I Found My Friends: the Oral History of Nirvana – Which Bands in Which Nirvana Shows 1987-1988

Posted: January 29, 2015 in I Found My Friends: the Oral History of Nirvana

Felt it was time to share the information about the individuals telling the tale in “I Found My Friends.” Basically with 210 people, with some 170 bands, it’s a long list but I hope an intriguing one. I’ve arranged it as a chronology so you can see who was playing with Nirvana when and so forth… When I first started all this there was that curiosity about who these bands were, I want to write pieces about them on the blog as soon as possible, but I also felt that here were were at 25 years distance at least and that as the limits of memory are reached maybe it was a good moment to begin recording those memories. Turning them into a book, into this bigger compilation of stories and experiences, meant a fleshed out picture told by people who were actually there at the time – not just observers but guys and gals who were up on the same stages, sharing gear with Nirvana, hanging out with the band or just breezing past a band who – in 1987-1988 – were just another band…

1987
I confess the early days truly intrigued me…The start or end of something always has a certain emphatic edge that invites curiosity. Of the ten bands Nirvana played with in 1987 I was blessed and managed to speak to members of eight of them; Nisqually Delta Podunk Nightmare, Yellow Snow, Danger Mouse, Soylent Green, Lansdat Blister, Hell’s Kitchen, Inspector Luv and the Ride Me Babies and the Sons of Ishmael. I was informed via a contact that no one in Silent Treatment recalls much about the show with a young Nirvana – meanwhile, unfortunately, I only spoke to members of the Magnet Men after the deadline for the book had passed so that was that. As a wonderful addition – in my eyes – I received true help and support from Ryan Aigner, Nirvana’s first manager, and the guys from the band Black Ice who lived at the house where Nirvana played their first house party – the Raymond show. On the “With the Lights Out” box set, on the Led Zeppelin cover, it’s actually Tony Poukkula who can be heard yelping how he doesn’t know the solo to “Heartbreaker” before cracking out a brief rip.

1988
Nirvana had a busier year but still, twenty-three gigs is hardly awe-inspiring. They supported twenty nine bands in 1988 of whom I was able to speak to members of Attica, Blood Circus, the Butthole Surfers, Chemistry Set, Coffin Break, DOA, Herd of Turtles, King Krab, Lansdat Blister, Leaving Trains, Lush, Moral Crux, My Name, Psychlodds, Sister Skelter, Skin Yard, Swallow, Tad, the Fluid, the Thrown-ups, Treacherous Jaywalkers and Vampire Lezbos. Alas, Happy Dead Juans, we were too late…Too late…Likewise, though locating a former member of Millions of Dead Leninz (definitely one of the bands I obsessed over the longest) we didn’t get to discuss anything. That’s twenty two of twenty nine…Not bad…Not bad…

Anyways…There we go…Let’s see where next shall we? Incidentally, if you prefer to buy from a non-Amazon source then the book is up for pre-order at IndieBound and B&N:

B&N: http://hyperurl.co/nirvBN
Indiebound: http://hyperurl.co/nirvIND

The list below is intended to show a complete record of Nirvana’s shows (with date/location from the Nirvana Live Guide) then which shows feature a band from whom a member or various members took part in “I Found My Friends.” There are six shows in 1987-1988 that were not played by a musician featured in the book.

1987
March, Raymond — Black Ice
Skid Row plays one undated house party in Aberdeen March/April
April 18, Tacoma — Nisqually Delta Podunk Nightmare, Soylent Green, Yellow Snow
May 1, Olympia — Dangermouse, Lansdat Blister, Nisqually Delta Podunk Nightmare
May 27, Tacoma — Hell’s Kitchen, Soylent Green
August 9, Tacoma — Inspector Luv and the Ride Me Babies, Sons of Ishmael

1988
January 23, Tacoma — Moral Crux
March — Dave Foster plays the Caddy Shack house in Olympia as the band’s drummer
March 19, Tacoma — Lush, Vampire Lezbos
March/April — One show at The Witch House, Olympia plus Nirvana’s first Seattle show
April 24, Seattle — Blood Circus
May 14, Olympia — Lansdat Blister, Sister Skelter
May 21, Olympia — Herd of Turtles, Lansdat Blister
May 28, Olympia— Sister Skelter
May — In time for an undated Seattle show Chad Channing joins on drums
June 2, Seattle — Chemistry Set
June 17, Ellensburg — King Krab, Lush
July 3, Seattle — Blood Circus, The Fluid
July 23, Seattle — Leaving Trains
July 30, Seattle — Skin Yard
August 20, Olympia — My Name, Swallow
August 29, Seattle — Treacherous Jaywalkers
October undated house party on Bainbridge Island
October 28, Seattle — Blood Circus, Butthole Surfers
October 30, Olympia — Lansdat Blister, Lush
November 23, Bellingham — Coffin Break, Skin Yard
December 1, Seattle — Coffin Break, D.O.A.
December 21, Hoquiam — Attica, Psychlodds
December 28, Seattle — Blood Circus, Swallow, Tad, the Thrown Ups

Throughout the book I do deviate from chronology – sometimes there were topics I wanted to tackle in more detail, or people said things that were so interesting to me I wanted to delve in and reinforce them with the views and opinions of others. I hope it makes sense to you as a reader and that the slalom ride between following the live dates and making sense of the journey works for you. Often it was a simple question of memory – this is a LONNNNnnnnng time ago now, where were you twenty-five years ago? I was seven/eight years old – I remember nothing. Plus, shocking statement, the truth is that Nirvana – for quite a long time in fact – were just ‘another band’. That’s what really engrossed me was this sense of Nirvana as being a fairly indistinguishable part of the overall scene, surrounded by friends and comrades doing exactly the same thing with deviations in sound, style, energy…Before Nirvana gradually become something else all their own… It felt good to restore a sense of normalness…That this was people doing something they loved not rock-demi-gods momentarily visiting Earth…

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