In a few weeks Nirvana will release the Reading Festival concert. It was filmed in 1992 by Japanese television and has only been available in low-fi / resolution bootleg. We watched the show late last year and it rocked so much we come to the conclusion that it should be officially released.
Reading 1992 was a triumph for the band, but it could have been a disaster. We were headlining a huge festival and the appearance was preceded with many rumors that we weren't going to make it - or if we did, we'd blow it.
We were aware of this. So we made a joke. Music journalist Everett True pushed Kurt out on stage in wheelchair. I tried to say a few words as part of the joke - but somehow got all frozen. Not even the beer could loosen me up. Oh yes - the whole gag was funny. Yess Funnee? HAW HAW - Oh those feelings inside!
Anyway, the gag worked only because the band rocked intensely for the whole show. It was like what would happen at a Nirvana rehearsal. We'd show up with all these problems under the surface, but once we started playing it transported us to a place that felt right. Rock as therapy!
Reading has a lot of musical warts, but instead of doctoring the playing in the studio, we left it alone. What you hear is what you get. Nathaniel Kunkel did great work on the mix. It's a blast to listen in 5.1.
I think the show was such a success because of the audience. They gave so much that it was easy to swat it back. The best moment is the crowd sing-a-long to "Lithium."
I'm happy to have moments like Reading to look back on in my Nirvana memories!