NFC News 09/2001
- - - September 29, 2001 - - -

As mentioned earlier, the October 2001 issue of Guitar World featured an extensive Nirvana feature celebrating the 10th anniversay of their "Nevermind" album. I finally had a chance to read it over, and here are some of it's highlights. The special involves five articles; "The Dope Show" (an excerpt from chapter 16 of the 'Heavier Than Heaven' book), "Requiem for a dream" (A lengthy interview with Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic), "Love and War" (an article on the Nirvana boxed set, and the legal battle between Nirvana and Courtney Love), "The Name Game" (an article going over some of the early titles that Kurt had planned for selected Nirvana songs and albums), "In Bloom" (a brief interview with Butch Vig), and "Cobainspotting" (a guide on the gear Cobain used on the recording of "Nevermind"). Apart from this lengthy feature, mostly written by 'Heavier Than Heaven' author Charles R. Cross, the magazine also includes a Kurt Cobain poster, several Nirvana photos and the tabs to "All Apologies".

The "Love and War" article does a great job of clearing up the background for the forthcoming boxed set, and the reason for it's delay: "On Sunday January 30, 1994, Kurt Cobain walked into Robert Lang studios in north Seattle for what would be his last recording session. During the next five hours, Nirvana cut a handful of new songs, most of them rough demos. For the past seven years, those tracks, and scores of others, have remained tucked away in the vaults and shrouded in mystery. Jimi Hendrix died at the same age as Kurt Cobain and with roughly the same size catalog; yet, in the seven years since Kurt's death almost one dozen Hendrix repackagings, box sets or remastered albums have been released. The absence of a Nirvana box set, or even a greatest hits album, is an anomaly in an industry that thrives on reheated leftovers.

Much of the problem is due to the fact that Kurt's life - and the business of Nirvana - was a mess prior to his suicide. At the time of his death, no legal agreement existed that specified how Nirvana would be run as a business. Furthermore, Cobain died without leaving a valid will, thereby giving control of 96% of Nirvana's publishing [rights] to his widow, Courtney Love. In 1997 Novoselic, Grohl and Love signed a partnership contract which requires that all three vote unanimously on decisions such as the release of Nirvana songs. But Love recently filed a suit against Novoselic and Grohl to break up the partnership of Nirvana and gain control of the band's business affairs. She argues that since the 1997 contract grants veto power to each of the three parties, it has essentially 'deadlocked decision making'. Her lawyers argue that since she owns most of the publishing rights (and thus wields ultimate veto power over any new release), decision making should be consolidated under her control.

While the issue of who controls Nirvana is still being decided by a court, the parties are working on an out of court agreement that will see the release in the meantime of the often-talked about Nirvana box set. Universal has planned the set for the late fall, and most observers predict that it should still arrive by then. Aside from the songs recorded at the January 1994 session, fewer than a dozen Cobain tunes exist that have not been issued in any form, and only a handful of them are more than demos. Most likely a multi-CD box set would have to include some of the band's many alternative takes and live oddities since there isn't a wealth of unreleased studio material."
Courtesy of Guitar World and Charles R. Cross.

The interview with Krist is also quite good, and represents the first and only lengthy interview he has done on the subject of Kurt and Nirvana since Kurt's death. It goes over topics such as Nirvana's first show, the making of Nirvana's three studio albums, the impact of drugs and fame, and Kurt's final days; "In the end he felt like he lost control and he just killed himself. He literally just shot himself in the head. It all just deteriorated, and I know that I got estranged from him. I could barely talk to him at the end of his life. There was so much to say but I could barely say anything. I was just overwhelmed. And I'm still overwhelmed to this day." - "You can't blame suicide on anybody. He ultimately killed himself. His death was a stupid mistake. He fucked up bad. He could have made it through and come to terms with things. Now he's always going to be this screwed-up 27-year old, how he was at the end of his life. It goes with being a smart-ass; he thought he was smarter than everybody else, that he knew better; that no one was going to tell him how to live his life. He wouldn't listen to advice. He thought he was too fucking smart." (this quote was taken grossly out of context so please read the complete interview if you get the chance). In general, it's a spectacular article and a great piece of work. Check it out if you can. Special thanks to Sara for the magazine.


The September 8 2001 issue of the British NME also featured a tribute to the "Nevermind" album. Although more primitive than the Guitar World feature, NME also offers info from Charles R. Cross in the form of an interview with him about his book, and the access he got to Kurt's diaries. "There was an inner and an outer Kurt Cobain", Cross tells NME. "... and the man you thought you knew, even when you were reading him in interviews with NME, was not always the man that went home and wrote in his journal, who was addicted to drugs and who was obsessive-compulsive." Speaking of the diaries, Cross said; "It's almost his own version of psychotherapy. His writing is his way of dealing with his depression. But it's creative brilliance, they're amazing. I have urged Courtney to publish them. They would be fascinating to read but they are very, very disturbing." Courtesy of NME and Charles R. Cross. The NME piece also includes an article named "Kurt's Kids" - which is basically interviews with people wearing Nirvana shirts at the recent Reading and Leeds festivals!

