I have, because I went through high school with it, an irrational emotional reaction to Nirvana music. It’s too teenager-y to get into, but I would be willing to bet ten, twenty years from now you could play even a less-famous song with one of those amazing hooks (“Scentless Apprentice” for instance) and I’d stop whatever I was doing and look up.
I realized today that it’s probably only a matter of time before a Nirvana song is used to sell cars, or something. Courtney Love, when she’s not trying to claim credit for Kurt’s music (see: the “Old Age” controversy), funds her downward spiral on her share of the Nirvana royalties, and would probably sell “Lithium” to sell Lincoln Navigators tomorrow. The issue’s whether Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic can hold out forever.
As far as I know, yes.
But for the rest of their lives, as long as they hold out and go about their lives (their cell phones purring with the calls from Love’s lawyers asking about potential deals) there’ll be this temptation that follows them, offering millions of dollars if they’ll consent to use of “Love Buzz” in an energy drink commercial.
The advertisers will dog them forever, because for people like me, it’s a cue to pay attention, already emotionally vested. This is why Led Zepplin was such a perfect way for Cadillac to attack aging Boomers with disposable incomes, why today bands are co-opted almost immediately (M.I.A. with all their radical politics selling Hondas, Postal Service tunes hawking whatever): you form your emotional connections to music, and then they’re available for easy switching to a commodity of choice.
Hold out, Krist. Please.