Archive for March, 2015

Kurt sleeping at WNYU 1989 300 dpi

Thanks for the photograph to Hugh Foley – and like the individual pictured, my day started with a lie-in. Well…I mean…It started with the dog getting me up for an 8am walk, THEN with a lie-in. The rest of the day? Well, I checked the paintwork on the two tables I stripped, sanded and varnished yesterday – then I hung some family pictures for my mum. Another dog walk, a little book work, a pleasant lunch, arrival of my little sister…A pleasant day in Spain.

And that’s the truth really, a ‘book launch day’ is just like any other day – were you expecting more? Books are all about the early days – think about it, does any site/paper/station review an old book? For the last few months I’ve been putting in a little blood, sweat, tears and toil to get it out there, do what I can to support, make sure I feel I’ve done enough and that I feel nothing but happiness and pride over here.

So, here I sit waiting to see if “I Found My Friends: the Oral History of Nirvana” meets the approval of fans, of critics…We’ll see shall we? Naturally I hope it lives up to billing, that it makes the people involved proud, that it shows proper respect all round.

So, all I can do today perhaps is make the many thank yous due…Apologies for the lonnnnng list but as I’ve said all along, 210 individuals, 170 of the bands who played with Nirvana 1987-1994, two-thirds of Nirvana’s shows…That’s a lot of people due a thank you! Hope it gives you a sense too of who was a part of this and who you’ll hear from:

24-7 Spyz (Forrest), 3 Merry Widows (Charles Shipman, Alice Spencer, Sean Garcia, Marc Enger)

Aaron Burckhard (Nirvana/Under Sin), Adam Kasper, Alex Kostelnik, Amorphous Head (Joe Goldring), Andre Stella, Jux County (Andrew Monley), Anxiety Prophets (Josh Kriz), Arm (Danielle Mommertz, Stephan Mahler, Marcus Grapmayer)

Bad Mutha Goose (Tim Kerr), Barb Schillinger, Bayou Pigs (David Yammer), Becca Jones-Starr, Bhang Revival (Lori Joseph), Bible Stud (Glen Logan), Biquini Cavadão (Bruno Castro Gouveia), Björn Again (Rod Stephen), Black Ice (Duke Harner, Tony Poukkula), Blank Frank and the Tattooed Gods (Bill Walker), Blood Circus (Geoff Robinson), Bruce Pavitt, Butthole Surfers (Paul Leary)

Calamity Jane (Lisa Koenig), Calamity Jane/Sister Skelter (Gilly-Ann Hanner), Captain America (Andy Bollen, Gordon Keen), Carl Chalker (the Twist), Cat Butt (James Burdyshaw), Caustic Soda (Rénee Denenfeld), Chad Channing (Nirvana), Charmin’ Children (JB Meijers), Cheater Slicks (Dana Hatch), Chemical People (Dave Naz), Chemistry Set (Scott Vanderpool), Chokebore (Troy von Balthazar), Claw Hammer (Jon Wahl), Cliffs of Doneen (Lex Lianos and Flynn), Coffin Break (Peter Litwin), Come (Chris Brokaw), Come (Thalia Zedek), Conrad Uno, Cordelia’s Dad (Peter Irvine, Tim Eriksen), Cows (Kevin Rutmanis), Crash Worship, Crow (Peter Fenton), Crunchbird (Jaime Robert Johnson), Cynthia Bergen, Cypress Hill (B-Real)

D.O.A. (Joe Keithley), Dangermouse (George Smith), Dave Foster (Nirvana/Helltrout/Mico de Noche), David Von Ohlerking, Death of Samantha (Doug Gillard), Defalla (Castor Daudt, Edu K), Dickless (Lisa Smith), Distorted Pony (Ted Carroll), Dominic Davi, Dr Sin (Ivan Busic)

Eleventh Dream Day (Janet Beveridge Bean & Rick Rizzo), Enas Barkho

Fitz of Depression (Ryan von Bargen), Flor de Mal (Marcello Cunsolo)

Gillian G. Gaar, Girl Trouble (Bon von Wheelie), Gobblehoof (Tim Aaron), God Bullies (Mike Hard), Grinch (Billy Alletzhauser), Grind (Ben Munat, David Triebwasser, Pete Krebs), Gumball (Don Fleming)

Half Japanese (Jad Fair), Haywire (Vadim Rubin), Heavy into Jeff (Robin Peringer), Hell’s Kitchen (David Chavez), Helltrout (Jason Morales), Herd of Turtles (Shawn Lawlor), Hitting Birth (Daniel Riddle), Hole (Eric Erlandson, Jill Emery), Holy Rollers (Joseph Aronstamn)

I Own the Sky (Joseph Hayden), Industrial Pirata (Elias Ziede), Inspector Luv and the Ride Me Babies (Ty Willman)

Skin Yard (Jack Endino), Jacob’s Mouse (Hugo Boothby, Jebb Boothby, Sam Marsh), Jardal Sebba, Jello Biafra, Jesse Harrison, Jim Merlis, JJ Gonson, Jonathan Burnside, Jose Soria (Happy Dogs)

Kai Kln (Neil Franklin, Scott Anderson), Kaptain ‘Scott Gear’ Skillit Weasel, Kevin Kerslake, Kill Sybil (Larry Schemel), King Krab (Nathan Hill), Knife Dance (Tom Dark)

Leaving Trains (Falling James), Lisa Sullivan, Lonely Moans (J.M. Dobie), Lonely Moans (Shambie Singer), Loop (Robert Hampson), Los Brujos (Gabriel Guerrisi), Love Battery (Kevin Whitworth)

Machine (John Purkey, Ryan Loiselle), Yellow Snow (Brian Naubert and Pat Watson), Bobby Delcour (Sleeper Cell), Maria Mabra (Hell Smells), Meat Puppets (Cris Kirkwood), Medelicious (Henry Szankiewicz), Melissa Auf der Maur (Hole), Mexican Pets (Patrick Clafferty), Midway Still (Paul Thomson), Monkeyshines (Tom Trusnovic), Mousetrap (Craig Crawford), Mudhoney (Steve Turner), My Name (Abe Brennan)

Napalm Sunday (Ed Farnsworth), Nardwuar, New Radiant Storm King (Peyton Pinkerton, Matt Hunter), Nubbin (Timo Ellis), Nunbait (Shaun Butcher)

Oily Bloodmen (Seth Perry)

Pansy Division (Jon Ginoli), Paradogs (Eric Jeevers), Paul Harries, Paul Kimball (Helltrout/Landsat Blister), Pele (Ian Prowse), Pirata Industrial (Elias Ziede), Portia Sabin (Kill Rock Stars), Power of Dreams (Keith Walker), Psychlodds (Ryan Aigner)

Rat at Rat R (John Myers, Victor Poison-Tete), Rawhead Rex (Eric Moore), Rhino Humpers (Brian Coloff), Roger Nusic