Speaking of NME, their September 15 issue also focused on Nirvana in the form of a "World Exclusive No. 1" interview with Courtney Love. A saucy front-cover picture of a half-naked Courtney Love opens the interview that at best is a series of rants and ramblings from the punk rocker. Reading the "interview" with her is like reading one of her longer hole.com message board postings - echoed by the fact that the "interview" was done per e-mail. Nevertheless, it's a very interesting read, especially with the interview focusing heavily on the new Cobain biography; "Charley seemed to be doing the first actual book with researched statistics and data. He's local to Seattle, and I knew what he was doing was Homeric for him, so in many ways he was doing it for me and for my daughter. He had devoted six years to it, so I knew he was serious and it wouldn't be the sub-Albert Goldman bullshit cottage industry, which we all know the previous KC stuff to be. I know that a real biography takes years to write and Charley kept coming up with stuff that I didn't know about - very quietly and tastefully. He didn't need me, and I like that." Courtney also, understandably, takes a stab at Nick Broomfield's controversial "Kurt and Courtney" documentary, and the people who "used him [Kurt Cobain] like he was a subhuman piece of dogshit and someone they could keep in his room and dine out on." Courtesy of NME and Corutney Love. Also a big thanks to Simon Taylor.

"Last Thursday (the 27th), Courtney Love, along with Frances Bean, appeared on KROQ's morning radio show in LA. She was mainly there to plug her appearance with her new band, Bastard, at a Jane's Addiction show, though she did talk a lot about Nirvana. She explained her reasons for the boxed set litigation--how she doesn't want Interscope Records to have anything to do with any releases and said the Nirvana deal cut with her and the surviving members was a bogus deal that she was suckered into, basically. She explained that the whole hype with the Tenth Anniversary of Nevermind was just a bunch of commercialism and that a later date would be more appropriate for any release. Courtney waxed about her dislike for Fred Durst because he tried to pitch his pet project, Puddle of Mudd, as his "fake Nirvana". She also talked a little about the new [Kurt Cobain] biography, most notably choosing to excuse Frances from the interview so she could talk about the various dairies and their contents over the radio. Mostly everything else was her rambling, but a nice touch was Frances singing along to 'Lithium' before they played it for her." Thanks to Ray for this story!

As mentioned in the story above, Courtney will be performing as a solo artist for the first time, opening a show for Jane's Addiction; "The Hole frontwoman will play her first show billed as a solo artist in Los Angeles on October 27, opening for Jane's Addiction. Ex-Hole drummer Patty Schemel will back her at the Hollywood Bowl, as will other still-unannounced musicians, according to Love's manager, James Barber. New songs will make up more than half of her set list, while Hole tunes and other material will comprise the rest. Though a source said the singer/guitarist is considering opening more shows for Jane's Addiction, Barber said, 'At this point, [one show is] all there is.' Earlier this month, Love said she was considering a solo career because Bastard, the all-female rock group she formed in March, had dwindled down to just her and Schemel. But for now she has not given up on finding replacements for Veruca Salt guitarist Louise Post and former Rockit Girl guitarist Gina Crosley, who bailed to work together on a new Veruca Salt album." Story courtesy of Yahoo! and SonicNet. Ironically, Jane's Addiction opened for Nirvana about ten years ago at various shows.

"Last Thursday (the 28th), the Belgium radio station Studio Brussel aired a 30 minute live show of the legendary Nirvana concert at the Paradiso in Holland (in 1991). Some songs from the setlist: Aneurysm, About a girl, Polly, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Territorial Pissings, School, Breed and others." Thanks to Steven. I believe the complete show was aired recently by a different radio station; "On the 10th anniversary of Nevermind, Club Lek on 3FM, a very popular radio station in the Netherlands played the whole Paradiso '91 concert by Nirvana. The DJ also told some facts on Nirvana but nothing special to mention." Thanks to 'Thutshui' for this one.

"An NME poll in this weeks issue names 'Heart-Shaped Box' as the readers' favorite Nirvana song with over 50% of the votes. 'Lithium' comes in second with 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' down as #6." A bit of an odd result, but thanks to Chris for the news.

"I recently attended a Weezer concert on Wednesday, September 26th. Weezer was amazing. The band that opened for them was called The Start. They were okay. They sounded alot like Orgy but with a female singer. Their set pretty much sucked up until they took a little break about 45 minutes into it. The singer asked the audience if we liked Weezer. We all went crazy. But then she asked if we all liked Nirvana. Puzzled by the question, there was a mixed reaction by the crowd. Suddenly, they ripped into 'Breed'. I just about passed out when I heard the opening guitar line, and the thundering drums! It was freakin' amazing! The crowd went absolutely nuts when they finished the song. I think everyone's respect for the band had doubled after hearing that. They should have just played a Nirvana set." Thanks to Tony for sharing this story.

