In 1991 Nirvana played their hit song ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ for the Top Of The Pops under strict BBC rules.
For the live performance, production staff had ordered that only Cobain’s vocals were to be performed live meaning that the bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl had to mime along to a pre-recorded backing track.
In a big fuck you to the programme, Novoselic threw his bass behind his head, Grohl hit the cymbals out of time and spent most the time dancing and Cobain exchanged the opening line of the song from “load up on guns, bring your friends”, to “load up on drugs, kill your friends.”
Cobain then attempt to eat his microphone and exaggerated his guitar playing (when he actually touched the instrument) before slowing down the vocals to an octave lower and later confirmed that he was attempting to imitate Smiths frontman Morrissey.
In a biography about Kurt Cobain written by Charles Cross, titled Heavier than Heaven, the journalist confirmed Cobain’s ploy”
“Kurt hatched a plan with Novoselic and Grohl to make a mockery of their performance. As the backing track played, Kurt sang the vocals in a slowed-down, almost Vegas-like lounge version; he was attempting, he later claimed, to sound like Morrissey.”
To be fair, he nailed the impression: