Saturday Night Live 1992 - Nirvana was the first band ever to get the honour of playing the "Saturday Night Live" show twice. The first performance took place on January 11th 1992. "Nevermind" had just struck number one on the Billboard sales chart, kicking Micheal Jackson off the top spot, and Nirvana-mania was raging all over the world.
But by this time both Kurt and Courtney were addicted to heroin, which was showcased during the photo-session Nirvana did with Michael Lavin the day before perfoming on "Saturday Night Live," as Kurt nodded out on several occasions. Courtney found out she was pregnant with Frances Bean around this, and claim she stopped using drugs as soon as she found out. The acclaimed "Heavier Than Heaven" book by Charles R. Cross has brought forward information that Kurt overdosed on heoin the night before the first "Saturday Night Live" performance, and that Courtney brought him back to life with an illegal dose of medicine.
When it comes to the actual performance, Nirvana did a very punk rock version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and then "Territorial Pissings," before trashing the entire stage. Kurt strategically put his guitar neck through twenty-five speakers, but the directors of the show had heard that the band had a tendency of ruining equipment, and had therefore replaced everything with cheaper equipment. Some seconds of the desctrution, including Dave tossing his entire drumkit around the stage, is available on the Geffen Nirvana home video "Live! Tonight! Sold Out!!". Audio versions are available on several bootleg CDs, including "Into The Black Disc III".
During the end credits of the show, Nirvana decided to do theirs to 'piss of the rednecks and homophobes,' as they all french kissed. Kurt wore a home-made Flipper shirt he made during the Lavine photo-session the day before. He played a Jaguar and a Stratocaster during the performances. Krist wore a Melvins and L7 t-shirt, which Dave took over for the end credits.
THEY PLAYED: "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Territorial Pissings."
Saturday Night Live 1992 - While the first "Saturday Night Live" performance was done right after "Nevermind" struck number one, the second performance was part of promoting the newly-released "In Utero" album. One year and seven months after their first performance, on November 25th 1993, they played "Heart-Shaped Box" and "Rape Me."
On the rehearsals for the show the day before, the band played did two great versions of "Heart-Shaped Box" and "Rape Me," which sounded a lot better than the actual broadcast. They also did a forty-minute trailer shot with the host of the show, NBA-hero Charles Barkley. Kurt played a Sunburt Univox during this "Saturday Night Live" appearance.
Although the broadcast performances are not that special, there are some moments that are definitely worth paying attention to. "Heart-Shaped Box," Krist lifts his bass up and plays on it as if it was a harp. During the first verse of "Rape Me," Kurt stares into the camera as it moves from the left side of the stage to the right, singing 'rape me, rape my my friend,' making it a very powerful moment for anyone who knows what the song is about. During the bridge of the song, Pat Smear, who was then a fourth member of Nirvana, drops down on his knees to play the guitar.
This performance is more wide-spread than the first one bootleg-wise, and is even being re-aired on NBC every now and then. Both of these performances are highly suggested for any serious Nirvana fans bootleg collection, as they are both great and classical Nirvana performances.
REHEARSALS: "Heart-Shaped Box" (Take I), "Heart-Shaped Box" (Take II) and "Rape Me."
PERFORMANCE: "Heart-Shaped Box" and "Rape Me."
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