Monday, February 23, 2004


Radio two is doing a documentary on Nirvana and is looking for memories and comments from people. I've copied here what I submitted to them

I was indeed grunging at this time. In 1994 I was 17, long hair and my jeans were more hole than jeans. Of course, my thumbs popped through the sleeves of my jumper. I think the anger and tension in the music appealed to the more than just ordinary teenage angst I felt at the time. I remember after an altercation in the street with some 'orrible folks shouting insults at me because of my hair, I went into my attic bedroom and put Lithium on at crazy volumes and screamed along with every word.

The day he died, before I heard, I had ripped my Nirvana poster by accident whilst moving it and my friend Dave had typed out the lyrics to Smells Like Teen Spirit three times in different fonts the same day. When I heard the first thing I did was phone Dave to see if he'd heard and check that he was ok - in that melodramatic way that teenagers have, I was worried that he or some of my other fairly fragile friends would do something similar to Kurt. In fact several years two of my male friends about Kurt's age took their own lives.

I think that his iconic status is a tribute to the fact that he had an extrodinary charisma - he was beautiful to look at (this coming from a straight male!) and he had an amazing integrity in his music. He also really profoundly expressed the sense of disenchantment and confusion that the post-thatcherite/reaganite era children felt about themselves, their families and the society they found themselves in. Nirvana provided an expression for this, partly because their music became so well known and widespread, and could be shared by people who felt similarly, but also because there really was genius at work.

As for favourite track, it's a difficult one, there's lots I could pick - About a Girl, (because it's the one like playing on the geetar the best!) Lithium, ((because it's awesome ;) , but I think, my very favourite tune is actually a cover they did with the Meat Puppets during the Unplugged recording called Oh Me - maybe it's because I'm older and considerably wiser now and have slowed down a bit. I always get excited when teen spirit comes on the radio though!