Poodle-pop duo Nelson were the great anomaly in the history of hair metal, because nothing about them remotely scanned as "metal." Their amps were constructed of Nerf and hummingbird tears. They made White Lion sound like Bathtub Shitter. They looked like a pair of androgynously sexy yeti, and we're pretty sure their only connection to Headbangers Ball was "having funny-shaped guitars."
In the year before "Smells Like Teen Spirit," imagine prolific music-video director Jim Yukich sitting at a table of music-industry execs and pitching this treatment for Nelson's 1990 hit "After the Rain": "Okay, check it out, guys, Nelson kidnap a delicate young flower of a boy and transport him to an astral plane where he has a mystical connection with a Native American who hands the twins a magic feather. Afterwards, the only way the delicate young kid can find salvation and peace is by intently watching our young Fabios play tandem guitar on a stage made of rock, while the drummer from Vinnie Vincent Invasion wears sequined bondage overalls. Can I get a couple hundred thou?" In the final version of the clip, a boy from an abusive home seeks solace in Nelson cassettes, and the band whisks him away to their secret world like it's all a Calgon commercial for shiftless, sensitive teens. Bleached-blonde pretty boys sing to a woman about rebounding after being dumped — that's what we're supposed to believe is speaking so deeply to this directionless, dirt-poor 18-year-old with a cruelly unsupportive father. Not, like, Megadeth.
Props to Yukich for having the restraint not to show any actual rain in this video. CHRISTOPHER R. WEINGARTEN