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The True Story Behind Nirvana and Guns N' Roses feud

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sidman69    244

i think this is perhaps my favourite episode. Some cool stories about Axl finding out Kurt passed away and Axl ranting about Nirvana at GNR shows and more!

 

 

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Len Cnut    8,529

In a nutshell, a couple of fuckin' tarts threw snidey little digs at each other for an accumulated total of 20 mins of their lives a quarter of a century ago.

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sidman69    244
On 8/18/2017 at 10:17 AM, Len Cnut said:

In a nutshell, a couple of fuckin' tarts threw snidey little digs at each other for an accumulated total of 20 mins of their lives a quarter of a century ago.

basically

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RussTCB    8,715
On 8/18/2017 at 0:17 PM, Len Cnut said:

In a nutshell, a couple of fuckin' tarts threw snidey little digs at each other for an accumulated total of 20 mins of their lives a quarter of a century ago.

This is probably the most accurate description I've heard :lol:

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This GnR vs Nirvana thing still burns me a bit when it comes up...and it inevitably seems to come up whenever discussion of 80s and 90s rock happens.   So much revisionist history, so much idol worship of Cobain.


Kurt was a self righteous dbag that slighted GnR's name at every chance until he died, which is what started the whole thing.  He was so far up his own ass, so desperately wanted to be the biggest rock star, constantly calling GnR and Axl especially childish names, untalented, etc, to get himself over (An early quote where he whined about how Guns was the biggest band in the world says it all).  His sycophantic followers, which grew tenfold after he killed himself, just parroted his lines and continue to do so.   

 

It is crazy how often I hear "corporate rock", "untalented", "sexist", "racist", or Guns getting lumped in with Poison and Enuff Z'Nuff when people start talking about GnR out and about.  The negative rhetoric has stuck, to a surprising degree over the years.  Ask someone to follow up those buzz terms with real analysis and their argument crumbles.

 

I watched the music episode of CNN's The 90s a couple of nights ago.  Not a word about Guns (I don't believe they were even mentioned in The 80s series made last year either).  All credit was given to Nirvana for changing the music scene from Hair Metal of the 80s.  I just can't believe how successful the post Cobain suicide revisionist history still is.  Guns broke down the walls of what gets played through radio and MTV, the way things are selected.  If that doesn't happen, that Seattle scene may not get a chance to crawl out of the PNW.

 

The funny thing in that video is the clip of the fan at a Nirvana concert that came on stage and asked why people can't like both bands/styles.  I never understood that either, but the flannel fans just wouldn't have it.   Most of the grunge heads I knew hated everything else, I think just because they were told everything else sucked.  :shrugs:

Edited by HuskerTornado

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sidman69    244
12 hours ago, HuskerTornado said:

This GnR vs Nirvana thing still burns me a bit when it comes up...and it inevitably seems to come up whenever discussion of 80s and 90s rock happens.   So much revisionist history, so much idol worship of Cobain.


Kurt was a self righteous dbag that slighted GnR's name at every chance until he died, which is what started the whole thing.  He was so far up his own ass, so desperately wanted to be the biggest rock star, constantly calling GnR and Axl especially childish names, untalented, etc, to get himself over (An early quote where he whined about how Guns was the biggest band in the world says it all).  His sycophantic followers, which grew tenfold after he killed himself, just parroted his lines and continue to do so.   

 

It is crazy how often I hear "corporate rock", "untalented", "sexist", "racist", or Guns getting lumped in with Poison and Enuff Z'Nuff when people start talking about GnR out and about.  The negative rhetoric has stuck, to a surprising degree over the years.  Ask someone to follow up those buzz terms with real analysis and their argument crumbles.

 

I watched the music episode of CNN's The 90s a couple of nights ago.  Not a word about Guns (I don't believe they were even mentioned in The 80s series made last year either).  All credit was given to Nirvana for changing the music scene from Hair Metal of the 80s.  I just can't believe how successful the post Cobain suicide revisionist history still is.  Guns broke down the walls of what gets played through radio and MTV, the way things are selected.  If that doesn't happen, that Seattle scene may not get a chance to crawl out of the PNW.

