Nearly 20 years after the suicide of Kurt Cobain, I found myself watching this performance once again, Nirvana’s rendition of Lead Belly’s rendition of “Where Did You Sleep Last Night.” The television played this MTV Unplugged in New York performance on a loop as I sat on the floor at a friends’ apartment in the East Village the night Cobain was found dead at 27. They played “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” over and over again. The memory is so strong that I know it must be false.

 

“Where Did You Sleep Last Night” was the last in the Unplugged set, the last song on what would be Nirvana’s final album. The fragile and surprising live performance of this song is Kurt Cobain’s defining moment. In a 1993 interview, not long before his death, Cobain told a reporter that he had been introduced to Lead Belly from reading William S. Burroughs…. More…