Nirvana, Nirvana, Nirvana, Nirvana. I keep seeing and hearing them everywhere lately. Their album Nevermind is a little less than two months from celebrating its 20th birthday so I thought I’d feature their biggest hit, Smells Like Teen Spirit.
You probably know the story behind the song by now, but if not, Kurt came up with the title when his friend Kathleen Hanna, former singer of Bikini Kill, spray painted “Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit” on his wall. Since they had been discussing anarchism, punk rock, and other similiar ideas, Kurt interpreted it as having a revolutionary meaning. What Hanna actually meant? That Cobain smelled like the deodorant Teen Spirit, which his then-girlfriend Tobi Vail wore. Cobain later stated he was unaware it was a brand of deodorant until months after the single was released.
If you’re a Nirvana fan, be sure to check out SPIN’s latest issue which is also celebrating the 20th anniversary called “What Nevermind Means Now”. It has a lot of interesting quotes from musicians, actors, comedians, etc. about how the album affected their life or what memories they had with the band’s music.
My memory? It would have to be in the late 90’s. I wasn’t as obsessed with music as I am now and I was terrible with band names and song titles. I just liked a song and that was it. Well, I loved Smells Like Teen Spirit and Come As You Are and since it was before iTunes, YouTube and mp3’s, I had to rely on the radio to hear them. So every night I’d listen to my tape player (yes, I said tape player) with a radio and would tune into DC101. Not surprisingly, I always heard one of the songs, if not both, every night.
Watch the official video above.