The past couple of weeks, now that we’re home, I’ve been thinking about those songs, videos and podcasts that helped get me through this year’s overseas touring.

We were on plane back to the US after touring Europe in February – and I was listening to Nirvana’s Nevermind, over and over again. Nevermind was released in late 1991 with low expectations (apparently the record label thought it was a dud).

By January of ’92 it had catapulted to number one in America, knocking Michael Jackson off the top spot – and spreading to the rest of the world like an epidemic. The video below captures Nirvana live – playing the opening track on the album (Breed).

Nirvana were at the forefront of the ‘new guard’ – soon to be known as ‘Grunge’.

They changed the face of music in one fell swoop, opening the door for  bands like Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, The Breeders and a mountain of others. I’d never seen anything like it before or since. In short, Nirvana changed my life. As a kid in the suburbs, whose only choices seemed to be either Madonna, Bon Jovi or Michael Jackson, they gave me something to believe in. A band of misfits (like me – and my mates), Nirvana rose to the top of the world and gave us something real to aspire to. At last, it wasn’t all about the big hair, the make-up, the posing or spectacularly bad fashion. it was about the music – dirty, balls-to-the-wall rock and roll.

From ’92 to ’94 we rode the Grunge wave in musical ecstasy – until the unthinkable happened. It still kills me now, even to write about it. Kurt Cobain, Nirvana’s lead singer and guitarist, committed suicide in his Seattle home on April 5th, 1994. For those of us touched by Nirvana, it went beyond sad or tragic.

Kurt Cobain lives on in the music of thousands of bands across the world today, including ours. Nirvana’s influence on rock music is unlikely to disappear anytime soon. The album, Nevermind, takes me back to a brilliant time and a turning point in history. But also, for me, it still stands as a guiding light, both in its sound and its attitude.

Checkya tomorrow,

Fires out.