 

The funny thing in that video is the clip of the fan at a Nirvana concert that came on stage and asked why people can't like both bands/styles.  I never understood that either, but the flannel fans just wouldn't have it.   Most of the grunge heads I knew hated everything else, I think just because they were told everything else sucked.  :shrugs:

i really like the CNN series. It's the only real good thing on CNN. It's a shame I haven't seen the 90s music episode but i was expecting tons of Nirvana references. 

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papashaun    2

Just my opinion....Here is some input from a youth of this time....

I was 10 years old when Nirvana put out the "Nevermind" album. The "Smells Like Teen Spirit" single gained all this steam from a different, edgier sound that was unique compared to what most bands were playing at that time. The 80s "hair bands" were phasing out.....and you would still see the likes of songs like Def Leppard's "Lets Get Rocked" played on MTV...but by far, GnR was the most popular band world-wide at this time. 

I personally think Nirvana is given the credit of "changing music" and all in the 90's simply because they had the first hit "Grunge" single. If you look at other albums produced in that early 90s era, to me Pearl Jam's "10," Soundgarden's "Super Unknown," Temple of the Dog's Album, and even Alice in Chain's-Facelift are much better albums top to bottom than Nevermind, in my view. Kurt and Co. simply rode a big wave of success off merely a hit "single," yet everyone else wanted to act like everything they did was a masterpiece.....which only got worse after he committed suicide. Look at the first Nirvana album, Bleach...not exactly anyone's first choice when mentioning classic albums....and really....Butch Vig is the reason for the Nirvana "sound," more so that Kurt....Butch's production changed the whole scheme of the band.

If you want to really look at who was really the best artist during the Grunge Scene...I would hold Chris Cornell in much higher regards than Kurt Cobain. Look at what he accomplished in his career with Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Audioslave, and his Solo Efforts....I really do think that if Kurt had not committed suicide, Nirvana would have completely burned out/faded away by the end of the 90s, if not early 00's.  They would have needed to change their sound to stay relevant, and would pretty much have been in the same fold as Pearl Jam was in the early 00s....you really didn't hear much about them in music world at that time, other than touring. Kurt was completely out of ideas as it was, and probably would have eventually routed to a more "pop" sound, as much as he tried to act like he was against the establishment, if the band would have continued doing anything. 

I just only wish that GnR could have stayed in tact in the mid-90s, just to see how the music scene may have changed all together, or how the band's sound could have changed post Illusion, with Slash and Duff still on board. It was probably a huge opportunity missed by the music world. If GnR has ever been guilty of anything to me, it's just "wasted time." But, the show I went to a couple of weeks ago was a great experience, and one of the best shows I had ever seen, live. I do hope that we get the chance to hear some new material, and see what might have been years ago. 

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EvanG    557
36 minutes ago, papashaun said:

If you want to really look at who was really the best artist during the Grunge Scene...I would hold Chris Cornell in much higher regards than Kurt Cobain. Look at what he accomplished in his career with Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog, Audioslave, and his Solo Efforts....I really do think that if Kurt had not committed suicide, Nirvana would have completely burned out/faded away by the end of the 90s, if not early 00's.  They would have needed to change their sound to stay relevant, and would pretty much have been in the same fold as Pearl Jam was in the early 00s....you really didn't hear much about them in music world at that time, other than touring. Kurt was completely out of ideas as it was, and probably would have eventually routed to a more "pop" sound, as much as he tried to act like he was against the establishment, if the band would have continued doing anything. 

It's impossible to know what would have happened if he hadn't died. You can't compare the two, Chris lived till his 50s and managed to get a lot of work done, Kurt died 1,5 month after his 27th birthday. (and still managed to release four albums) If he hadn't died, I think Kurt could have stayed relevant musically speaking. The Nirvana albums show that he didn't want to do the same thing every time and that he wanted to keep evolving. But if he would have quit the music business, like he wanted to, I can also imagine him becoming a painter or something like that. Musically I think he would have drifted more towards folk music, which he was already flirting with on the last album and tour.

I think the reason that you didn't hear a lot about Pearl Jam is because they're not the kind of band that goes for publicity too much... They just want to make albums and tour, and that's it. Even at the time of their second album in 1993, when they were at the height of their success and even more popular than Nirvana, they barely did any press or even made any videos at a time when MTV was still very relevant and could make or break you.