S.G.M. (Cole Peterson and Rich Credo), Saucer (Beau Fredericks, Fred Stuben, Scott Harbine (Saucer), Screaming Trees (Mark Pickerel), Second Child (Damien Binder), Seven Year Bitch (Valerie Agnew), Shawna at Cosmic Primitive, Shonen Knife (Naoko Yamano), Sister Double Happiness (Gary Floyd, Lynn Truell), Sister Skelter (Chris Quinn), Slaughter Shack (Colin Burns, Dana Ong), Slim Moon (Nisqually Delta Podunk Nightmare, Lush, Witchypoo, Kill Rock Stars), Sons of Ishmael (Tim Freeborn, Mike Canzi, Paul Morris, Glenn Poirier, Chris Black), Soylent Green (Bruce Purkey), Sprinkler (Steve Birch), Steel Pole Bath Tub (Mike Morasky), Stone by Stone (Chris Desjardins), Strange Places (Xavier Ramirez), Sun City Girls (Alan Bishop), Surgery (John Leamy), Swallow (Chris Pugh and Rod Moody), Swaziland White Band (Lloyd Walsh, John Farrell, Dennis Fallon), Sweet Lickin’ Honey Babes (Jim Roy)

Tad (Tad, Josh Sinder and Kurt Danielson), Teenage Fanclub (Gerard Love), Television Personalities (Dan Treacy), Terry Lee Hale, The Bags (Crispin Wood), The Bombshells (Siobhan Duvall), The Boredoms (Yamantaka Eye), The Buzzcocks (Steve Diggle), The Cateran (Cam Fraser and Murdo MacLeod), The Derelicts (Duane Lance Bodenheimer), The Didjits (Rick Sims), The Doughboys (John Kastner), The Dwarves (Blag Dahlia), The Fluid (Matt Bischoff), The Gits (Steve Moriarty), The Guttersnipes (Andrew Rice, Mark Hurst, Michael McManus, Paul Brockhoff), The Jesus Lizard (David Yow), The Thrown Ups (Leighton Beezer), The Wongs (Kevin Rose), Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 (Anne Eickelberg and Mark Davies), Thornucopia (Jed Brewer), Tracy Marander, Treacherous Jaywalkers (Josh Haden), Treehouse (Ronna Myles-Era and Damon Romero), Tumbleweed (Richard Lewis)

Unrest (Mark Robinson), Unwound (Justin Trosper)

Vampire Lezbos (David Whiting), Vegas Voodoo (Kevin Franke and Marc Barmotholomew), Victim’s Family (Tim Soylan), Volcano Suns (Peter Prescott), Vomit Launch (Lindsey Thrasher)

Wool (Al Bloch, Franz Stahl)

Youri Lenquette

I was invited by Isabel Atherton, my dear agent and all-round quality soul, to contribute a blog post to her site…I had an inkling very swiftly of what I wanted to say…Then late night, in amid preparing something else, I kept scribbling away and the result was what I hope is an overdue thank you to the bands and individuals who took part in the book…

When I started the Nirvana-Legacy blog what really thrilled me was translating Nirvana’s career into statistics, pie charts, lo-fi PowerPoint maps, whatever I felt provided a contrast to the usual impressionistic flood of hyperbole and personal impressions. So, to start with the numbers, what was writing “I Found My Friends” like? Well, may I show you in a few ways? I would wake for work at 6.30am, get home at 6.30pm, take a few hours to eat, wash, do chores, exercise…Then from 8 or 9 I’d sit and commence writing. I’d finish between 1-2am, wake up at 6.30am, go again. Each week I’d spend between 20-30 hours working on Nirvana. Life looked like this:


In those 5+ hours (on weekdays, often more at the weekend), I’d also maintain the Nirvana-Legacy blog – you may have noticed (I have) that the blog isn’t as deep and rich as I feel it once was…Hard to focus totally in too many spaces I guess.

What would I do in those hours? Well, the book emerged from a blog post in spring of 2013 about bands Nirvana supported/who supported Nirvana – I was so curious about all the band names listed on the Nirvana Live Guide (…I wondered, initially just as material for the blog, whether I could find any of them. The first individual I contact was Troy von Balthazar of Chokebore, next Ben Munat of Thrillhammer/Grind, then Leighton Beezer of the Thrown-Ups…It began building. So I sketched out a book concept – things I wanted to answer or examine about Nirvana as a live experience or moments I wondered if I could find a witness to… I ended up writing a 30-40,000 word document which across the next year and a half was erased, deleted, replaced with the words of people who were there. Ultimately I don’t think my words are important or interesting – I wanted this whole work to be about other people’s experiences.

How did I get hold of people? Well, I would sit for hours using Google to tap in band names, trying to hunt down the names of people in bands. Most of these bands halted pre-Internet boom era, sometimes I’d be reading scanned newspaper pages from the mid-Eighties. Hour after hour on Google after that with an individual’s name trying to see if I could find a source connecting the name and the band and then providing a contact email, a Facebook page, anything. Conservatively I estimate I sent around 10,000 emails. Add in the replies and responses to people who came back to me and its anyone’s guess where the total reached. 10,000 emails, lets say 2 minutes an email? That’s 20,000 minutes – 333 hours email…

Next, I wrote out the questions for each individual so they could see them in advance – I wanted to reassure people I wasn’t some muckraking pain, I wanted them to see what I wished to ask. In total I wrote 120,000 words of questions – that’s a long novel just of questions. I have a document here called ‘Nirvana_Questions’ recording all of them. In total I now have over a million words of notes. A desire of mine being to add a new section to the blog in which I write about each of the bands I spoke to – so there’s a permanent record of all of them (at least until I drop dead and no one pays for the blog.)

Next I had to write a proposal for my agent. This is quite a long document – a fresh revision was prepared based on the feedback from my agent (Isabel Atherton of Creative Authors – There’s a standard requirement, deviation not really welcomed. Firstly, a half page summary of the book – like the text on the back. Next, a deeper description of two pages. The following section would describe the ‘market’ – who would want to read this? Why? What events made it a good moment to do this? Who would be interested in providing press coverage so people knew it existed? An addition to that would be a full two page description of other books comparable to this one – ways for a publisher to understand whether the book was worth taking a risk on, did it fill a gap? Had something similar succeeded? Was it a trustworthy approach? Then a bio – why trust me with this? Could I deliver…? After which a proper summary of the projected chapter structure over a few pages and, finally, a draft chapter.

That was provided to an independent reader to consider. Being an agent is NOT an easy life. Publishers will not consider manuscripts from authors. Why? Because it costs time and money to read. Instead they’ve outsourced that entire component. The agent only gets paid a percentage of the advance – not much money. They need to find reliable authors with good work which might find a home. Agents reject nine of ten manuscripts. I was lucky and blessed by Isabel.

Isabel then delivered the revised proposal to her contacts at publishers. I’d been very lucky with Isabel having moved to the U.S. which is a far larger opportunity for books of this sort. You’ve heard the publishing industry is having trouble? Well, music book publishing has had even more. It’s ever easier to be forgotten or ignored. In the U.K. each year 100,000 books are published – in the U.S. its over 1 million. Yet publishers refuse 9 of 10 manuscripts. And the majority of authors will never make a penny in royalties on their work – its all about the book advance…But book advances are shrinking given the market pressure. It’s even lower if you’re a first timer. But what the hey, if you’re putting in 20-30 hours a week it’s unlikely you’re in it for the money. You’d be better off getting a part-time job in that case – more reliable income. Writing is sub-minimum wage unless you fire out 3-4 books a year and/or happen to write 50 Shades or Harry Potter.

