Louder Than Words, Nirvana, 11-13 November 2016 in Manchester

Wanted to share the information related to the Louder Than Words festival taking place from Friday this week through Sunday 13 at the Palace Hotel in Manchester.

Quite the event, it’s an entire festival focused on music literature and music writing:

I’m filling some time on Sunday noon in interview with John Robb, formerly of Sounds – currently leading the Louder Than War magazine – who interview Kurt Cobain back in 1989 and on a number of other occasions.

Looks like quite the event, and what the hey, three days worth of events, talks and moments – so if you’ve time then pop in. I’m planning to get in early and just soak in as much as I can. One moment I’m definitely looking forward to is artist Chris Gollon and musician Eleanor Mcevoy on Saturday evening. They collaborated together on a series of paintings and songs which work so well together as a live experience: the music connects one to the art on the walls, while the images let one read more into the words and music. Eleanor is a really great performer, it’s an art being able to dominate a space so completely with just a guitar and voice – to create variety with limited means and an excellent story-teller’s vibe. Bringing in Chris to talk about the pictures and add detail to it all, brilliant. I had a great evening when I saw them together in February.


Live in Carlisle: Nirvana, Cobain on Cobain, Conversation


Friday 11th November at Cakes & Ale (Castle Street, Carlisle) – something a bit different for an autumn evening, I’m going to be sitting down with Doug Baptie (who runs the Words & Guitars magazine/site) and talking about Nirvana.

Sounds like my kind of venue, frankly, the idea of sitting with a group of enthusiasts, with a decent beer, trying to pour out more of the material I’ve learnt these past years. Sometimes I have trouble remembering it all: conversations with 230-odd of the people who played with, shared stage with, recorded with Cobain and Nirvana – conversations with well over 100 of the journalists, radio hosts, students who interviewed the members of the band over the years – that whole visit to the North West of the U.S…

I’ve moved on – just finished preparing “We Sing A New Language: The Oral Discography Of Thurston Moore” for release in the U.K. (Omnibus) next spring, then in the U.S. next summer; commencing work on other works; of course the interviews, reviews, brief articles I’ve contributed to Words & Guitars, The Vinyl Factory, Clash – so it’s nice for me to have had this time to sit and go back over my own words, to go back to the beginnings of the blog and look at what I was working on and the patterns I was seeing from all the data available about Nirvana and their activities.

I’m going to take an album of photographs with me focused on Aberdeen, WA – I think Cobain’s journey is amazing because of where it starts; I want to talk about the speed he’s working at and developing at during the late Eighties (a new album’s worth of material every year 1986-1990 showing off his mastery of different aspects of the U.S. underground); the coincidences/contacts that Nirvana benefited from and that helped them rise…Then, at some point, I guess we’ll talk about the path down.

I like the idea of just sitting discussing it with people who are curious about the subject, hearing what people have to say, knocking back and forth the topics on their minds…Is there a nicer way to spend a night than with fellow travellers?

Naturally, if you’re in the North West or feel like a trip over there (I’m intrigued to see Carlisle, never been myself) then everyone welcome. I’ve been told the bookshop hosting this is charming.

Totally separate topic: I had the good fortune to interview Adam Harding of Dumb Numbers, charming bloke, I’ve become a real follower of what he’s been expressing with the band…

In Conversation: Dumb Numbers’ Adam Harding




Exploiting Nirvana and Kurt Cobain: J’accuse…Moi.


I thought of this title a long while back when someone raised the point that they felt I was morally compromised because I had written a book about Nirvana and sold it rather than releasing my ideas for free. J’accuse was the title of a letter by Emile Zola – it’s become a fun cliche, note the release J’accuse Ted Hughes by Sonic Youth – it simply means, “I accuse.” Today’s piece is about the topic of compromise which, I feel, has always been a part of the Nirvana story.