Edited by EvanG

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Modano09    635

 

In retrospect, I don't get the big deal about Nirvana. They were fun back in the day, and a couple of songs are still fun to listen to if you haven't heard them in a while or in the right setting, but it really hasn't aged well and I really don't get what was so influential about them. I don't get the love for Cobain either. He wrote songs about sleeping over at his grandmother's and had his head so far up his own ass that's where they found the gun. 

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EvanG    557
18 minutes ago, Modano09 said:

 

In retrospect, I don't get the big deal about Nirvana. They were fun back in the day, and a couple of songs are still fun to listen to if you haven't heard them in a while or in the right setting, but it really hasn't aged well and I really don't get what was so influential about them. I don't get the love for Cobain either. He wrote songs about sleeping over at his grandmother's and had his head so far up his own ass that's where they found the gun. 

Ouch. Well, it's a good question, though. It was obviously not just the music. There was something about him that made so many people feel close to him... I don't know if it's charisma, his voice, what he wrote about, or everything together, but there was something about him that made a lot of people care about that guy.

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18 hours ago, HuskerTornado said:

This GnR vs Nirvana thing still burns me a bit when it comes up...and it inevitably seems to come up whenever discussion of 80s and 90s rock happens.   So much revisionist history, so much idol worship of Cobain.


Kurt was a self righteous dbag that slighted GnR's name at every chance until he died, which is what started the whole thing.  He was so far up his own ass, so desperately wanted to be the biggest rock star, constantly calling GnR and Axl especially childish names, untalented, etc, to get himself over (An early quote where he whined about how Guns was the biggest band in the world says it all).  His sycophantic followers, which grew tenfold after he killed himself, just parroted his lines and continue to do so.   

 

It is crazy how often I hear "corporate rock", "untalented", "sexist", "racist", or Guns getting lumped in with Poison and Enuff Z'Nuff when people start talking about GnR out and about.  The negative rhetoric has stuck, to a surprising degree over the years.  Ask someone to follow up those buzz terms with real analysis and their argument crumbles.

 

I watched the music episode of CNN's The 90s a couple of nights ago.  Not a word about Guns (I don't believe they were even mentioned in The 80s series made last year either).  All credit was given to Nirvana for changing the music scene from Hair Metal of the 80s.  I just can't believe how successful the post Cobain suicide revisionist history still is.  Guns broke down the walls of what gets played through radio and MTV, the way things are selected.  If that doesn't happen, that Seattle scene may not get a chance to crawl out of the PNW.

 

The funny thing in that video is the clip of the fan at a Nirvana concert that came on stage and asked why people can't like both bands/styles.  I never understood that either, but the flannel fans just wouldn't have it.   Most of the grunge heads I knew hated everything else, I think just because they were told everything else sucked.  :shrugs:

Quoting in place of a like.  

God it gets to me as well, the revisionist crap that's peddled out about Nirvana.  And I'm a Nirvana fan.  But so many misconceptions.  People forget, or they weren't there to remember, that for a long while Pearl Jam were revered over and above Nirvana - this is before Kurt's death.  Nirvana were certainly big but they weren't stratospheric  until after he died.  And they didn't kill off Guns et.al overnight as is often stated. 

Also forgotten about was the beginnings of a Nirvana backlash months before Kurt's death, the origins of which probably began a year or two earlier, with the social services investigation into their 'questionable parenting' i.e. Courtney's alleged drug abuse while pregnant - that was a huge scandal at the time, that even non-music fans paid attention to, and had an opinion on, and it did hurt them.  Kurt's personal life was always a train wreck, as we all know, and I think it was beginning to do the 'brand' as we now say, more harm than good.  Then he died, perceptions changed completely, and it's now a case of what backlash?

Edited by MyPrettyTiedUpMichelle

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Blackstar    3,226
1 hour ago, EvanG said:

It's impossible to know what would have happened if he hadn't died. You can't compare the two, Chris lived till his 50s and managed to get a lot of work done, Kurt died 1,5 month after his 27th birthday. (and still managed to release four albums) If he hadn't died, I think Kurt could have stayed relevant musically speaking. The Nirvana albums show that he didn't want to do the same thing every time and that he wanted to keep evolving. But if he would have quit the music business, like he wanted to, I can also imagine him becoming a painter or something like that. Musically I think he would have drifted more towards folk music, which he was already flirting with on the last album and tour.

