Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kathleen Hanna on Teen Spirit and Stripping

Posted By on 12.21.10 at 02:48 PM

Watching an artist friend get popular can be a weird experience. Someone you know as a human being quickly becomes a product or image or idol or whatever it is that these people who've never even met him consider him to be. It inspires a lot of the same reactionary possessiveness you feel when some obscure little record you love suddenly blows up with jocks and bros and trixies. "That's mine," you want to plead. "You shouldn't have it."

I can only imagine how it must've felt to be close to the guys in Nirvana when they made their mind-bogglingly unlikely jump from the second tier of an insular local music scene to worldwide megastardom. Recently Kathleen Hanna got up in front of a small crowd at Joe's Pub in New York as part of the regular variety show Our Hit Parade and told a rambling story about that time. She touched on how weird it was, of course, and also described the hilarious circumstances that led her to spray-paint "Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit" on Cobain's apartment wall, thereby inspiring a song title and earning herself a footnote in Nirvana's history.

There's also a story about the time she had to strip for a hardcore band Bikini Kill had opened for earlier that same day.

After the jump, a quality way to waste ten minutes of the afternoon:

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