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Kurt Cobain wanted to make a strong statement in support of women and against violence toward them. In his words, the song is a sort of poetic justice. A guy rapes a girl. He ends up in jail and is raped there. It's also believed that the song was in direct relation to his feeling of being raped by the media, in particular Vanity Fair and MTV. (thanks, Justin Gregg - Harrah, OK)
In 1996, Wal-Mart adopted a policy of not carrying any objectionable materials in their stores. While they continued to sell guns and cigarettes, they made many musicians alter their albums before they would sell them, resulting in "clean" and "dirty" versions of many albums. Nirvana had to change the title listed on the album to "Waif Me" before Wal-Mart would carry it.
The guitar in this song is basically "Smells Like Teen Spirit
" backwards. Cobain thought that if a song was played backwards it would take on a new character. (thanks, Max - Merrick, NY)
Cobain wrote this from the perspective of a victim replying to a rapist. It's the reverse of Nivana's "Polly," which is from the perspective of the rapist.
At the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards, Nirvana were told strictly by MTV not to perform this when they opened the show. In a typical Cobain move, the band strummed the opening chords of the song, sending MTV execs into a panic, before switching to the less controversial "Lithium." (thanks, Matt - Millbrae, CA)
Neal Smith - "I'm Eighteen"
With the band in danger of being dropped from their label, Alice Cooper drummer Neal Smith co-wrote the song that started their trek from horror show curiosity to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Mike Watt - "History Lesson, Pt. 2"
Mike Watt of the Minutemen tells the story of the song that became an Indie Rock touchstone. It's also the story of what Mike calls "The Movement."
La La Brooks of The Crystals
The lead singer on "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me," La La explains how and why Phil Spector replaced The Crystals with Darlene Love on "He's A Rebel."