Spent the last few days living with the three disc ‘Be Here Now’ reissue – Oasis, credit to them, they always knew how to cram a single with worthwhile B-sides (always the maximum number of fresh originals every time) and that gives them the depth to sustain a substantial reissue too where most bands can barely fish out a live show to fill up a supposedly ‘deluxe’ edition.

Doesn’t mean I love ‘Be Here Now’ of course. But it’s a moment I recall, that time when Oasis really did feel like something everyone of any age could love. Speaking to so many musicians and journalists these past couple of years, quite a few have spoken of feeling the need for change after 1994 – things had become too pressured, too precious, something lighter was needed to refresh the palette. Oasis provided that to the popular mainstream in the U.K. and for a few years they felt untouchable.





I had the good fortune to encounter and interview Mr. John Hurd – formerly of The Magnet Men, a band that features in the Nirvana story as the band Chad Channing was in when Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic first encountered him (at a show Nirvana played under the name Bliss with Aaron Burckhard apparently on drums in August 1987 – their last known show of the year.) John was kind enough to share his memories of the band, the era, his remembrances of the rock scene in the area at the time Nirvana were starting out.

I first picked up the guitar when I was 11 – I talked my parents into buying me a cheap electric from the Sears catalog. It had a die-cast metal whammy bar that broke right off when you tried to use it. A real piece of shit. Too much so to even take lessons on it. So I got a better guitar soon after and started taking lessons at the age of 12. At about 17 or 18 I started going to punk shows. Besides Community World Theater, there was also The Crescent Ballroom, which hosted tons of shows around that time: one of my favorites at the Crescent was when the Butthole Surfers played. I think that was the show that they damn near burned the place down with some kind of cheap pyrotechnic display.

The Magnet Men first formed when I was eighteen. I was still in school but cutting class all the time. Most of my friends had already graduated and were doing jobs and trying to move out of their parents’ houses. There was a communal apartment on Bainbridge Island where Chad lived with Andy Miller and James Nybo. We had a tight knit group of friends that would hang out there almost every night playing guitars and talking, partying. Chris Karr and I had been jamming together and approached Chad about starting a band. Both those guys had been in bands already but this was my first real go at it. We all liked the same weird bands and kind of had an idea what we wanted to do. One of us would bring a riff or a song and we would just learn it and try to fit the pieces together. Very much a learn as you go kind of thing.

The original lineup was Chris Karr on Bass, Chad Channing on drums and me on guitar. Chad and I first met when we were youngsters around 1980: I was 11 and he was about 14 or so. We were playing with gasoline with a few otter neighborhood kids. We had a Folger’s can with some gas in it and we were flicking matches at it. When the gas caught fire, one of the kids kicked the can and the flaming gas landed on another kid’s arm and caught his jacket on fire. Rather than taking the jacket off, the kid ran screaming down the street, flailing his arms and making it worse. His hysterical brother ran after him yelling ‘My brother! my brother!’ When we started hanging out again through mutual friends in ’87, Chad and I had both forgotten we had ever met when we were kids. One night he was telling the Folger’s can gas story at a party and my jaw just dropped.
Chris Karr was a schoolmate of mine who played bass in NPO and the high school jazz band (incidentally with John Goodmanson on guitar too). Poulsbo’s North Kitsap High School produced some notable talent – John Goodmanson (NPO, Danger Mouse, engineer and producer of Death Cab for Cutie, Sleater-Kinney), Ben Shepherd (March of Crimes, Soundgarden) Chad Channing (Nirvana, Fire Ants, The methodists, Before Cars), Damon Romero (NPO, Lush,Treehouse, Bell) Jason Everman (Stonecrow, Nirvana, Soundgarden) to name a few. The Magnet Men was my first real band. We were a heavy prog-punk instrumental band. Our only criteria about song writing was that the songs had to be complex, difficult and fun to play. We loved to do lots of tempo and time changes and abrupt starts and stops. We would practice anywhere we could find space, but eventually we convinced the local storage unit facility to let us rent out a garage and jam late at night after they closed. For gigs, we would play at house parties mostly, being a little too young to play in bars and clubs yet.
Once we had a set’s worth of songs ready, John Goodmanson invited us to play live on the Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA) radio station, KAOS. We had no vocalist then, but were a purely instrumental band. Soon after that radio show, Ben Shepherd joined us on vocals, we changed our name to Tic-Dolly Row, and we did another live radio show at KAOS with him. Those recordings probably still exist somewhere, although I’ve long since lost any copies I had. Ben came up with the name Tic-Dolly Row, describing it as a sailor’s term for down-and-out. It comes from the french word ‘Tic Douloureux’ which is a painful nerve disorder of the face.
We used the KAOS radio show as our demo and sent it to Community World Theater in Tacoma. Tacoma was and still is a working class town about 45 minutes south of Seattle. There weren’t too many all-ages places to play back then but Community World was definitely one of the most active. I’d gone to see a couple shows there, I think Killdozer and The Melvins. We got a gig opening for Inspector Luv and the Ride-Me-Babies, Sons of Ishmael and the band Bliss, who would go on to become Nirvana. That lineup was Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and I think Aaron Burkhard on drums. Although it could have been Dave Foster. Community World was an old, run down hall with a small stage that hosted some really legendary shows. The audience the night we played was fairly small, consisting a lot of our friends and a couple dozen local Tacoma punks. As far as what they were wearing, it’s hard to say. I seem to remember leather jackets, jeans, trench coats or army surplus stuff. Some mohawks here and there.

