The Casting Call For Nirvana’s ‘Smell Like Teen Spirit’ Video

Published January 13, 2011
Updated May 3, 2016

Casting Call For Smell Like Teen Spirit

The music video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was based on the concept of a school concert which ends in anarchy and riot. Filmed on a soundstage in Culver City, the video featured the band playing at a pep rally in a high school gym to an audience of apathetic students on bleachers and cheerleaders wearing black dresses with the Circle-A anarchist symbol. The video ends with the assembled students destroying the set and the band’s gear.

The demolition of the set captured in the video’s conclusion was the result of genuine discontent. The extras that filled the bleachers had been forced to stay seated through numerous replays of the song for an entire afternoon of filming. Cobain convinced Bayer to allow the extras to mosh, with the result that the video set became a scene of chaos. See the full video below:

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