Mary Anne Hobbs On Nevermind
The Xfm presenter was an NME writer in a previous life and wrote the first cover story on Nirvana. This is her story...
I had been begging the editor of NME, Danny Kelly, to let me write a cover story about Nirvana for ages. It only happened after two other potential covers with The Cure and Sonic Youth fell through that week.
Danny called me and said: "You got lucky Hobbs... this band Nirvana that you've been bleating on about, well you can have the front cover for them... you've got 48 hours to find them and deliver the story back to me."
Mercifully, Nirvana happened to be in the UK.
I went to The Word TV show with them, the notoriously shambolic Channel 4 "youth culture" show hosted by Terry Christian. The band performed Smells Like Teen Spirit which Kurt dedicated to: "Courtney Love, the best fuck in the world". Only about a minute of the song was broadcast before The Word ran the programme's closing titles over the top of Nirvana's performance.
The record company were furious. The band didn't give a toss.
This was typical of the general attitude towards Nirvana, not many people really cared about the band at that point, and yet the were just days away from the release of Smells Like Teen Spirit as a single, which transformed them from tough underground contenders to the hottest rock band on the planet.
I remember Krist Novoselic was very gracious on the day I spent with the band, Dave Grohl was gooning around, and Kurt was in a lot of pain. He was suffering terribly with his stomach ulcers and spent the main of the time curled up in a ball on the floor during the photo session for the NME cover.
The band were staying in a real dive of a hotel in Bayswater in London. Kurt disappeared for a long time after we returned from The Word to medicate his ulcers, but eventually came down to the bar to talk. He was gentle and apologetic, and more interested in talking about women's rights in America, than his own songs.
He was completely unaware that he was leading a band who were literally on the brink of changing the world forever, and he was totally unprepared for the Nirvana mania to come...
Tagged as Nirvana
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