Arts and Entertainment
 

She ‘twerked’, stripped on stage and repeatedly licked her lips, but Miley Cyrus’ VMA appearance is just one of the many outrageous moments to emerge from the show.

critic's choice MUSIC

Gravediggaz

The highlights of my mousey-brown life

I knew it was only a matter of time before I succumbed. As a recovering peroxide junkie, I had successfully kept off the stuff for the last five years and accepted, philosophically, my natural attributes: a head of mediocre, mousey brown.

ARTS / Lives of the Great Songs: A case of rock and roll-on: Smells Like Teen Spirit: Not many anthems are named after a deodorant. In the third extract from our history of the hits, David Cavanagh looks at Nirvana's theme tune

IT WAS the end of 1991. Freddie Mercury had died on 24 November and the year was all set for solemn foreclosure. Nobody expected a rock phenomenon to squeeze in through the little aperture between St Andrew's Day and Christmas. But on 30 Nov-ember, the new singles chart had an extraordinary tale to tell: at No 9, straight in from nowhere, was 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' by Nirvana. A trio of miscreants from America's flaky underbelly had hit serious oil.

ROCK / Burning and barking in Berks

ANY BAND that risks third-degree burns in the name of entertainment is all right by me. At the Reading Festival, the Red Hot Chili Peppers were all right by everyone. Their Sunday night performance packed the field fuller than it had been for the entire weekend, so you could be sardined in the first 500-odd rows, or stand so far from the stage you might as well have been watching the show on TV through someone else's sitting-room window.

Punk-rock star found dead

Kristen Pfaff, 24, the bass player of Courtney Love's punk-rock band Hole, was found dead in a bath at her Seattle home, Reuter reports from Seattle. Her death came two months after Love's husband, Kurt Cobain - leader of the band Nirvana - committed suicide.

INTERVIEW / Atrocious mess, precocious mind: Meet Caitlin Moran, newspaper columnist, television presenter, novelist, screenwriter, pop music pundit . . . and typical teenage slob

Caitlin Moran left school at 11. At 12, she won the Dillons essay competition. At 15, she won the Observer's Young Reporter award. At 15, she had her first novel published. At 17, she was writing for the Observer and the Guardian. At 18, she got her own column in the Times. Which she still has. At 18, she became co-presenter of a television programme, Naked City. Which she still does. She is now working on a seven-part series for Channel 4, a new novel and two film scripts. She's 19, as of last month. She makes a lot of people pretty sick.

I love you, said Cobain note

A SUICIDE note left by Kurt Cobain, lead singer of the grunge rock band Nirvana, spoke of his love for his wife and child. Investigators looking into Cobain's death on Friday from a shotgun wound to the head refused to divulge the contents of the note, but the Seattle Post-Intelligencer said he had written about Courtney Love, his wife, and daughter Frances Bean, two.

ROCK / File under formative: Long forgotten, now revered: Ben Thompson meets the Raincoats

'THE RAINCOATS are so bad tonight that every time a waiter drops a tray we all get up and dance . . . I die so many times during their set that in India they think I'm the fourth prophet.' Such was the verdict of the NME in 1979. The reviewer: Danny Baker, en route to becoming a chat-show host and Daz Ultra's representative on earth.

ROCK / You can call him Reverend Al

THE CONQUERING hero at the head of the Capital Radio Jazz Parade, Al Green, makes the best entrance I have ever seen. The Royal Festival Hall MC bids us welcome 'a genius'. A man, demonstrably not Al, scuttles across the stage with a briefcase, possibly containing the great man's sandwiches. Backing singers, horn players, drummer, bass and guitar men and doughty female church organist Ambric Bridgeforth follow, and at last He erupts into our presence. Overcome with the abundance of his own ego, Al sashays a shiny-shoe shuffle, waves a little white hankie over his head and distributes red roses to adoring scions. The auditorium bathes in the light of his sequinned lapels.

Jim White on Friday: Caught between a rocker and a hard case: When the king and queen of grunge took against two would-be biographers, things turned very nasty . . .

On October 1992, Victoria Clarke found the following message on her answering machine: 'At this point I don't give a flying fuck if I have this recorded that I'm threatening you. I suppose I could throw out a few thousand dollars to have you snuffed out, but maybe I'll try the legal way. First.'

ROCK / Finding Nirvana in a lake of mud: The Reading Festival

BY THE last day of the Reading Festival, the physical conditions have reverted to type. Soggy survivors cluster on little islands dotted between enormous mud lakes, the comedy marquee has blown away, the second stage tent threatens to collapse, and everywhere the effects of over-priced beer and cheap drugs are kicking in. But the miserable surroundings cannot divert attention from the great issues of the hour: will Nirvana turn up; and, if they do, will they be any good?
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