Hello Cleveland!: Nirvana Bass Drop/1992 MTV Music Awards
Welcome to the first edition of 'Hello Cleveland!', MoonVsTheWorld's weekly look back at great moments of onstage major malfunctions. When you have the thrilling combination of booze and utter stupidity you have the ingredients for mayhem and merriment (at least for the folks watching, anyway).
1992 found Nirvana moving from indie darlings to mainstream rock stars, fighting the transition the entire way. That year the band played the MTV Music Awards, although it's rumoured they were read the riot act by show producers about inappropriate behaviour and what was acceptable on-air conduct for the live broadcast. Being told what to do by 'the man' was never a strong point of the band, so they made sure to start playing a different song than the one they were scheduled to, throwing in a lyric MTV had specifically asked them not to mention, and giving MTV execs a minor heart attack before finally launching into 'Lithium', the tune they were supposed to play. The icing on the cake for this performance (which I remember being blown away by when it first aired and still kinda floors me today) occurs at 4:12, when bassist Krist Novoselic, pissed because his amp shorted out, chucks his bass fifteen feet in the air. On any other night, Krist would have caught it and kept rocking (so he claims). This night, in front of a live audience of millions, he unfortunately missed and ended up with a face full o' bass. Delicious, yes, but also a little embarrassing.