"The only uncut version of Kurt and Courtney by Nick Broomfield will be sold as part of a Film & Television memorabilia auction at Christies, London on 11th December 2001. The film was kindly donated by Nick Broomfield. All proceeds for the auction will go to support Britain's National Film and Television School." At this time, there's no word on what the uncut version includes that didn't make it to the official one. Thanks to Ciara of the National Film & Television School for the story.

"I was on your website and noticed your extensive links to articles on Nirvana. We have a story entitled 'Nirvana: A Decade After Nevermind Changed Music, looking back at Nirvana's career.' Check it out here." Thanks to Sarah Emerson of Virgin Entertainment Group for this one.

Here is my own little review of the Nirvana punk tribute CD "Smells Like Bleach" that was released on Cleopatra Records earlier this year. The CD comes with some interesting liner notes by Dave Thompson who wrote a book on the band a few years back. At 41 minutes, the CD is unusually short, but includes covers of 12 classic Nirvana tracks. Most of the covers are done by relatively unknown and obscure punk bands, with a few exceptions.

  • Vibrators - 'Come As You Are': The rock'ish cover of "Come As You Are" is a great opener, and one of the best songs the CD has to offer. For the most part, the cover is far heavier than the original, but still manages to maintain the essence of the Nirvana version. The vocalist is fairly decent, and the music is good.

  • Blanks 77 - 'Smells Like Teen Spirit': As with most punk songs, on this CD in particular, this song is very much sped-up and consequently sounds like shit, in my opinion. Compared with the original version, this cover appears to be running around 35% faster, speeding through the lyrics that are given no attention whatsoever. Even though the music is pretty decent, despite the speed increase, the vocals are so terribly done that this cover is no pleasure to listen to. At 3 minutes, the cover is 1 minutes shorter than the original - but making it 2 minutes shorter than the original would probably not have made any difference.

  • UK Subs - 'Stay Away': I've never liked the Nirvana version of this song very much, but there's something really annoying about the cover. Perhaps it's the background vocalists on the "I don't know why I" part. The main vocalist is doing an ok job, and the actual band is not all that bad. There's just something very wrong about this cover, and it seems out of place. It's annoying.

  • Agent Orange - 'On a Plain': As with SLTS, this one is also running very fast, and marks quite a contrast to the original. Nevertheless, I kind of like it, and the band is pretty ok. Had the cover been done at the same speed and tempo as the original, it would have been really good. One of the better songs on the CD.

  • Total Chaos - 'Breed': A pretty rocking version of the song. Once again, running way too fast, and with a slightly annoying singer, but otherwise ok. Not a song I'd want to listen to many times, but I've heard worse.

  • Dee Dee Ramone - 'Negative Creep': The vocals on this cover sound like shit, most notably because of some weird echo effect or the fact that there's a couple of people singing at the same time. The drumming and the guitar sounds ok, but the vocals made me want to skip it. Ironically, this song is actually SLOWER than Nirvana's version - and that is not a good thing, in this case. One of the worst songs of the CD.

  • Vice Squad - 'Lithium': This one has a really good female vocalist, and a good band behind it. The song is also very equal and similar to the original, which is good. Once you get used to the singer, this one is pretty good and one of the few highlights of the CD.

  • Burning Brides - 'Something in the way': This is not really a cover of the "Nevermind" version of the song, but one of the early "rock" versions that Nirvana did. It's really good. It sounds very much like Nirvana's own "rock" version and the band does a good job covering it. The vocalist and band is good, for the most part, but a little more passion and tempo could have improved it.

  • Flipper - 'Scentless Apprentice': A pretty cool cover. Performed a bit differently than the original, but it doesn't seem to matter that much. Flipper puts their own style and sense into the song, which is kind of cool.

  • DOA - 'All Apologies': As one could imagine, this cover is not done as slow and mellow as Nirvana's version (on In Utero as well as the Unplugged record), and the guitar kind of drowns it. I didn't like the singer very much either.

  • Dr Know - 'Aneurysm': Another very rockin' track, capturing the raw energy and emotion of the original, this cover stays very true to Nirvana's rendition. The vocals are a bit weak and boring, but otherwise an ok cover.

  • L.C.U. - 'Dive': A good way to close the CD. Sounding a bit like a Bikini Kill or L7 song, this cover is actually pretty good and sounds very much like the original - just with a slightly different vocal performance.