The publisher made specific demands about what needed to happen, when and how. Simple choice; obey or not? Ultimately you have no power. Amazon has used its media connections to constantly project the idea that self-publishing leads to miraculous success – no. Sorry, it’s a lie. A handful have succeeded out of the hundreds of thousands, the millions who have put an ebook online. The reasons are that an individual cannot match the ‘broadcast’ capabilities of a traditional publisher; it’s harder to get anyone to know you’re there. Amazon takes a delivery fee on each book, plus a royalty on each sale – it isn’t all yours. Remember also the need for artworking, for editing, proof-reading, fact-checking. In the final chapter of “I Found My Friends” I unfortunately approved an addition confusing Calvin Johnson and Daniel Johnson – if these errors creep in on a mass market paperback imagine what happens on a self-published effort. Everyone needs a second eye. A traditional publisher also offers the reassurance of quality; two separate layers of people (agent, editor, plus internal approvals within the publisher) have said the book is worthwhile. That mark does make a difference.

As I said, if you’re focused on getting your work out, and you want to do it the traditional way, then you have to bow to the editor at the publisher. That’s fair enough too. The publisher needs to pay for production, to cover failures, to pay for all the support services from which a book and an author benefit (legal, proof-reading, publicity, marketing, artwork, photography, royalties…) Imagine if your job was dependent on some egotistical bloke in another country, who you’ve never met, would you put your money, your safety, your family’s security on the line just to obey some person who’ll probably underappreciate what you’re giving to them? A publisher needs to sell product, that’s a simple fact. They also need to put enough product in the market to cover all the marginal successes and the outright failures. That means constantly seeing new proposals, negotiating with new agents, managing authors, reviewing and then all the internal work of a publisher. They don’t have much time for kid-gloves or for being ‘nice’ to you. Just deal with it. They’ll TELL not ask a lot of the time. I was told to change the title or they wouldn’t take the book. I was told I had to source photos for the book. I had to sign a contract promising completion and delivery of the book inside ten weeks or the contract would be annulled.

Part of that means that your personal ‘stuff’ isn’t relevant. It’s business. My grandfather died in August 2013, my father died in April 2014, my godfather died in January 2015 – three of the eight people I love most in the world all gone inside 16 months… My publishers were sweet and kind…And still needed to see results. That’s the way it is. If you can’t stomach it then go self-publish. If you can’t deliver a book-length volume (100,000 words) on schedule then go self-publish. If you can’t obey the extensive formatting requirements of the publisher then go self-publish. Your flakiness costs them time and energy…And even better it’ll cost you because it’ll come back to you to fix it. Best to get it right first time.

You’ll be surprised how little you hear from the editor – they’ll write when they need you to do something. That’s it. Read your contract fully. In the case of non-fiction works remember that they will insert an index and you will pay for it – it’s in your contract. Remember you only get 20 or so free copies – after that you pay half the marked cover price for each copy you want – oh, and each photographer who contributes gets one of YOUR free copies. The book advance covers all licensing fees for photographs, for quotations (check the rules around quoting other works), any travel, any purchases made to support the book…The advance comes in two halves too – one half when you sign the contract, one half when the publisher actually accepts the manuscript. They will review your work, you’ll have to make changes, then the other half is released. If you refuse and it becomes irreconcilable then you’ll have to give back the rest of the advance. So, throughout the writing process you’re potentially staring a debt in the face. Remember that and don’t go crazy. I received $7,500 dollars. I gave 15% to my agent, I pay 40% in tax, I spent several thousand dollars preparing the book. My profit? I can no longer tell but I think it’s about $1,000 for a year and a half of work.

On the other hand, however, writing an oral history of this sort meant I got to meet some wonderful people, spend time with people I admire for their musical efforts – for having a get up and go I didn’t have at age 15-20 – listen to stories I enjoyed, to enjoy the process of creating something…That was the point, always was. Before you begin you have to decide your motivation. I’ve never had any illusions about my personal shtick being interesting to anyone – but creating a work about a band that I do find interesting? Great! I’ve simply tried to stay true to writing books that I would want to read. Without wishing to insult anyone, there are 40-50 books on Nirvana out there, I think only about 10 of them are essential. I at least wanted to aim to hit that top ten of books on Nirvana – to do something worthwhile, fresh, different even this far away from ground zero. Similarly, I’ve tried to keep my ‘fan radar’ – I look at Nirvana books skeptically, i’d see a new Nirvana book and nudge it around thinking “mmm…Another one? Do I bother?” When I started thinking of this volume it was evolving, growing, becoming something organically without any pressure at all – it just happened…I was lucky someone else agreed. Again, I’d like it to be the kinda book that I – or the fanatics at LiveNirvana (all respect and a low bow) – might say was something new, something different…

To finish with motivation might seem silly…But it’s crucial to the whole enterprise. You need to endure commercial negotiations, you need to deliver a full manuscript that’s near perfect, you need to lay down 100,000 words at least, you need to pay for so much stuff, you need to do it all for far less than you’d receive for simply keeping your head down and doing a job, you need to endure some flak from online critics and people trolling, you’ve got to sacrifice parts of your life too. I’ve neglected exercise because there’s no time – i’m in the worst shape of my life. I’ve neglected social ties – there are people I’ve barely seen these past years. Other interests fall away – it’s three years since I last picked up a guitar, I can’t watch a film to conclusion because I feel I’m wasting time, I turn up late for everything to squeeze in more words or thoughts…

Is this enough detail? I just wanted to lay out in full what is involved. Your turn! Rock it!

IMG_2380 IMG_2381 IMG_2382

Well isn’t this a pretty thing to find in the post? It’s my first chance to see a finished copy of the book with the quotations from Kurt, Dave and Aaron on the back and all the photographs in place and so forth. Neat!

The book comes out on March 31 and is available via Amazon and all other major book sites:

Also definitely overdue to share the rest of the chronology describing which bands are in the book. I’ve also put the full list of bands who took part below as well. The timeline is just an attempt to fit the bands who took part in the book into an overall structure, so you can see which shows people played with Nirvana and where:


March, Raymond — Black Ice

Skid Row plays one undated house party in Aberdeen March/April

April 18, Tacoma (as Skid Row) — Nisqually Delta Podunk Nightmare, Soylent Green and Yellow Snow

May 1, Olympia (as Skid Row)— Dangermouse, Lansdat Blister, Nisqually Delta Podunk Nightmare

May 27, Tacoma (as Pen Cap Chew) — Hell’s Kitchen, Soylent Green

August 9, Tacoma (as Bliss) — Inspector Luv and the Ride Me Babies, Sons of Ishmael


January 23, Tacoma (as Ted Ed Fred) — Moral Crux

March — Dave Foster plays the Caddy Shack house in Olympia as the band’s drummer

March 19, Tacoma (as Nirvana) — 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 — Nirvana play Gilly-Ann Hanner’s birthday party at The Glass House with Lansdat Blister and Sister Skelter

May 21, Olympia — K Dorm at the Evergreen State College. Herd of Turtles, Lansdat Blister

May 28, Olympia— Nirvana play Chris Quinn’s birthday party at The Glass House, Olympia with 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 — K Dorm at the Evergreen State College; Cobain smashes a guitar for the first time. Lansdat Blister and 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 all play the Sub Pop 200 Record Release Party


January 6, Portland — Mudhoney

January 14 & 24 — Nirvana conclude the recording of Bleach

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 21 — Cobain joins the Go Team and records guitar for the songs “Scratch it Out” and “Bikini Twilight” released on 7” single in July

