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Smells Like Teen Spirit

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Smells Like Teen Spirit

‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ was released on September 10 as the lead single from Nevermind, the band’s major label debut on DGC Records. The song did not initially chart, and it sold well only in regions of the United States with an established fanbase for the group. ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ was not expected to be a hit, for it was merely intended to be the base-building alternative rock cut from the album. It was anticipated that the follow-up single ‘Come as You Are’ would be the song that could cross over to mainstream formats.

Kurt Cobain said that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” – the opening track and lead single from the group’s second album Nevermind was an attempt to write a song in the style of the Pixies, a band he greatly admired.

Cobain didn’t begin to write ‘Spirit’ until a few weeks before recording started on Nirvana’s second album, Nevermind, in 1991. When he first presented the song to his bandmates, (just the main riff and the chorus vocal melody), bassist Krist Novoselic dismissed it at the time as “ridiculous.” In response, Cobain made the band play the riff over and over again until collectively the band members slowed the riff down so they had fast and slow sections. As a result, it became the only song on Nevermind to credit all three band members as joint composers.

Cobain came up with the song’s title when his friend Kathleen Hanna, (at the time the lead singer of the Riot Grrrl punk band Bikini Kill), spray painted “Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit” on his wall. Since they had been discussing anarchism, punk rock, and similar topics, Cobain interpreted the slogan as having a revolutionary meaning. What Hanna actually meant, however, was that Cobain smelled like the deodorant Teen Spirit, which his then-girlfriend Tobi Vail wore. Cobain later claimed that he was unaware that it was a brand of deodorant until months after the single was released. (Sales rocketed of the deodorant and the grunge army were no longer smelly!).

The unexpected success of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ in late 1991 propelled Nevermind to the top of the charts at the start of 1992, an event often marked as the point where alternative rock entered the mainstream. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was Nirvana’s first and biggest hit, reaching number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and charting all over the planet in 1991 and 1992.

The video, which was based on the concept of a school concert which ends in anarchy and riot, won the group two MTV Video Music Awards music, which was in heavy rotation on music television and in 2000 the Guinness World Records named “Teen Spirit” the Most Played Video on MTV Europe. The video was shot at GMT Studios in Culver City, California and features real Nirvana fans as the audience.

A notable alternate performance of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” occurred on BBC’s Top of the Pops in 1991, during which the band refused to mime to the prerecorded backing track and Cobain sang in a deliberately low voice with hilarious result. Kurt also changed lyrics in the song (for example, “Load up on guns, bring your friends” became “Load up on drugs, kill your friends”). Cobain later said he was trying to sound like one of heroes – former Smiths frontman Morrissey.

Nirvana grew uncomfortable with the success and attention “Spirit” received as a result. In the years since Cobain’s death, listeners and critics have continued to praise “Smells Like Teen Spirit” as one of the greatest rock songs of all time. In the years following Cobain’s death, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ has continued to garner critical acclaim. In 2000, MTV and Rolling Stone ranked the song third on their joint list of the 100 best pop songs, trailing only The Beatles’ ‘Yesterday‘ and The Rolling Stones’ ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’.

Important Dates In The Life Of Nirvana:

