I Found My Friends Nirvana Book: Bands Participating in the Book from 1989

1989, the year Nirvana go from being nobodies to somebodies. I think that’s a fair statement – genius doesn’t just live out there with a pre-allotted meeting with destiny all set up so that definitely everyone of true talent is captured, noticed and gets to where they’re going. Regardless of Nirvana’s talents they needed support, product that people might actually be able to see, supporters able to get them in front of bigger audiences, media coverage to lure in a few more eyes…Otherwise they’d just be another band playing great stuff in obscurity on lo-fi equipment, recorded on the cheap, performed over junk PA systems in butt-end of nowhere clubs.

Nirvana needed Sub Pop – Sub Pop needed decent bands. But in 1989 it was clear that Tad were higher up the pecking order while Mudhoney were at the top. And that’s just the running order on one label, it doesn’t reflect how far down the ‘grunge’/’Seattle’ buzz running Nirvana were. It’s trick getting back in that mindset really – to the idea of a future superstar as a band that hasn’t played anywhere except at home, that can’t keep a drummer (even Chad is barely over the six months in), that has a single out that no one can get hold of and one song on a compilation that isn’t exactly spread far and wide.

Nirvana’s tentativeness is visible physically. They pop down to Portland then retreat home. They stretch themselves a little further and hit a couple of venues in California, then home. They ramble about Washington State catching time with Sub Pop bands and local friends – there’s always a ‘buddy’ along which saves Sub Pop a bit of cash and helps promote the label all in one. Nirvana are, to the greatest degree, at the beck and call of forces beyond their control. Album recorded by early January but requires a while for the label to get it manufactured and out into the world. Tour awaiting the label’s acquisition of a van – Nirvana aren’t really self-starters when it comes to self-releasing or self-promoting, others do it for them. But still, its progress…

I interviewed members of 170 bands for the “I Found My Friends” book, the following list is intended to show which gigs those bands played alongside Nirvana – just as a guide to coverage and scope. Hope its looking good to you… March 31, oh I am definitely looking forward to it…

January 6, Portland — Mudhoney
January 21, Portland
February, Olympia — K Dorm. Helltrout and Psychlodds
February 10, San Francisco, CA
February 11, San Jose, CA — Mudhoney, Vomit Launch
February 25, Seattle — The Fluid, Skin Yard
April 1, Olympia — Helltrout, S.G.M., Tree House
April 7, Seattle — Love Battery
April 14, Ellensburg — King Krab
April 26, Seattle — Steel Pole Bath Tub
May 26, Auburn — Bible Stud, Skin Yard
June 9, Seattle — Mudhoney, Tad
June 10, Portland — Grind
June 16, Olympia (as Industrial Nirvana) — Lush
June 21, Seattle
June 22, San Francisco, CA — Bad Mutha Goose
June 23, Los Angeles, CA
June 24, Los Angeles, CA — Clawhammer, Stone by Stone
June 25, Tempe, AZ — Crash Worship, Sun City Girls
June 27, Sante Fe, NM — 27 Devils Joking, Monkeyshines
June 30, San Antonio, TX — Happy Dogs, Swaziland White Band
July 1, Houston, TX — Bayou Pigs, David von Ohlerking
July 2, Fort Worth, TX
July 3, Dallas, TX
July 5, Iowa City, IA — Blood Circus
July 6, Minneapolis, MN
July 7, Madison, WI
July 8, Chicago, IL
July 9, Wilkinsburg, PA
July 12, Philadelphia, PA — Napalm Sunday
July 13, Hoboken, NJ — Tad
July 15, Jamaican Plain, MA — Cheater Slicks, Death of Samantha
July 18, New York, NY — Cows, God Bullies, Lonely Moans, Surgery
August 20 & 28 — Cobain and Novoselic take part in The Jury recording sessions — Screaming Trees
August 26, Seattle — Cat Butt, Mudhoney
September 26, Seattle — Dickless, Knife Dance
September 28, Minneapolis, MN
September 30, Chicago, IL — Eleventh Day Dream
October 1, Champaign, IL — Steel Pole Bath Tub
October 2, Kalamazoo, IL — Steel Pole Bath Tub
October 3, Ann Arbor, MI — Steel Pole Bath Tub
October 4 or 5, Toledo, OH — Steel Pole Bath Tub
October 6, Cincinnati, OH — Grinch
October 7, Lawrence, KS — 24/7 Spyz
October 8, Omaha, NE — Mousetrap
October 11, Denver, CO — The Fluid
October 13, Boulder, CO
October 23, Newcastle, U.K. — The Cateran, Tad
October 24, Manchester, U.K. — The Cateran, Tad
October 25, Leeds, U.K. — The Cateran, Tad
October 27, London, U.K. — The Cateran, Tad
October 28, Portsmouth, U.K. — The Cateran, Tad
October 29 until December 2 — Tad
December 3, London, U.K. — Tad, Mudhoney


4 thoughts on “I Found My Friends Nirvana Book: Bands Participating in the Book from 1989”

  1. Hahahaha… Jim, that just made me burst out laughing in the middle of the office. Its me needing to bow to you not the other way around – comments do actually perk me up and keep me rolling. And jeez, you lot are forgiving! I think the quality of my posts has been declining a while and is overdue a big renaissance!

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