Nirvana’s performance of “Lithium”: Three things that I will never forget from this performance. 1) The band starting off by playing the opening to “Rape Me” just to upset the MTV executives. 2) Krist Novosellic throwing his bass guitar up in the air and having it smash straight into his head, giving him a concussion and causing him to stumble offstage. And 3) Dave Grohl getting out from behind the drums while Kurt Cobain is destroying everything in sight, coming up to the microphone and saying “Hi Axl!” over and over again. One of the best trainwreck performances ever.
Christian Slater hosting the 1993 awards: I have no idea why he was the host. I don’t think he even knew why he was the host. This was a few years after Heathers and Pump Up the Volume. I’m guessing that Arsenio Hall wasn’t available that night. Though by 1993 Arsenio should have been taking any gig that he could find.
Pearl Jam and Neil Young closing the show with “Rocking in the Free World”:
This is why I don’t think I will ever be able to get into what is the best selling music today. I don’t think that we’ll ever reach a point where this type of music is so popular that it is the closing of a mainstream award show. Or that anyone would allow Neil Young on stage with those sideburns ever again. I just can’t think of anything that is out now in the mainstream that could ever touch this. Outside of MC Hammer reprising “U Can’t Touch This” of course.
Michael Stipe wearing numerous t-shirts for R.E.M.’s wins for “Losing My Religion”: Every time they won he would take the stage in a shirt with a different slogan. When they won the final one he literally went through five shirts while giving his speech. That said, the song and video really haven’t aged well. When I first saw it I thought it was one of the most amazing things ever. Now it is more of a meh moment. Contrast to Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy”, which is still four minutes of pure artistic brilliance.
Garth from Wayne’s World playing drums with U2: I have this on a U2 bootleg CD somewhere in my collection. Kind of surprising that 15 years later that U2 would still be popular but Dana Carvey is, oh I don’t know, probably sleeping beneath an underpass somewhere.
Surprisingly good Best New Artists: Here are some of the acts that won over the years: Eurythmics, Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, Counting Crows, Alanis Morissette, Fiona Apple, Eminem… I mean while you can make fun of a-ha winning that might be the worst on the list. Ok, Michael Penn and Til Tuesday may not be popular but he did marry Aimee Mann so at least the entire household has awards.
Any others out there?