On this day in music
7 May 2024
American musician and record producer Steve Albini died from a heart attack age 61. He was the founder, owner and principal engineer at Electrical Audio, a recording studio complex in Chicago. It has been estimated that he worked on several thousand records over his career. He worked with acts such as Nirvana, Pixies, Bush, the Breeders, PJ Harvey, the Jesus Lizard, and former Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.
20 May 2023
A black Fender Stratocaster guitar smashed by Kurt Cobain sold at auction for nearly $600,000 (£480,000) at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York. The guitar was destroyed as Nirvana were working on their break-out album Nevermind in the early 1990s. The instrument was signed by all three band members in a silver marker. Cobain, who often misspelt his own name, signed the instrument "Kurdt Kobain".
4 Sep 2022
A US judge dismissed a man's lawsuit against Nirvana over the band's iconic 1991 album cover which showed him naked as a baby. Spencer Elden, 31, said his appearance on the front of the Nevermind record constituted child sexual abuse. But the judge said he had left it too late to claim he had been exploited. The lawsuit focused on a photograph of Mr Elden, which depicted him swimming naked in a pool towards a dollar bill pierced with a fish hook.
1 Sep 2022
The Metallica classic 'Enter Sandman' topped a list of songs with misheard lyrics, while Mick Jagger was named as the singer people struggle most to understand. A survey of 1,000 Americans by WordFinder also suggested that 65% of people, on discovering they’ve been wrong for years about a favorite song, decide they prefer the incorrect version. "Enter Sandman" came on top overall, with 70% of listeners believing the line "Exit light, enter night" was actually "Eggs and light end all nights." 52% heard The Beatles sing "I get high, I get high, I get high" on 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' rather than the real words "I can’t hide, I can’t hide, I can’t hide." Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' came next: "With the lights out, it’s less dangerous / Here we are now, entertain us" heard as "With the lights out, it’s Las Vegas / Hear me all now, entertainers".
12 Feb 2021
Rupert Neve died at 94 years old due to pneumonia and heart failure. Neve was a pioneering designer of professional audio recording equipment. Regarded as the father of modern studio recording, his equipment became industry standard and influenced the sound of countless musicians including Nirvana, Fleetwood Mac, Santana, The Who, Pink Floyd and many more. Nirvana even recorded their iconic album Nevermind on a mixing console at Sound City Studios designed by Neve.
1 Feb 2020
Andy Gill, the founding member and guitarist of British post-punk band Gang Of Four, died aged 64. The musician's scratchy, staccato riffs provided the band with their signature sound, and influenced the likes of Nirvana, Fugazi and Franz Ferdinand. He also produced albums for artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Stranglers, Michael Hutchence and Killing Joke.
26 Oct 2019
A olive green Manhattan brand acrylic and mohair cardigan worn by Kurt Cobain during Nirvana's famed appearance on MTV Unplugged become the most expensive sweater sold at auction after fetching £260,388. A custom Fender guitar built in 1993 that Cobain used during the band's In Utero tour was also sold for £265,066.
18 May 2019
A sweater worn by Kurt Cobain during the singer’s last photo-shoot with Nirvana sold for $75,000 at a New York auction. Also sold for $23,000 was Nirvana’s handwritten set list from an April 1990 concert in Washington, D.C., which Cobain wrote with black marker on a paper plate. Cobain had eaten some pizza before the show and preceded to write the set list on the plate he had been eating his pizza on.
16 Jan 2019
American musician Lorna Doom died of cancer age 61. She was the bass guitarist for the punk rock band the Germs. Their music was influential to many later punk rock acts. Germs guitarist Pat Smear went on to achieve greater fame performing with Nirvana and Foo Fighters.
26 Dec 2017
Jim Burns, the co-creator of MTV's iconic MTV Unplugged series, famous for hosting shows by artists as diverse as Eric Clapton, Nirvana and Jay-Z died at the age of 65. He was struck by a taxi while crossing Fifth Avenue in Manhattan three days earlier walking with his seeing-eye dog near his Upper East Side home.
11 Apr 2014
Nirvana were enlisted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, alongside the likes of Kiss and Beatles manager Brian Epstein. REM's Michael Stipe inducted the group, saying: "Nirvana tapped into a voice that was yearning to be heard. Nirvana were kicking against the mainstream. They spoke truth and a lot of people listened."
21 Feb 2014
