No Nirvana – A Late Show special

Sonic Youth

Since it seems to be Grunge Week on the internet – 20 years since Nevermind came out – with articles in the Guardian and Collapse Board, there seems to have been some controversy as to which bands should be mentioned and which were not part of it at all.

I was reminded of a great episode of The Late Show – a culture programme on BBC2 – called No Nirvana – which simply featured live-in-the-studio performances from alternative rock bands such as Jane’s Addiction, Dinosaur Jr, Sugar, Smashing Pumpkins, etc. I thought Rage Against The Machine’s inclusion was a bit odd (if welcome), and REM downright out of place, but you can’t really argue with Sonic Youth’s amazing performance of Drunken Butterfly.

Let’s watch it, shall we?


From uploader okee9’s notes:

Broadcast BBC 2 1993

….Missing few songs from beginning including Pearl Jam [you didn’t miss much]

Jane’s Addiction – Been Caught Stealing
Dinosaur Jr – Get Me
Sonic Youth – Drunken Butterfly
REM – Half A World Away
Screaming Trees – Dollar Bill
Sugar – Helpless
Rage Against The Machine – Bullet in the Head
Smashing Pumpkins – Rhinoceros


3 comments on “No Nirvana – A Late Show special

  1. bit of journalism ignorance there. kurt mentioned countless times how r.e.m inspired him and wanted to work with michael stipe on a collab but that never came to fruition.

  2. everyone on that stage have either met or have been influenced or were a friend of kurt’s before his passing so i don’t know what you’re getting at? is it strange someone could befriend musicians of different genres? did you even know kurt listened to gangster rap and missed out on working with Tricky? do your research LOL.

    • If the intention of the show was supposed to be “people who Kurt Cobain has met”, I would have imagined an entirely different lineup of very different acts, generally of people a lot personally closer to Kurt (such as Everett True), and I had the impression that he wasn’t much of a fan of Pearl Jam. “People Kurt has met” doesn’t strike me as a very compelling theme for a TV show, and would include a very wide variety of people who don’t have much in common. I understood the theme to be “a show about grunge acts other than Nirvana”, in which case the comment about REM stands. prince was a huge influence on Nine Inch Nails, but a show called No NIN that featured Skinny Puppy, Ministry and Prince would be just as strange.

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