Nirvana Oral History Piece Mentioned in the New York Times Today…

Well that’s nice. Back in 2015 I put together a brief story based on the ‘I Found My Friends’ oral history I’d put together from the memories of the bands who performed alongside Nirvana 1987-1994.

View at

There’s not much I really have to add about Cobain at a quarter century distance from his death. Amid the clickbait and web-space filler there are plenty of respectful and insightful pieces out there, so much information! In terms of modern figures, Cobain might be one of the most reviewed, video’ed, recorded, written about…What can I say?


Tic Dolly Row: Chad Channing’s Pre-Nirvana Band

Back in 2016 I posted a conversation with John Hurd, a member of the band Tic Dolly Row/The Magnet Men, who shared a stage with Nirvana (then going by the name Bliss) at the Community World Theater in September 1987.

Mysteriously, a cassette of the band performing on KAOS Radio in 1987 has surfaced with Chad on drums, John Hurd on guitar, Ben Shepherd (future Soundgarden) on vocals and Chris Karr on bass. The session took place under the auspices of John Goodmanson who hosted Nirvana for their first radio session in May of the same year.

Nirvana Interview Series on YouTube

Way back in 2013 I was in the midst of this weird outpouring of Nirvana-related analysis here on the blog: spreadsheets, estimated set-lists, mapped tours, aggregated tables of information, which song did Nirvana play live the most/the least, which titles of apparently unreleased songs still exist…

As part of that, I took the data from the Nirvana Live Guide and looked at the bands known to have supported Nirvana over the years:

The crazy names, all the bands I’d never heard of, it fascinated me – so I ended up trying to track them down to interview them and the results turned into the I Found My Friends: The Oral History of Nirvana book (it’s $4 on at the moment – the publisher is clearing out their stock it seems.) Amidst it all, one of the people I was most privileged to meet was John Purkey and his friends Bob, Pat, Ryan, Sally, Mike (RIP) and Rochelle – my visit to Tacoma stays in my memory as one of the finest times of my past decade.

John was a friend of Kurt Cobain and he has recently commenced a YouTube series talking about his memories, playing the cassette tapes Cobain gave to him, generally describing a world n’ time some quarter of a century ago in a part of the world most of us know little of (though I recommend a visit).

I still treasure the memory of sitting in John’s front room and seeing how much it still affected him speaking of a lost friend – it was a privilege to be there.

If you’re interested, the videos are on YouTube under the channel ‘The Observer’ – all worth a watch.

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




“Bands Who Played With Nirvana”: Part One — Soylent Green


Shows Shared with Nirvana:

  • April 18, 1987 — Community World Theater, Tacoma, WA
  • June 27, 1987 — Community World Theater, Tacoma, WA

I’ve been rather blessed these past couple years by the Purkey brothers, both Bruce and John were a huge support during the work on “I Found My Friends.” Today I’d like to focus on Bruce’s band Soylent Green who played alongside Skid Row (A.K.A. Nirvana’s incarnation for much of 1987.)

Bruce Purkey — The band I was in previous to Soylent Green, The Grind, featured Kurt Flansburg on lead vocals. (he was later in Dangermouse.) At the time he was in our band, he was dating Tracy Marander, so I got to know her pretty well. I am sure you know that name…

My brother and I grew up in a pretty boring house-hold musically. My parents listened to the worst of 70’s AM music. They didn’t really restrict us from music, but they also didn’t really encourage or help our musical tastes grow. By the time I reached Jr. High, in the late ‘70’s, I was mowing lawns and doing chores, earning money to buy my own albums. I started with KISS and Judas Priest, Scorpions, AC/DC, catching up on all the rock that had passed us by. Before long, my two friends and I were ahead of the curve, leaping head-long into NWOBHM with bands like Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Tygers of Pan Tang. We were deep into heavy music at that point.

In high school, I and my friends George and Bill, would take art classes pretty much just to make our own Motorhead and Saxon t shirts. It was in this class that we met a kid who was into punk. He made us a mixtape of Killing Joke, Sex Pistols, Circle Jerks, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys. We were hooked. It had the aggressive edge of metal, but was actually about something. It seemed more primal and really tapped into all of the feelings we had as teenagers. In addition, it seemed accessible. We were never going to take the time to reach the technical prowess of our favourite metal gods, but even we might be able to start a punk band. So, there it started, we were going to buy any punk we could find and try to start our own band.

I bought a cheap guitar and a shitty amp. My little brother John, only 12 or 13 then, had a couple of drums, my friend George got a bass and amp, and my friend Bill would sing/scream. We came up with a band name, ATG (Against the Grain). It seemed suitably anti-establishment. Little did we know, we were literally one of the first and only punk bands from Tacoma. We played a couple of house parties, my brother John’s Junior High School, then John met some other punks from across town  — real punks with a real punk rock house. John Grant, one of the guys from the 56th Street house, AKA the Hell House, enlisted John into his own band, Noxious Fumes. John played with us too, for just a bit longer. Next Bill got his girlfriend pregnant and left the band so we got John’s friend, David, to sing and changed our name to Vampire Circus. That band only played a couple shows — most notably a show at The Tropicana in Olympia, where I got to play through Buzz’ (Melvins) amp — before my brother left the band for good. Without him we had to start again. The band reformed with Shawn (later guitarist for Subvert) and Kurt (later singer for Dangermouse), plus a second guitarist whose name I can’t recall. George was really into skating by this time so we ended up renaming ourselves The Grind, partly to describe the music, partly as a skating reference.

So, it’s ’83-’84 by now, we start playing a few shows in Seattle, mostly at a place called the Gorilla Gardens. It was an abandoned movie theater split into one side which would usually have metal acts while the other side had punk acts. Again, times changed, our second guitarist moved to California, Kurt moved on, so we turned into a four-piece with myself on guitar, George (the other founding member) on bass, Matt on vocals and Fred on drums and now became Soylent Green. As you can tell, I’m an avid movie fan hence why I always pushed for horror/sci-fi movies as band names hence Vampire Circus (Hammer Films) and Soylent Green. Fred’s father owned a meat packing plant, Crown Meats, so we made that our practice space. At first, we tried practicing out in a storage shed, but it had metal walls and was very noisy. For a short while, we actually practiced in the meat locker, surrounded by sides of frozen beef (think Rocky). Once again, it was very cold and the concrete echoed. Eventually, we moved our practices to the sales office. It was warm, well-lighted, carpeted. We dreamed of recording a single or album, but sadly never did. Finally, we decided to just record our own tapes and sell them at shows. We rented a multi-track PA mixer from a local music shop and recorded our music live straight onto cassette. It was very rudimentary, running, essentially four mics to a stereo mix, then flipping the tracks to even it out and dub copies. We made two demo tapes over the next year or so, even selling a few copies. We had a few fans, but mostly just played for fun and an excuse to go to lots of shows and hang out with people. After the summer of ’87, I went to college in Bellingham and the band broke up for good.

Before and after The Community World Theater, there were not a lot of band-friendly venues. Most of the venues were pretty quick to close down, or just bars, rarely good to bands, pretty much paying them little to nothing, run by people who didn’t really love the music scene. The Community World Theater was a rare thing. Run by Jim May, one of us. He didn’t make anything on the venture, I’m sure. It was probably a huge headache and I would guess it lost him money, but for a brief moment, the kids had their own place to play. Sure, it was a former porn theatre with no heat and a shitty PA, but it was ours. It is no accident that The Community World Theater is remember fondly by most everyone who ever played there, or saw a show there. It was as if for a moment, the punks actually ran things.

You’ll notice the “no dancing” sign isn’t always present. If I remember correctly, that was behind the movie screen. What Jim May used to do was set up the headlining band’s equipment behind the screen, then, when the earlier bands were done they would just take their equipment off-stage, raise the screen, and the final band was ready to rock. I think this night was one of the few times we headlined. Frankly, we weren’t near as good as Skid Row, but at that point, we were more of a known quantity.

And I drew the flyer for the Nisqually, Skid Row, Soylent show.

Staying ‘Umble: I Found My Friends Gets a Cheery Kicking in Pitchfork! Rather chuffed to get a mention in Pitchfork – and the critic clearly can’t stand me! Heh! Made me chuckle. He’s got it right though, the reason I wrote the book was to put other people’s voices first rather than my own so wanting more of them and less of me seems pretty reasonable. I’d have to say my desire was to get away from the same ol’ superstar voices ad infinitum, ultimately if one wants to know Krist Novoselic’s view on Cobain and Nirvana then there are several hundred interviews over the past twenty years providing that… It does put me in mind of the difficulty of wearing several hats. Am I a writer preparing a book on Nirvana? Am I a fan and hobbyist doing something because it amuses me? If the former, then the obsessiveness and the personal journey kinda stuff is irrelevant and distracting. If the latter, then why should a critic take it anymore seriously than any other garage project…? Being fair, to professional journalists and writers trying to make a living in an ever more difficult space, squeezed by the ever declining quantity of space provided to ‘culture’ in the mainstream media, working long years learning the theory and practice of their trade, it must be fairly galling having some amateur pop up and take a shot. I can imagine if I was busy pursuing my professional skills I’d look askance at someone popping up and trying to do it as a part-time activity… Criticism isn’t a bad thing – ultimately its fairly un-actionable, that’s the intriguing part. I’ll not be going back and re-writing the book to fit a critic’s views. All one can do is see if there’s a lesson or two, some ongoing reading or research to be done. But, like most things, one must close a lot of it off – both praise and criticism – and just do whatcha gon’ do. I saw someone the other week state “I wouldn’t be surprised if Courtney paid him to write this – same old myths about how Kurt was at the end,” while in the Pitchfork review the guy claims the book heaps abuse on her. Sheesh, I thought I’d minimised her presence because I was bored of her being such a strong part of Nirvana’s story…And I thought I’d decided not to use a lot of the unpleasant stories people told of her for that same reason. People are uncomfortable not just with multiple hats but with multiplied responses also. On the one hand, I think there’s something to be taken from the criticism, things I didn’t do, things I could do, things I’ll maybe use on the blog at some point. On the other hand, sure, there are aspects and elements I discount and believe are wrong and disbelieve. That’s life; you can’t be everyone’s friend all the time and you can’t be so open to their thoughts and feelings that one forgets ones own. So! Pitchfork did me a true honour by commenting on the book on their site – I mean, wow, I read Pitchfork every morning, it’s part of my daily routine. So to be mentioned there, for me, is a real pleasure. And the positives were nice to read also – the things that I wanted to do and that he says I did (even if he doesn’t like them!) 🙂 The crucial thing, for me, the reason I think it’s sound criticism, is that he commences with the key question; is a new book on Nirvana important? Does it add anything different thus validating the effort and energy? In this case, though he acknowledges what I did was a valid idea, he doesn’t like the execution and result – that’s an entirely reasonable position to take and I certainly would feel a heel chuntering about that.

March 31, 2015: “I Found My Friends” Book Launch Day…Thanks and Acknowledgements Due

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

Writing “I Found My Friends: the Oral History of Nirvana” – Tips for Writers (From a Complete Amateur)

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!

My First Copy of “I Found My Friends: the Oral History of Nirvana” Arrived

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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