Tuesday, February 08, 2011

29. Nirvana - Nevermind (1991)

45 years, 45 LPs, 45 days...
Nevermind (1991)

If you were not affected in some way by "Smells Like Teen Spirit" you were probably an alien or a robot. Nirvana appeared seemingly out of nowhere with its major label debut Nevermind (1991) (they had released one album, Bleach (1989) on the indie SubPop label). With the record's over-the-top success came the birth of the grunge movement. For a while it seemed like the major labels couldn't find enough bands in Seattle to sign. Although the whole grunge scene became very tiresome, Nirvana didn't have enough time to wear out their welcome.
from Nevermind inner sleeve

Looking back, the time between Nevermind and Curt Cobain's death seems very short, like a brief, bright explosion that everybody heard, and then suddenly it was gone.  I saw Nirvana perform in support of Nevermind on 10/14/91 at First Avenue in Minneapolis (Urge Overkill was the opening act). I remember standing upstairs by the DJ booth, looking down on the jam-packed crowd on the main floor moving frantically to the music. It was a cultural event, history in the making. Chances are I thought of it as just another show at First Ave, albeit a damn good one.
Class of 1991, University of Minnesota
Less than two months after seeing Nirvana I was finally asked to leave the University of Minnesota. Turns out things can get a bit awkward if you linger after you've completed all your degree requirements. I didn't want to leave - I loved being on a college campus, and I feared that the "real world" would squash my desire to learn. The 1990's definitely broke my spirit a couple of times, but I managed to claw my way back and forge a path that worked. It took a while and it wasn't easy, but there you have it.

Go Gophers!

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