Dave Grohl has said he was convinced that Nirvana‘s headline appearance at Reading Festival in 1992 would end their career.
The performance, footage of which was released on DVD and CD on November 2, saw frontman Kurt Cobain enter the stage in a wheelchair, a reference to his recent stays in rehab to beat his drug addiction.
“Kurt had been in and out of rehab, communication in the band was beginning to be strained,” Grohl told The Scotsman. Kurt was living in LA, Krist [Novoselic] and I were in Seattle. People weren’t even sure if we were going to show up.”
Grohl added that even he wasn’t confident that the band would be able to pull the gig off.
“We rehearsed [for Reading] once, the night before, and it wasn’t good,” he said. “I really thought, ‘This will be a disaster, this will be the end of our career for sure.’ And then it turned out to be a wonderful show, and it healed us for a little while.”
Speaking of Nirvana‘s reputation since Cobain‘s suicide in 1994, Grohl said he believes the band are misleadingly thought of as gloomy.
“It’s easy to imagine that we were followed by a black cloud,” he explained. “But it wasn’t all misery and doom. People know the biography, but it’s a little more complicated than that.”