I agree that we can't know what he would have evolved into musically. But I think the part about him wanting to quit the business is questionable (as well as his supposed resentment towards success being the reason behind his suicide).

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killuridols    4,589
1 hour ago, Modano09 said:

In retrospect, I don't get the big deal about Nirvana. They were fun back in the day, and a couple of songs are still fun to listen to if you haven't heard them in a while or in the right setting, but it really hasn't aged well and I really don't get what was so influential about them. I don't get the love for Cobain either. He wrote songs about sleeping over at his grandmother's and had his head so far up his own ass that's where they found the gun. 

The teenagers identified with him. It was a teenagers movement, rebellion or whatever.

Trying to explain it with the mind of an adult its sort of ridiculous, in my opinion.

If it hasn't aged well it is because of that, because it represented a phase in the life of a person: adolescence. Once you are past it, you look back and say "geez, what an idiotic boy/girl I was" but when you're living it, your teenager problems and your teenager world is all that exists in your mind.

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EvanG    557
11 minutes ago, Blackstar said:

I agree that we can't know what he would have evolved into musically. But I think the part about him wanting to quit the business is questionable (as well as his supposed resentment towards success being the reason behind his suicide).

He was the man of contradictions. He contradicted himself sometimes in the same interview. I think it was his best friend who once said that Kurt wanted to play for 100.000 people yet at the same time he felt guilty for wanting that. It's odd guessing why he really killed himself, but I think it had more to do with depression and drugs than 'success'. Because he wanted success and be in a successful rock band, but at the same time he didn't. 

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EvanG    557
10 minutes ago, killuridols said:

The teenagers identified with him. It was a teenagers movement, rebellion or whatever.

Trying to explain it with the mind of an adult its sort of ridiculous, in my opinion.

If it hasn't aged well it is because of that, because it represented a phase in the life of a person: adolescence. Once you are past it, you look back and say "geez, what an idiotic boy/girl I was" but when you're living it, your teenager problems and your teenager world is all that exists in your mind.

It's also just good music... I'm an adult and I don't care about teenage angst self-pity anymore, but I can still enjoy the energy and melody that a lot of Nirvana songs have. Songs like Dumb and Serve the Servants are still great.

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killuridols    4,589
11 minutes ago, EvanG said:

It's also just good music... I'm an adult and I don't care about teenage angst self-pity anymore, but I can still enjoy the energy and melody that a lot of Nirvana songs have. Songs like Dumb and Serve the Servants are still great.

Me too. I love all the music from the 90s, even if I've overcome some (not all) of my teenager demons, I can listen to all of it and enjoy it..... but I don't know if this could be applied to all people or other people. Im a music lover so to me, music is very important, not a fad of the moment :shrugs:

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AXL_N_DIZZY    38

Used to get so fired up about this- but long-ago have come to believe it was just a brilliant marketing ploy by Kurt in 1992-93 to get his band Into a "Cold War" with the world's biggest rock band. By 1993-94- to me Kurt's heart was no longer into the feud (e.g. doesn't really take MTV/Loder bait on "Estranged" video, happy to see Duff on plane, etc.)- or much anything else.

Anyway- two historically significant, 1st Ballot RNRHOF-type bands that many of us had the privilege of observing at their peak when we were in high school. Now that Axl's fully in the "good vibe" mix w/the Grohl throne- it really is just long-lost days of our youths. Nothing more IMHO...

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EvanG    557
2 minutes ago, killuridols said:

Me too. I love all the music from the 90s, even if I've overcome some (not all) of my teenager demons, I can listen to all of it and enjoy it..... but I don't know if this could be applied to all people or other people. Im a music lover so to me, music is very important, not a fad of the moment :shrugs:

Yeah, sometimes I wonder why my music taste never quite evolved because, not that I don't discover new music now that I'm in my 30s, but I still listen to bands and enjoy the records that I bought when I was in elementary school and high school back in the 90s.

