90’s Memory – Gavin Rossdale Cheats Death in the Rain (Glycerine)
Back when the only reality show on MTV was The Real World, they actually featured things like music videos and concerts. It was a pretty neat time called the 90’s, which if you had a chance to experience it, you probably miss it now.
During that time, MTV would host a Spring Break every year (I assume they still do). They’d go to some exotic location and have big names in music and other entertainment show up to host, play games, or just watch girls in bikinis jiggle. It was fun, a lot of the time stupid, but an enjoyable watch nonetheless.
Because my parents were divorced, I traveled throughout the year to see family in different states. It seemed like I always ended up at my grandma’s when MTV Spring Break was on, and that worked out well for me. She only wanted to watch TV for the news at noon, Days of Our Lives, and the news at six. The rest of the time I was free to watch whatever, and a ton of MTV is what I watched.
In 1996, at the ripe age of thirteen, I witnessed one of the coolest, quintessential rock star performances ever on MTV Spring Break. I don’t think it was live, but I caught one of the many re-airings of this incredible performance by former Mr. Gwen Stefani himself, Gavin Rossdale.
Gavin Rossdale is the lead singer of Bush, and in 1996 they were one of the hottest bands in America with their recent hits like Everything Zen and Glycerine. Thanks to their popularity, they were invited to perform at MTV Spring Break. This wasn’t unusual for hot bands at the time, but the performance of their hit Glycerine is what stood out the most. It was the greatest performance in MTV Spring Break history despite what the stupid idiots at Buzzfeed think. (If there ever was a reason to not take Buzzfeed seriously, that link is it.)
I’m going to tell you the story behind this performance the way I’ve heard it all these years. I wasn’t able to track down a good account from Rossdale or MTV, so there might be a little myth in this.
It started raining and lightening, and MTV told Bush they couldn’t play because of the risks. However, there were hundreds waiting to hear one of the hottest singles in the country, Glycerine. Gavin Rossdale said he was going to go out and perform, but the rest of the band refused. Performing would require them to go onto a stage, full of live electrical wires and equipment in a storm that featured some serious lightning. Rossdale insisted that he was going to do it anyway.
MTV stepped in and refused to allow Rossdale to perform, but again he said he as going to do it. Eventually, they relented, only after making him sign an agreement that they could not be held responsible for any injuries or death that may occur. He signed it and headed towards the stage.
In this epic performance, you’ll see Gavin Rossdale start off the ballad with just a drizzle in the air. As the song progresses, so does the rain. You’ll see his hair start getting wet, and water starts to pool up on the stage with the wires running right though it. It’s an amazing sight to see, and well worth four minutes of your time.
A man alone with his guitar, risking death against all odds…. I’m pretty sure that’ll win any girl’s heart and is truly something a rock star would do.
It was great performance, the most memorable one from the 90’s for me. Even now, it makes me want to have long, greasy hair and learn to play the guitar.