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© Bruce Pavitt
Going back to the tour, which city was the toughest crowd?
“That’s hard to say. I only saw five shows, but I would say maybe Rome. I know that they had issues with the crowd, and that was one of the reasons why Kurt went into meltdown mode, too. He very famously stated after the show that he looked out into the crowd and he saw the faces of the kinds of people who used to beat him up in school, or wanted to beat him up. I think there might have been a little more testosterone in the room than in the UK, for example.”
Our hindsight view of Kurt grows each year. We now tend to regard him as being akin to John Lennon in many ways: the conflicted, contradictory artist, wanting fame and hating it at the same time. What did you think of him at that time, back in ’89?
"It is exaggerated with hindsight, due to his popularity and mythic status. But he tended to keep to himself pretty much. He wasn’t nearly as social as the other musicians we were working with. I know that he was passionate about championing outsider artists; you’d later see him wearing Daniel Johnston T-shirts, which would be a perfect example.
“At the same time, he did have those Queen and Rolling Stones posters in his apartment. I think, on some level, he was trying to find the middle ground between pop and punk. He wrestled with that, I would say, since I first met him.”