Dealing first, in brief, with my opinion on Kurt Cobain; did he compromise for commercial reasons? Answer; of course he did. The issue is that people tend to read backward from the consequences to the initial decision as if he could foresee the future – the millionaire status, the trophy wife, the media attention, the $200K pay cheque for a single date in Buenos Aires, the ability to pick and choose video collaborators for short and long form efforts, the record label kowtowing to his demands, the ability to promote his friends and get them on MTV…

It’s unreasonable, it’s projecting clairvoyance onto an individual who couldn’t possibly foresee what was to come. One could add up Kurt Cobain’s decisions and claim he was always doing whatever was required to make money; copying the Melvins – the only local success he knew, changing the sound of Nirvana between the January 1988 effort and the more straight-forward grunge songs he wrote once Sub Pop were involved because that’s what Sub Pop had an audience for and would promote, letting Sub Pop choose the running order of the band’s first album, asking Steve Fisk for a “top 40” drum sound in the April 1990 recording session, writing verse-chorus-verse pop punk songs from mid-1990 onward with a strong debt owed to the Pixies who had recently achieved indie success, barely swearing on the Nevermind album, permitting an MTV-friendly corporate rock video to support his big hit, mellowing out a couple moments of In Utero, accepting MTV invitations left-right-and-centre…

…But, then again, you could also say that he stayed true to punk rock’s sound which in the mid-Eighties through the early Nineties was still an underground phenomenon in America with no commercial prospects at all, that Nirvana made almost no money from playing music until at least late 1989, that featuring a song on Sub Pop 200 made them no cash, that Love Buzz/Big Cheese being a limited edition meant the band received little money, that as late as early 1991 Cobain sat at a gig in Canada autographing lighters and sold them for a dollar each because he was so poor, that he was living in a car in mid/late 1991, that whether he ate or not on a day was a matter of chance, that he dumpster-dived for clothing…That it wasn’t a case of needless profit, it was just about surviving.

That context is vital because decisions that, in retrospect, enabled Nirvana to become a multi-million selling phenomenon were made by a guy with next to no money, no imaginable chance of becoming a star, making a type of music that had never hit it big even if it had gained notoriety. He did want to live off his music, he made decisions accordingly, but what he was hoping for wasn’t a ‘mansion in the hills’ and infinite fame, it was more like escaping “this piss-stained mattress I’ve been sleeping on.”

The desire for elevation, in a capitalist society, does tend to come down to money – it’s the chosen medium of exchange permitting the acquisition and access to most experiences and human requirements. Everyone is required to make a compromise with money – to earn a living. This doesn’t mean everyone is automatically innocent though. There is still the question of whether one’s monetary gains are being made at the expense of other human beings and through moral corruption – if so, sorry, yep, it does make you a bad person. It also raises the more pertinent question of intention – was a decision made for the primary reason of profit and is that profit motivation clear in the end result?

Nevermind remains the crux of the topic; it was a commercial sounding record, they wanted to sell and for it to sell well – the end product is clearly motivated by acquiescence to the profit-related desires of record company and band. Saying that the band only expected to sell tens of thousands or maybe a couple hundred thousand doesn’t void the nature of the decision being taken – it doesn’t make it innocent nor does it make it a non-profit driven decision even if the scale of the profit imagined was the merest fraction of what ended up occuring. This is inspite of acknowledging that Cobain wanted to indulge his pop-orientated instincts, the hard rock side of his tastes – it wasn’t just a personal artistic statement, it was a deliberate product. The kicker though is that it was a decision clearly about surviving not about making egregious profit for the sake of it – it wasn’t Dr Dre sitting on his millions then making yet more millions from a team up with Apple, it was a poor starving boy hoping for some small recognition and good reviews and a continued chance to play and record on a label that could afford to pay its artists. Sub Pop’s finances were a disaster area.

That’s why I don’t worry too much when I see these articles about Cobain’s commercial instincts; someone in lowly straits taking sensible decisions when opportunity was offered – I don’t expect utter purity, I’m too old to believe in it. The only uncompromised music is that which stays in the bottom drawer of a desk at home, never played for an audience, never placed in anyone’s hands – as a music consumer I’m clearly content to make the deal that someone’s work is worth my money. Complicit, yep – compromised, yep.


