"Live in Concert" at NYC
A Confession: I did not watch the original broadcast of Nirvana's performance on MTV Unplugged.I have never seen it on video.I dont need to.I was there,at the Sony Studios in New York on November 18,1993,and I keep that hour in my head,with a clarity unspoiled by jumping camera angles and commercial breaks:the garlands and candlelight;the hushed strength of Krist,Dave,Pat Smear and cellist Lori Goldston;the hint of dare in the way Kurt opened the show with "About a Girl"("This is off our first record.Most people don't know it.")and how "All Apologies,"near the end,affirmed that early promise.And I recall my own gasp of recognition when I heard the slithering-cobra guitar of "The man who sold the world" David Bowie's 1970 reverie on power,celebrity and death."I guarantee you,I will screw this up."Kurt said.But he slipped into Bowie's silken ambiguity-and the unmistakable parallels to his own life-like second skin.Kurt did not sound bummed or bitter,just painfully wise,willing to laugh at himself and comfortable in a good song.
"It's easy to remember him being sad,"Dave told me last year."But the things that I like to think about are his happiness,and how much he loved music,whether it was sitting in a living room and playing an acoustic guitar,or playing at the Off Ramp in Seattle.He really,really loved creating music."
This is the world Kurt built for himself,when the real world was not enough.Listen again if you think you know it;listen loud if you dont know it yet.
Then build your own.
New York City