News: Nirvana Mania

Melody Maker - January 25th, 1992

Nirvana fever is sweeping America... which is bad news for their fans over here.

The pressures accompanying the band's sudden jump into the mainstream have forced them to scrap plans for live shows in the spring.

Nirvana originally intended to travel in Ireland in March to play rescheduled shows in Dublin and Belfast. They were forced to cancel dates there in December when Kurt Cobain started suffering problems with his voice.

News of the re-arranged Irish dates raised hopes that the band might stay on for appearances in England, but none of the concerts will now happen.

A spokesman said: "Since the album went to Number One in America, the pressure's really hit them. They've had no time off, just a smattering of days here and there."

The band will fulfil their plans to tour Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Honolulu this month and next, before taking March and April off. May brings an American tour of 5,000-capacity venues.

The summer looks more promising for fans on this side of the pond. Nirvana have been invited to play at almost every festival in Europe, and they are talking to several festival promoters in the UK.

Meanwhile, plans are going ahead for the release of a new single, "Come As You Are", on DGC in March. Among the tracks expected to feature on the various formats is "Endless, Nameless" which appeared on the CD format of the "Nevermind" album - 10 minutes after the last song. The 12-inch and CD single formats are also expected to include a John Peel session track.

The Stateside success of "Nevermind" has had unexpected consequences for the Seattle mayhem merchants. They appeared on the front page of the Business Section of the New York Times, where an article headlined "Is Hit Album A Fluke Or A Marketing Coup?" noted that the LP had sold over three and a half million copies worldwide. The band's management predicted that it would eventually sell seven million. Although DGC Records had spent more than half a million dollars promoting the album, the Times reported that sales of seven million records would generate almost $50 million in revenue.

The band celebrated their American Number One triumph with an anarchic live performance on the coast-to-coast mainstream TV show "Saturday Night Live". Kurt Cobain sent his mike stand flying and punched large holes in his amplifier speakers with his guitar neck.

Drummer David Grohl responded by heaving his entire drum kit off the riser, and bassist Chris Novoselic hurled one of Grohl's cymbal stands, javelin-style, back at him. At the end of the show, when the entire cast comes out to say goodnight and hug each other, Novoselic and Grohl kissed each other on the lips and Cobain fell down.

Meanwhile, MTV America is giving heavy rotation airtime to the equipment-smashing video of a newly-recorded, live version of Nirvana's "Territorial Pissings".

Finally, Nirvana are expected to feature on the soundtrack of the new Matt Dillon film, "Singles". Set in Seattle, the film stars Dillon as the singer with a grunge rock band called Citizen Dick.

The soundtrack is said to be made up from new material specially recorded by Mudhoney, Smashing Pumpkins, Replacement Paul Westerberg, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam. Nirvana did not have time to sort out a new track but are thought to have contributed an existing recording.

Pearl Jam appear in the film as Citizen Dick, and Dillon's character is said to be based on Mudhoney vocalist Mark Arm. Rumour has it that Citizen Dick will be seen covering Mudhoney's seminal "Touch Me I'm Sick", accordingly retitled "Touch Me I'm Dick".

The film is provisionally set for release for release in the States in the spring on Warner Films. UK release is in the autumn. The soundtrack will be released in the UK by Epic.

Thanks to Jen Johnson for this article