    - - - September 24, 2001 - - -

    Today, it's been exactly ten years since Nirvana's legendary "Nevermind" album was released in the US. To celebrate that, I threw together a little 'Nevermind' special section. This section contains excerpts from "Nevermind It's An Interview" including quotes that have never been published anywhere before! You will also find rare pictures and another interview, including unpublished quotes. Check it out here. Today was also the initially scheduled release date for the much anticipated Nirvana boxed set. A day many of us have been waiting for, for several months. Unfortunately, due to legal problems, the release of the box has been postponed and it is unknown when it will be released, if ever.


    - - - September 21, 2001 - - -

    Today, this site transferred to a new webhost once again. Basically, the old host would cut the account around September 25 for various reasons - so it was necessary to move. Fortunately, it was completed quickly and thus resulted in no downtime whatsoever. The new host will hopefully be able to handle the site's large demands for so-called "bandwidth". To prevent further problems, the NFC Board has been moved to a different site - a domain of it's own even - and is now located at www.nirvana2.com. That site will solely be used for the board, while the rest of the site is available at the usual address (www.nirvanaclub.com). So, in the future, when you want to visit the board - just use the URL www.nirvana2.com. After some of the interactive sections being down for a couple of days, all parts of this site should be working again. Only the NFC Picture Gallery - including Vladislav's page - will be unavailable for the time being. This site is no longer part of the MusicFans network - a network of the best music fan sites - as they went out of business. One consequence of that is that I have to personally pay all expenses related to operating the domain, including webhosting bills, so it is crucial that you click the ad banners once they are up (should be in a few days). We also strongly recommend you use the 'NFC Store' that you can find in the top part of this news section. Thanks for your support. Also a huge thanks to Simon Taylor for making www.nirvana2.com possible.

    The voting period for the 'Dotmusic' People's Choice Award has now ended. Unfortunately, this site didn't make the Top 6 - and will thus not be competing for the winning spot, to be announced in London on September 27. More than 3.000 sites worldwide have competed and more than 150.000 votes were cast. Hopefully this site did make it top the Top 100 as last year -- the Top 100 will be announced shortly. The sites in the Top 6 were; www.a1-online.com, atomickitten.com, ronankeating.net, fans.gorillaz.com, westlife.co.uk, and the popular Radiohead site greenplastic.com. The latter site was also part of the ill-fated MusicFans network.

    "In the British 'Q' magazine there was a feature, I think it was The Top 50 Albums of All Time, and Nirvana featured at #20 with 'In Utero'. The magazine described 'In Utero' as a progression from 'Bleach' and 'Nevermind' capturing a great sound. It also said that Kurt Cobain was a musical artist going through great emotional pain, but at the same time simultaneously sticking two fingers up to the recording industry. 'Nevermind' came in at #3 and there was a page and a half write up about the album which included photos of the band that I have never seen before." Thanks to Phil.

    "There's a story on the Nevermind album in the September 21 issue of Entertainment Weekly entitled 'Did Nevermind Ruin Rock & Roll?' " Thanks to Gillian G. Gaar for this one. You can view scans of the cover and article here; #1, #2, #3 and #4. Special thanks to Amanda for these.

    "This article is about Greg Sage and the Wipers. Not sure if you have it or not, but it discussed how Kurt put together the 'Tribute to Greg Sage album'. It also mentions that Kurt was tentatively planned to go into the Sage's studio and record a bunch of Leadbelly covers. That never happened due to the death of Kurt." Nirvana recorded a cover called "Return of the Rat" for the above mentioned album. Thanks to Dan for the info.

    "Today [September 17] in the Toronto Sun (Canadian Newspaper) on the cover of the Showcase (entertainment) section was a picture of Kurt Cobain with flames around it, and the caption read 'It's better to burn out then to fade away? a ten year look back.' Inside there was a two-page spread. The article talked about Kurt Cobain and of course the recent biography. The article talked about the effect that Nevermind had on the world. Even going so far to say that it was because of Cobain that Bush (senior) wasn't going to get re-elected. More interesting though was the article on the last page. It was a sort of flashback article. It was the article the paper ran on April 9th 1994. It also showed pictures from the paper with the caption 'A Waste...But No surprise'. Later in the commentary part of the section (written today) was a brief commentary on the 'growing number of fans who believe he was murdered.'" Thanks to Scott Schill for this one.

    "In a recent edition of the paper Pulse there was some very different information regarding the boxset. It read as follows: 'Nirvana's label, Universal, says that two previously unreleased Nirvana tracks will be included on a new single CD best-of compilation scheduled for release in the lead-up to Christmas. It seems that Kurt Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, and the two surviving members of Nirvana have reached agreement over the release of the tracks, said to have been recorded in the last few weeks of Cobain's life. The inclusion of a third previously unreleased track is still under discussion but not yet signed, sealed and delivered.' " Thanks to Matt for this information. I don't believe this info is correct, but nevertheless, nothing can be ruled out. Let's hope for the best.

