Nirvana: Territorial Pissings // Live at Tonight with Jonathan Ross // 12/06/91

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  • 8.4.19


On the day the world found out about Kurt Cobain's demise, we remember one of the most iconic, insolent, punk moments in the history of live TV, that time in 1991 when Nirvana were the musical guests on Tonight With Jonathan Ross.

During the first soundcheck, rehearsed only by Grohl and Novoselic, as Cobain run late, the band performed Lithium, one of Nirvana's most recognizable tracks. The went through it another time when Kurt finally arrived, so that the crew would develop a camera sequence script that would match the song.

When the time came for the band to perform live, the show's host gave them a warm introduction: "Now let music be the food of love, which of course is a very nice line, which our waiters came up with this afternoon and now with the song, Lithium, probably the biggest band in the world right now, the pleasure is all yours, yes sir indeed, please welcome Nirvana!"

Novoselic mumbles the refrain of The Youngbloods classic, Get Together, and instead of Lithium, Nirvana explode into a frantic performance of Territorial Pissings. They ended the song knocking over the gear and equipment, and exited, leaving everyone stunned.

"Thank you very much indeed," Ross said in his outro. "Boy, hope we didn't wake the neighbors up! Nirvana there doing the tune that we didn't actually expect, but they wanted me to tell you that they're available for children's parties and Bar mitzvas from this weekend on."

It was during the same year when Nirvana deliberately wrecked Smells Like Teen Spirit on Top Of The Pops after they were asked to mime their instruments but not the vocals, and when Kurt showed up for an interview in Headbangers Ball wearing an inflatable bouncy castle as a dress.







ZR

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