Last week, we told you about how Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore was slated to speak about the intersection of music and publishing at yesterday’s Brooklyn Book Festival with fellow punk icon Ian MacKaye. Our pal and Observer alum Nicole Brydson was there reporting for the New York Press, and before Mr. Moore took the stage, she asked him something very important: Is 1991: The Year Punk Broke ever going to get a DVD release?
It’s a question that’s been burning in our minds for some time now, especially ever since we were forced to technologically progress beyond the point of being able to watch our own VHS copy—purchased in 1995 at our local Tower Records—of the classic punk documentary, which features the likes of Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Babes in Toyland and other indie rock luminaries of the early ’90s. As Mr. Moore explained, there seems to be at least one little obstacle standing in the way of the DVD. Her name is Courtney Love:
"There’s sort of proprietary issues because of all the Nirvana stuff in it and all that stuff is under control of whoever control’s Kurt [Cobain’s] estate—That Which Will Not Be Named is how we refer to it—and we don’t really want to release it until we can release it with all the extra footage. There’s a whole second film and it’s a whole other 90 minutes; a completely different cut of all the footage. And it’s even crazier! It has amazing stuff in it. So until we can do that we’re not going to do it—it might be a while," he said.
Recently, there’s been some rumbling from long-time fans about when the DVD version might hit shelves, especially considering the myriad bonus materials that were left on the cutting room floor. It looks that the peace accord reached with brilliant but troubled grunge widow Courtney Love over the release of Nirvana’s box set, With The Lights Out, four years ago has come to an end.
Not to worry though, said Moore. In true punk fashion, he added, "I’m trying to figure out ways of bootlegging it."
Wow—90 minutes of extra footage?? Please, Courtney, step aside so we can relive our joyful teenage existence! In the meantime, thank heavens for YouTube. Above, you can watch the beginning of the film in all of its grunge-era glory.