Nevermind first hovered into view, for me, in the bleak, early months of 1992. And it didn’t drop-kick my head anywhere new or change my landscape - I did that myself, in my daily situation, moving to San Francisco to further pursue comedy.
But what it did do, subconsciously, hearing it as ambient music on long road trips or in dive bars after my shows, was reassure me I was making the right choice. Because Cobain and Co. didn’t make being young and confused and dumped-on sound fun - in fact, they assured you your situation righteously sucked. But they also showed you that you could take your rage and frustration and make them loud, and at least annoy other people until you worked your shit out. The sonic portal they opened led me to a bleak, beautiful musical landscape populated by Tad and Alice in Chains and the Velvet Underground and the Pixies and Killing Joke and all of these other bands I’d missed whie Roxette was being blasted into my skull at every strip-mall comedy club I was floundering in.
And hovering over this lurching, post-adolescent landscape, like a sullen angel, was Juliana Hatfield, who sang, on her song “Nirvana”: “Now I’ve got Nirvana in my head / I’m so glad I’m not dead…”
- Patton Oswalt: What Nevermind Means To Me - Spin, August 2011