This brings me to my own compromise. I’ll keep it brief. In essence, it was suggested that by writing and selling a book about Nirvana I was exploiting Nirvana and Kurt Cobain. Actually, it’s not an insult, it’s a perfectly valid hypothesis – pretty reasonable to suggest it or to believe it, it’s on an individual to define their terms and where they draw the lines, I can only explain and explore my own reasons for feeling that I’ve done no such thing.

Firstly, I did choose to write a book about Nirvana through any commercial motivation – I wrote a book about Nirvana because I love Nirvana, I’m a fan first, a writer second. I chose to write a book because writing is my only real talent or ability on the creative front – I’m not much of a musician, I’m no artist. So the decision to express my enjoyment of Nirvana in book form was similarly not a commercial choice.

Second, ah…But I did place a price on the book and sell it rather than giving it away for free or simply placing my thoughts on free fan forums – this is a far more solid criticism, for sure! The fact that I’ve placed 400,000 words, 350 articles here, a couple hundred graphics all on here for fans and for free doesn’t void or even mitigate the compromise. Just because someone does something good doesn’t impact on how bad the bad things they do are. Similarly, I work a full day job at a corporate organisation, I do 12-16 hours work and commute per day…And THEN, since February 2012, I’ve also done 4-5 hours of Nirvana writing, Nirvana spreadsheet work, Nirvana analysis night after night for a total of 20-30 hours a week for around 125+ weeks now. Still, all that work does not entitle me to be re-paid nor does it mitigate the fact I decided to make a commercial product. Both these points, hopefully, show my commitment to the subject, show that I’m certainly not “exploiting Nirvana for gain” as much as I am “showing my love for Nirvana and desire to share that love” – but it doesn’t remove the question mark, that I am indeed taking payment for a Nirvana-related product.

So, this leads to the next question, is it legitimate for anyone to do something that has the name of Nirvana on it and that someone might pay for? Well, on this point, if you believe the answer is “only Kurt Cobain plus the members of the band” – fair enough but it means defining all paid commentary, all biographies, all music criticism by journalists or writers as illegitimate. I’m not sure about you but I hate the idea of a world where self-serving PR pieces from musicians and their management were the only ways in which one understood or explored them – seems to be enough of that already. I’m happy with the idea that public topics can be explored publically by individuals observing but not participating in the subject of the discussion – someone else can make a different choice. What makes the difference, I feel, would be the difference between (a) putting the name Nirvana on something to make it sell more, versus (b) putting the name Nirvana on something because that’s the topic under discussion and the discussion is taking place for a non-commercial reason. I did not place the name Nirvana on the book, undertake the writing of the book, for any profit-related motive and I did not make the book about Nirvana because of any commercial reason – I did it because I love Nirvana.

But still…Compromised. So…I put a price on the book – I paid the production costs and hoped to re-coup them. I printed a first 100 copies and gave away twenty-five to various helpers and supporters. The maximum revenue was £750. The cost of production was £400 – thus a profit of around £350 was the maximum expectation. Did I expect to sell all the books? I had no idea. So was I doing it for profit? No, I wanted to write the book and did so anyway independent of what might then happen to it. Could I have given it away for free? Actually yes, I could have shouldered the £400 cost and it would have hurt but…Yes. I chose not to. This is where personal pride comes in – not profit, but pride.

I feel that free work is not regarded with the same respect as stuff one pays for – in a capitalist society, despite lipservice to the innate value of things, a price is deemed to be a mark of quality. I didn’t think twice about deciding that I felt my analysis of Nirvana in Dark Slivers was worth paying ten pounds for – my feeling was that if someone loved the topic of Nirvana but didn’t think my work was worth paying even £10 for…Then that was their choice but I felt that it was a good deal. I didn’t say to myself “I will charge a rate to recoup the hours spent on the book,” impossible – I spent far more time on the book than I could possibly make back. My feeling is that someone bought the book not just because it was about Nirvana but because of an interest in my thoughts and ideas and the work I had conducted. I did want to cover the production costs of a physical book – I wanted to hold a book in my hands, entirely selfishly I wanted to have a physical book as a result of my labours, not just some e-book whatever.