    "On the Norwegian website http://www.sone2.no/ there is a Nirvana competition running until October 1st. The question is who Kurt was married to, and the winner gets a package from Universal including all Nirvana albums. What surprised me, though, was that along with the usual albums pictured is the "Singles" box set and also the "Nevermind"/"Bleach" (or "Incesticide") plus t-shirt and card box." Thanks to Reidar.

    "Nirvana recently topped a poll of over 15000 people. For more information go here." Thanks to Feargal.


    - - - September 14, 2001 - - -

    Some interesting information; "a good friend of mine works for Universal Music Distribution in New York. She said according to her bosses, the [Nirvana] box set is postponed indefinitely. There was a rumour it would be out in time for Christmas holiday shopping, but she said it definitely will not be out by then either. She had no info as to what was in it, the artwork, packaging etc." Another source close to the project confirmed that the box was currently on hold and was pending an agreement between the various parties (most notably Courtney Love and Krist/Dave).

    The Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet put up a lengthy tribute to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the 'Nevermind' album. You may read it online here. Special thanks to Reidar for the link.

    From LAUNCH; "Former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic recently recalled one of the most memorable moments in the history of the MTV Video Music Awards. Back in 1992, Novoselic split his head open live on national cable TV after throwing his bass in the air and missing the catch. Novoselic told us, 'What happened was as my concentration was off. Before I walked on stage, I had a six pack of Budweiser. I mean, I kind of just shotgunned them, and I walked on stage. I was kind of shook up, too, because of some events that happened earlier with Guns N' Roses, but I threw the bass up in the air...Well, what happened was I was playing and my bass amp, I turned it on and it was just overdriven. It's like pile-driving. I'm, like, 'Oh god,' and I'm, like, 'There's how many million people watching this? We can't start over,' you know? Show biz--the show must go on. Then the amp just cuts out, starts crackling, and the amp's gone.' Novoselic continued, 'In the old Nirvana days, whenever we'd play bad shows we would just smash our gear and then everybody would get excited and then we'd walk off stage, and everybody would be, like, 'What a great show. Such an exciting finale,' but it was just real shtick. I've gotten real good at that. I've thrown my bass 30 feet in the air easily--really thrown it up there--and caught it every time, and just that one time I was off. I just wasn't feeling right.' Novoselic added that some good did come out of the incident: 'I just wasn't feeling right and it fell right on my head. It just kind of knocked me silly. I got up and walked off, and I was walking backstage and the security guard is like, 'Oh, my god. Here come with me.' I felt kind of dizzy and these paramedics came. I think like Boyz II Men or somebody like that was in the bathroom, and they're, like, 'Oh, my God.' I look in the mirror and my face is covered with blood. And then Brian May [of] Queen walks up with, like, a towel, and I'm just standing there drinking champagne with Brian May with an ice pack on my head. Yeah, we were talking.' " Courtesy of LAUNCH Media.

    'The Onion' put up an interesting review of the book "Heavier Than Heaven" which you can read here. Thanks to Chris for the link.

    Apparently Guitar World compiled a list of the 100 best guitar solos of all time. Nirvana made it to spot #26 with "Smells Like Teen Spirit". Thanks to Chris Valles.


    (Picture courtesy of The Channings)


    - - - September 13, 2001 - - -

    "'Grunge' which premieres on VH1 September 14th, 10/9c [is] a comprehensive look at the history of Grunge nearly 10 years ago which includes interviews with many of the most popular artists of the time with an in depth look at the life of Kurt Cobain. 'In September 1991, Nirvana released Nevermind, a landmark album that voiced the frustrations of a disillusioned generation and signaled the arrival of a major music scene. Now, a decade later, VH1 News and Spin magazine present Grunge, an in-depth look at the Seattle-born movement that transformed popular music and the major players who made it happen.' VH-1 WEBSITE INCLUDES:

  • Read and watch clips of our '94 talk with Kurt Cobain and check out new interviews with Mudhoney, The Melvins, and Kim Thayill.
  • Where Are They Now? Find out what happened to your favorite grunge icons.
  • Smells Like Essential. See our picks for the ten grunge records everyone should own.
  • Weekend Grungers. We expose the non-quite-grunge bands who cashed in on the trend.
  • Photo Flipbook. Check out images of grungers past and present.
  • Grunge Poll. What's the greatest grunge album?
  • Grunge Radio. Hear great grunge music on 'Dirt Radio'

    View the 'Grunge' special on VH-1's website here." Press release courtesy of Monica Lee.



