'Smells Like Teen Spirit': The Anthem For A Generation That Didn't Want One


Joel Rose dives into the history of perhaps the ultimate grunge rock song:

"They started playing the new song and people erupted," says Jennie Boddy. She was a friend of the band and a publicist for Sub Pop Records, the indie label that put out Nirvana's first record, Bleach. "We were being slimed on by shirtless guys, just moshing," Boddy says. 'My friend Susan started hyperventilating, she thought it was so good: 'I cant, gasp, believe what they just played!' It was just instantaneous; it was crazy."


"I was just using pieces of poetry and just garbage — you know, just stuff that just would spew out of me at the time," he told the Canadian TV channel MuchMusic in 1993. "A lot of times when I write lyrics, it's just at the last second because I'm really lazy. And then I find myself having to come up with explanations for it."
Danny Goldberg, Nirvana's former manager and author of the memoir Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain, isn't convinced. "I don't believe that at all," he says. "I think he worked as carefully on the lyrics as he did on everything else."

Interesting that the lyrics were quite different (or at least shifted around) in the original version from the video (below). But, wow, how awesome is that video? And how awesome is it that it exists? They sound like they're literally going to blow the roof off of the venue with that Molotov cocktail of a chorus.


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