April 26, Seattle — Steel Pole Bath Tub

May 26, Auburn — Bible Stud, Skin Yard

June 9, Seattle — Mudhoney, Tad

June 10, Portland — Grind

The Bleach album is released on June 15

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

The Teriyaki Asthma compilation is released in August featuring the Nirvana song “Mexican Seafood”

August 20 & 28 — Cobain and Novoselic take part in The Jury recording sessions

August 26, Seattle — Cat Butt, Mudhoney

September — Nirvana record B-sides for the Blew EP European tour release

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 26 — Nirvana record a radio session at the BBC Maida Vale Studios, London, U.K. for the John Peel Show

October 27, London, U.K. — The Cateran, Tad

October 28, Portsmouth, U.K. — The Cateran, Tad

October 29, Birmingham, U.K. — Tad

October 30, Norwich, U.K. — Tad

November 1 — Nirvana record a radio session at the Villa 65 studio, Hilversum, the Netherlands for the Nozems-a-Gogo show

November 1, Rotterdam, the Netherlands — Tad

November 2, Groningen, the Netherlands — Tad

November 3, Utrecht, the Netherlands — Tad

November 4, Apeldoorn, the Netherlands — Tad

November 5, Amsterdam, the Netherlands — Tad

November 7, Mönchengladbach, West Germany — Tad

November 8, Cologne, West Germany — Tad

November 9, Hanover, West Germany — Tad

November 10, Enger, West Germany — Tad

November 11, Berlin, West Germany — Tad

November 12, Oldenburg, West Germany — Tad

November 13, Hamburg, West Germany — Tad

November 15, Heidelberg, West Germany — Tad

November 16, Nuremberg, West Germany — Tad

November 17, Gammelsdorf, West Germany — Tad

November 18, Hanau, West Germany — Tad

November 20, Linz, Austria — Tad

November 21, Budapest, Hungary — Tad

November 22, Vienna, Austria — Tad

November 23, Graz, Austria — Tad

November 24, Hohenems, Austria — Tad

November 25, Fribourg, Switzerland — Tad

November 26, Mezzago, Italy — Tad

November 27, Rome, Italy — Tad

November 29, Geneva, Switzerland — Tad

November 30, Zurich, Switzerland — Tad

December 1, Isy-Les-Moulineaux, France — Tad

December 2, Ghent, Belgium — Tad

December 3, London, U.K. — Mudhoney, Tad

The Blew EP is released in the U.K. in early December


January 2-3 — Nirvana enter Reciprocal Recording to record new song “Sappy”

January 6, Seattle — Crunchbird, the Gits, Tad

January 12, Portland — Oily Bloodmen

January 19, Olympia

January 20, Tacoma — Machine, Rhino Humpers

February 9, Portland — Rawhead Rex, Screaming Trees, Tad

February 11, San Jose, CA — Tad, Vegas Voodoo

February 12, Sacramento, CA — Tad, Thornucopia

February 14, San Francisco, CA — Dickless, Tad (two performances took place on this date)

February 15, Hollywood, CA — Distorted Pony, Tad

February 16, Long Beach, CA — Haywire, Tad

February 17, Tijuana, Mexico — Tad

February 19, Phoenix, AZ — Tad

February 21, Chico, CA — Tad

March 12, Vancouver, Canada — the Bombshells, Tad

March 20, Nirvana records their attempt at a formal video at the Evergreen State College

April 1, Chicago, IL — God’s Acre, Bhang Revival

April 2-6 — Nirvana record demos for their (aborted) second Sub Pop album provisionally entitled Sheep at Smart Studios Madison, WI

April 6, Madison, WI — Tad, Victims Family

April 8, Milwaukee, WI

April 9, Minneapolis, MN — Tad, Victim’s Family

April 10, Ann Arbor, MI — Tad, Victim’s Family

April 14, Cincinnati, OH — (Peter Prescott, Volcano Suns: “The show that never happened — think we were to play with them in Cleveland and they canceled, so we never ran into them.”)

April 16, Toronto, Canada

April 17, Montréal, Canada

April 18, Cambridge, MA — The Bags

April 20, Swarthmore, PA

April 21, Cambridge, MA — Slaughter Shack

April 26, New York, NY — Rat at Rat R

April 27, Amherst, MA — 3 Merry Widows, Cordelia’s Dad, Gobblehoof, New Radiant Storm King, Sweet Lickin’ Honey Babes

April 28, Hoboken, NJ — the Jesus Lizard

April 29, Washington D.C. — Loop

April 30, Philadelphia, PA

May 1, Chapel Hill, NC

May 2, Charlotte, NC

May 4, Tampa, FL

May 5, Jacksonville Beach, FL

May 6, Atlanta, GA

May 9, Columbus, OH — Barbed Wire Dolls

May 10, Cincinnati, OH— Coffin Break

May 11, Tulsa, OK

May 13, Lincoln, NE

May 14, Denver, CO — Jux County

May 17, Boise, ID — 24/7 Spyz

July 11 & 24 — Nirvana record the “Sliver” single

The Hard to Believe compilation is released in August featuring Nirvana covering the song “Do You Love Me?” by Kiss

August 16, Las Vegas, NV

August 17, Hollywood, CA

August 19, San Diego, CA — Chemical People

August 20, Sacramento, CA

August 21, San Francisco, CA

August 23, Portland

August 24, Seattle

August 25, Vancouver, Canada

The “Sliver”/”Dive” single is released in September

September 22, Seattle — the Derelicts, the Dwarves

September 25 — Grohl is given an audition at the Dutchman rehearsal rooms in Seattle then Cobain records a radio session for KAOS Radio, Olympia on Calvin Johnson’s Boy Meets Girl show where he announces Grohl has joined Nirvana

The Heaven and Hell compilation is released in October featuring Nirvana covering the song “Here She Comes Now” by the Velvet Underground

October — Cobain joins friends Earth at Smegma Studios, Portland to record vocals for the songs “Bureaucratic Desire for Revenge” and “Divine and Bright”

October 11, Olympia — Witchypoo

October 17, Olympia — Unrest

October 21 — Nirvana record a radio session at the BBC Maida Vale Studios, London, U.K. for the John Peel Show

October 23, Birmingham, U.K.

October 24, London, U.K. — Godflesh

October 25, Leeds, U.K. — Arm, Victims Family

October 26, Edinburgh, U.K. — Shonen Knife, the Vaselines

October 27, Nottingham, U.K. — Shonen Knife

October 29, Norwich, U.K. — Jacob’s Mouse

November 25, Seattle — Heavy into Jeff, Holy Rollers

December 31, Portland — Caustic Soda, Hitting Birth, Roger Nusic, Thrillhammer


Nirvana’s live cover of the Vaselines’ song “Molly’s Lips” is released on a split single with The Fluid in January

January 1 — Nirvana enter the Music Source studio, Seattle to record demos

January 18, Olympia — Fitz of Depression, Helltrout, Nubbin

March 2, Boise, ID — Anxiety Prophets, Blank Frank and the Tattooed Gods

March 4, Calgary, Canada

March 5, Edmonton, Canada

March 8, Vancouver, Canada — Doughboys, Mudhoney, Screaming Trees, the Wongs

March 9, Victoria, Canada

April 13, Olympia (Cobain/Grohl with Witchypoo) — Giant Henry, Witchypoo

April 17, Seattle — Fitz of Depression

May 2-28 — Nirvana enter Sound City Studios, Burbank, CA to record Nevermind

May 29, Los Angeles, CA — Fitz of Depression, I Own the Sky

The Grunge Years compilation is released in June featuring the Nirvana song “Dive”

