Nirvana's Novoselic Relives Failed 1992 VMA Bass Toss

November 20, 2008 2:56 PM ET

16 years after infamously making an ass of himself in front of millions on the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards, Nirvana's Krist Novoselic has tackled the subject the worst bass guitar throw in rock history. Of course, Novoselic blamed the ill-fated toss on a number of factors — most notably Axl Rose. It was Axl who famously told Kurt Cobain "Get your bitch in line" after Courtney Love teased the G N' R singer. The incident swelled until later when, as Novoselic says, "I was walking toward the stage and came across my now-friend and colleague, Duff McKagan. I think Duff was also under the influence. He must have heard something from Rose and had a terse word for me. I was already a little bent out of shape and instantly replied with the same sentiment. The production people grabbed me and we continued toward the stage." Adding to the tensions was MTV's prohibiting Nirvana from playing the song they actually wanted to perform; Cobain wanted to go with "Rape Me," but the band was forced to play "Lithium" to appease the nervous network.

After the toss (which you can watch above), Novoselic rushed to his dressing room. Despite a bloody forehead, relief came in the form of Queen's Brian May. "Paramedics came in and put a little bandage on, then handed me a long medical release form to sign," Novoselic writes. "Standing behind them was Brian May, the guitarist of Queen, with a glass of chilled champagne. I signed the release just to get the medics away from me so I could take a sip of Mr. May's wonderful medicine." Novoselic says he still owns the bass, but the neck is a little damaged.

Related Stories:
Classic Cover Story: Inside the Heart and Mind of Nirvana
Madonna's Bra, Kurt's Sweaters and Rock's Rarest Artifacts
Writer Charles R. Cross Digs Deep in the Archives For Cobain Unseen

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