I’ve been listening to Nirvana’s Nevermind album recently. When it came out in 1991, I got it on cassette after work and ran home to listen to it even though I had the beginnings of a headache. In fact, I listened to it over and over on full blast until my headache developed into a blinding migraine. Guitarist Warren Cuccurullo — 9/11 conspiracy theorist, amateur porn star and member of cool band Missing Persons — reportedly said, “You know, there have been a lot of casualties in rock-n-roll.” I was one of them! But at least I didn’t suffer permanent damage, unlike Warren, who, according to Wikipedia, believes that “the planes that hit the World Trade Center on 9/11 were a hoax created by computer-generated imagery.”
I only saw Nirvana live once, in 1993, when the band taped MTV Unplugged. My kind, patient and talented photographer friend, Frank Micelotta, was shooting the performance for the album art and took me along. (As I recall, a lot of his photos of lead singer Kurt Cobain were used to illustrate stories about Kurt’s suicide the following year.) I had a prime seat next to Kate Moss.
Frank was always photographing celebrities, but he made an exception once and took a picture of me. It’s framed and hanging by MrB’s night table. I put it — frame and all — in my crappy scanner to show you. It’s more sepia in real life.
I remember that Frank said, “I know you’re not going to like this” because it wasn’t a smiley picture. He was right. I didn’t like it at first. But now it’s the one non-smiley photo of myself of which I approve.
In addition to the photograph, my souvenirs from that period of time include a Nirvana t-shirt. Even though I’ve sworn off the big t-shirt/leggings look, I briefly revived it for this post.
What Wendy Wore for This Post
T-shirt: Nirvana (1993)
Jeggings: Citizens of Humanity (2010)
Boots: Michael Kors (pre-2005)
Here’s the back of the shirt.
I tried to take a photo of the little holes left when my late dog, Mr. Chubbs, nibbled the shirt many years ago, but it didn’t come out. Chubbs wasn’t usually a shirt-nibbler. I don’t know what got into him that day. He did eventually suffer from doggy dementia; maybe t-shirt mastication was one of the earliest symptoms.
I also had a Hole t-shirt but it vanished a few years ago. Did Mr. Chubbs eat it entirely? It was a tiny tank top so that’s possible. I was a huge fan of Cobain’s wife Courtney Love and her band Hole. I bought the shirt when I saw her at Roseland in May 1999. For a long time, Courtney could do no wrong in my eyes. Even the notorious 1992 Vanity Fair story about her pregnancy didn’t throw me. I was willing to believe that Courtney kicked heroin after she realized she was pregnant, rather than using late into her pregnancy as writer Lynn Hirschberg indicated.
While I still listen to Hole’s albums Live Through This and Celebrity Skin (and sometimes even the first, harsher Pretty on the Inside), I’ve lost my tolerance for Courtney’s bad behavior. Her public harassment of her estranged daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, via Twitter on the girl’s 18th birthday, was particularly pathetic — especially because it happened about a month after Courtney started a style blog to improve her image. Does she seriously think bad outfit photos are the cause of her image problems? Worse than having her only child take out a restraining order against her? I don’t want to speculate on what ails Courtney. She went through all kinds of shit as a kid, but at some point, a terrible upbringing doesn’t excuse today’s destructive behavior. I’ve seen this kind of thing up close and personal: “talented but troubled,” which is so intriguing in a 20-something, is damn sad in a 40-something. If you want to be a tragic pop-culture icon, you better die at 27, because 20 years later, it’s not a pretty picture … no matter how many fabulous outfit photos you post.