Those were my drives; to write a book, to write about something I loved, to hold the result in my hands and to feel darn good about it. I did!! And it was a bloody honour that a few hundred people felt the result was worth paying something for. Compromised? Yes. And it’s up to you, the reader, the viewer, to decide if the book was worth it or if you felt it wasn’t either (a) a valid discussion of Nirvana (b) decent writing and analysis. Worth ten pounds to find out? Definitely a choice I leave to you! 🙂

The topic came up when I criticised the “Who Killed Kurt Cobain?” / “Love and Death” authors for being motivated by profit. Actually, I should retract that criticism. As journalists they were motivated by a good story – a story worth exploring and it definitely was a good topic. Do I feel they did it for love of Kurt Cobain or a desire to “tell the truth”? Nope. Do I feel they did it because it was a good subject for a book? Yep. Do I think they knew in advance that they could get a book deal from the controversy? Yeah. The compromise doesn’t make them unworthy reads or bad books but I don’t think they were books written in support of Nirvana or Cobain.

I don’t believe in the nihilistic idea that everyone is guilty so it doesn’t matter what one does. I believe that everyone is compromised and it does matter what one does – one chooses the compromises; confess, own them, be honest about them. I’m compromised and I’m delighted that the end result was a work I was and am proud of! Yay!

What’s Been on in the World of Dark Slivers and the Nirvana Legacy Blog?


Courtesy of my friend and comrade Mitch, this photo is of a couple copy of Dark Slivers on sale in the Aberdeen Museum of History. I posted a couple copies across, gratis, just told them to consider it a small donation to the museum and to do as they wished with them. From my side, frankly, it felt good the idea of a copy of my work being there in Kurt Cobain’s town – I enjoy these symbolisms and connections.

As a personal philosophy, I believe that there is no all-encompassing or innate meaning in the world; meaning is something reflected on and verified. Looking after one’s children can be a meaning, but it isn’t inherent, it’s a choice made by the parent to elevate that potential action to a higher level. Similarly, most human activity isn’t a meaning in and of itself, it merely serves one whether that’s aggrandisement, the alleviation of boredom, the quelling of those voices in the head that everyone has, the desire to do good by others. I consider that a mark of freedom, that meaning is not imposed, that it is chosen by each individual whether that means they embrace or rebel against those inherited from their social ties and wider community. Few of our actions day to day will ever be acknowledged let alone approved of by others – that’s why it’s on each individual to choose to perform the actions they feel have meaning, for their own reasons, for their own satisfaction. To permit oneself to be a conduit for a meaning that one doesn’t believe in, unless that choice serves a higher meaning that one does believe in (i.e., safety, security, winning of a favour, support of another person or persons), is the ultimate weakness. Thus, does the presence of my book in Aberdeen, WA mean anything at all…? Nope! But it feels significant to me, to have a copy of a work that took me 20-30 hours a week for around 40 weeks, on top of all the background learning over the two decades that came before, resting in the place where the individual at the centre of it all emerged. It feels nicely complete.


This was the other nice moment of what was quite a busy week (if I’m lucky I may have another piece of news to relay later sometime) – the LiveNirvana site published their review of the Dark Slivers book courtesy of Adam Andrews, the owner of LiveNirvana. A definite and public thank you to the gentleman at this point for taking the time to take a look – appreciated. Rasmus Holmen did one over at the Internet Nirvana Fan Club back in February 2013 and, again, on a personal level, seeing it up there feels pretty good.

Happy Birthday Nirvana’s Legacy!

