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YouTube / Top of the Pops

Happy Birthday, "Smells Like Teen Spirit"

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YouTube / Top of the Pops

On April 17, 1991, Nirvana performed "Smells Like Teen Spirit" live for the first time, making it 22 years old today. Tonight, let's look back at some memorable performances of the song -- including the first one ever recorded.

First Performance - April 17, 1991

This first performance has somewhat different lyrics than the later album version, and the solo meanders into a different mode, though the melody and general structure are all there. The crowd at the OK Hotel in Seattle seems to like it too. YouTube happens to have the entire show if you're a completist.

Live at the Paramount - October 31, 1991

What a difference six months makes. Note the Go-Go Boy/Girl.

Live on Top of the Pops - 1991

Oh, this is rich. The entire backing track is straight from the record, so Cobain takes his opportunity to mess with the bogus performance by singing alternate lyrics in a bizarre Morrissey impersonation. Sample TV-unfriendly changed lyric: "Load up on drugs, kill your friends!"

Live at Reading - August 30, 1992

With "More Than a Feeling" intro. Cobain doesn't bother to play portions of the guitar lines, opting instead for improvised noise. Apparently the dancer is Antony Hodgkinson, the drummer for Bivouac.

Official Music Video

If you haven't seen this, you weren't near a television in the early 90s.

Butch Vig on Recording the Song

Here's a snippet of a longer documentary about recording Nevermind:

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Happy Birthday, Alex Trebek!
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Today, everyone's favorite game show host turns 76 years old. Let's celebrate!

ON SESAME STREET

In 2006, Trebek played “Special of the Day” with Telly.

ON CARD SHARKS

In 1980, the tables were turned, and Trebek found himself the contestant on this episode of Card Sharks. The “tell me about yourself” portion of the program doesn’t go so smoothly, but he’s pretty good at the game itself.

THROWING PEOPLE IN THE POOL

In this sketch for the 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, Trebek throws a waiter in a pool. The takeaway is clear: Don’t phrase things in the form of a question when you’re talking to the Jeopardy! host.

TREBEK ON NASA

And how the agency’s work with other companies helps all of us, not just astronauts.

HOSTING WHEEL OF FORTUNE

Happy April Fool's Day 1997! (Pat Sajak hosted Jeopardy that night.)

ALEX, AUTOTUNED

MC TREBEK IN THE HIZZOUSE

That was the actual name of the category.

AND JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT COULDN'T GET ANY WEIRDER...

Behold “Sexiest Potpourri Ever.”

LAST BUT NOT LEAST...

You didn’t think we’d leave without posting one of these, did you?

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Covers of "Me and Bobby McGee"
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On this day in 1970, Janis Joplin died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27. The singer-songwriter was known as "The Queen of Psychedelic Soul." Here, we remember Joplin with covers of her only number-one hit, "Me and Bobby McGee." Joplin's version of the song, originally written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster, topped the charts after her death, making the song the second posthumous number-one single in U.S. chart history.

Johnny Cash

Pink

Willie Nelson

Dolly Parton

James Last

Jerry Lee Lewis

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