Pink Floyd are not exactly the ideal band for Beavis and Butt-Head to enjoy. Broadly speaking, their songs are way too cerebral, mellow and complex for the two animated teenagers that worship the likes of AC/DC and Metallica. It’s possible they’d dig heavier songs like “Run Like Hell” and “One of These Days” — and they’d certainly love the “We don’t need no education” chorus in “Another Brick in the Wall” — but if a song isn’t conducive to head-banging they pretty much don’t want to hear it.
That said, it’s hard to imagine any Pink Floyd song they’d enjoy less than the 1994 Division Bell single “High Hopes.” Recorded a decade after Roger Waters left the group, it finds David Gilmour reflecting back on his youth when “the grass was greener/The light was brighter/The taste was sweeter.” The Storm Thorgerson-directed video is a collage of surreal images — like guitars floating down a river and an enormous teddy bear falling out of a window. Just imagine the exact opposite of Mötley Crüe’s video for “Girls Girls Girls” and you’ll picture it clearly.
“Oh no,” Butt-Head says when it comes on TV. “Is this Yanni? Oh, this is Pink Floyd.” Beavis seems vaguely aware such a band exists. “Are they from England?” he asks. “Yeah,” says Butthead. “Just another gang of wussies from England.” This prompts Beavis to say that he wants to travel to England because he imagines everyone there is a “wussy” and he’ll be able to “go around and kick everyone’s ass and then I can get some chicks.”
“I think you’d probably even be a wussy, you know, to them,” says Butt-Head.
“No way, Butt-Head,” Beavis says. “They’d be like ‘the grass was greener,’ and then I can go up and kick them in the nads. Then I can score.”
When Storm Thorgerson and Pink Floyd created this video, they wold have been absolutely horrified to know that this is the conversation most Americans would overhear while watching it. That was the strange reality of MTV back then. The network wasn’t going to put bands like Cycle Sluts From Hell, Alien Sex Fiend, Mutha’s Day Out or even Pink Floyd into their standard rotation alongside Guns N’ Roses and Green Day, but they were happy to give them the Beavis and Butt-Head treatment. Unlike Cycle Sluts from Hell, however, Pink Floyd have a few other claims to fame. Still, it’s hard for some people that grew up in the 1990s to listen to “High Hopes” and not hear Beavis and Butt-Head chuckling in their minds.