Trivia / Nirvana

  • Artist Existence Failure: Cobain, who Ate His Gun.
  • Black Sheep Hit: "Aneurysm" from Incesticide, the song was only a B-Side and later was ranked in third place for best Nirvana song, right under "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Heart Shaped Box". Made all the more impressive since it was the final track on the Smells Like Teen Spirit single and the final track on their 15 song compilation album released in 1992.
  • Breakthrough Hit: "Smells Like Teen Spirit", and how!
  • Colbert Bump: Kurt loved to talk about his favorite bands in interviews. Some of these bands received a lot of attention after Cobain plugged them. The Vaselines were virtually unknown in the United States until Cobain declared them to be his favorite band.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Kurt eventually got so fed up with the excessive focus on "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from Nevermind that he would purposely trick and antagonize crowds at some of the shows, if they insisted that the band play the song. Most often, he would play the intro to Smells Like Teen Spirit, and go right into Rape Me (with a similar opening riff) instead.
    • In the UK on Top of the Pops (which is known for its making bands mime performances to a pre-recorded backing track — basically one step above lip-synching), Kurt sang in a deep voice to annoy the people insisting he play Smells Like Teen Spirit, and to imitate Morrissey.
    • In Live At Reading, the band went into a hilariously bad rendition of Boston's "More Than A Feeling" to lampshade the similarity between the song's chorus and "Smells Like Teen Spirit".
    • Krist Novoselic hated the original solo for "Heart-Shaped Box", saying it "sounded like a fucking abortion hitting the floor". Cobain re-recorded it for the single version.
  • Creator Breakdown: In Utero.
  • Executive Meddling: Twice on Nevermind regarding the cover artwork. The first was a more positive example, with Kurt being talked out of using a very graphic image of a water birth, complete with blood and placenta, in favor of the now-famous "naked baby" photo. However, there were concerned about the head of the baby's penis being visible. Kurt fought to keep it visible and when the label suggesting putting a sticker on the outer casing so as not to offend record-store shoppers, Kurt said he'd only agree if the sticker said "If you are offended by this, then you're a closeted pedophile."
  • Genre-Killer: Nirvana's explosion onto the mainstream and the ushering in of the "grunge" era of popular music are often attributed with the (depending on who you ask) well-deserved death of hair- and glam-metal.
  • Magnum Opus Dissonance: Kurt thought of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" as a highly polished The Pixies rip-off and was often reluctant to play it. He actually considered "Drain You" to be the best song on Nevermind, as well as one of the best songs he ever wrote.
  • Name's the Same:
    • "Nirvana" was also the name of a psychedelic band formed in the UK in The '60s. The elder Nirvana sued over the name and settled out of court, to the effect that both groups were allowed to continue using the name. The earlier band even recorded a cover of "Lithium", and intended to record an entire album of Cobain's material before his death put the kibosh on it.
    • This might be sacrilege, but one of the cartoon bands on Jem and the Holograms was called Nirvana.
    • Confusingly, Nirvana sort of ended up calling two unrelated songs "Verse Chorus Verse" — one was an outtake from 1991, the other was their contribution to the 1993 compilation No Alternative. Fanon started dictating that the 1991 song was the real "Verse Chorus Verse" and the 1993 song was "Sappy" (a known Working Title), and this was essentially made canon by the track-listing to the box set With The Lights Out, which featured both songs.
  • No Budget: Bleach was recorded on a budget of just over $600. Guitarist Jason Everman supplied the money. He is credited as a guitarist on the album, though he didn't actually play on it.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Cobain always made sure to plug his favorite bands in interviews and several of them (Meat Puppets, The Melvins, The Vaselines and Shonen Knife, just to name a few) got major label record deals just because Cobain said he liked them. Nirvana also got a record contract thanks to the support of Sonic Youth, a band they were all big fans of and quickly befriended afterwards.
  • Odd Friendship: At the height of the Hype Backlash surrounding "Achy Breaky Heart". Cobain met and struck a friendship with country star Billy Ray Cyrus, quipping something like, "Congratulations on getting the whole world to hate you". This is ironic considering the backlash Cyrus' daughter (a Nirvana fan) received in 2012 from some rock purists for covering "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in concert. Krist Novoselic did defend and support Miley for her cover, though.
  • Short-Lived Big Impact: Cobain helped define the image of rock the late 80's and early 90's, and set the stage for the rock scene in the next decade. He died at age 27. His band put out only three studio albums.
  • Throw It In:
    • While working on Bleach, the band had been experimenting with Drop D tuning. Before recording "Blew", Krist Novoselic had forgotten that he'd left his bass in drop D, so he re-tuned it as though it was in standard tuning to begin with, ending up recording his part in drop C#. This was the take that was used for the album because it just sounded cooler.
    • Nevermind has two mistakes that were left in: on "Polly", Kurt accidentally starts the "Polly says" verse too early, pauses, and then re-starts on the right spot. This became a sort of Ascended Glitch, even appearing on the faster "(New Wave) Polly" version from Incesticide. During double-tracking for "Come As You Are", he similarly sang "And I don't have a gun" before the last "memoria, memoria" section was over, but saved the mistake.
  • Working Title: Nevermind could have been Sheep and In Utero could have been I Hate Myself And Want To Die. For songs, "Breed" was originally "Imodium" and "Stay Away" was originally "Pay To Play". "Pay to play" means a few different things in the music industry, but here it was used to refer to paying radio stations to put a song in heavy rotation - Once Nirvana signed with Geffen, they decided it'd be hypocritical for a major label band to protest such things, so they changed the title and chorus.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Michael Stipe has said that their fourth album would've been softer and folkier, with some string arrangements, similar to Automatic for the People.
    • In 1993, the band wanted to enlist a second guitarist for live shows, and chose Pat Smear, who toured with the band and appeared on MTV Unplugged in New York. According to Dave Grohl, they also considered asking Steve Turner or Buzz Osbourne, but "didnít want to break up Mudhoney or the Melvins". Aside from potentially splitting up the aforementioned groups (or just forcing them to work around Nirvana's touring schedule), this also could have affected Foo Fighters: It's possible Pat Smear wouldn't have ended up in the band if he hadn't already worked with Dave Grohl.
    • Dave had already begun writing songs before Kurt died, and some of the songs that ended up on the first Foo Fighters album had been demoed and played for Kurt who loved them. According to Dave Kurt was quite fond of "Alone + Easy Target" in particular, so much that he thanked Dave for taking some of the songwriting pressure off of him. It's safe to say some Dave Grohl compositions would have started popping up on future Nirvana albums before too long.
    • Neil Young has said he tried to get in contact with Cobain before his suicide, but was unable to do so. Can you imagine what would have occurred if the two artists had collaborated? The world might not be able to handle that much awesome.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/Nirvana