June 1, Olympia (Cobain, Grohl with Witchypoo) — Giant Henry, Witchypoo

June 8, Olympia

June 10, Englewood, CA — the Jesus Lizard

June 11, Salt Lake City, UT

June 13, San Francisco, CA

June 14, Hollywood, CA — Hole

June 15, Tijuana, Mexico

June 17, Sacramento, CA — Kai Kln

June 18, Santa Cruz, CA

June 20, Portland

The Kill Rock Stars compilation is released in August featuring the Nirvana song “Beeswax”

August 15, Hollywood, CA — Wool

August 20, Cork, Ireland

August 21, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland — Mexican Pets, Power of Dreams

August 23, Reading, U.K. — Power of Dreams, Teenage Fanclub

August 24, Cologne, Germany

August 25, Hasselt, Belgium

August 27, Bremen, Germany — Didjits, Gumball

August 28, Halle, Germany

August 29, Stuttgart, Germany

August 30, Nuremberg, Germany

September 1, Rotterdam, the Netherlands — Charmin’ Children, Mudhoney, Paradogs, Son of Bazerk

September 3 — Nirvana record a radio session at the BBC Maida Vale Studios, London, U.K. for the John Peel Show

The “Smells Like Teen Spirit” single is released on September 10

September 16, Seattle

September 20, Toronto, Canada

September 21, Montréal, Canada

September 23, Boston, MA — Cliffs of Doneen

September 24, Boston, MA

September 25, Providence, RI

September 26, New Haven, CT

September 27, Trenton, NJ

September 28, New York, NY — two performances took place on this date

September 30, Pittsburgh, PA

October 1, Philadelphia, PA

October 2, Washington D.C.

October 4, Chapel Hill, NC

October 5, Athens, GA

October 6, Atlanta, GA

October 7, Memphis, TN

October 9, Columbus, OH

October 10, Cleveland, OH

October 11, Detroit, MI

October 12, Chicago, IL

October 14, Minneapolis, MN — two performances took place on this date

October 16, St Louis, MO

October 17, Lawrence, KS — Paw

October 19, Dallas, TX — Sister Double Happiness, Thinking Fellers Union Local 282

October 20, Houston, TX — Sister Double Happiness

October 21, Austin, TX — Sister Double Happiness (two performances took place on this date)

October 23, Tempe, AZ — Sister Double Happiness

October 24, San Diego, CA

October 24, Tijuana, Mexico — Hole, Sister Double Happiness

October 25, Hollywood, CA — Hole, Sister Double Happiness

October 26, San Francisco, CA — Sister Double Happiness

October 27, Hollywood, CA — Hole

October 29, Portland — Mudhoney, Sprinkler

October 30, Vancouver, Canada — Mudhoney

October 31, Seattle — Mudhoney

November 4, Bristol, U.K. — Midway Still

November 5, London, U.K. — Captain America, Television Personalities

November 6, Wolverhampton, U.K. — Captain America

November 9 — Nirvana record a radio session at the BBC Maida Vale Studios, London, U.K. for Mark Goodier’s Evening Sessions

November 10, Berlin, Germany

November 11, Hamburg, Germany

November 12, Frankfurt, Germany

November 13, Munich, Germany

November 14, Vienna, Austria — Skin Yard

November 16, Muggia, Italy

November 17, Mezzago, Italy

November 19, Rome, Italy

November 20, Baricella, Italy

November 23, Ghent, Belgium — Hole

November 25 — Nirvana record their last ever radio session at the NOB Audio studio, Hilversum, the Netherlands for the Nozems-a-Gogo and Twee Meter De Lucht In shows

November 25, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

November 26, Bradford, U.K. — Captain America, Shonen Knife

Nirvana appear on the Top of the Pops TV show in Borehamwood on December 27

November 27, Birmingham, U.K. — Captain America, Shonen Knife

November 28, Sheffield, U.K. — Captain America, Shonen Knife

November 29, Edinburgh, U.K. — Captain America, Shonen Knife

November 30, Glasgow, U.K. — Captain America, Shonen Knife

December 1, Edinburgh, U.K. (as Teen Spirit) — the Joyriders

December 2, Newcastle, U.K. — Captain America, Shonen Knife

December 3, Nottingham, U.K. — Captain America, Shonen Knife

December 4, Manchester, U.K. — Captain America, Shonen Knife

December 5, London, U.K. — Captain America, Shonen Knife

Nirvana appear on the Tonight with Jonathan Ross TV show in London on December 6

December 7, Rennes, France

December 27, Los Angeles, CA

December 28, Del Mar, CA

December 29, Tempe, AZ

December 31, Daly City, CA


January 2, Salem, OR

Nirvana rehearse on January 9 in New York ready for their TV appearance on Saturday Night Live on January 11

Nirvana record a performance for MTV in New York on January 10

January 24, Sydney, Australia — Tumbleweed

January 25, Sydney, Australia

January 26, Gold Coast, Australia

January 27, Brisbane, Australia

January 30, Adelaide, Australia — Tumbleweed

January 31, Melbourne, Australia — The Guttersnipes, Tumbleweed

February 1, Melbourne, Australia — Tumbleweed

February 2, Melbourne, Australia — Tumbleweed

February 5, Canberra, Australia — Tumbleweed

The Hormoaning EP is released in Asia/Pacific on February 5

February 6, Sydney, Australia

February 7, Sydney, Australia — Crow, Nunbait

February 9, Auckland, New Zealand — Second Child

February 14, Osaka, Japan

February 16, Nagoya, Japan

February 17, Kawasaki, Japan

February 19, Tokyo, Japan

February 21, Honolulu, HI

February 22, Honolulu, HI

The “Come as You Are” single is released March 3

The Bleach album is reissued in April

April 7 & one unknown date — Nirvana enter the Laundry Room studio to record B-side material

The Eight Songs for Greg Sage and the Wipers compilation is released in June featuring Nirvana covering “Return of the Rat” by the Wipers

June 21, Dublin, Ireland — Teenage Fanclub

June 22, Belfast, Ireland — Teenage Fanclub

June 24, Paris, France — Teenage Fanclub

June 26, Roskilde, Denmark — Teenage Fanclub

June 27, Turku, Finland — Teenage Fanclub

June 28, Sandvika, Norway — Teenage Fanclub

June 30, Stockholm, Sweden — Teenage Fanclub

July 2, Valencia, Spain — Teenage Fanclub

July 3, Madrid, Spain — Teenage Fanclub

July 4, Bilbao, Spain — Teenage Fanclub

The “Lithium” single is released on July 13

August 30, Reading, U.K. — Bjorn Again, Pele, Shonen Knife, Teenage Fanclub

Nirvana rehearse on September 8 in Los Angeles for their TV appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards ceremony on September 9

September 10, Portland — Calamity Jane, Jello Biafra

September 11, Seattle — Fitz of Depression

October 3, Bellingham — Unannounced guest show. Mudhoney, Medelicious, Saucer

October 4, Seattle — Unannounced guest show. Mudhoney

October 25-26 — Nirvana enter the Word of Mouth Productions studio, Seattle (formerly Reciprocal Recording) to record the first demos for their next album

October 29, Buenos Aires, Argentina — Novoselic and Grohl join Pirata Industrial on stage at a nightclub

