Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: Subpop)

Watch Nirvana and the Smashing Pumpkins inexplicably playing Twister together, 1991


We’re dipping into the Far Out Magazine vault to bring you one of the more curious moments of 1990s culture as two giants of the alternative rock world, Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, inexplicably play a game of Twister.

When the music historians of the world look back at grunge it will be shrouded in a veil of relative darkness and teen angst. The genre was built on the unforgettable melody of melancholy and, because of this, it always feels a bit odd to see any members of that scene having fun. So when we stumbled upon the footage of the Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana enjoying a spot of parlour game Twister, we lost it.

The more than strange situation arose as part of an MTV programme at Bill’s Bar in Boston, the city where the Pumpkins and Nirvana had just finished up performing a humongous set. At the bar, where we imagine a lot of drinks were quite quickly and routinely consumed, the two groups took part in a surreal game of Twister, with seemingly the full line-up of each band taking part.

Bullet Lavolta was also on the bill and Todd A, who was part of the band at the time, shared this with Vanyaland about the strange events. “MTV approached all three bands about doing some kind of impromptu video interview at Bill’s Bar, we walked over and were met by an MTV producer, armed with a bucket of Crisco and the game Twister,” he said. “Her vision, ‘Naked greasy Twister with interview’ seemed funny at the time, but the taping ended up being a bust.”

The footage sees the bands all laughing and having fun while Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic goes one further and is stripped down to his underwear, demanding to be greased up to keep one step ahead of the competition, we imagine. The full line-up for the game appears to be Billy Corgan, D’Arcy Wretzky, James Iha, Krist, Kurt Cobain and a very fresh-faced Dave Grohl.

We say ‘appears to be’ as only a few years ago Corgan moved to dismiss the claims that it was him, or even The Smashing Pumpkins, in the video.

As part of an Instagram Q&A he ruled out his involvement. “No, that wasn’t us, TBH,” he responded, and then when faced with another quiz from someone having studied the video he doubled-down and said, “Again, that’s not us”.

So, loyal readers, we put it to you, is this indeed the Smashing Pumpkins and Nirvana playing Twister in a Boston bar in 1991? Or is it just the best lookalikes we have ever seen?

Source: Radio X, NME