Nirvana's Road to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - Rolling Stone
Home Music Music Lists

Nirvana’s Road to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

From ‘SNL’ to the VMAs, look back at Kurt Cobain and Co.’s legendary career

Paul Bergen/Redferns/Getty Images

Nirvana released their debut single "Love Buzz" in 1988, meaning this is the first year they were eligible to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Here is the band backstage in Frankfurt, Germany on November 12th, 1991 – less than two months after the release of Nevermind

Don't Miss:

Nirvana, Kiss, E Street Lead Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 2014 Class


JA Barratt/Photoshot/Getty Images

My Lemon Jacket

Drummer Dave Grohl (left) joined the group shortly before they recorded Nevermind. It took Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic three years and many failed attempts to land the perfect third member. Here they are in 1992. Cobain is wearing a jacket given to him be Evan Dando of the Lemonheads. 


Gerry Goodstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Live From New York

The band performs "Heart-Shaped Box" on Saturday Night Live on September 25th, 1993. Their final LP, In Utero, hit shelves earlier that month. 



You Better Work

The band (with touring guitarist Pat Smear on far left) met RuPaul backstage at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards. 

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Hi, How Are You?

Nirvana circa 1991. The grunge group famously threw Michael Jackson off the top of the charts that year. The impact of that moment has been slightly exaggerated, it was still a sign that old guard was on it's way out. 

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

Baby Bloom

Cobain with infant daughter Frances Bean and wife Courtney Love at the 1993 Video Music Awards. Nirvana won Best Alternative Video for "In Bloom" that night. 

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

Homeward Bound

Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic at a taping of  MTV Live and Loud. The show was filmed at Pier 28 in Seattle on December 13th, 1993. It was one of their final Seattle shows. 

Paul Bergen/Redferns/Getty Images

The Mosh Man

Cobain crowd surfs during a Nirvana show in Frankfurt, Germany on November 11th, 1991. "They were reaching into my pockets," he said when he got back onto the stage. "Trying to grab money and shit."



Donna Santisi/Getty Images

Been a Daughter

After winning an MTV Video Music Award for "In Bloom," Cobain carried his daughter Frances Bean into the press room with the rest of the band. 

Mick Hutson/Redferns

Live at Reading

Cobain at onstage at Nirvana's legendary set at the Reading Festival on August 23rd, 1991. The show has since been released on CD and DVD/Blu Ray. 

Michel Linssen/Redferns

Euro Trip

Cobain at Hilversum Studios in the Netherlands on November 25th, 1991. The show was broadcast on Dutch radio. Only portions of the set circulate amongst fans. 

Michel Linssen/Redferns

Unplugged in the Netherlands

Two years before they taped their legendary MTV Unplugged concert, Nirvana went all-acoustic for a radio show in the Netherlands. Their set was three-hours later and featured a cover of Lead Belly's "In the Pines (Where Did You Sleep Last Night)." 

Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Live and Loud

Kurt Cobain onstage with Nirvana circa 1993. The group toured with the Breeders, Mudhoney, Meat Puppets and even comedian Bobcat Goldthwait that year. 

Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

VMA Violence

Kurt Cobain at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards. He nearly got into a fistfight with Axl Rose backstage and then horrified network executives when he began the set with a tease from "Rape Me" before launching into "Lithium." Novoselic threw his bass into the air at the finale and it landed on his head, nearly knocking him out cold. 

Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

Unplugged in New York

Five months before Kurt Cobain passed away, Nirvana taped their MTV Unplugged concert at Sony Studios in New York City. It remains the most beloved episode in the history of the series. 

Arrow Created with Sketch. Calendar Created with Sketch. Path Created with Sketch. Shape Created with Sketch. Plus Created with Sketch. minus Created with Sketch.