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Nirvana Smiley Men's Tank Top Black Band Merch, Bands

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Cobain and Novoselic at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards. Less than two weeks later, Nirvana performed at the MTV Video Music Awards. During the first rehearsal for the show, Cobain announced that they were going to play a new song during the broadcast, and the band rehearsed "Rape Me". MTV's executives were appalled by the song, and, according to show producer Amy Finnerty, the executives believed that the song was about them. They insisted that the band could not play "Rape Me", even threatening to throw Nirvana off of the show and stop airing their videos entirely. After a series of intense discussions, MTV and Nirvana agreed that the band would play "Lithium", their latest single. When the band began their performance, Cobain strummed and sang the first few bars of "Rape Me", one last jab at MTV's executives, before breaking into "Lithium". Near the end of the song, frustrated that his amp had stopped functioning, Novoselic decided to toss his bass into the air for dramatic effect. He misjudged the landing, and the bass ended up bouncing off his forehead, causing him to stumble off the stage in a daze. As Cobain trashed their equipment, Grohl ran to the mic and began yelling "Hi, Axl!" repeatedly, referring to Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose, with whom the band and Courtney had had a bizarre encounter prior to the show. In early 1994, the band embarked on a European tour. Following a tour stop at Terminal Eins in Munich, Germany, on March 1, Cobain was diagnosed with bronchitis and severe laryngitis. The next night's show at the same venue was canceled. In Rome, on the morning of March 4, Love found Cobain unconscious and he was rushed to the hospital. The doctor told a press conference that the singer had reacted to a combination of prescription Rohypnol and alcohol. The rest of the tour was canceled, including a planned leg in the UK. Nirvana released Incesticide, a collection of rarities and B-sides, in December 1992. Many of Nirvana's radio sessions and unreleased early recordings were starting to circulate via trading circles and illegal bootlegs, so the album served to circumvent the bootleggers. The album contained songs from previously released singles and EPs, including "Sliver" and "Dive", as well as material from the band's sessions for the BBC, including "Been a Son", "Aneurysm", and covers of songs by The Vaselines and Devo.

In a late 1989 interview, Cobain noted that the band's music was changing. He said, "The early songs were really angry [. . . ] But as time goes on the songs are getting poppier and poppier as I get happier and happier. The songs are now about conflicts in relationships, emotional things with other human beings." In April 1990, the band began working with producer Butch Vig at Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin on recordings for the follow-up to Bleach. During the sessions, Kurt and Krist became disenchanted with Channing's drumming, and Channing expressed frustration at not being actively involved in songwriting. Not long after the sessions were complete, Channing was gone from the band. After a few weeks with Dale Crover of The Melvins filling in, Nirvana hired Mudhoney drummer Dan Peters, with whom they recorded the song "Sliver". A few weeks later, Buzz Osborne of The Melvins introduced them to Dave Grohl, who was looking for a new band following the sudden break-up of D.C. hardcore punks Scream. Disenchanted with Sub Pop and with the Smart Studios sessions generating interest, Nirvana decided to look for a deal with a major record label. In February 1992, following the band's Pacific Rim tour, Cobain married Hole frontwoman Courtney Love in Hawaii. Love gave birth to a daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, the following August. Citing exhaustion, the band decided not to undertake another U.S. tour in support of Nevermind, instead opting to make only a handful of performances later that year. Just days after Frances Bean's birth, Nirvana performed one of its best-known concerts, headlining at the Reading Festival in England. Amid rumors about Cobain's health and the possibility the band might break up, Cobain entered the stage in a wheelchair as a practical joke, then proceeded to get up and join the rest of the band in tearing through an assortment of old and new material. Dave Grohl related in 2005 on the radio program Loveline that the band was genuinely concerned beforehand that the show would be a complete disaster, given all that had happened in the months leading up to the show. Instead, the performance ended up being one of the most memorable of their career.

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