A one year old site, 298 posts in 17 categories stretching back to the first post on October 30, 2012. Yay! I admit I didn’t think I’d be doing anything at all by this point in time, I started writing the Dark Slivers: Seeing Nirvana in the Shards of Incesticide book back in January/February that year, concluded writing it in mid-October, spent the next month and a half on 2am calls with my designer in Oregon prepping the book for publication and from that point on just kept working to a tight schedule that demanded six posts per week (I took Sundays off.)

Did you know there’s around 400,000 words up here plus over 150 graphics and 100 original photos from the Nirvana Tour? That’s the equivalent of four decent length novels splurged on here hopefully for Nirvana fans to enjoy and consider. Certainly no belief that I’m an ‘authority’, I admit I rather like it when people write in and either add to what I’m saying, correct what I’m saying or dispute or debate my perspective – it’s healthy, it’s fun, I learn something! As a Nirvana fan since I was a teenager I’m regularly enthralled and stunned by what people bring here – I hope its helped keep the enthusiasm alive for people, given a few different ways to look at the topic and stayed true to a desire to take an original cut on things.

The rules stayed the same throughout; who cares about my personal life and feelings and why would I want to share them with complete strangers? For a post to pass muster I wanted it to have a direct connection to the topic of Nirvana. Secondly, there are enough professional and amateur album reviews and song reviews out there – I’m not interested in saying “good/bad” given such things are entirely personal, I’m more interested in the universal and the demonstrable. For the same reason, there are vast numbers of photo archives out there loading, sharing and duplicating pictures of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana – to be really frank, I find them utterly tedious. An image without a story means nothing to me so my priority was to include or add an illustration only where it was relevant to the commentary being provided – I like content, a photo is worthless if it isn’t a part of a wider tale.

Nirvana benefits from an astounding quantity of work done by fans to provide readily accessible information ranging from past interviews, to easily downloadable bootlegs and live recordings, to archives showing set-lists, venues and dates. Having this quantity of raw data is a very rare thing and without it I simply couldn’t have done a lot of the work I’ve enjoyed the most on here. There are a lot of far better story-tellers than I out there, but I felt that, as a fan and therefore someone not working due to a profit motive, I could spill a lot more time to track down the messages within that information. That data-driven approach to the topic is what I felt I brought that was different. Here’s hoping I’ve provided enough of worth…

…The future? I’ve massively reduced my amount of posting entirely due to a need to put time into a Nirvana project I’ve been working on since April – apologies, I’ll keep coming up with blog material but for the next nine weeks until the Christmas break I’ll be at two/three posts a week, after that, let’s see shall we? I think I’ll have a new series of material I can start sharing on here…

Anyways, I hope the Nirvana tour was enjoyable to read, I hope there’s been sufficient data work that it gave people food for thought and please, if you’ve a question about Nirvana or a suspicion or a theory you’d like me to help examine I’m always open to suggestion!

Dark Slivers: Progress

Another month, another ten copies into the print run of Dark Slivers: Seeing Nirvana in the Shards of Incesticide, plus a few ebooks but I haven’t double-checked that side of things in a few weeks. That’s 135 copies sold since December 14, 2012 purely on word-of-mouth and the friendly support of the Internet Nirvana Fan Club and LiveNirvana (who’ve promised their official review but can’t guarantee when.)

The core of the book came together as a response to an advert from Bloomsbury publishers inviting proposals for new volumes in their 33 1/3 series. For those who haven’t read one, 33 1/3 is a series of short books of around 30,000 words per volume, each one tackling a different album of importance from the last fifty years. Alas, their feedback was that the writing was good, the research clearly solid, however, (a) I was competing with professional journalists and music writers with decades of experience and (b) “we can’t imagine doing another Nirvana album that wasn’t Nevermind.” Again, fair enough when it comes to looking at the mass audience…And pretty well the opposite of the reasons why I’d written a volume focused on Incesticide; my reasons were that no one ever talks about Incesticide, it’s utterly underrated, there are already volumes on Nevermind and In Utero (Charles Cross’ excellent book and Gillian G. Gaar’s superb 33 1/3 entry respectively) and they’re well covered in the core biographies.

