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Watch Nirvana's Kurt Cobain at his most carefree, jamming a punk classic with Mudhoney in 1992

Kurt and Mudhoney
(Image credit: Lindsay Brice/Getty Images)

On January 11, 1992, Nirvana's second album, and major label debut, Nevermind, displaced Michael Jackson's Dangerous from the top of the Billboard 200 chart. This remarkable, entirely unanticipated, achievement would, perhaps understandably, throw the Aberdeen, Washington trio, and particularly their gifted frontman Kurt Cobain, into a dizzying tail spin. That same weekend, after taping a performance for top-rated entertainment show Saturday Night Live, Cobain would overdose on heroin in his New York hotel room: it would not be his last drug overdose that year.

For Cobain, 1992 would prove to be both the best of times, and the worst of times. On February 24, the 25-year-old singer would marry his pregnant girfriend, Hole's Courtney Love, in Hawaii, and the couple would welcome their daughter Frances Bean Cobain into the world less than six months later, on August 18. In a 1994 interview with Rolling Stone, Love claimed that her husband brought a loaded gun to the hospital the following day and the new parents weighed up the pros and cons of a suicide pact. In a 1995 interview, she stated that Cobain had actually overdosed and "died" on the day of Frances' birth, after summoning a drug dealer to inject heroin into his morphine drip. Clearly, these were dark days.

With this in mind, footage of a seemingly carefree Cobain jamming onstage with his old pals Mudhoney on Fang's The Money Will Roll Right In on September 26, 1992, is a joyous treat. Mudhoney were playing the show at the Castaic Lake Amphitheatre in Castaic, California as support to Sonic Youth, a band Cobain and Love adored and respected, and eyewitnesses reported the pair strolling around backstage with their one-month old daughter, laughing and joking with friends. During Mudhoney's set, Cobain borrowed a guitar from Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo to jam with his friends, and clearly enjoyed the experience so much that he sneaked Nirvana onto the bills of a brace of Mudhoney club shows the following week. Life would rarely be so uncomplicated again for the troubled musician.

Watch footage of Cobain's guest cameo below:

Paul Brannigan
Paul Brannigan

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.