LIVE NIRVANA SESSIONS HISTORY September 8, 1992 - Edwin W. Pauley Pavilion, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, US View in Google Maps

    • Kurt Cobain (vocals, guitar)
    • Krist Novoselic (bass)
    • Dave Grohl (drums)
  • Earnie Bailey (guitar technician)
  • Ian Beveridge (monitor engineer)
  • Joel Gallen (producer)
  • Bruce Gowers (director)
  • Barrett Jones (drum technician)
  • Alex MacLeod (tour manager)
  • [X] Rape Me
  • [?] tourette's
Source ID Quality Complete Runtime Lowest Gen Tracks Featured Notes
  • TBC
  • Professionally shot video with soundboard audio, broadcast on MTV. The audio on this clip is overdubbed with unrelated music.
PRO #2 CLIP TBC 0:00:04 TV>VHS(1)>DVDR
  • TBC
  • Professionally shot video with soundboard audio, broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK.

On September 8th, Kurt Cobain received a day-pass from Exodus Recovery Centre to rehearse with NIRVANA for the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards. (1)

There were doubts whether Cobain could, or should, play an awards show in his state of health but, with pressure from his management, Cobain chose to go ahead with the show. He hated going to awards shows, says manager, Danny Goldberg, and he didn't always like being recognized, but he worked very hard to get nominated for those awards, and he worked very hard to be recognized. (1)

Controversy erupted on the first day of rehearsals, when Cobain announced that he intended to play a new song. He was all excited about it, and acted like it was a gift, remembers MTV's Amy Finnerty. Much to the horror of the network's executives, who had expected to hear Smells Like Teen Spirit, the band cranked out Rape Me. (1)

Finnerty was immediately pulled into a production trailer, where she was lectured by her bosses about the band's song choice: They thought, Rape Me was about MTV! Oh, come on, Finnerty protested. I can assure you that he didn't write the song for or about us. Cobain had written the song back in early 1991, but by 1992 it had also come to represent a more personal metaphor for how he felt treated by the media, his managers, his bandmates and MTV (as the MTV executives had astutely realized). (1)

A battle of wills began between MTV brass and Cobain, with Finnerty and Gold Mountain acting as go-betweens. MTV threatened to pull NIRVANA from the show and stop playing their videos; Cobain said that was fine. Then the network upped the ante and threatened to stop playing videos by other artists managed by Gold Mountain. Cobain eventually reconsidered his song choice, but only after being told that Finnerty would be fired if the band performed Rape Me. (1)

  1. Cross, Charles, R., 2001. Heavier Than Heaven. Hodder & Stoughton, London.

© Alex Roberts. Last modified: August 28 2022