October 30, Buenos Aires, Argentina — Calamity Jane, Los Brujos

November — Cobain enters the Laundry Room studio to record the guitar part for a single to feature William S. Burroughs. He also joins Melvins in San Francisco for the Houdini sessions

The “In Bloom” single is released on November 30

The Incesticide compilation is released on December 14


January 16, São Paulo, Brazil — Biquíni Cavadão, DeFalla, Dr. Sin

January 19-21 — Nirvana enter the BMG Ariola Ltda studio in Rio de Janeiro to record further demos for their new album. Cobain also takes part in a demo session for Hole on the 21st

January 23, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — Biquíni Cavadão, DeFalla, Dr. Sin

February 12-26— Nirvana enter the Pachyderm Recording studio to record In Utero

The “Oh the Guilt”/”Puss” split-single with the Jesus Lizard is released on February 15

April 9, Daly City, CA — Benefit for the Tresnjevka Women’s Group

May — Cobain enters the Bad Animals studio for the remixing of the “Heart Shaped Box” and “All Apologies” single A-sides

The single “The Priest They Called Him” is released on July 1 featuring Cobain’s guitar work back William S. Burroughs’ reading

July 14-15 — Nirvana rehearse for the New York show on the 23rd with cellist Lori Goldston and second guitarist ‘Big’ John Duncan

July 23, New York, NY — The Jesus Lizard

August 6, Seattle —Hell Smells, Kill Sybil, Tad

The “Heart Shaped Box” single is released on August 30

September 8, New York, NY — Cobain and Courtney Love duet for Rock Against Rape

The In Utero album is released on September 13

Nirvana rehearse on September 23 in New York ready for their TV performance on Saturday Night Live on September 25

October — Cobain joins Hole at Triclops Recording in Atlanta, GA for a demo session

October 14-16 — Nirvana enter Hayvenhurst Studios in Van Nuys, CA to rehearse ready for the In Utero tour

October 18, Phoenix, AZ — Mudhoney

October 19, Albuquerque, NM — Mudhoney

October 21, Kansas City, KS — Mudhoney

October 22, Davenport, IA — Mudhoney

October 23, Chicago, IL — Mudhoney

October 25, Chicago, IL — Mudhoney

October 26, Milwaukee, WI — Mudhoney

Nirvana song “Verse Chorus Verse” (A.K.A. “Sappy”) released on the No Alternative compilation for the Red Hot AIDS Benefit Series on October 26

October 27, Kalamazoo, MI — Boredoms, Meat Puppets

October 29, Detroit, MI — Boredoms, Meat Puppets

October 30, Dayton, OH — Boredoms, Meat Puppets

October 31, Akron, OH — Boredoms, Meat Puppets

November 2, Verdun, Canada — Boredoms, Meat Puppets

The Nirvana song “I Hate Myself and I Want to Die” is released on the Beavis and Butthead Experience compilation on November 3

November 4, Toronto, Canada — Boredoms, Meat Puppets

November 5, Amherst, NY — Boredoms, Meat Puppets

November 7, Williamsburg, VA — Half Japanese

November 8, Philadelphia, PA — Half Japanese

November 9, Bethlehem, PA — Half Japanese

November 10, Springfield, MA — Half Japanese

November 12, Fitchburg, MA — Half Japanese

November 13, Washington D.C. — Half Japanese

November 14, New York — Half Japanese

November 15, New York — Half Japanese

Nirvana rehearse on November 16-17 at a studio in Weehawken, NJ ready for their appearance on MTV Unplugged on November 18 in New York. The Meat Puppets accompany them

November 26, Jacksonville, FL — Come

November 27, Miami, FL — Come

November 28, Lakeland, FL — Come

November 29, Atlanta, GA — Come

December 1, Birmingham, AL — Come

December 2, Tallahassee, FL — Come

December 3, New Orleans, LA — Shonen Knife

December 5, Dallas, TX — Shonen Knife

December 6, Houston, TX — Shonen Knife

The “All Apologies”/”Rape Me” single is released on December 6

December 8, Oklahoma, OK — Shonen Knife

December 9, Omaha, NE — Shonen Knife

December 10, Saint Paul, MN — Shonen Knife

Nirvana fail to rehearse on December 12 ready for their TV appearance on December 13 for MTV Live and Loud. Cypress Hill accompany them

December 14, Salem, OR

December 15, Boise, ID

December 16, Ogden, UT

December 18, Denver, CO

December 29, San Diego, CA — Butthole Surfers, Chokebore

December 30, Inglewood, CA — Butthole Surfers, Chokebore

December 31, Oakland, CA — Butthole Surfers, Chokebore


January 1, Central Point, OR — Butthole Surfers, Chokebore

January 3, Vancouver, Canada — Butthole Surfers, Chokebore

January 4, Vancouver, Canada — Butthole Surfers, Chokebore

January 6, Spokane — Butthole Surfers, Chokebore

January 7, Seattle — Butthole Surfers, Chokebore

January 8, Seattle — Butthole Surfers, Chokebore

January 28-30, Seattle — Last ever Nirvana recording session

Nirvana appear on the Nulle Part Ailleurs TV show in Paris on February 4

February 6, Cascais, Portugal — Buzzcocks

February 8, Madrid, Spain — Buzzcocks

February 9, Barcelona, Spain — Buzzcocks

February 10, Toulouse, France — Buzzcocks

February 12, Toulon, France — Buzzcocks

February 14, Paris, France — Buzzcocks

Nirvana’s last ever photo session takes place late on February 14/early on February 15 in Paris

February 16, Rennes, France — Buzzcocks

February 18, Grenoble, France — Buzzcocks

February 21, Modena, Italy — Flor de Mal

February 22, Marino, Italy — Flor de Mal

Nirvana make their last ever TV appearance on the Tunnel TV show in Rome on February 23

February 24, Milan, Italy

February 25, Milan, Italy

February 27, Ljubljana, Slovenia

March 1, Munich, Germany — Nirvana’s last ever show

March 4, Rome, Italy — Cobain hospitalized

March 8, Rome, Italy — Cobain released from hospital

March 12, SeaTac Airport — Cobain returns home

March 25, Seattle — Drug intervention at Cobain’s home. Cobain records his last demo session with Pat Smear in the basement of the house

March 30, Los Angeles — Cobain arrives at rehab

April 1, Los Angeles — Cobain leaves rehab

April 5, Seattle — Cobain commits suicide

April 8, Seattle — Cobain’s body found

The Complete List of Bands:

24-7 Spyz — Amorphous Head — Anxiety Prophets — Arm — Attica

Bad Mutha Goose — Bayou Pigs — Bhang Revival — Bible Stud — Biquini Cavadão — Bjorn Again — Black Ice — Blank Frank and the Tattooed Gods — Blood Circus — Boredoms — Butthole Surfers — Buzzcocks

Calamity Jane — Captain America — Cat Butt — Caustic Soda — Charmin’ Children — Cheater Slicks — Chemical People — Chemistry Set — Chokebore — Claw Hammer — Cliffs of Dooneen — Coffin Break — Come — Cordelia’s Dad — Cows — Crash Worship — Crow — Crunchbird — Cypress Hill

D.O.A. — Danger Mouse — David Von Ohlerking — Death of Samantha — DeFalla — Derelicts — Dickless — Distorted Pony — Dr Sin