I remember being pretty nervous playing that show. The sound there was pretty horrible unless the place was packed with people – that night it wasn’t. But we still rocked it. I remember Ben jumping around and pretending to fuck a lingerie clad mannequin they left on the stage. After we played, Bliss used Chad’s black North drum kit, with the scoopy looking drums pictured on the “Bleach” cover. Watching their set, you could tell that Bliss had something, but honesty they didn’t leave a huge impression – to me they sounded like a lighter version of The Melvins.
Later, when Nirvana signed their first deal with Sub Pop, they were looking for a new drummer. They remembered Chad from that show we played, and after Tic-Dolly Row broke up, he joined them. When Chad joined Nirvana, they became a force to be reckoned with. They played out all the time, at clubs, lots of house parties and crazy floor bending packed rooms in the Evergreen State College K-dorm activity area. Chad and I were roommates during some of their first US tours, and he came home with great stories, videos and photos. Sub Pop gave them only a tiny monthly stipend, so I got Chad a job working part-time for my mom’s ceramic business. We slip-cast and glazed a shit ton of very cool ceramic fishes. Kurt lived in Olympia at that time and Krist lived in Tacoma. They would drive the van up to our house in Poulsbo and pick up Chad for band practice, then driving the 2 hours back to Krist’s house in Tacoma for the weekend. My mom is proud that Nirvana once practiced in her basement. She is still a fan. I can’t say that I knew Kurt very well. He was usually pretty quiet and a really nice guy but kind of hard to talk to. Krist was just the opposite, hilarious and friendly. He usually had a gallon jug of Gallo red wine or a case of cheap beer at the ready.

That band (Then called Tic-Dolly Row) changed again when Chad told us he was getting burned out on drums and wanted to play guitar. So Andy Miller joined us on drums and Ben wanted to play guitar too. So we had 5 of us now, trying to make a go of it. At times We had 2 drummers and 3 guitar players. I feel like the whole thing just kind of got muddied with noise and eventually we all just decided to move on to other projects.

Soon after that, Chad joined Nirvana and Buddha’s Favorite Color was formed. That was Jeff Hoyle on vocals, Andy Miller (Bell, Before Cars, Paundy) on drums, Chris Karr on bass and me on guitar. We were a very psychedelic, heavy group. Jeff has a real gift for poetry and turned it into song lyrics. He has a pretty amazing vocal range. Andy was (and is) an insanely good drummer. With his jazz background, Chris’s bass playing shaped our sound. Chris would never play a song exactly the same way twice which probably rubbed off on all of us to keep things fresh. We recorded our first demo in ’89 with Rich Hinklin at the old triangle-shaped Reciprocal Recording studio in Ballard (where Nirvana’s Bleach and a lot of the first Sub Pop records were recorded). We sent it off to Alternative Tentacles records. They passed on us, but we were giddy when we heard from Steve Fisk that Jello Biafra thought we were the most psychedelic band in the Northwest. We got some pretty good response from the demo and played around Seattle quite a bit, at clubs like OK Hotel, The Central Tavern, The Vogue, Hollywood Underground and some loft parties in the Pioneer Square neighborhood.