But it didn’t matter…By that point I’d written a core of work focused entirely on Incesticide that now conforms to chapters 1, 2, 4 and 13 respectively and I knew there was more than enough to say about the album. But also there was more. Certain thoughts related to the album seemed important to ground in the wider context of Nirvana’s music and history and those thoughts had started to expand beyond the initial brief of 30,000 words maximum purely on Incesticide.

As an example, the sample chapter (chapter 14) available via the About page of this site (https://nirvana-legacy.com/about/) came about as, firstly, in all the news coverage of Eric Erlandson’s comments about unreleased Kurt Cobain demos from 1994 there was no actual analysis of the likelihood of the news, and secondly, I felt that this news along with the release of You Know You’re Right (2002) and With the Lights Out (2004) showed Incesticide to be a truly top quality selection of the best of Nirvana’s outtakes. Other chapters had similar ‘jumping off’ points; chapters 10-12 used the songs of Incesticide, in the context of Kurt Cobain’s other creations 1987-1994, to analyse how his song writing evolved in terms of trends in his writing, models of his lyrics and thematic development; other chapters used prompts from Incesticide to delve deeper into the political commitments, the humour in his work, cover songs and a final chapter charting his decline as a creative artist across 1992-1994…

…Anyways, the reviews are on Amazon, Gillian G. Gaar is working on a review (very kind of her indeed!), ordering a copy of the paperback is still pretty simple; just email me at NirvanaDarkSlivers@gmail.com or nicksoulsby@hotmail.com. The book is £10, plus £0.50p packaging, plus postage of between £2.50 (UK) and £7 (US). Two copies of the first 135 got lost in the post, I simply sent each individual out a brand new copy and that worked perfectly. It’s a simply commitment, the desire that each person gets what they’ve purchased. I’m still honoured when people take a look…

And when people feedback…I liked one the other week, a guy said “bloody Hell, you could teach a degree course on Nirvana…” Nice…Nice…

Dark Slivers: Edition Two Commences Today Part Two

Continuing with the full disclosure, twenty-five people took Dark Slivers as an ebook, makes next to no money but that was never the point — just trying to get my thoughts into as many hands as possible. I’m very conscious that I owe an update of the ebook version incorporating a number of changes that made it into the most recent hardcopy but not into the ebook. Likewise there’s one table that runs off the edge of the screen and two maps that need refreshing and improving for clarity’s sake. This will happen.

Are there differences between the first edition and the second edition of the book? Answer, yes, but just a few additional footnotes as described a month or so ago (https://nirvana-legacy.com/2013/01/24/second-printing-amends-to-dark-slivers-and-new-information-on-all-apologiesblack-white-blues/) plus a God given chance to fix the typos that leaked through first time around. Essentially time was running low, I was determined I wanted the book to be available to people by December 15, 2012 because the anniversary of Incesticide was the date that had driven me on throughout the year long process of working on this. It meant my publisher offered to do a final proof-read of the last file from my designer…It would have meant one week to review, another week to fix in the design file…There was no way. I said “We print. Go, go, go.” I wish we’d fixed them…But there’s always more work that can be done and there had to be a time I took the risk and placed the book in peoples’ hands to critique.

There’s also a slight difference to the cover. My original conception, actually my designer’s original thinking which I loved, was that the cover was grey at the top, black below the blue line. The first version came back from the printer with an all grey back. Nevermind. We tried again but, alas, it turns out it’s extremely hard to make the file do that. The result is visible in the photo montage below (apologies for flash glare, grain, etc. I was working quick and what the hey!) Essentially just a darkening of the grey top, a more visible contrast on the back cover — so that’s the visual differences covered.