Eleventh Dream Day

Fitz of Depression — Flor de Mal

Girl Trouble — Gobblehoof — God Bullies — Grinch — Gumball

Happy Dead Juans — Happy Dogs — Haywire — Heavy into Jeff — Hell Smells — Hell’s Kitchen — Helltrout — Herd of Turtles — Hitting Birth — Hole — Holy Rollers

I Own the Sky — Inspector Luv and the Ride Me Babies

Jacob’s Mouse — Jad Fair — Jello Biafra — Jux County

Kai Kln — Kill Sybil — King Krab — Knife Dance

Landsat Blister — Leaving Trains — Lonely Moans — Loop — Los Brujos — Love Battery — Lush

Machine — Meat Puppets — Medelicious — Midway Still — Monkeyshines — Mousetrap — Mudhoney — My Name

Napalm Sunday — New Radiant Storm King — Nirvana — Nisqually Delta Podunk Nightmare — Nubbin — Nunbait

Oily Bloodmen

Pansy Division — Paradogs — Pele — Pirata Industrial — Power of Dreams — Psychlodds

Rat at Rat R — Rawhead Rex — Roger Nusic

S.G.M.  — Saucer — Screaming Trees — Second Child — Shonen Knife — Sister Double Happiness — Sister Skelter — Slaughter Shack — Son of Bazerk — Sons of Ishmael — Soylent Green — Sprinkler — Steel Pole Bath Tub — Stone by Stone — Sun City Girls — Surgery — Swallow — Swaziland White Band — Sweet Lickin’ Honey Babes

Tad — Teenage Fan Club — Television Personalities — Terry Lee Hale — The Bags — The Bombshells — The Cateran/The Joyriders — The Didjits — The Doughboys — The Dwarves — The Fluid — The Gits — The Guttersnipes — The Jesus Lizard — The Magnet Men — The Thrown Ups — The Wongs — Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 — Thornucopia — Three Merry Widows — Thrillhammer — Treacherous Jaywalkers — Tree House — Tumbleweed

Unrest — Unwound — Vampire Lezbos — Vegas Voodoo — Victim’s Family — Volcano Suns — Vomit Launch

Witchypoo — Wool

Yellow Snow


A couple of books acted as role models and inspirations during the writing of “I Found My Friends” – one was England’s Dreaming by Jon Savage, the other was Greg Prato’s Grunge is Dead. Being a quizzical soul I decided to write to Greg and learn a bit more about his work, share some of mine with him and so forth – turns out he’s a charming fellow and was more than happy to tell all about Grunge is Dead and to permit me to share it with you. Please enjoy…

When was your first contact with the grunge scene, how did it come about?

Greg Prato: The first grunge band I fancied was Soundgarden, first via seeing the “Hands All Over” video on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, but I truly became a big-time admirer of the band after seeing them live in Brooklyn, NY in March 1990, on a bill that also featured Faith No More and Voivod (the latter of which headlined!). I then bought Mother Love Bone’s ‘Apple’ later in the year (after reading great things about it in Rip Magazine), followed by Alice in Chains’ ‘Facelift’ in spring 1991. From there, I discovered Nirvana and Pearl Jam just like the majority of other non-Washington folks did…

Similarly, at what point did you decide that the kind of epic work you must have put in to construct “Grunge is Dead” kick in…?

Greg: I felt very disappointed that seemingly as soon as Kurt Cobain died, rock music regressed to the largely unoriginal copycats that plagued rock music in the late ’80s (and that the very progressive way of thinking that Nirvana and Pearl Jam championed had regressed back to the groupie/rock star vibe of the Sunset Strip in the ’80s). This only seemed to get worse throughout the late ’90s and early 21st century (Creed, Kid Rock, etc.). While there were a few books written about grunge before ‘Grunge is Dead,’ many were either hard to follow chronologically or were written before main events took place (Cobain’s death, Soundgarden’s split, Layne Staley’s death, etc.). So, I set out to put together a definitive book that told the complete history of Seattle rock music, and interviewed as many people as possible.

What hooked you about grunge? I’ve noted you did a book on Blind Melon, quite a few on aspects of Seventies/Eighties music culture (and sports), is there a natural link with your other works?

Greg: I’m lucky that so far, all the books I have written, have been on subjects that I was a fan of, and wanted to read a book about and there wasn’t one. Since I’ve been a journalist since 1997, I felt it wouldn’t be that big of a stretch to make the jump to book writing, and it wasn’t bad at all! Certain rock n’ roll bands and sports teams have been a long-time interest of mine, so writing books about them seemed like the logical step.

Did the book get a reaction from the fan communities for grunge or for any specific bands like Mudhoney, Pearl Jam, etc.?

Greg: I’ve received a lot of great feedback from fans of all the grunge bands, and also the majority of user comments on such sites as Amazon. It makes me feel good to hear whenever someone fancies one of my books (as I put a lot of work into each project, and feel strongly about each subject I tackle).

Similarly, what was the diversity of reaction? I’m assuming almost entirely positive? Any fun responses or moments of madness…?

Greg: From what I recall (the book was originally released in 2009), there wasn’t many harsh criticisms about ‘Grunge is Dead,’ it was mostly positive. A few people may be a bit befuddled about the oral history set-up (it being comprised of quotes from the people I interviewed pertaining to specific subjects) and wanted there to be a narrative that I provided throughout – but that was exactly what I did NOT want to do with the book. I am not from Seattle and I was not lucky to have experienced the early shows of Soundgarden, Nirvana, etc., but I interviewed plenty of people who were there. Let the people who were actually there tell the true story…

Did you come to the project with your connections already fully formed? If not, how did you go about tracking people down?

Greg: The germ of the idea for the book started with a feature story I wrote for Classic Rock Magazine around 2004/2005, which focused on Soundgarden’s history. After doing several interviews for it (Ben Shepherd, Matt Cameron, Jack Endino, etc.), I realized I had a good start for a possible book on Soundgarden, but then realized why not go for the whole enchilada – GRUNGE!! From there, it was like a snowball rolling down a tall, snowy mountain – the more interviews I did, the more people recommended others I should speak to. I obeyed their requests!

Is there an interview you were particular proud to acquire and why…?

Greg: Without a doubt, Eddie Vedder. To the best of my knowledge, his interview for ‘Grunge is Dead’ is the only time he was willing to open up and recount Pearl Jam’s early history (he declined to do so for a Rolling Stone cover story around the same time) – years before he was interviewed for the book that Pearl Jam eventually did, ‘Pearl Jam Twenty.’ He was also kind enough to be interviewed for nearly 2 hours, willing to give thorough answers to all my questions. It remains one of my favorite interviews I’ve ever conducted (and having begun doing interviews in 1997 as a journalist, I’ve done hundreds over the years).

Similarly, what was the most revealing interview in your opinion?

Greg: I appreciated the openness and honesty of quite a few people, tops being Mudhoney’s Mark Arm and the Dwarves’ Blag Dahlia. I was not aware that Mark had a drug problem during the early ’90s, but was very open and honest about it (I even told him during the interview that I had no idea he had a drug problem in the early ’90s – I hadn’t read about it ever before in all the Mudhoney articles I had read over the years). And Blag was very funny and very witty – he had some great memories/stories and also some interesting theories that I had never thought of before until he explained them (including how he saw more similarities between Nirvana and Guns N’ Roses, rather than differences).