One of my favorite gigs Buddha’s Favorite Color did was at the Squid Row tavern in Capitol Hill opening for Afghan Whigs. It was their first Seattle show, promoting their first single with Sub Pop. Fuck, they were LOUD. The police showed up after getting several noise complaints. This was a busy urban neighborhood, but the cops made them turn it down anyway. One night, Buddha’s Favorite Color was to play a house party on Bainbridge Island with Nirvana. The party was in a big garage at this girl’s house when her parents were away. Right before our set, our bassist, Chris Karr, was standing under a door jamb and a big piece of plywood fell down and banged him on the head. He decided he was too dizzy to play, so Nirvana went on first. They probably were four or 5 songs into their set when the cops showed up and broke it up. There was a keg of beer and a bunch of drunk underage kids. I remember the first kid they saw holding a beer was arrested, and everyone else scattered.

BFC recorded 3 demos over the next few years, calling it quits around ’92. On our last recording, Paul Heyn replaced Chris Karr on bass. He was in the band about a year.
The next band I was involved in was The methodists, forming in 1995. The methodists were a guitar heavy pop band. The lineup was Erik Spicer on guitar/vocals, Dan McDonald on bass, Chad Channing on drums and me on guitar. We hit it off creatively very quickly and became a song writing machine. We played around the Seattle area a lot in the mid to late 90’s, and some shows in Portland and LA and recorded our one and only LP, Cookie, in 1998 engineered by Kip Beelman and mastered by Jack Endino. This band was a lot of fun – Chad and I would trade instruments during our set and Chad would get up and sing his
songs while playing guitar. I would play drums on his songs and try to keep up as best I could. We did a live room show on KCMU (now KEXP) before going off on west coast tour. We came back from that excited as hell but things eventually petered out with that band and we broke up in ’99.

I was lucky enough to be asked if I wanted to speak to Michael Gira the other week. It’s an intriguing time coming up: extensive touring over the next year before I moves onward with Swans in some – yet to be determined – iteration of the Swans identity.



Courtesy of the ever awesome Mr. Mike Ziegler…

One of the best bands I’ve ever heard in my life.

