Today we remember a GIANT in the world of rock. 25 years ago today Kurt Cobain took his own life. I was 9 when it happened so I didn't really understand the scope of just how important he was until my teen years. But 25 years later and radio is still playing his jams on the regular. That goes to show you how important they were to the rock movement in the early 90's.
So I'm going to take you on a trip and get you in the spirit of the day. Celebrating music that changed the culture. We'll start with some of his best performances
On October 30th, 1992, Nirvana performed their only show in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Upset with the reception their opening act, Calamity Jane, got from the 50,000 fans in attendance, Kurt threatened to cancel the gig. He still went on but spent the set teasing the audience. He’d play the opening chords of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” but then perform a rarity, and the group never actually played the hit song. They also opened the show with a never-before-released track called “Nobody Knows I’m New Wave,” which many fans think was a jam the band made up on the spot.
Nirvana showed a different side of themselves in 1994 when they played a set forMTV Unplugged. Hearing the band’s loud songs performed in gentle tones struck a chord with fans. When it was released on CD following Kurt’s death, the album debuted at number one and went on to sell over five million copies. It also won the Grammy for Best Alternative Album. For Unplugged, the band played hits as well as covers of Meat Puppets and David Bowie, but it was the unplugged version of “About a Girl” that really stuck out. The song wasn’t incredibly popular when it appeared on “Bleach,” but the acoustic treatment brought it to another level.
Thirteen songs into Nirvana’s iconic appearance at England’s Reading Festival in 1992 – their last gig ever in the UK – the band played a very unique rendition of “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” They started it by jokingly singing Boston’s “More Than a Feeling,” which has a similar sound to their hit single, then they mashed it up with “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” which included a very rough guitar solo from Kurt played.
In 1992, MTV invited Nirvana to perform at theVideo Music Awards. The band wanted to play “Rape Me” but the network wouldn’t let them since they didn’t think it was appropriate for the awards show. The group agreed and promised to instead perform “Lithium,” however when Kurt and company took the stage, he started to play “Rape Me,” but only enough of the song to give a few MTV executives heart attacks, then the band played “Lithium.”
Nirvana’s final show with Kurt took place on March 1st, 1994 in Munich, Germany. They surprised the crowd by opening their set with a cover of The Cars’ “My Best Friend’s Girl,” and went on to play some of their hits, an acoustic version of “Polly,” a cover of David Bowie’s “The Man Who Sold the World,” and ended with “Heart-Shaped Box.” 35 days later, Kurt took his own life.
For me, his unplugged appearance is my favorite performance of theirs. It's pure, it's raw, it's emotional. MTV needs to go back to these kind of specials.
And while Kurt is gone and the grunge era is a thing of the past, the Foo Fighters still live on. Dave will never forget where he got his start which makes him even more likable.
Also the archives on this guy are just fascinating
And his isolated vocals alone are just so damn good
I also recommend the podcast "Discracedland where they go into the relationship between Kurt and Courtney Love. It's fascinating
Hit the music!