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10 Things about Nirvana Unplugged


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1. Kurt is basically sitting in an office chair. You’ve gotta sit in something, I guess, it just seems odd that for such a ghostly performance, Cobain is sitting in a chair that looks like it was picked up by an intern at the Office Max around the corner a few hours before the show started.

2. Dave and Pat step out for a smoke during “Pennyroyal Tea.” “Am I going to do this by myself?” Kurt asks at the onset of “Pennyroyal Tea.” When it’s determined that yes, he is, Dave Grohl asks Pat Smear if he has a smoke. You can then see Smear put his guitar down and walk to the backstage area, where he’s joined by Grohl. (18:25)

3. Kurt didn’t want to play “Dumb” and “Polly” back to back. “Because they’re exactly the same song,” Cobain explains. (26:43) “Who cares, it will be edited different. This is a television show!” he reasons. (22:30)

4. Kurt and Krist discuss “Davey and Goliath.” “Remember the little black bird on ‘Davey and Goliath?’” Novaselic asks Cobain midway through the performance, harkening back to the 1960s Christian-themed stop motion series (from Detroiter Art Clokey). Cobain doesn’t, but he does have other memories of the show. “Remember that really evil episode where he was really mad at this kid and he had all these visions of how he was going to, ‘First I’m going to take him up to a hill and tie him to a tree and tar and father him!’” Cobain recalls, adopting his best Davey voice. “It was evil! That wasn’t Christian at all.” (38:18)

5. Kurt reads zines in his downtime. While a guitar is being tuned off stage, Kurt can be seen on stage reading WFMU’s First Catalog of Curiosities. WFMU is an influential indie radio station in the New York area. (41:11)

6. There was almost a performance of “Sweet Home Alabama.” Kurt slurs and grunts his way through the first two lines of the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic during downtime before the Meat Puppets are ready. (41:15)

7. Kurt came in early on the first chorus of “Lake of Fire.” Oops. Hear him catch and cover up his mistake at 50:12.

8. The setlist didn’t seem to be ironed out ahead of time. Fans shout titles from the audience and the band considers them, and at one point Grohl suggests they do “Sliver,” but Cobain decides against it because he has to scream in it. “What else do you want to do?” Grohl asks him. (57:30) The band also at one point toys with doing “School.”

9. Pat Smear didn’t wear shoes. See shots of his socked feet throughout.

10. On his way off stage, Kurt stops to sign autographs for fans. Nice guy, that Kurt. (1:05:40)

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He seems a bit sarcastic about a show he would pick as his choice for "one show I could go back in time to see"......

It did seem like a loose performance as far as the set list went.

Sad to lose Kurt so young, whatever way he died.


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With all of those flowers on stage it always struck as a wake, especially after MTV played it nearly constantly in the weeks following Cobain's death.

As for the covers, this is my favorite from the album, their version of "Plateau" by the Meat Puppets.

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Cobain said that he wanted the stage to look like a funeral (with the flowers and candles)

Thanks, I thought I'd remembered reading that somewhere. The fact that it got played so much on MTV (and VH1) after he died only added to the spookiness of the whole thing.

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