As most fans know, Aberdeen was the home of Kurt Cobain during his childhood, in which Kurt stated in interviews that he never felt accepted in, among other negative statements. After visiting, I can tell you that Aberdeen has come around in the past few years in embracing Kurt in various ways. Whether its through its yearly Kurt Cobain celebration, maps to various Kurt related spots in its History Museum, or at “Kurt Cobain Landing,” there are tributes to be found for any Nirvana fan. 
The town itself is fairly secluded from the overall population of the United States, and still certainly has its struggles with the homeless population, some boarded up and/or burned homes, run down business, among other concerns. However, perhaps Kurt would have had a slightly more positive perspective of the town if he had grown up in the Aberdeen of 2016. While there are currently no music stores, nor tons of places to really go and hang out for locals, there was an overall peaceful and laid back vibe to be found through much of the city. This is a town that while still in need of more modernizing, was not the gloomy and depressing place (at least not during my visit) that it is often made out to be.
1210 East First Street Aberdeen, WA USA (Kurt Cobain’s home from the time he was a toddler until his parents divorced when he was about 8 years old) – nice but dated yellow home, looks just as it has been pictured for some years online. Still up for sale, but not advertised anywhere on the property of the house itself. The curtain was slightly open on the right side of the home where the living room is, so I took a quick look. The interior of home still has the 70’s style, with brown carpeting in the living room where the fire place is. There is a small left side alley as well as rear alley access by car. Street parking also available in front. Only a few blocks from the Wishkah river (Young Street) bridge and Kurt Cobain Landing aka Kurt Cobain Memorial Park.
609 West Second Street Aberdeen, WA USA (Melvins former rehearsal space where Kurt Cobain frequented + sometimes slept in a cardboard box on the patio when he needed a place to stay according to stories, and former(?) home of the family of Dale Crover of the Melvins) – red home with no trespassing sign on front of house. Tough to imagine Kurt sleeping in a cardboard box there (no patio in front of home, only steps up to front door), however house is a good size which stretches to the back, where there may be a patio in back.
1000 1/2 East Second Street Aberdeen, WA USA (the first house Kurt rented of his own) – building was condemned and torn down in 2009. Short walking distance of a few blocks from Kurt’s Moms’ house (1210 East First Street). Previously sat behind a larger home in a corner where the road curved. Wouldn’t know a home used to be there nowadays without knowing about its history. Now the spot of the building is just an open spot in what passes as a small backyard for the larger home in front.
1120 Fairfield Street Aberdeen, WA USA (former Nirvana bass player Krist Novoselic’s home) – down the road on top of a steep hill (aka Think-of-Me-Hill). Very nice large, white and green home. Possible to walk there from the Young Street bridge at the Wishkah River (Kurt Cobain Landing), with the only tough part being the long walk up Think-Of-Me Hill. A big step up from where Kurt was living in Aberdeen.
Rosevear’s Music Center Aberdeen, WA USA – now permanently closed. (Guitar store where Kurt got his first guitar) was located in 3 locations over the years – 110 E Wishkah st (now Coastal Print Works), 211 E Wishkah st (now a religious store) & 224 E Wishkah st (now a bank). I looked for the star of Kurt on the Aberdeen Walk of Fame on the sidewalk that was said to be where the store used to be, but could not find it. However, I found many other stars walking the East & West Wishkah St including one of NFL legend John Elway.
The Pour House – 506 East Wishkah Street Aberdeen, WA USA – also now permanently closed. Home of Nirvana’s (an early incarnation) only Aberdeen gig must have recently closed. The long blue building is there with the name still on front, but all of the windows are boarded up. Pour House is a bit tricky to find if driving. It is near downtown Aberdeen just over the main downtown bridge. 
Nirvana Mural – around 300 East Wishkah Street Aberdeen, WA USA – (Added in September 2014 with Krist Novoselic and former Nirvana drummer Aaron Burckhard appearing at the unveiling) – a great addition to the downtown Aberdeen area, covers much of Nirvana’s history as well as name checks tons of bands Nirvana either played gigs with and/or were influenced by. Shows bass player Krist Novoselic & drummer Dave Grohl in the center with a 1992 concert photo of Kurt with his back turned to the viewer in between. Obviously purposely done to not exploit Kurt’s memory, however a photo is painted of Kurt as a child near the center on the left side as well. Lots of inside Nirvana related messages on the sign that only a dedicated Nirvana fan would be able to pick out the meaning of, including Dave Grohl’s “Chaka” bass drum from the Smells Like Teen Spirit music video.
Krist Novoselic’s Mom Maria’s Hair Salon – 107 S. “M” Street, Aberdeen, WA USA – (Nirvana held rehearsals here upstairs on the 2nd floor) – green building near the heart of downtown Aberdeen, is currently with the windows boarded up as well. No business are currently located there. Could pass for a two story home from the looks of it from the outside.