    NME put up a feature on the "Nirvana Legacy" - a list of essential albums released over the past ten years. The artists mentioned include Deftones, Linkin Park, Rage Against The Machine, Smashing Pumpkins, Slipknot, Tool and others. They also have a Top 10 of the "10 Nirvana Tracks You Must Own". They are, according to NME, as follows: 1 Heart Shaped Box (In Utero), 2 Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nevermind), 3 Where Did You Sleep Last Night (Unplugged in New York), 4 In Bloom (Nevermind), 5 Molly's Lips (Incesticide), 6 Blew (Bleach), 7 Serve The Servants (In Utero), 8 Drain You (live) (From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah), 9 Pennyroyal Tea (Unplugged in New York), 10 Territorial Pissings (Nevermind). Check out the special here.

    As mentioned earlier, the new issue of the print version of NME (published today) would include an interesting interview with Courtney Love; " 'Kurt didn't have to die. He was systematically destroyed.' - Courtney Love. This week's NME features not one, but two world exclusives. The first is with Courtney Love, in which she discusses - for the first time ever - the truth behind the death of Kurt Cobain, the stiga of being the widow of a rock icon and her plans for the future. The second is with Suge Knight, the Godfather of gangasta rap. Fresh out of jail and with a point to prove, the most dangerous man in music talks about Dr Dre's sexuality, J-Lo's supposed porn film and why he believes Snoop Dogg is running scared." Courtesy of NME.

    Due to the tragic events in New York and Washington, D.C. on Tuesday - the NFC Discussion Board was closed for about a day. Only one thread was left open to discuss the terrible incident. This particular thread has currently received more than 1.200 messages. You may view it here and share your frustration. You can make donations to the Red Cross here.

    - - - September 10, 2001 - - -

    MTV put up a (slightly late) story on the new "Heavier Than Heaven" book; "With unprecedented access to the Nirvana frontman's unpublished journals, letters, drawings and home videos, author Charles R. Cross set out to construct the definitive biography of Cobain, and according to the singer's widow, Cross has come closer than anyone else. 'It's heavy,' Courtney Love said. 'I read it in one weekend, and I couldn't leave my house. Biographies always are someone else's projection, but it's the first one that's not nonsense. The facts are in there names, numbers, dates. ... It sets the standard.' - 'To me, the most interesting part of Kurt's personality is the difference between the inner and the outer man,' Cross said. 'This stuff about Kurt Cobain being an anti-corporate artist is complete and utter pooey. If you look at the choices in his life, at every single turn of events he went the route to more popularity. He signed a major label. He kept saying he wouldn't, but he did. He complained about making a video, complained about how much they played it, yet privately complained to his managers when they didn't play it enough.' Cobain, Cross claims, was obsessed with his own mythology and fabricated stories about his past, such as living under a bridge. - Cross said he gained access to Cobain's intimate material by winning the trust of the singer's family and friends. '[Love] felt that to understand him, I needed to read his inner thoughts,' he said. 'The diaries ... really changed this book dramatically because they gave me a place to have Kurt's voice.' " Story courtesy of Teri VanHorn and MTV. Check out the full story here.


    - - - September 9, 2001 - - -

    VH-1's website put up some info about their 'Grunge' special to be aired on September 13; "In September 1991, Nirvana released Nevermind, a landmark album that voiced the frustrations of a disillusioned generation and signaled the arrival of a major music scene. Now, a decade later, VH1 News and Spin magazine present Grunge, an in-depth look at the Seattle-born movement that transformed popular music and the major players who made it happen." On VH-1's website there is a poll entitled "What's the greatest grunge album?" and Nirvana's Nevermind is currently in the lead with 55%, followed by Pearl Jam's excellent album "Ten" with 37% of the votes, and Soundgarden's "Superunknown" album with just 8% of the votes. On the site you can also find a '94 Cobain interview, some 'grunge interviews', and similar features. Check it out here. The 'Grunge' special will be aired on VH-1 (in the US) at the following times: THU 9/13 at 1am ET, THU 9/13 at 1pm ET, THU 9/13 at 10pm ET, SAT 9/15 at 2:30pm ET, SAT 9/15 at 10:30pm ET, SAT 9/22 at 5pm ET.

    "I was watching Much Music the other day (Canadian version of MTV) and they just launched a side station called 'Much Loud' playing only rock music and they were showing the debut of it, and the very first song to be played on the station happened to be 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' by Nirvana." Thanks to 'Cobainela' and Kushmin for this one.


    - - - September 7 & 8, 2001 - - -

    "Throughout the Labor day weekend, the radio sation in my hometown 'The Rock 94.3' played the Top 500 Rock Songs of all time ... most of these were voted on by the fans ... just thought you would like to know how Nirvana did:

  • #2. Smells Like Teen Spirit
  • #40 Lithium
  • #141 Heart-Shaped Box
  • #165 All Apologies
  • #245 Come as you are
  • #397 The man who sold the world
  • #420 About a girl

    The #1 song was 'Stairway to heaven' by Led Zeppelin. If you want to see the complete list of the top 500 songs go to www.therock943.com and click on the top 500 songs link." Thanks to Richard Dezso for this one.