A statue of a weeping Kurt Cobain was unveiled in Aberdeen, Washington - the hometown of the late Nirvana frontman. The statue, which sees Cobain crying a single tear, is situated in the Aberdeen Museum of History. Kurt Cobain Day would now be celebrated annually in the city of Aberdeen. Of the day, Mayor Bill Simpson recently read a proclamation, which stated: "Aberdeen residents may justifiably take pride in the role our community played in the life of Kurt Cobain and the international recognition our community has gained from its connections with Cobain and his artistic achievements."
6 Feb 2014
Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was named as the greatest song of all time by NME. 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was one of the last songs written for Nirvana's breakthrough album, 'Nevermind', which was released in 1991. The rest of the top five tracks were: 5: 'Last Nite', The Strokes, 4: 'How Soon Is Now?', The Smiths, 3: 'I Feel Love', Donna Summer, 2: 'Love Will Tear Us Apart', Joy Division
12 Dec 2012
The Rolling Stones, The Who, Michael Stipe, Chris Martin, Bruce Springsteen and Roger Waters played at Madison Square Garden and raised over $30m (£18.6m) at a benefit gig in New York for those affected by superstorm Sandy which had caused the deaths of 120 people when it hit the Caribbean and US in October of this year. The surviving members of Nirvana, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, also joined Sir Paul McCartney on stage to perform.
18 Sep 2012
In a survey of more than 160,000 readers, British music magazine NME named John Lennon as Rock's ultimate icon. Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher was placed second, followed by David Bowie, Arctic Monkeys singer Alex Turner and late Nirvana icon Kurt Cobain.
28 Aug 2012
Celebrity Net Worth named Ringo Starr as the world's richest drummer, with an estimated fortune of $300 million. Phil Collins was ranked second with $250 million, former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl was third with $225 million, the Eagles' Don Henley came in forth with $200 million and Metallica's Lars Ulrich was fifth with $175 million. Also making the top ten were U2's Larry Mullen and The Rolling Stones' Charlie Watts.
5 Apr 2011
A statue in tribute to Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain was unveiled in his hometown of Aberdeen, Washington, The unveiling marked the 17th anniversary of Cobain's death, which occurred on April 5, 1994. The statue designed by local artists Kim and Lora Malakoff was of his signature Fender Jag-Stang guitar. The concrete guitar was eight and a half feet tall and also featured a ribbon with lyrics written on it from Nirvana's 'On a Plain'. It reads: "One more special message to go and then I'm done and I can go home."
30 Oct 2007
Forbes.com reported that Elvis Presley had regained his crown as the highest-earning dead celebrity, with an annual income of $49m (£23.7m) during the past year. John Lennon ranked second with $44m (£21.3m), while Peanuts cartoon creator Charles M Schulz was third on the list, Beatle George Harrison was fourth with $22m (£10.6m). Nirvana's Kurt Cobain topped the list in 2006.
2 Dec 2006
Dutch singer Mariska Veres from Shocking Blue died of cancer at the age of 59. Had the 1970 US No.1 & UK No.8 single 'Venus', (later covered by girl group of Bananarama). Shocking Blue was also responsible for the first Nirvana single, a cover of their song 'Love Buzz'.
18 Apr 2006
A line from U2's 1992 hit 'One' was voted the UK's favourite song lyric after in a poll of 13,000 people by music channel VH1. The line "One life, with each other, sisters, brothers" came top. The Smiths lyric "So you go, and you stand on your own, and you leave on your own, and you go home, and you cry, and you want to die" from the song 'How Soon is Now' came second in the poll, followed by "I feel stupid and contagious, here we are now, entertain us", from Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' which was voted into third place.
28 Dec 2005
Pink Floyd were voted the greatest rock stars ever in a survey of 58,000 listeners from UK radio station Planet Rock. Led Zeppelin were voted into second place, 3rd was The Rolling Stones, 4th The Who, 5th, AC/DC, 6th, U2, 7th, Guns N’ Roses, 8th, Nirvana, 9th, Bon Jovi and in 10th place Jimi Hendrix. Listeners also named the 1970s as the golden age of rock, followed by the 1960’s.
7 Feb 2005
Michael Jackson's Thriller was named the top pop video in a poll of Channel 4 viewers in the UK. The 1983 video, which depicts the singer as a werewolf and a zombie, beat videos by Madonna and Robbie Williams. Animated videos for Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer and A-Ha's Take On Me were in second and third place respectively. 4th was Queen with Bohemian Rhapsody, 5th, Madonna Like a Prayer, 6th, Robbie Williams, Rock DJ, 7th, Michael Jackson, Billie Jean, 8th, The Verve, Bittersweet Symphony, 9th, Madonna Vogue and 10th Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit.
2 May 2004
Total Guitar magazine's readers voted Guns N' Roses' anthem ‘Sweet Child O' Mine’ as the greatest guitar riff ever ahead of Nirvana's grunge anthem ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love' came third, followed by Deep Purple's ‘Smoke On The Water’. Total Guitar editor Scott Rowley said: "To a new generation of guitarist's, Guns N' Roses are more thrilling than the Sex Pistols".
