Dispatches They Want Their MTV Awards

Every industry has its obligatory annual gathering, its see-and-be-seen scene. For rock 'n' roll, it is the MTV Music Video Awards ceremony. It's not that the awards themselves are important; hipness wouldn't allow for that. Winning has little effect on record sales, and there isn't even a nickname -- no Oscar, no Grammy -- for the award statuette. The MTV awards are not so much an official imprimatur as they are the pretext for an all-star rock concert where, just by showing up, your coolness credentials are revalidated.

Last week's spectacle was three different events: the live show in the Universal...

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