    Don't forget that Charles Cross, author of the new Kurt Cobain biography "Heavier Than Heaven", will be signing copies of his book and doing a reading at the 'Book Soup' store in Hollywood, CA today (Sept. 7) at 8 PM. The store is located at 8818 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90069. Check previous updates for the full schedule of his book tour. Thanks to Jen Ramos of Book Soup for this information.

    Yesterday, MTV had another of their entertaining MTV Video Music Award shows. This year's highlights included tributes to the late Aaliyah and Joey Ramone and a surprise appearance by Michael Jackson. There were also some funny moments such as Ben Stiller making fun of Sean Combs, a plastic toy dog talking about Jennifer Lopez' ass, U2's performance getting screwed up by a power problem, and more. Finally, the show included some nice live performances by Staind and Linkin Park as well as a saucy show-closer by a half-naked Britney Spears. The best part of the show, however, was the fact that Eminem and Gorillaz didn't win any awards. Thank god.

    "At rollingstone.com there's an article on Jennifer Aniston in the new movie 'Rock star'. She goes record shopping during the interview: Jennifer Aniston is record shopping because a) she lost her copy of Nevermind, but more important because b) we want her to talk about music. After all, she is now starring in Rock Star as the girlfriend-slash-manager of a Judas Priest-like metal god played by Mark Wahlberg. 'I'm totally musically ignorant,' Aniston notes. 'I'm going to humiliate myself.' " Thanks to Dave.

    "Asked about a fitting way for Kurt Cobain to be honored by his home town, the author of the new biography of the star crossed rocker said; 'Personally, if I was on the Aberdeen City Council, I'd name a bridge after him.' Charles Cross of Seattle was at the Aberdeen Timberland Library - a fitting place to debut 'Heavier Than Heaven'. To Cobain, the library was one part magic carpet, one part home. We saw him there often, scrunched in a corner. The best way to honor Kurt Cobain's memory is not by naming a bridge or a park after him or just erecting a statue. The best way is for the city of Aberdeen to establish and operate a youth center in a reborn Neutral Zone; a safe place where teens from all over the Harbor can go hear their music; play their music; hang out, maybe generate the next Nirvana with a happier ending. No drugs, no alcohol, no weapons except guitars and drum kits. One of Kurt's most evocative songs gives us the perfect slogan for the Kurt Cobain Youth Center: Come as you are." This was from the The Daily World, Aberdeen Washington, August 16. Thanks to Angie for passing it on.

    - - - September 5, 2001 - - -

    As mentioned before, there is a lengthy Nirvana feature in the September 13 issue of Rolling Stone magazine. As I only now had a chance to read through the mag myself, I thought I would go over the feature in more detail. Focusing on the 'Nevermind' album - having a 10 year anniversary later this month - the article is introduced with a re-creation of the legendary cover photo. The now 10-year old Spender Elden is pictured chasing after the infamous $10-bill once again, as he was when doing the photo shoot for the album's cover, some ten years ago. The article features interesting interviews with Krist Novoselic, Dave Grohl and Butch Vig. When asked how 'Nevermind' sounds to him today, Krist notes; "It's so strong. There are no weak moments in it. I don't ever skip over a song. Each song has something to say. We were well rehearsed - we went in and just knocked it out. It wasn't self-conscious. It poured out." Grohl talks about the much-debated song 'You Know You're Right' from the last recording session the band did; "It's pretty melodic. But it has probably the most feedback I've ever heard on a Nirvana track. With Nevermind, we wanted to capture the raw energy of the band but with optimum performance. In Utero was all about capturing the vibe on tape. This song is somewhere between the two - but stranger." He also talks a little about the session; "We had been touring America and we had this new song we had been fucking around with in sound checks. The first two days [in the studio], it was just Krist and me messing around. Kurt came in on the third day, and we did the song in one take. Then he sang three vocal tracks. That was it." Butch Vig, producer and engineer of 'Nevermind' also talked a little about some of Nirvana's rare outtakes following the question - There aren't many outtakes from the album: "Old Age", "Sappy", and something called "Song in D". Vig: "I wanted Kurt to finish the words to that one. It was like 'On a Plain' or 'About a Girl', this jangly arpeggio thing in the key of D. I thought I could turn it into another single. At the end, Kurt said he didn't want to finish it because it was too much like R.E.M. For "Sappy", he had some lyrics, but he wanted to change it. The band tried to record it on numerous occasions. It was one of those songs Kurt heard in his head, but they never got it right. But he kept taking a stab at it."