1st 2nd Edition Contrast_Collage

In terms of feedback incorporated, the core purpose of the first edition was to solicit advice and improvements from people learned in the ways of Nirvana. My faith in the Outcesticide series of bootlegs undid me — an early table required two dates altering — Jack Endino made a point around the name Kurdt that I incorporated as a footnote, Brett Robinson’s point about the coincidence of the name Incesticide was incorporated along with the response from JG Thirwell. I also added in a footnote about the meaning of the song Been a Son, deleted one sentence that I believe may have belonged to an earlier draft because I had no clue how it related to the text around it (oops!) and that was that. Naturally feedback welcomed at all times, it can only make things better, stronger, fitter, more productive…

What’s next? Well, it’s time, I feel, that I spoke directly to the press, let’s see how that goes shall we? Naturally I have a strong desire to let people know about the book — I’d be thrilled if my revision to the history of the creation of Incesticide was ultimately incorporated into the ‘official’ record but maybe I need to source even more material to back it up. I’ll work on that.

A further effort is that, finally, the agreement has been signed with the supplier to Waterstones and Amazon to begin permitting stocking of the hardcopy. Some final steps required but that should be a positive move; I’ll admit I’ve felt bad about the cost to U.S. buyers of postage (about £6.50 GBP for postage) so I’m hoping that this proceeds quickly allowing an easier route for people in North America. Plus, for all the lip service paid to independence, non-corporate, alternatives…People trust their main suppliers, people like cheap n’ easy, people need something more than my word on it that there’s a book here worth a look. I can understand it completely, this means me too; there’s so much material in the world methods are needed to allow it to be sifted out, marked as quality and trusted.

An immediate thank you to those who have taken the time to provide me with feedback, plus those of you who took the added time to place their thoughts on Amazon and elsewhere — that’s been really (really) good of you and of definite value. I like the fact that people might hear from a voice other than my own when considering the book. Rasmus Holmen of the Internet Nirvana Fan Club took the time to write a review both on that site and on Amazon which was so gratifying and I’m aware the guys at LiveNirvana are working on it too and did update the LiveNirvana homepage today — nice!

LiveNirvana Mention

Nirvana Italia (www.nirvanaitalia.it), a very active national language site has also been kind enough to begin preparing for their own review while commenting on the book in their forum. It’s gratifying to see Nirvana Italia still thriving because so many of the local non-English sites seemed to die out over the past decade as the teams of people needed to keep fan resources such as these going fell away. All power to Nirvana Italia! Plus I love their choice of home page photo with the band all looking in different directions and eccentrically attired…

Nirvana Italia

Onwards…More, more…

Dark Slivers: Edition Two Commences Today Part One


A thrilling photo I’m sure you’ll agree, well, it is for me anyways. It’s the next delivery of Dark Slivers: Seeing Nirvana in the Shards of Incesticide. How has it been going? Well this is the answer. I have two copies of the first edition left under my desk one of which I owe to my friend and comrade Lisa, the other could go to one of ten people who have expressed interest yet are unresolved or to two friends I haven’t seen these past months. That’s the first 100 gone since December, 14 2013 when I started sending out.

In amidst that 100 there were twenty given away; I owed five to my designer, Maureen Johnson, for her and her sons; I owed to my publisher, Ben Sumner, for his records and enjoyment; I owed a copy to Bruce Pavitt and one to Jack Endino; I had promised copies to the guys at LiveNirvana, the Internet Nirvana Fan Club, Nirvana Italia and the Nirvana Live Guide because of the vast use I’d made of their material during my work (it seemed respectful and I wanted to acknowledge them)…Oh, plus my parents, grandfather and siblings of course.

I was gratified that, when the announcement went out at work in December, so many people with whom I’d cooperated at some point or another agreed they wanted a copy. It did mean something to me that people trusted that they knew me well enough that if I’d done something they would want to support it. The Russian lady who runs the coffee shop area, Tatyana, a truly top-notch and top-quality individual for whom I have massive respect and affection, even insisted which was sweet of her. When I handed over her copy and she read the inscription she replied (in front of a queue of a dozen people) “oh Nick, you are so nice…But your handwriting, it is SO terrible.” I think others who have received an inscribed copy from me can confirm that.

