In a 1994 interview with Rolling Stone, Trent Reznor said the reason he agreed to perform at Woodstock ’94 was simple: “The money. To be quite frank, it’s basically to offset the cost of the tour we’re doing right now.”
Once Nine Inch Nails actually arrived in Saugerties, New York, however, they got into the spirit of the show. “On the way to the stage there was a little accident,” Trent Reznor told MTV after their set. “It turns into a mud wrestling thing that escalated into a full-scale mud riot … I accidentally tripped and pushed Danny [Lohner’s] face into the mud. He retaliated by body-slamming me.”
They took the stage soon after Crosby, Stills and Nash, completely caked in mud. They played a blistering 15-song set that included a cover of Joy Division‘s “Dead Souls” and wrapped up with a wild “Head Like a Hole.” The crowd was a giant, muddy mosh-pit – certainly horrifying more than a few CSN fans.
“I feared after I committed to do it that it would be a corporate nightmare, with a Pepsi logo behind the Woodstock thing,” Reznor said. “But I’m pleased to say that I’ve gotten a good vibe here. It’s a pretty positive thing for the fans that came to see us.” His mud-caked outfit is now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s collection.