20 Apr 2002
In the dispute over who owned the rights to Nirvana's recordings former members Dave Grohl and Kirst Novoselic asked a Seattle Court to prove that Courtney Love was mentally stable. They told the court that Love was 'irrational, mercurial, self-centred, unmanageable, inconsistent and unpredictable.' They also claimed a contract was invalid because Love was 'stoned' at the time.
20 Dec 1999
Readers of UK Guitar magazine voted Noel Gallagher the most overrated guitarist of the millennium. Jimi Hendrix was voted guitarist of the millennium with Nirvana's 'Nevermind' winning best album.
28 Dec 1998
UK radio station BBC Radio 1 aired the 100 National Anthems, songs voted by listeners. At No.5 Radiohead, 'Creep', No.4 Underworld 'Born Slippy', No.3 The Verve 'Bitter Sweet Symphony', No.2 Nirvana 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' No.1 Massive Attack 'Unfinished Sympathy'.
1 May 1997
The house where Kurt Cobain committed suicide went up for sale. The asking price for the five-bedroom house built in 1902 was $3 million. The carriage house where the Nirvana guitarist died had been demolished.
28 Feb 1996
Grammy award winners included Alanis Morissette who won album of the year for Jagged Little Pill, best female rock vocal & best song for 'You Oughta Know', Nirvana's 'Unplugged won best alternative album and Coolio best rap performance with 'Gangsta's Paradise.'
4 Jul 1995
The debut album by Foo Fighters was released. Dave Grohl wrote and recorded the entire album himself, with the assistance of producer Barrett Jones at Robert Lang Studios in Seattle, Washington. Grohl later said he recorded the album just for fun, describing it as a cathartic experience to recover from the suicide of Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain. He chose the name "Foo Fighters" for the project to hide his identity.
26 May 1995
The Rolling Stones played two semi-acoustic concerts at the Paradiso Amsterdam over two days. Keith Richards later said that the Paradiso concerts were the best live shows the Stones ever did. The venue is housed in a converted former church building that dates from the nineteenth century, subsequently squatted in 1967 by hippies who wanted to convert the church into an entertainment club. Artists who have recorded concerts at the Paradiso include Joy Division, Willie Nelson, Phish, Nirvana, The Cure, Lenny Kravitz, Nick Cave, Dave Matthews and Amy Winehouse.
8 Apr 1994
Electrician Gary Smith who was working at Kurt Cobain's house in Seattle discovered Cobain's body lying on the floor in the greenhouse. Local radio station KXRX broke the news at 9.40am that the Nirvana singer and guitarist was dead. A shotgun was found next to Cobain's body. A suicide note was found that said, 'I haven't felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music, along with really writing . . . for too many years now'. A high concentration of heroin and traces of Valium were also found in Cobain's body.
5 Apr 1994
Kurt Cobain the 27-year-old frontman and co-founder of Nirvana, committed suicide at his home in Seattle. His body wasn't discovered until three days later when an electrician entered the house to install an alarm. Cobain, who helped to define grunge music, formed Nirvana in 1987. The hugely influential trio recorded three albums, the most famous of which was 1993’s Nevermind, which included their anthemic Top 10 US and UK hit single 'Smells Like Teen Spirit.' Nevermind has gone on to sell more than 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time.
4 Mar 1994
Kurt Cobain was rushed to hospital after overdosing on alcohol and drugs in a Rome hotel during a Nirvana European tour. Cobain had taken 50-60 pills of Rohypnol mixed with champagne; rumours on the internet claimed that Kurt was dead.
1 Mar 1994
Nirvana played their final ever concert when they appeared at The Terminal Einz in Munich, Germany. The 3,000 capacity venue was a small Airport Hanger. The power went off during the show so they played an impromptu acoustic set including a version of The Cars 'My Best Friend's Girl.'
16 Dec 1993
MTV aired Nirvana's 'Unplugged' session for the first time. The album featured an acoustic performance taped at Sony Music Studios in New York City on November 18, 1993. Unlike many artists who appeared on the show, Nirvana filmed its entire performance in a single take with the band's fourteen-song setlist included six cover versions.
18 Nov 1993
Nirvana recorded their MTV unplugged special at Sony Studios, New York. Nirvana played a setlist composed of mainly lesser-known material and cover versions of songs by The Vaselines, David Bowie, Meat Puppets and Lead Belly. The album won the Grammy for Best Alternative Music Album in 1996.
9 Oct 1993
Nirvana entered the US album chart at No.1 with 'In Utero', their third and final studio album. Kurt Cobain had originally wanted to name the album 'I Hate Myself and I Want to Die.'
25 Sep 1993
Nirvana went to No.1 on the UK album chart with 'In Utero' the bands first UK No.1 album.
