This Saturday marks the 25th anniversary of Nirvana’s game-changing album Nevermind, but for us here in Boston, the night before holds its own significance.
That’s when Nirvana, on the cusp of worldwide fame, played the 101.7 WFNX eighth birthday party at Axis on Lansdowne Street. By now, the bill is part of Boston music history; Smashing Pumpkins, who released debut album Gish a few months prior, also played, as did a pair of locals, Bullet LaVolta and Cliffs of Dooneen.
The lineup went like this: Cliffs of Dooneen at 8:30 p.m., Smashing Pumpkins at 9:30 p.m., Bullet LaVolta at 10:30 p.m., and Nirvana right at midnight. Elsewhere on Lansdowne Street, the multi-venue WFNX party, which took over Avalon, Venus De Milo, and other rooms, also featured British bands like Chapterhouse, The Wonder Stuff, and The Candyskins.
At some point in the night, Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins wandered over to neighboring Bill’s Bar, and engaged in a game of “Cisco Twister.” The segment was staged and filmed by MTV, and even Kurt Cobain got in on the fun.
In the video below, filmed 25 years ago this Friday, you can see members of each band take a few spins and have a few stands, though no more seems more into it than Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, who stripped down into his skivvies to get dirty.
“MTV approached all three bands about doing some kind of impromptu video interview at Bill’s Bar,” wrote Bullet LaVolta drummer Todd A. Philips in a 2011 Boston Phoenix post. “We walked over and were met by an MTV producer, armed with a bucket of Crisco and the game Twister. Her vision, ‘Naked greasy Twister with interview’ seemed funny at the time, but the taping ended up being a bust. I sat out and tried to hit on D’arcy.”
Keep it locked to Vanyaland all week as we roll out video, audio, and other goodies from one hell of an evening in Boston.