Nirvana’s Performance at the 1992 MTV Music Video Awards, and What Happened

Back when we were in Crazy Go Nuts University, my friend/housemante/bandmate George and I made it a point to watch performances by our favourite bands to see what live performance tricks we could borrow from them. This video above shows a particular favourite: Nirvana’s performance of Lithium at the 1992 MTV Music Awards, back when MTV still meant "Music Television".

Their performance in the video is merely okay. What’s notable about this performance is the “gong show” it descends into near the very end, at the four-minute mark on the video. At that point, bassist Krist Novoselic tossed his bass guitar high up into the air and then appeared to catch it on the return trip – with his head.

The band wrapped up the number as quickly as possible and Kurt Cobain proceeded to trash the drum kit, while Dave Grohl taunted Axl Rose with a sarcastic “Hi, Axl!” greeting over and over.

In this week’s edition of Seattle Weekly, Krist Novoselic explains what happens in an article titled What Really Happened at the 1992 MTV Music Video Awards.

4 replies on “Nirvana’s Performance at the 1992 MTV Music Video Awards, and What Happened”

It was Dave Grohl, not Cobain, that was taunting Axl. This, I know after being knee deep in Guns N Roses trivia for the last few days (link). (Plus, at the end of the video Grohl is at the front of the stage by the mic). Interesting in the article that Novoselic suggests he embellished his injury while on stage but then needed a gash on his head closed.

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