4 Jun 1993
Kurt Cobain was arrested after a dispute at his house in Seattle; the disagreement allegedly concerned the Nirvana's guitarist's collection of firearms.
9 Sep 1992
Nirvana's Krist Novoselic knocked himself unconscious during the MTV music and video awards after being hit on the head with his guitar after throwing it 'up in the air'.
30 Aug 1992
Appearing at this year's Reading Festival, England, Suede, Ride, Pavement, Public Enemy, Manic Street Preachers (bassist Nicky Wire smashed his guitar in two and hurled it into the crowd, hitting a security guard who needed 16 stitches). This was one of the most famous in the festival's history. Nirvana played what was to become their last UK concert, and one of their most famous. Kurt Cobain took to the stage in a wheelchair pushed by music journalist Everett True, parodying speculations about his mental health.
22 Jun 1992
Nirvana's Kurt Cobain was rushed to hospital after a gig in Belfast, Northern Ireland suffering from acute stomach pains brought on by ulcers.
2 May 1992
Little known UK duo Nirvana filed a suit against the American band of the same name claiming that they had been using the name since 1968. The dispute was settled out of court in the British bands favour.
24 Feb 1992
Kurt Cobain married Courtney Love in Waikiki, Hawaii. The bride who became pregnant with daughter Frances Bean four months after they began dating wore a white satin and lace dress that was previously owned by tragic actress (and Cobain muse) Frances Farmer. The groom wore green and white flannel pyjamas for a group of eight guests, including his Nirvana bandmate Dave Grohl.
25 Jan 1992
The inaugural Big Day Out festival took place at the Hordern Pavilion in Sydney. Acts appearing included, Nirvana, Beasts of Bourbon, Box The Jesuits, Celibate Rifles, Cosmic Psychos, The Clouds, Club Hoy, Died Pretty, Falling Joys, The Hard Ons with Henry Rollins Hellmen, Massappeal, The Meanies, Smudge, Sound Unlimited Posse, Ratcat, The Village Idiots, Violent Femmes and Yothu Yindi.
24 Jan 1992
Nirvana played their first ever show in Australia at the Phoenician Club in Sydney. Also on the bill, Tumbleweed and The Meanies.
11 Jan 1992
Nirvana appeared on NBC-TV's Saturday Night Live performing two songs, 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' and 'Territorial Pissings'. Also on this day the group's Nevermind went to No.1 on the US album chart.
31 Dec 1991
Pearl Jam, Nirvana and the Red Hot Chili Peppers all appeared on the same bill at the Cow Palace, San Francisco, California.
28 Dec 1991
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana and Pearl Jam all appeared at Del Mar O'brien Pavilion, San Diego, California.
28 Nov 1991
Nirvana recorded a performance for BBC TV music show Top Of The Pops in London. When asked to lip-sync 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' to a pre-recorded tape Kurt Cobain protested by singing an octave lower (he later confirmed he was imitating Morrissey from The Smiths), and attempted to eat his microphone at one point. He also changed some of the lyrics, exchanging the opening line "load up on guns, bring your friends," for "load up on drugs, kill your friends."
28 Sep 1991
On the week of their album Nevermind being released, Nirvana made an appearance at the Tower Records store in New York City and then played a show at The Marquee Club in New York. Their single 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' had also entered the US Top 20 this week.
24 Sep 1991
Nirvana's album Nevermind was released in America, entering the chart at No. 144 on its first week. The album which peaked at No. 1 in January 1992 has now sold over 30m copies world wide. The idea for the now iconic front cover shot of the baby swimming came after Kurt Cobain and drummer Dave Grohl saw a TV documentary on water babies.
13 Sep 1991
Geffen Records threw a party to launch Nirvana's single 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. The band ended up being thrown out of their own party after starting a food fight.
10 Sep 1991
Nirvana's single 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was released in the US. The unexpected success of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' in late 1991 propelled Nevermind to the top of the charts at the start of 1992, an event often marked as the point where alternative rock entered the mainstream.
3 Sep 1991
During a European tour, Nirvana recorded ‘Dumb’, ‘Drain You’ and ‘Endless Nameless’ at Maida Vale studios in London for the BBC Radio 1 John Peel show.
29 Aug 1991
Boston rock station WFNX premiered Nirvana’s sophomore album, 'Nevermind', playing the soon-to-be classic from start to finish. Featuring the grunge-era anthem 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'.
17 Aug 1991
Nirvana shot the video for 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' at GMT Studios in Culver City, California, costing less than $50,000 to make, the shoot features real Nirvana fans as the audience. The video won Nirvana the Best New Artist and Best Alternative Group awards at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards, and in 2000 the Guinness World Records named 'Teen Spirit' the Most Played Video on MTV Europe.
