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.
Timothy / Seattle, WA:
I booked Nirvana to play at the Green River Community College in May of 1989, and at that time, Nirvana was unknown and no one even knew how to spell Kurt Cobain's name. The school wanted me to write a check to Kurt Cobain rather than pay in cash, because they didn't understand how bands worked. So I attempted to contact Kurt, but I couldn't reach him at home. I had to leave messages on his answering machine after listening to his "montage of heck" tape several times, not realizing that he probably didn't have a long distance plan to call me back from Olympia, Washington to Auburn. So, I had to cut a second check for the other well-known guitarist, Jason Everman, who was in the band for a small amount of time. On the day of the show, Nirvana was fantastic. We sold out the Lindbloom Student Center. It was filled with people from all over the area, all the way from Seattle. They played with Skin Yard, and another band called Bible Stud. At the end of the show, Kurt Cobain came up to me, and he says "hey man, you think I can get paid?" and I had to tell him that I didn't have cash for him, but that I had to pay him by check. When I handed him the check, the only spelling I had was "K-U-R-D-T K-O-B-A-I-N." He looked at the check, and he looked at me, and said, "I don't think I can do anything with this, man." And I said "well, you're in luck, because I have this other check," thinking that all bands were like the other bands I had met where everyone got along really well. And I said, "here's this check for Jason Everman -- you want to go get him?" He reluctantly went and got him, and Jason Everman bounded up to me saying, "Do you have money for me?" and I handed him the check. And I saw Kurt Cobain staring from about 20 feet back, really dejected. I never understood the story, and, of course, after Nirvana became famous, no one believed the story. But now the video of that performance -- including me announcing the band -- is up on YouTube. So, everyone believes me now, years later. I ran into Jason Everman's brother in Belltown, and I told him the story, and he said the funniest part about that was that Jason Everman never felt like he got properly repaid by the band for helping to front the money to record the album Bleach, and that $200 was the only money that he ever really got back from that loan to the band, according to him. So that's my story about how I booked them at Green River Community college, and helped finance the album, Bleach.
So, it must have been, like I don't know, '94. I don't know how this corresponds to Nevermind, but it was the early days for sure of Nirvana, and we were in the old Scarecrow Video way back when it was in Latona and used to be like a little teeny storefront. We were in there, looking for a movie, and suddenly there was just all this commotion. And Kurt Cobain and Courtney and some other people were in there, and he was just like all glassy-eyed and looking around in sort of this unfocused way and sort-of meandering. And she was storming about with this very determined look on her face, just grabbing videos of musicals to watch. And that's all. And they were both dressed theatrically.
Al / Seattle, WA:
I'm the former co-owner of Bedazzled Discs, a record and CD store. The day that Kurt Cobain died, I received more phone calls in succession than I've ever received in my life of people calling our record store to commiserate about the unfortunate loss of Kurt Cobain. It was very sad, and very, very cathartic, and extremely voluminous in the amount of calls and the the frequency. It just continued all day. I was totally astonished, and shall never forget that amount of phone calls in one day, and this terrible event. Everybody remembers Kurt Cobain, and Nirvana were one of the biggest sellers we ever had in the store, and how it exploded, you know, when it blew up at that time, and all the ridiculous hype, too.
Nolan / San Francisco, CA:
Nirvana's Nevermind was the first CD I ever owned. My brother gave it to me. I grew up listening to that, and it's definitely in my Top Ten Albums of All Time. The CD, I still have it, but it's super cracked up, CD's all scratched, but I still play it. Yeah, Kurt Cobain's the shit, man. Fucking love Nirvana. Used to listen to that CD all the time, growing up in Corvallis, Oregon. Still remember the picture inside of him flipping you off. Classic.
David / Seattle, WA:
My Nirvana memory is arriving at the Evergreen State College in '89, maybe, and seeing this massive group of kids gather around the windows of one of the dorms, one of the new dorms. All the screens were ripped out, and everyone was generally freaking out. I was like, I just moved here. What the hell is going on? Inside, they were just ripping it up. And everyone's having a great time. And that's my introduction to Seattle, care of Nirvana.
Edward / El Monte, CA:
My favorite Nirvana story growing up was, when I was five years old, the Nevermind album had just come out. My Uncle Phil bought me the cassette of Nirvana's Nevermind. I remember bashing my head around, with the speakers blaring in my ears. I remember listening to that tape over and over, to the point where it even got stuck and I had to pull it out and repair it. And I still have that tape to this day.
Nirvana’s groundbreaking album Nevermind celebrates its 25th anniversary this Saturday, September 24th, and KEXP is commemorating the iconic album all this week with special interviews, giveaways, web stories, and more.
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