Was there anything you’d say was a shared characteristic, attitude, style, approach to life among the individuals you spoke to? I’m always curious what communities share that binds them…

Greg: There definitely seemed to be a strong sense of community between most of the grunge bands – quite a few people interviewed said that when you’d go from show to show during the mid to late ’80s, you’d see the same group of people there. But as the style of music became more popular in the early ’90s, that group was nowhere to be found anymore at local shows – replaced by strangers and out of town folks who flocked to Seattle.

Do you feel that grunge has been mischaracterized and misunderstood over the years?

Greg: There’s a misconception that grunge killed heavy metal in the ’90s. This is incorrect. While it did put an end to the majority of stinky hair metal bands (thank god!), plenty of metal bands continued to survive thrive post-‘Nevermind’ (Metallica, Faith No More, Pantera, White Zombie, Ministry, etc.).

You seemed to approach the structure of the book by speaking about wider aspects then homing in on particular bands who pushed the scene further – was there an intentional structure?

Greg: While there is certainly a focus on the better known grunge bands in the book, I wanted to also share the spotlight and focus on lesser-known but really great bands from the area/era, including the U-Men, Tad, Truly, Brad, etc.

For someone who hasn’t picked up the book, why does the oral history format make so much sense when trying to capture a real live experience such as the grunge scene? I think it was totally the right choice to make and a definitely inspiration to me.

Greg: I first discovered the oral history format by reading what has become one of my fav all-time books, ‘Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk,’ by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain. As I mentioned earlier, I like the fact that the reader is getting the story “straight from the horse’s mouth,” so to speak, and not a bunch of thoughts/opinions by someone who wasn’t part of the scene (in fact, Soundgarden/Nirvana/Mudhoney producer Jack Endino offered up a very nice compliment that is posted on the book’s Amazon page – “I like this book. It lets the people who were actually here tell the story directly, without the author having any particular axe to grind”). As I’d like to consider myself somewhat knowledgable with the topic, I was able to ask the questions and shape a story (in chronological order) out of all the quotes.

What was your personal path to Rolling Stone and AllMusic and your other outlets? I can’t imagine it was an easy journey, you must have worked like a dog!

Greg: It wasn’t as hard as you’d think – both gigs were landed by either a simple phone call or email. It’s the same with any site or publication – they want to see some writing samples, they give you a tryout, and then if they like what they read, you can write on a regular basis.

Musically, what has been floating your boat most recently? Do you think there’s any visible new movements in rock music that might pierce mass consciousness?

Greg: I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that the majority of mainstream rock is a big pile of steaming doo-doo. But like any era, there is going to be good music and stinky music. In fact, I’m sure as I’m typing this right now, there is a band just starting out (or is in the underground) that will sooner or later leave their mark, and offer up their own original sound/spin on rock n’ roll. The last bands that I really truly dug were Eagles of Death Metal and Death From Above 1979, but both are like, at least a decade old by now! Nowadays, I tend to listen to bands I’ve loved for years (as a matter of fact, as I type this answer, I am listening to Devo’s ‘Hardcore Devo Live!’ album on my headphones). Does this mean I’ve become an old fart?

Is there a band or scene that you’d love to settle down and write a volume on? S’ok if you want to keep your cards close to your chest!

Greg: Right before I started on these answers today, I took a break from proofreading my next book about a specific rock n’ roll era of yesteryear. I hope to have it out later in 2015, but I’d hate to spoil the surprise of announcing the subject matter at this moment. I’d suggest checking my Twitter page on which I regularly post my latest interviews for sites and info about upcoming books:

Also, feel free to check out my author page on Amazon, which lists all of my books:



Courtesy of Pim Arts over on the LiveNirvana site…

Immediate respect to Mr. John Jung for passing this on to me – how fascinating. If the individual who started this whole sorry tale wanted attention they’ve certainly got it. Incidentally, to focus on more positive issues worthy of attention, do check the Facebook pages for Monkeywrench and Bloodloss, two early Mark Arm bands – John supports both pages.

First things first, it’s very visibly a fake. If this was a Nirvana cut then it’d be near incredible for it to be so fully formed yet not to arise in the comprehensive record of Nirvana studio work. Similarly, a full Nirvana cut in this type of quality that wasn’t recorded in studio? Near impossible on the technology of the time – this isn’t a pre-digital or early-digital effort. if you wanted to dissect it further then instrumentally there are plenty of points where the ‘squareness’ of the backing doesn’t match Nirvana’s more fluid style – that’s even before one gets to the voice. The treatments applied in an attempt to make it sound more like Cobain, or at least to veil it, are pretty ineffective – it just isn’t Cobain.

Second things, do I believe there really is going to be a legal action? Not really. I feel it’s more like a ‘cease and desist’ situation. There is a valid claim that the back story the person has constructed involving thieving from Courtney Love, involving hacking into supposedly digitized archives, is pretty fair reason for a mild bit of legal action – they’re using Courtney as a source of legitimacy to try and back up the credibility of their fake. I think it’s a warning shot – but I’m also sure locating the individual concerned isn’t a difficult business. One view might be “why is Courtney bothering if it isn’t real?” I think it isn’t unreasonable for her to be pretty annoyed by the individual concerned and the way they’ve formulated things – I can also imagine that having been recently involved in the premieres of “Montage of Heck” perhaps issues involving Kurt Cobain are sensitive right now? But I’m speculating. I see no reason why the threat of legal action should make anyone doubt that this is a fake song.

A shame in a way, there’s clearly a talented musician or group of musicians at work behind the smokescreen. And I don’t mind fakes really – it keeps collectors on their toes, is an irritant at best, an understandable attempt to get a rise out of people…And sometimes, just sometimes, I can see why people would want to test themselves against the individuals they see as the finest examples of their art. On the other hand, however, it does soak up the time and the minds of people who put a lot into sourcing lost Nirvana material, it is a bit tiresome hearing another awful impersonation – the joke gets old pretty quick. I mainly shrug and feel a little bit sorry for people – it isn’t worth being annoyed about.

In the meantime, yep, guess you may have noticed, the team at my publisher for “I Found My Friends” arranged for the final chapter to be provided to SPIN and ESQUIRE magazine on Friday. I confess it was a nice surprise – I didn’t know about either, I only found out when people sent me the links. Naturally I blush that there’s a lazy factual error (Daniel or Calvin Johnson? Oops…) that came about when I was rushing during the post-completion editing process – I think I even seeing it but not reading it properly. Naturally though I just hope you enjoy the chapter. I wanted it to not be about Cobain’s death – this book was about the memories of the musicians who shared the stages with Nirvana, who shared the band’s life in the underground, so though it couldn’t be ignored, his death wasn’t as important to me as so many good lives in the book. Likewise, I wanted to make some small mark of respect to other people who lost someone close, to other musicians who didn’t survive. Having felt loss these past years I think it is a special feeling, I think our loved ones deserve our pain, and that both Kurt Cobain AND the others mentioned all deserve to be recalled by those who cared for them. Paying small respect was the least I could do.

Here’s the links if you didn’t see them. Book is out March 31 in the U.S., it’ll be much later on European sites.

Full chapter at Esquire:

As a passing comment, there are hundreds of comments on the relevant Facebook posts for Spin and Esquire. My favourite was the one stating that they suspect I’ve been paid by Courtney Love to write the book. Gosh, she’s one impressive woman – to pay off 210 people from 170 bands, plus my agent, the team at the publisher…Incredible. On a personal note, if anyone is looking for a ghost writer I’d totally go for it! 😉