15 Aug 1991
Nirvana played a concert at The Roxy Theater in Los Angeles, where they invited fans to attend the shoot for their first video, 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' which was being filmed two days later. Hundreds of fans showed up at the shoot and appeared in the video.
3 Aug 1991
Metallica held a playback party to launch their self-titled album at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic from Nirvana both attended.
29 May 1991
After just completing the recording of the 'Nevermind' album, Nirvana played a last-minute show at the Jabberjaw in Los Angeles. In the audience was Iggy Pop, Dave Grohl's girlfriend and L7 bassist Jennifer Finch who brought along her best friend Courtney Love.
23 May 1991
Photographer Michael Lavine took what would be the publicity shots for Nirvana's Nevermind album at Jay Aaron Studios in Los Angeles. The idea for the front cover shot of the baby swimming was taken after Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl saw a TV documentary on water babies and was taken by Kirk Weddle. Several babies were used; five-month old Spencer Eldon's photo came out best.
2 May 1991
Nirvana booked into Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, California for 16 days. On a budget of $65,000 and with Butch Vig producing the band started recording what would become the Nevermind album.
30 Apr 1991
Nirvana signed a recording contract with Geffen's DGC label for $290,000.
17 Apr 1991
Nirvana appeared at the OK Hotel in Seattle, where they played a new song, 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', live for the first time. Other local bands such as Mudhoney, Tad, Mother Love Bone, and Soundgarden all appeared at the club, which has now been turned into a residential property.
11 Oct 1990
Drummer Dave Grohl played his first gig with Nirvana when they appeared at the North Shore Surf Club in Olympia.
25 Sep 1990
Drummer Dave Grohl auditioned for Nirvana and was instantly given the job. Grohl's last band Scream had recently split-up.
22 Sep 1990
Nirvana played their biggest gig to date when they appeared at the Motor Sports International Garage in Seattle. Drummer Dave Grohl who would audition for the band in a few days time was in the audience of 15,000 people.
17 May 1990
Nirvana played the last date of a North American tour at the Zoo in Boise, Idaho. This was Chad Channing's final gig with the band, drummer Dave Grohl replaced him in Sept of this year after his band Scream had split-up.
26 Apr 1990
Nirvana appeared at the Pyramid Club in New York City. The bands label Sub Pop filmed the show and the performance of 'In Bloom' was later used as a promo clip.
2 Apr 1990
Nirvana went into Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin and started work on demo versions of ‘In Bloom’, ‘Dive’, ‘Lithium’, ‘Pay To Play’, ‘Imodium’, ‘Sappy’ and ‘Polly’ with Butch Vig producing.
25 Oct 1989
Nirvana and Tad appeared at the Duchess Of York, Leeds, England. The two acts were on the third night of their debut European tour.
23 Oct 1989
Nirvana played their first ever European show when they appeared at Newcastle's Riverside Club in North East England. It was the first night of a 36 date European tour for the group who were sharing the bill with Tad.
15 Jun 1989
Nirvana's debut album Bleach was released in the US. The title for the album came from a poster 'Bleach Your Works' urging drug users to bleach their needles. Kurt Cobain claimed that most of the lyrics on the album were written the night before recording while he was feeling "pissed off", and that he did not regard them highly.
1 Jan 1989
Nirvana signed a one-year recording contract with Sub Pop records. The Seattle based label began not as a record label but as a fanzine (called Subterranean Pop), in the early 80s, also signed Soundgarden and Mudhoney.
24 Dec 1988
Nirvana started recording their first album 'Bleach' using a $600 loan from an old school friend. The album's working title was Too Many Humans. It was renamed Bleach after Cobain found an AIDS prevention poster while Nirvana was driving through San Francisco. The poster advised heroin addicts to bleach their needles before use.
23 Jan 1988
Nirvana recorded a 10-song demo with Seattle producer Jack Endino. Sub Pop records boss Jonathan Poneman hears the tape and offers to put out a Nirvana single.
5 Feb 1971
Black Sabbath started recording what would be their third album, 'Master Of Reality' at Island Studios in London, England. Released in July of this year, it is sometimes noted as the first stoner rock album. Guitarist Tony Iommi, decided to down tune his guitar down three semi-tones, Geezer Butler also down tuned his bass guitar to match Iommi. The result was a noticeably 'darker' sound that almost two decades later would prove hugely influential on at least three of the biggest grunge acts, namely Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden, and Nirvana.
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