Aberdeen Museum of History – 111 East Third Street Aberdeen, WA USA – (Museum with various Kurt Cobain/Nirvana related artifacts) – free Museum that covers Aberdeen’s history in nice detail. There are some cool Nirvana related items here. They currently include the couch Kurt used to sleep on when he stay at Lamont Schillinger’s home in Aberdeen in the mid 1980’s. There is also the bench that used to sit in Viretta Park outside Kurt’s residence at 171 Lake Washington Boulevard East in Seattle. The bench in Viretta Park is apparently changed every so often due to the large amount of graffiti and tributes written on it from Nirvana fans around the world. The museum started selling t-shirts of the writing from the bench in its gift shop. In the exhibit there is also a large Kurt poster. Info I’ve never read anywhere online: There used to be a statue of the “Crying Kurt Cobain” that local Raymond, WA sculptor Randi Hubbard made on display in Aberdeen. Randi’s husband Bob & her own Hubb’s Muffler shop at 2208 Sumner Ave, Aberdeen, WA USA where the statue was on display from 1994 to 2014 until the Aberdeen Museum of History took it into its collection in April 2014. However, that statue is no longer there in the museum. I asked about its whereabouts and was told the artist “took it back.” I was then told that a replacement Kurt Cobain statue should be done soon, which will be put on display in the museum. There was a Kurt drawing on display of what the sculpture should look like when it is finished. It is Kurt circa 1993, sitting with his hand against his face, looking bored. The lady said the new Kurt statue is being made by the museum’s curator and spoke highly of him, Mr. Dann Sears. In the gift shop, I found a pamphlet the Museum was giving away to museum goers talking about Kurt related sites in Aberdeen. The Nirvana related items being sold in the gift shop at the time of my visit were a “Nevermind” puzzle, “Nevermind” CD’s and $25 t-shirts of the “Kurt Bench.” 
I decided to email Mr. Dann Sears about the new Kurt Cobain statue he is making for the Aberdeen Museum of History. Here is his reply. Outside of a few locals who might be aware of this working at the museum, this is new exclusive info for the Nirvana community. Check it out:
Yes we had a large concrete statue of Kurt Cobain here for a short time. Due to circumstances beyond our control, the “Concrete Resurrection”, as it was named by the artist was removed from the museum.
The life size figure, I am now working on will be ready by Kurt’s birthday which is also Aberdeen’s annual “Kurt Cobain Day.”  Considering my schedule and work load the figure is developing nicely. I have attached a copy of the beginning sketch of the figure. I will depict a younger Cobain sitting under the Young Street Bridge with his journal or sketch pad, behind him will be a scrim (Screen), when the light comes on behind the screen the rest of the Nirvana members will fade into view. We are trying to step around a lot of the negativity, and concentrate on his creativity and what he accomplished in his short life span.  
Thank you for your interest in the “Music of Grays Harbor” exhibit.
Dann Sears”
“Welcome to Aberdeen Come As You Are” sign – (Done as a tribute to Kurt Cobain from the residents of Aberdeen, WA USA. Come As You Are was added to the bottom of the sign in reference to the Nirvana song, but as a more subtle reference than just saying “Home of Kurt Cobain”) – sign is on the entrance of Aberdeen furthest from Hoquiam and that leads you through their downtown area if you keep going straight. The sign has a small area you can park just off the road to see it up close. It is not a real parking spot, however. Just a dirt sport in the grass where other cars have previously parked. The sign looks a lot bigger close up than I imagined. 
Kurt Cobain Landing – under Young Street Bridge separating North & South Aberdeen, WA USA. (Spot where Kurt hung out and immortalized in the Nirvana song “Something In The Way.” Also referenced in the title to the 1996 Nirvana live album, “From The Muddy Banks of the Wishkah.” Now home to Aberdeen’s Kurt Cobain memorial.) Known as Riverfront Park, this spot is very short walking distance from Kurt’s old home (1210 East First Street Aberdeen). If driving up, at the end of a dead end street in a residential area with no real parking spots available. Park where you can. The “park” is very small. Basically a section of land between the last house on the block and the bridge. You will find a green bench near the water, a Kurt Cobain “Jag-Stang” statue with lyrics to the song “On A Plain” attached, a purple metal stand (called Kurt’s Air Guitar), a small table with seating, a plaque on the ground with Kurt Cobain quotes, another sign on a pole with lyrics to the song “Something In The Way,” a sign about the park itself, and the Young Street bridge which you can walk under with fan tributes and Nirvana/Kurt related graffiti with a sign that reads “From The Muddy Banks of the Wishkah” attached to the bottom concrete of the bridge. If you pay attention, you will also find two “Kurt Cobain Landing” signs and “KC Park” written on all 4 sides of a metal enclosure for the trash can. The area is well maintained and had no shortage of Nirvana fans coming to visit every 10 minutes or so during my 2 stops there. In my opinion, the best Kurt related site in Aberdeen.

