in Jane’s Addiction’s “Been Caught Stealing”
Alt rock band Jane’s Addiction burst into the 1990s with the hugely popular album Ritual de lo Habitual, and the single for “Been Caught Stealing” spent four weeks at the top of Billboard’s Modern Rock charts. The video was also disturbingly funny, highlighting several people getting some five-finger discounts at a supermarket. It looked a lot like most grocery stores today in San Francisco, but I digress.
The star thief was a dude not-so-stealthily disguised as a “pregnant” woman…yet I am about to disappoint you all. His identity can’t be found. This video is considered one of the most popular videos by the band, won MTV’s “Best Alternative Video” in 1991, is in the top 50 on VH1’s list of best videos, and the guy front and center is AWOL from the public eye. The band was pretty heavy into the drug culture at the time, so there’s a good chance even they might not know. Even the LA grocery store where it was filmed was demolished shortly after the video was made.
There is one famous feature of the song we do know. The dog barking at the beginning. That was lead singer Perry Farrell’s dog, Annie. He rescued her from a shelter, and she is immortalized in a rock song.
The White Guy in The Offspring’s “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)”
Uno, dos, tres, quatro, cinco, cinco seis!
Could The Offspring have found a geekier, ganglier, goofier…or whiter “white guy” as the star in the 1998 video? Likely not, as actor Guy Cohen fit the bill.
Cohen was born in Israel and was a drama major in Long Beach, Calif. when he landed the part.
Cohen’s portrayal was so popular, he toured with the band and was a highlight in the show as he came out to do silly dances during the live performances of the song. He also reprised his “white guy” role in The Offspring’s hit “Why Don’t You Get A Job?“
Cohen wasn’t the first choice for the role, but actor Seth Green was unavailable. Cohen later appeared in a few movies, including the 2001 comedy Rat Race, which weirdly enough starred Seth Green. He was also a writer and performer on a short-lived sketch comedy show Betsy vs. New York in 2011. He hasn’t really done much since 2016.
Oh, and here’s a fun fact: the band had to pay off Def Leppard $10,000 for sampling their fakey German phrase at the beginning of the song.
The Smutty Nurse in Blink 182’s “What’s My Age Again?”
What was it about the 1990s that inspired the rock and punk bands to get naked? Blink 182 was front and center — and strategically pixelated — in their 1999 hit from their album Enema of the State.
The sexbomb nurse of the album cover was the same one who appeared briefly in the video, and was a model named Janine Lindemulder. Pre-video, she was getting scholarships playing softball, but after her debut, she went on modeling. Her projects were a little different from Stephanie Seymour’s as she was a Penthouse Pet of the Month, and appeared in films like Howard Stern’s Private Parts.
Blink 182 included a who’s who of 90s cable television personalities in the video as well, but for some reason I just can’t put my finger on, Lindemulder’s short little sidewalk strut made the lasting impression.
She was also married to West Coast Choppers founder Jesse James for a short time, spent six months in jail for tax evasion, and now shows off her tattoo covered body on her popular Twitter and OnlyFans accounts.
MTV hadn’t yet abandoned its music roots in the 1990s, but the quality and tone of the videos certainly had changed. One thing that didn’t change was it helped make some unknown faces familiar, and some already familiar faces add “video star” to their resumes.
Oh, and if anyone knows the name and fate of the drag queen produce thief, we would love to know.