Cobain Nearly Turned Down Grohl’s Participation in MTV Unplugged?

Conversational treats from MTV To we faithful denizens of the Internet age… My feeling is that the description of Grohl nearly not playing is overstated – can you honestly imagine a prominent TV performance of Nirvana taking place with one third (or one quarter depending on your rating of Mr Smear’s position – to be fair, he was pretty well a full member at least soon after this) of the band absent…? Kurt Cobain was a man newly enlightened to the intrusive tittle-tattle of the media and how things might appear and what people might say to such a public division. It’s just a guess but I’m not sure it’d be worth the potential disruption to peace and quiet.

What it does reveal, however, is that even at this late stage Cobain was concerned about how the band looked and sounded to an intense level of detail. While his desire to spend time in studio had completely disintegrated, he was certainly paying a keen eye to business when the band had to make it happen. That awareness of public attention also occured at the Live n’ Loud performance – another well choreographed, carefully chosen piece of work. Getting his drummer new sticks was vital.

Similarly, it indicates his deep awareness of the activities of ‘HIS’ drummers in the desire to soften Grohl’s sound even if it meant doing so against his will – it shows a degree of ownership over the performance of the drummers that had continued throughout his career. He had dictated the terms of involvement to his first couple of drummers (excluding Dale Crover), had criticised and denigrated Chad Channing’s performance then finally found a drummer with the muscle he required…Until that muscle and heft of performance was a problem.

Still, I can’t imagine the talk of dispensing with Grohl for the night was more than that – talk, grumpy mutterings…There’s a world of things said that never happened.


One thought on “Cobain Nearly Turned Down Grohl’s Participation in MTV Unplugged?”

  1. I also think its certainly an exageration that Kurt was thinking about playing Unplugged without Dave and no drummer at all.

    However just to play advocate for a second during 93 there did seem in particular friction between Kurt/Courtney and Dave. Courtney Love can be heard during the Roseland show (i think it is) rather gleefully talking to Everett True at one point that Kurt was thinking of sacking Dave and hiring Dale Crover. Dave himself said a couple of year ago or so that he once overheard Kurt criticise his drumming in late 93 during a plane flight.

    This is stark contrast to 91/92 when Kurt was calling Dave the best drummer in the world and saying he was a better drummer than John Bonham.

    Certainly for the Unplugged Kurt’s concerns were artistic ones and sound related ones of Dave’s drumming rather than he “hated Dave” but there was a slight tension between Kurt / Courtney and Dave IMO during 93 that wasnt there as much was before and well it is still there to this day with Courtney & Dave.Albeit for multiple reasons.

    You can see a few glares between Kurt & Dave during the Unplugged show.

    my two cents.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s