Around twelve years ago, I was obsessed with Nirvana. They were the first favourite band I can remember, having never been a music fan as a kid. Nirvana changed all that.
‘Nevermind’ was the perfect rock album. It had balls, tunes and a unique sound. It had a cool front cover. It was the ideal starting point for someone embarking on their first steps down the path towards proper music. Now it’s twenty years old. Fuck.
One thing I loved about Nirvana’s album was the variety. Their debut Bleach sounds nothing like Nevermind, and both sound nothing like their final studio efort In Utero. All are great records though, for different reasons. They weren’t great musicians and that appealed to me as well. Great song-writing isn’t the ability to wank over a fret board like Rick Wakeman.
Nirvana were also one of the best live bands around. Not that I was old enough to see them live, with me being only eleven when Kurt blew his own head off. All live recordings I have of them are dynamite, and I used to love their ‘Muddy Banks…’ album a whole lot back in the day. The recent release of their whole Reading set from 1992 is stunning, as close to perfection as a live album can get. This is no mean feat, considering 99% of live albums are terrible. Nirvana’s showcases one of the best bands of the era, at their peak, letting rip. I love it.
From Nirvana I got into punk rock, and after a couple more years, I’d discovered a new favourite band in the Ramones. Then came hardcore, metal and all their various sub-genres, and in the last couple of years my taste has become more eclectic to encompass more efette rock and pop from decades gone.
I wonder how different my life would have been if not for Nirvana. I might not have bought the Ramones’ ‘Road to Ruin’ from Virgin in Harrow and started a touring punk band a few months later. I might not have gone to so many awesome shows in London. I might not have got to interview Brian Baker of Minor Threat/Bad Religion fame and been given a shit load of free CDs/gig passes on behalf of Pastepunk.com. I might have spent a lot more money in Top Man.
I might have got more skirt.
Anyway, it was all worth it because being a music snob is fucking awesome.