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.