Olympia is a nice, but small city, that is roughly 40 miles from Aberdeen. It is about a 15 minute drive from one end of the city to the other. Olympia has a very different feel to it, considering its proximity to Aberdeen. I can see why Kurt would have liked it. Olympia felt safer than Aberdeen, more like a place you wouldn’t mind living. The home he lived in with Tracy Marander was certainly a much better living situation than Kurt usually had in Aberdeen.

The Evergreen State College has a rural feel to the area. Unlike many US colleges, as you drive up, the entrance is a long road, nestled between large trees. The college feels more within nature than most and the trees kind of hide the university buildings within them. Once you get up to the university itself, it separates into left and right sides of the school.

Capitol Lake Park was pretty and picturesque, but also fairly small as far some city parks go. Olympia has its own farmers markets and art fairs going on, that were nice to come across. I also ran across a popular children’s museum, among other activities while in Olympia that all seemed worth checking out.


114 1/2 Pear Street Olympia, WA USA – (home where Kurt lived with then girlfriend Tracy Mirander and later with Dave Grohl in 1990-1991) nice blue home, 3 separate sections of home available for living with Kurt previously occupying the right side & right rear side of home (sections 2 & 3). Young college aged kids living there during my visit from what I could tell. Street parking is available in front of the home and across the street at the Washington State Lottery Building (that Kurt & Dave Grohl used to shoot air gun pellets at). There is also a parking lot for the Washington State Lottery building right there too. The home itself has a small alley access on the right side of the home as well and the backyard is small and only partially visible due to trees from the right side alley. Kurt wrote a large majority of the most famous Nirvana songs at this home. What I think was maybe just a coincidence, when I was right in front of the house, a car passed down the adjacent street (but not in front of the house) playing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” with the window rolled down. It hit me that I was standing in front of the house where that song is thought to have been written. Amazing.

The Evergreen State College Olympia, WA USA – TV Production, Library area, KAOS Radio, etc. – (Kurt & Nirvana played shows here, appeared twice on KAOS radio station, recorded songs in the television studio & had friends that went here) – I visited on a Sunday in the Summer, so the school was out of session. However, because of that, I was able to go around and see more than I probably would have been able to otherwise. All of the Nirvana related buildings seemed to be open. The building that has the KAOS radio station inside was open and I was able to walk up all the way to its front door. Lots of interesting messages on the glass windows in front. Next to the KAOS offices (which were locked) was a billboard for upcoming events going on in the college. Nirvana played a gig near the library so I went to check that area out. While the library itself was not open, the photography section was, which has a display of various personal looking photos taken during US wars in the Middle East. Once heading further in that building, it leads to the TV & Graphic Arts rooms. Those rooms were all closed, however you could walk through the entire department and its hallways. I could kind of picture what it must have been like all those years earlier after visiting the college.


Keep in mind that many of the places Kurt and Nirvana played at or hung out at in Olympia have either closed or have changed drastically over the years. That is the case with Aberdeen and Seattle as well. This is to be expected since it has been 20-25 years since they became apart of the Kurt Cobain/Nirvana story. I visited what I felt were the most relevant and intact places as of 2016.

If you are looking for more to do in Olympia, check out the State Capitol building, a Japanese Garden, the Bigelow House Museum, as well as other lakes and parks.

And if you want to see every related Kurt Cobain item here, you can go by the house that Courtney Love bought for Kurt’s Mom Wendy & sister Kim at 8910 Bordeaux Rd SW, Olympia, WA. Courtney purchased the house in 1997 but stopped making payments by 2003. WMC Mortgage Co. in Los Angeles was owed back payments, so the house was auctioned off in January 2006 at the Thurston County Courthouse in Olympia.


Part 1: Seattle can be found here:

My 2013 visits are documented in the ‘Nirvana Maps and Locales’ category, check the menu at left hand side of the screen. They include: