Nevermind25: KEXP Listeners Remember Nirvana, Part One


As KEXP celebrates the 25th anniversary of Nirvana’s Nevermind, we asked our listeners to share their memories of this iconic release. (You can still call us at 4124-GRUNGE (412-447-8643) and leave your story, too.) Here are just a few of the stories; we'll be sharing more on-air and online throughout the week!

KEXP celebrates the 25th anniversary of Nirvana's Nevermind all week long, leading to a special encore presentation on Audioasis, Saturday, September 24th (the actual anniversary date). Listen all week for exclusive interviews, giveaways, and more in honor of this iconic album.

Jason / Tacoma, WA:

Twenty-five years ago, I was working at the Seven Gables Theater, and up in the lobby, two employees -- Chris and Ann -- were talking about whether Sub Pop was going to go under or not, because of a cover story that The Rocket had. Chris was saying, "Nah, nah, they have Nirvana, they have Nirvana." So, I was asking, "Hey, who's this Nirvana?" and they said, "They're gonna be big. Sub Pop has Nirvana, they have nothing to worry about." Shortly after that, there was a free concert at Beehive Records, which was across the street from The Metro. I was working that shift at the Seven Gables, and then suddenly we ran out of popcorn. So, I went to The Metro to get a bag of popcorn. And across the street, Nirvana were playing. I've never seen Nirvana, and I'm holding this bag of popcorn wondering whether or not I should go into Beehive Records. Never did. So, I heard Nirvana, but I never did in my life get to see them. Years later, bumped into Chris after he had quit Seven Gables, and asked him what he was up to. He said he started a record company called Up Records.

Carol / Seattle, WA:

My most distinct memory about Nirvana has to be when I went to Scotland for the first time back in 1995. A good friend of mine from high school had been living there for, I guess it had been 10 to 12 years at that point. She had a radio show, and had me on the show as a guest from Seattle. I had just moved to Seattle three or four months prior, but had a little experience. I was a guest on the radio show, and it was a Saturday evening, and was completely inundated by questions about only Nirvana and Kurt Cobain. His death, of course, deeply affected so many people, and I was floored by just the amount of Glaswegians, as they call themselves, I believe -- I could hardly understand any of them, but they were so interested in knowing more about Nirvana and Kurt Cobain and the stories, but also about, how Seattle reacted. It was extremely moving to me. I was a fan, but not a big fan. At that point, I realized just how much music, all over the world, affects so many, especially such a tragic loss like his.

Dan / Friday Harbor, WA:

It was 1992 and I was going to school over in Ellensburg at Central Washington and my friend Brian and I decided to go over to Western to see Mudhoney play and to visit some friends. We got there and we're ready for the show and Brian was asking me with the guys from Mudhoney look like since he'd never seen them before. I said, well Mark Arm kinda looks like Kurt Cobain, but he's a lot taller and right handed. And my friend Brian said, "Wow, he really does look a lot like Kurt Cobain," and I wasn't paying attention, and I turned around to look at the stage, and I said "Well, no, that is Kurt Cobain," and, of course, the band tore into their set, which was just an amazing show. The place went absolutely crazy. They were the surprise opening act kind, and it was kind-of a legendary show, and I was lucky to be there. Another fun thing about that show was, at the end of the set, they handed their instruments over to a couple of kids in the audience, and of course, the crowd started chanting, "Smash it, smash it." I think the kid who was holding the bass guitar finally went ahead and did that. There were so many great memories of seeing Nirvana play, and that was just the most special to me, was that surprise opening.

Steven / Olympia, WA:

I'm calling with a memory that is not Nevermind, but it is from Aberdeen where I lived for a very long time. There was a place in Aberdeen where everybody goes to remember Kurt Cobain, and it's on the muddy banks of the Wishkah, which is why the live album is named that. There's a bridge and people used to crawl through to find, to go into the bridge, to spray paint, all over the bridge, all these horrible things and good things, and leave tennis shoes and candles. There's a neighbor who saw all this, and took it upon himself to weed-wack everything. It eventually got turned into a park, and this neighbor has never even heard Nevermind. That's what made it so amazing. He was there to connect all these people from around the planet to this bridge that Kurt Cobain used to sleep under. It's called Kurt Cobain Landing. And it's still there, and it's a great place for folks to come visit.

Steven / Toronto, Canada:

Beyond seeing the band play in Toronto in 1993, and also making a documentary related to my anxiety about outliving Cobain, I would say my main Nevermind memory would be that, upon hearing Nevermind, and seeing how the band, specifically Kurt, responded to the success, really influenced me as a high school student. And really changed the way that I looked at the world, that I felt about myself and my group of "reject" friends. I actually came to appreciate my friends and family and those who were close to me, instead of striving to be someone who I wasn't, or, you know, trying to change myself so as to be accepted by others. I think Nirvana's Nevermind really was so much more than just an amazing album.

Sandy / Arcola, VA:

I met David Grohl when I was 11 and we were in 7th grade. I had recently moved to a new school, and he was one of the first few people I met at the school, and he became my first boyfriend. He was also the first boy I ever kissed, and he would call me at night on the phone, and he would play his guitar for me. He was learning to play guitar, and he would play Led Zeppelin for me. He was a real geek, and I was kind-of tough, so it didn't last very long. But we loved music, and we ran around with musicians, and he was a musician. All my friends are musicians, and he became, you know, one of the best musicians that I knew. And we remained close, and I got to watch him sit behind a drum kit at the shitty 9:30 Club back then and watch him play. And while I left for college, I didn't see him much. But during my fifth year of college, I was watching TV with my friend, this drummer who'd come over. He was a drummer in a local band there in Virginia. He came over and we were watching SNL, and they came on, and it was just completely mind-blowing. I knew he had joined a new band, and I didn't really know what was going on, but there he was on the TV! My drummer friend was like, "you know him?", and I was like, "Yes, I know him, and he kissed me, and was my boyfriend, and you know, it was 7th grade, and we grew up -- yeah, I know him!" Well, that guy didn't ask me out. I was completely crushed, but we're still friends today.

Related News & Reviews

Song of the Day

Song of the Day: Morgan Delt - Some Sunsick Day

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morn…

Read More
Song of the Day

Song of the Day: Kestrels - No Alternative

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morn…

Read More