LOS ANGELES — The Black Keys owe plenty to the smooth moves of one Derrick T. Tuggle, the human dancing machine that powered their “Lonely Boy” video to nearly 18 million YouTube views and a Best Rock Video nod at the 2012 Video Music Awards . So, in an attempt to repay him, they’re taking him to the big show on Thursday night.
“[Black Keys drummer] Patrick [Carney] called me two or three weeks ago thanking me for my hard work, and they wanted me to be there. I’m going to bring something a little different,” Tuggle told MTV News. “It’s pretty great. Usually, I’m on the other side of these things. I just did the ESPY Awards at Staples Center, working security.”
Yes, from part-time security guard to full-time Internet sensation — and VMA virgin — it’s been a pretty eventful ride for Tuggle, one that’s had plenty of perks outside award-show invites (“I’ve got so many friends on Facebook now. … I get people from here in the States, all the way to Ireland, even people in Rio De Janiero,” he laughed). And he hopes that ride will continue on during the VMAs themselves, with a Keys triumph in Best Rock Video.
“I’ve been campaigning on Facebook, calling us ’Team Keys,'” Tuggle said. “I think they have a great chance at winning. They’re up there with Linkin Park and Coldplay.”
Then again, Tuggle’s not about to discount the Black Keys’ Best Rock competitors, either. He’s not much into handicapping the field (“I like Linkin Park’s music, Coldplay are great too, and Jack White is good, even if I’m not sure he can dance,” he explained), but he does know what he’ll do if the Keys’ names are called on show night … and we’re pretty sure you can guess what it is.
“If they have me up there, maybe I’ll do a little acceptance speech,” Tuggle said. “And I’m always ready to dance at a moment’s notice.”