(Credit: Julie Kramer)

Remembering the time Nirvana drunkenly destroyed a hotel room with MTV’s Kurt Loder

It may be an old trope, but once you have destroyed a hotel room (or perhaps more importantly, afford to) you can officially graduate from band to becoming bonafide rockstars. While many have given it a go, few have reached the level of destruction Nirvana and MTV’s Kurt Loder unleashed on an unsuspecting hotel in 1993.

The band affirmed their legacy with the MTV host when they were holed up in a hotel in Minnesota. After sharing a few drinks with Loder the group decided it would be the perefect time to enact their rock star stereotype and drunkenly smash up the room.

Nirvana had just finished up a press day which concluded with an interview with MTV presenter and journalistic stalwart Loder. Following the interview, Kurt Cobain decided to retire to his hotel room for the evening—but Dave Grohl and Kurt Novoselic had other ideas.

The Nirvana duo then got heartily wasted with Loder at the hotel bar that evening after the interview, the group drinking going on into the wee early hours of the next day. It provided Grohl and Novoselic with the liquid confidence they needed to show that Cobain isn’t the only rock star in the trio.

Recalling the antics which occurred after the interview in 2011 with MTV, Loder revealed that they managed to rock up $19,000 worth of damage and he’s still unsure to this day who footed the tab that evening. He also spoke about his meetings with Cobain who had unwillingly become the face of the MTV generation Loder spoke to most evenings.

Loder had nothing but pleasantries to say about the frontman: “Everyone was wondering, ‘How will Kurt be? Will he be weird?’ He wasn’t weird; he was just not hanging around. We had got the guys set up, we had done Shonen Knife first, and then Kurt came in last and sat down. We did the interview, and he was great,” Loder said. “He was funny, he knew to be funny, and he’s very dry. He was very bohemian. He was almost like a beatnik or something. He hearkened back to that age.”

The journalist then goes on step by step to describe what followed the interview: “And that was it. [After the interview], he had to go into his room and, whatever, and so I went upstairs with [drummer] Dave [Grohl] and [bassist] Krist [Novoselic], and they just got really, really drunk. Not that I was trying not to get drunk, but I didn’t get as drunk as they did,” he continued.

“And at one point, Krist just took this picture off the wall and just broke it against the wall, and then they started destroying everything in this room. And it’s, like, 4 in the morning, and we hear that hotel security is coming up, so I said, ‘Well, it’s really time for me to leave.’ So I’m leaving, going to the elevator, they’re behind me because they want to go down to my room; they don’t want to get in trouble either.”

Then even more madness ensued when Loder was about to witness the hottest band in the world transform into full rockstar mode as they descended into a hedonistic rampage: “So we go down to my room, and they do the same thing. They’re just breaking chairs and tables, and I was not drunk… The band’s minder said, ‘Well, you must’ve been doing it too,’ and I was like, ‘Actually, no,'” Loder laughed.

“I was saying, ‘Please don’t destroy the television set in my room.’ It was hard, you know, to use a coat stand [to break a TV set] — you’d figure it would go right through it — but you had to continue doing it before it finally works. They were just out of their minds; it was fabulous in a way and yet wrong… Don’t do that at home. And the bill the next day was, like, $19,000.”

The presenter had nothing but positive words to speak about the seminal group who gave him an anecdote that he will dine out on until his last breath: “I thought they were great. … They had the thing all great bands had.”

“It was three guys coming together, but when they play together, it’s like something bigger than all three of them. It was like this enormous energy centre. It’s like the Who, although they resembled the Who in no other way, but it was that energy,” he said. “And I think they unified people at the time, brought people in that maybe had given up on that kind of music and said, ‘Oh, wait a minute, this is really, really good.’ They were just great musicians.”

Check out the interview he recorded with the band on that monumental day below.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Delivering curated content