Kathleen Hanna Explains The Origins Of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

By: Julie Gerstein / September 1, 2013

This one’s an oldie but a goodie: Riot grrl hero and fellow Colonel Mustard fan Kathleen Hanna is the woman responsible (in small part, anyway) for the epic Nirvana song “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” In this clip from her 2010 performance at Joe’s Pub in NYC, Hanna tells the story of hanging out with Kurt, getting really wasted, and coming up with the now-classic line, which she happened to drunkenly spray paint on the walls of Kurt’s rented apartment. The 10-minute performance covers the beginnings of Nirvana, Bikini Kill, and just how hard Kathleen had to work to keep her band together. It’s worth it, if for no other reason than to see Hanna belt out “Teen Spirit” in her trademark girlish lilt. [Dangerous Minds]