Guitarist PAT SMEAR insists the time he spent touring with Nirvana is the best thing that has ever happened to him - even though his stint with the iconic rockers was cut short after Kurt Cobain's suicide in 1994.

Smear, who made his name with punk rockers THE GERMS, was surprised when Cobain asked him to bolster his band's live sound, because they had only met a handful of times.

But he instantly clicked with the SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT rockers onstage and still treasures the memories he has of hitting the road with Cobain, bassist KRIST NOVOSELIC and drummer Dave Grohl during the group's tragic last tour.

He says, "Kurt called me and said, 'You're in.' I knew COURTNEY (LOVE) well, but I'd only met him a couple of times, like at clubs, or I went over to see the baby (FRANCES BEAN) when she was born. He wasn't more than an acquaintance.

"It all felt natural like it had been going on forever... I was on the bus with Kurt, and Krist and Dave were on the other bus. I didn't really become close to Krist and Dave until after Kurt died.

"Our bus was the smoking bus; their bus was the non-smoking bus. When Frances would come along, we'd have to turn it into the nursery bus! For me it wasn't a dark period. It was the highlight of my life."

05/08/2005 09:42