With the second edition ready I have already despatched a copy to Gillian G. Gaar, plus my publisher informed me that we’re required to send copies to the various U.K. copyright libraries which was something I was delighted to do. That means copies will live in Cambridge University Library, the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford, the National Library of Scotland, the National Library of Wales, the Library of Trinity College, Dublin. We’re checking on the British Library too. In the case of those five editions I took the time, call me a sentimentalist (it’s true, I am, there are some very hippy-parts of my personality), to spell out the full surnames of each individual I had included in the Acknowledgements, I like the idea that so long as a physical copy of my book lives in those locations that their names will be bound to mine.


Committing the Sin of Pride this Morning…

NFC Mention_Feb 2013

I admit it, I was pretty darn pleased the other day when Rasmus Holmen, who runs the Internet Nirvana Fan Club (www.nirvanaclub.com), wrote saying he’d enjoyed the book and had loaded a review up onto the website — a very kind gentleman.

A further confession; I’m sure that it might be obvious that the work done for http://www.Nirvana-Legacy.com takes quite a bit of time and presently there’s some quite substantial data work being done so, alas, I admit I fell behind and the main two pieces I want to share this week, I’ll need to polish tonight… I’m basically trying to ensure that I don’t fire too much material out that isn’t well-baked, of a quality I’m happy to put my name to and that I hope says something worth reading. Heck, I’m quite surprised I’m up to 127 pieces on here and not embarrassed or ashamed of too many of them (OK, egregious spelling and grammar errors on one post last week were a bit of a slip, thanks Marcus for pointing them out so I had a chance to cut and a chance to cure.)

Your patience is welcomed and appreciated, thank you!

Amazon, O Amazon…People’s Reviews of Dark Slivers


Greetings from the Isle of Sheppey. I’ve very much enjoyed chatting away with people who have purchased the book and have no problem stating openly that I’ve actively encouraged people and requested people to leave Amazon reviews. The reasons are very obvious; firstly, it’s a wonderful feeling when someone tells me they feel that Dark Slivers: Seeing Nirvana in the Shards of Incesticide has been a worthy read, one they’ve enjoyed — but given I have an ego, same as anyone, I genuinely want other people to hear that I didn’t waste a year’s work and many, many nights.

Secondly, you dear reader have no reason to trust that ten British pounds would be a investment well-rewarded. In my opinion Nirvana fans have been very poorly served and there have been far too many half-assed and repetitive efforts for which people have parted with cash — if that’s how I feel then I can’t imagine I’m the only Nirvana fan to feel that way. In October I joined the LiveNirvana forum having had it suggested by Adam Andrews who runs the site that I should get involved — I chuckled heartily when I saw one of the first comments, reacting to the fact that first mentions of the book were floating around read:

Bogus_Nov 5 2012_LN Comment

Hope you can read it clearly, that’s a totally legitimate and fair reaction! It’s how despondent I’ve felt most of the time when my latest bit of eBay hunting produced another rehash of readily available information or a rip-off of LiveNirvana’s efforts or the Nirvana Live Guide. Well, all I could do to convince anyone otherwise is what I’ve done so far — show an indication of the way my mind works here at the blog so you can decide if you like my way of doing things, and then get those who have something to say about the book to say it openly and in public so you can take a good look and see what you think.

Third and finally, a colder reality is that, I’m wholly dependent on people who like the book saying so to other people. What the information age does offer (let’s not get into how fake I feel the hype around ebooks is, or how useless social media is as a sales channel) is a chance to make those opinions public and available to all. If you like the kinds of things other people are mentioning then maybe you’ll like the book itself. I was very gratified that Rasmus Holmen, the gentleman who runs the Internet Nirvana Fan Club was willing to give his statement so openly — I had asked him to, I’m delighted he felt I was worth doing it for. Similarly, to those others who took the time, I think I’ve said thank you personally, if not then let me say it here “thank you.” And to those of you who haven’t read the book…Well…Why not? I think it’s worth it. But don’t take my word on it. Take a look.

In German! I’ve no idea what it says but still…I was chuffed to see it. Big smiley face here.