Marking the 20th anniversary of Nirvana's iconic "Unplugged
" record, MTV
unveiled exclusive footage of behind-the-scenes state of affairs, confirming that Dave Grohl
for nearly booted from the gig for being too much of a skin-basher.
As producer Alex Coletti
noted, "up until the day
[of the concert], there was talk of Dave not playing at all in the show. Kurt wasn't happy with the way rehearsals were going; he didn't like the way Dave sounded playing drums with sticks.
"Dave's a heavy hitter, and the thing about 'Unplugged' is, if the drummer doesn't get it under control, it makes it a bad-sounding electric show, instead of a good-sounding acoustic show,"
Coletti explained, noting that he eventually even bought Grohl a pair of wire brushes to soften the hit. "And, typical Dave, he just went 'Oh cool, I never had these before!'"
the producer said.
So the tension was at an all-time high basically until the very beginning of the show. Dave ultimately did handle the drumming duties and the album became one of the classics. However, on one of the songs, the "Pennyroyal Tea
" track, Kurt decided to go on his own. It might seem a bit staged while watching it live, but the brief chat between Cobain and Grohl regarding the drummer's participation was where the decision was actually made.
"That song meant a lot to him,"
said director Beth McCarthy-Miller
, "it was very personal, wand he wanted to feel simple and raw, just him singing his heart out. Any other instruments were getting in the way of the emotion of the song for him. Dave plays drums like Animal from 'The Muppet Show,' and Kurt knew that, he was very deliberate about it. He wanted it to be his song."
Check out documentary clips and the "Pennyroyal Tea" performance below and let us know what you think in the comments.