24 September 2011

I'm going where the cold wind blows

20 years ago today Nirvana's Nevermind album was released.  Pretty much anyone who knows me, knows that Nirvana is my favouritist-favourite band.  The band that you don't always mention when someone asks you your favourite music because it's a given.  I think no other album has stood the test of time like Nevermind (although In Utero in my favourite) and whether you like Nirvana or not, you have to admit that they changed the sound of popular rock music from the smooth, polished guitar and vocals of hair metal, to the deeper, rougher sound we've become accustomed to.

Instead of posting "Smells Like Teen Spirit" or "Come As You Are," I'm sharing one of my favourite, lesser known songs; one that I think is particularly haunting, considering.

Nirvana performing their cover of Lead Belly's "Where Did You Sleepy Last Night?" from Unplugged.

Some interesting things about this performance-  It almost didn't happen, as Kurt Cobain and the MTV producer's didn't agree about most of Nirvana's choices for the performance, from their choice of The Meat Puppies as guests (MTV wanted someone like Tori Amos), the lack of Nirvana "hits" on the set-list, to the stage decorations (lilies and black candles, which the producers said looked like a funeral to which Cobain said, "Exactly.")  When it came time for the actual performance, Cobain, suffering from drug withdrawal and the health issues that plagued him his whole life, almost couldn't go on.  He was unable to sit in the high stools everyone else was seated in, so a computer chair was found for Cobain, and, as they say, the show goes on.

After the band finished "Where Did You Sleep Last Night," the producers wanted an encore. Cobain refused, saying he couldn't top the performance he just gave.

Kurt Cobain committed suicide 4 months later.

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