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killuridols    4,589
2 minutes ago, EvanG said:

Yeah, sometimes I wonder why my music taste never quite evolved because, not that I don't discover new music now that I'm in my 30s, but I still listen to bands and enjoy the records that I bought when I was in elementary school and high school back in the 90s.

Because they are part of your fond memories from youth. Most of our fondest memories are formed in that period of our childhoods and teenager years. After that, it is really hard to keep up with music, fads, new artists, etc and actually have a bond with them.

I have evolved since the teenager years but not as much as I would like to. This is basically because I've got no time to dedicate to it but once in a while I try to look around, read music magazines and check out what's going on with music scene :shrugs:

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EvanG    557
Just now, killuridols said:

Because they are part of your fond memories from youth. Most of our fondest memories are formed in that period of our childhoods and teenager years. After that, it is really hard to keep up with music, fads, new artists, etc and actually have a bond with them.

I have evolved since the teenager years but not as much as I would like to. This is basically because I've got no time to dedicate to it but once in a while I try to look around, read music magazines and check out what's going on with music scene :shrugs:

I understand and that makes sense, but when I was in elementary school everyone I knew was into rock music and I know they all moved on from that, while I still listen to the same bands as when I was 12. And all the new bands that I do discover now are bands that were already around in the 90s or earlier, but that I somehow didn't pick up on back then. 

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killuridols    4,589
18 minutes ago, EvanG said:

I understand and that makes sense, but when I was in elementary school everyone I knew was into rock music and I know they all moved on from that, while I still listen to the same bands as when I was 12. And all the new bands that I do discover now are bands that were already around in the 90s or earlier, but that I somehow didn't pick up on back then. 

Yes, I know the feeling. I think most adults are not that much into music or very dedicated to look for albums, bands, new artists, etc.

This might happen because you are more into music than the average adult and because you like rock genuinely, unlike your classmates who were into rock back then because it was fashionable to like those bands.

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Modano09    635
2 hours ago, killuridols said:

The teenagers identified with him. It was a teenagers movement, rebellion or whatever.

Trying to explain it with the mind of an adult its sort of ridiculous, in my opinion.

If it hasn't aged well it is because of that, because it represented a phase in the life of a person: adolescence. Once you are past it, you look back and say "geez, what an idiotic boy/girl I was" but when you're living it, your teenager problems and your teenager world is all that exists in your mind.

In general that's a good point, and probably the explanation. But for me personally, even at the time, I didn't think it was anything more than awesome music. Similar to Marilyn Manson. I liked the music, and I knew simply listening to him was a form of rebellion, but there was nothing about the music that really touched me or whatever. On the flip side, GNR and Nine Inch Nails I can still listen to and remember why I connected to it.

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Modano09    635
2 hours ago, EvanG said:

Yeah, sometimes I wonder why my music taste never quite evolved because, not that I don't discover new music now that I'm in my 30s, but I still listen to bands and enjoy the records that I bought when I was in elementary school and high school back in the 90s.

I say all the time "I'm at the point where I just listen to what I always listened to..."

I think it's a combination of things. When you're a teenager, music is a "thing". You're actively seeking it out, it's on TV, your friends are introducing you to things, you give things a chance because other people like them, etc. At 34, I don't have the time or patience to go out of my way to find out what's good. I don't even know where to go to find out what's good. What's on the radio isn't. My music taste these days are my old favorites, new albums from my old favorites that are still active, and whatever good or catchy new songs/bands I happen to come across somehow. 

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I don't like the term "evolve" when it comes to entertainment.  Evolution implies "improvement", but that isn't always the case in these forms. 

 

I find new music by going to allmusic.com and going through the new release list every week, or hitting up bands/albums I already like on the site and it gives tons of similar acts or other recommendations.  The Temperance Movement has been one especially standout band I have really enjoyed the last few years. 

 

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papashaun    2

Don't know if anyone else ever listened to the comedian, Tim Wilson, but he had this quote to say about Kurt Cobain one time:

"Kurt Cobain.....now there's a waste of humanity. The man couldn't play, the man couldn't sing....yet he hated the world, just because he was paid millions of dollars, to give it a good try."

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