Rock and Roll Hall of Fame puts Nirvana & Peter Gabriel together again

As we herald today’s news that both Nirvana and Peter Gabriel have officially been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, we remember this classic photo and we remember our online series Unlikely Music Friendships Captured on Film. Here from the archives is this wonderful moment ….

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana and Peter Gabriel (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)
Kurt Cobain of Nirvana and Peter Gabriel (Photo by KMazur/WireImage)

Once you get past the “What’s Wrong with this Picture?” aspects of this photo here — Kurt with the baby bottle; Peter’s “Look who I’m getting my picture taken with” smile; both of them wearing tops that border on mock turtleneck — we are faced with the question of what they could have possibly discussed in the minutes surrounding this photo.

Kevin Mazur snapped the pic in September of 1993 at the 10th Annual MTV Video Music Awards. To put these characters in context, at the time, Peter Gabriel had released “Us” nearly a year before, and it would be another decade until his next album. Nirvana would release “In Utero” 10 days after this photo was taken, and Kurt Cobain would be dead eight months later.

While Cobain’s heroin usage has been widely reported, I don’t think that any narcotic side effects are responsible for his tight wink. It actually comes across more like he’s giving Gabriel a little bit of stink eye.

Was Cobain possibly not interested in Gabriel, and feeling like he was suffering a fool by having his photo taken with him? The late Nirvana singer once told Rolling Stone, “ I wouldn’t wear a tie-dyed T-shirt unless it was dyed with the urine of Phil Collins and the blood of Jerry Garcia.”

Since Gabriel was once in the same band as Collins, did Cobain share a similar disdain for both gentlemen? Or, come to think of it, does that quote even convey disdain? If you’re wearing a T-shirt that has swirls of somebody’s pee, I might suggest that you actually like that person. I may even venture to say that you like that person a whole heck of a lot more than the person whose blood is on your shirt.

This is the narrative that I want to think Cobain has going on in his head:
“Oh great. Here I am with the other guy from Genesis. If only it were Mr. Sussudio, I could get him to give me some tinkle for the coolest rock shirt in history! But no, typical KC luck, I’ve got Mr. Sledgehammer here instead! Just fantastic, Kurt. You are so close, but it’s just not the same, is it? Maybe Jerry Garcia is at this show somewhere. I could get him to give me a little bit of blood. Wait, why would the Grateful Dead ever be at the MTV Awards? A-doy! Though their video for ‘Touch of Grey’ sure was cool. Did that win any awards? I wonder. Maybe good old Peter Gabriel here knows. I do like this Peter Gabriel though. It’s nice to be near him. Maybe someday 10 years from now we’ll both be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame together. Wouldn’t that be something? Heck, if I were a Hall of Famer I could personally request a urine sample from Phil Collins! Yeah, that’s a good plan. Now I just have to keep things on an even keel for the next decade. Damn, I’ve been thinking to myself for a while now, haven’t I? When I think too hard I close one eye really tight. I hope I’m not doing that now. Oh shoot, I think I am! Stop it, Kurt!”

But really, what did they talk about? Did they trade proclamations of admiration? If so, how specific were they? Was it just Gabriel saying, “Hey, I like your work” or was he embarrassingly doting over the 26-year-old Nirvana singer?

This is how I like to imagine his side of the conversation:
“Hi Kurt, I’m Peter Gabriel, but you probably know that already. Or do you? I don’t know! I’m sorry for assuming. That probably came across as egotistical, didn’t it? Anyway, I’m the guy who sings ‘Shock the Monkey,’ and I also did the song ‘In Your Eyes,’ which John Cusack’s character played when he held the boombox over his head in ‘Say Anything.’ Did you see ‘Say Anything’? I loved that movie. And I swear I’m not just saying that because my song was in it. Not just saying that. I say anything, get it? Like the movie I just talked about, ‘Say Anything,’ you know the one that has ‘In Your Eyes’ in it? That is, of course ‘In Your Eyes,’ by me, Peter Gabriel. Annnnnnyway, enough about me, let’s talk about you … what do you think about me? Ha ha ha, I’m totally kidding. I stole that joke from Bette Midler. Do you like the Divine Miss M? Don’t answer! Because if you don’t I just simply DO NOT want to hear it. Seriously, though, let’s talk about you! I loved loved loved the video for ‘In Bloom’! So funny! What a genius idea to get Doug Llewelyn on there! He is usually so stiff on ‘People’s Court’ but he was phenomenally funny in that video. That is Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-worthy stuff, mate! Wouldn’t that be something if the two of us blokes were someday inducted into that fine institution? Ahhh, we can dream, can’t we? Oh my gosh I have been totally talking for like sooooo long. I am so sorry. Tell me what you’ve been up to! What’s your new album sound like? Oh, would you look at that, this Kevin Mazur chap wants to snap a bloody photo of us. Pip pip, Kurt! Open that left eye, my good man.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sister of accused Boston Marathon bombers arrested for…

The sister of the accused Boston Marathon bombers was arrested in New York City for threatening a woman over the phone, saying she could "put a bomb on you," police…

Local

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Labor Day in NYC: Make the last weekend…

Soon, it’ll be time for wool accessories and knee-high boots. Even the Pumpkin Spice Latte has already arrived — but we still have one last…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…