Nirvana bassist reveals Brian May helped him after bass-throwing injury

Krist Novoselic recalls the infamous 1992 MTV Awards moment in his blog

Former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic has revealed behind-the-scenes details of the infamous bass-throwing incident at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards, when he failed to catch his instrument after tossing it in the air.

In his weekly blog for Seattle Weekly, Novoselic said that before the performance, there was backstage drama between Kurt Cobain and Axl Rose, after Cobain’s wife Courtney Love joked with Rose that he was the godfather of their new baby Frances Bean.

“She yelled, “Axl, Axl— you’re the godfather!” Novoselic blogged. “Upon hearing this, Axl apparently got very annoyed, walked over to Kurt, and demanded that he keep his woman in line. Kurt turned to Courtney and sarcastically asked his woman to keep in line and left it at that. Axl then split.”


Further drama ensued as the band wanted to perform their track ‘Rape Me’, but MTV were opposed to it. Novoselic revealed the band ultimately agreed not to play the track.

“To resolve the song controversy, we said we were going to do ‘Lithium’, but we decided among the band to pull a prank and play a few chords of ‘Rape Me’ at the beginning. Even though the issue was resolved, the back and forth between their people, our people, us and them, or whoever — it was draining.”

Of the bass-throw, Novoselic said: “I always try to get good air — I bet I hit over 25 feet, easy! But no matter how high it went, I was not on my game— the only time I’ve ever dropped it was then in front of 300 million people. Ouch! I was fine, but I faked like I was knocked out.”

After paramedics showed up to treat a cut on his forehead, he says that Queen guitarist Brian May presented him with a glass of chilled champagne in the bathroom. He added: “Moments later Dave Grohl burst in. He’d been looking all over for me, only to find me enjoying a calm glass of bubbly with Mr May. It was a relief for all!”

Novoselic wrapped up the tale by revealing he still has the bass guitar in question, but doesn’t play it much as “the neck is a little bent!!!”

–By our New York staff.


Find out more about NME.

To receive the latest news updates every week – plus free MP3s, videos and more – sign up to the NME Newsletter.