    Next, the article describes "Ten scenes from the year that catapulted Nirvana from underground punks to rock & roll kings" [1991]. The scenes are; " 'Nevermind' cover shoot"; " 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' video"; "Tower Records in-store performance"; 10/12/91 show in Chicago; 10/16/91 show in St. Louis; 10/19/91 show in Texas with the infamous battle; 10/30/91 show in Seattle; " 'Nevermind' goes platinum"; Saturday Night Live on 01/11/92 and finally the Rolling Stone cover shoot in January 1992. These events are described, using comments from those who were there. The final bit of the feature is an article on the best Nirvana bootlegs. The picks are as follows: 04/17/87 Olympia radio show; 1987-1988 home demos; 12/28/88 Seattle show; 11/22/89 Vienna show; BBC Radio Sessions 1989-1991; 08/17/90 Hollywood show (with Dale Crover on drums); 01/10/92 New York show for MTV; 08/30/92 Reading Festival in the UK; 10/23/93 show in Chicago, featuring the only live performance of "You Know You're Right" and finally the popular and highly bootlegged 02/22/94 show in Rome, Italy. The choices are perfect - and do indeed pretty much represent ten of the best Nirvana bootlegs. The article also mentions this site in the credits, which is quite flattering.

    In general, the whole feature is excellent and offers a wealth of interesting information - along with some great photos. Kudos to David Fricke and Rolling Stone for a very well done tribute to the 'Nevermind' album, and celebration of it's 10-year anniversary. On a sidenote, they are currently running a competition where you can win all of Nirvana's CDs. Check this scan for info. If you don't get a chance to buy a copy of the magazine, you can also read the Nirvana article here. Thanks to Jessica for the link.

    Don't forget to tune into MTV tomorrow evening at 8 PM Eastern for this year's MTV Video Music Awards show. The show will feature live performances from Alicia Keys, Linkin Park, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Staind and U2. Among the presenters are Christina Aguilera, Jon Bon Jovi, Destiny's Child, Janet Jackson, Mandy Moore, Ozzy Osbourne, Jessica Simpson, Will Smith, Gwen Stefani, Christopher Walken and many others. You can get more information, including a list of the nominees, at the MTV website.

    Another story about Courtney from NME; "COURTNEY LOVE has told NME.COM she is considering the possibility of an exhibition of KURT COBAIN's 'paintings and sculptures', as well as other writings, in LONDON. As previously reported on NME.COM, Love gave writer Charles R. Cross access to Kurt Cobain's personal diaries as part of his research for a new biography of the late Nirvana star, titled 'Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain'. The 28 handwritten notebooks are said to document his life from a teenager, through to his suicide in 1994. Now, in an exclusive interview to be published in next week's issue of NME (September 15), Love said that plans were in the pipeline for an exhibition of Cobain's non-musical work in London. She commented: 'I've spoken to someone in London about showing funny poetry, sick boy cartoons, beautiful prose and his paintings and sculptures which are amazing... There are just tons and tons of diaries. He was very prolific and a good, if not sometimes great, evocative writer.' " Story courtesy of NME.

    "Over Labor day weekend, LA's KROQ, arguably the biggest modern rock station in the US (maybe the world?) played the 300 biggest songs of the 90's as voted by its listeners via its website. Just thought I'd let you know where Nirvana stood in all of that. Here goes:

  • #273- Polly (Unplugged)
  • #243- Verse Chorus Verse / Sappy
  • #204- The Man Who Sold the World (Unplugged)
  • #171- Dumb
  • #158- About a Girl (Unplugged)
  • #141- Rape Me
  • #114- All Apologies
  • #69- In Bloom
  • #56- Heart- Shaped Box
  • #23- Lithium
  • #8- Come As You Are
  • #1- Smells Like Teen Spirit

    With 12 songs, Nirvana had the most by far." Thanks to Bob Meinke for this story. It's nice to see that, even today, Nirvana goes to number one when people are asked to name their fav songs of the 90s. And this time around, the chart was compiled by one of the biggest radio stations in the world.

    The Norwegian 'Nettavisen' published an article about the "Heavier Than Heaven" book. You can read it here. Many, many newspapers around the world - including the Danish Berlingske Tidende and Extra Bladet - have done reviews of the book recently. Thanks to Reidar for the link.

    - - - September 4, 2001 - - -

    An interesting story from NME; "COURTNEY LOVE has given a world exclusive interview to NME about the legacy of her late husband KURT COBAIN, following the publication of extracts from the NIRVANA songwriter's diaries. Courtney spoke to NME following publication of 'Heavier Than Heaven', a new biography of Cobain which includes previously unpublished entries from his diaries. Courtney granted the biographer, Charles R Cross, access to Kurt's diaries most of which she has in her possession. With the tenth anniversary of Nirvana's landmark album 'Nevermind' due later this month, Courtney agreed to talk to NME about her reasons for allowing Cross access to the diaries, her own memories of the period and her future in music. The full interview will appear in next week's edition of NME (September 11)." Story courtesy of NME.


    - - - September 1, 2001 - - -

    Today we enter the month where the fabled Nirvana box set was initially planned to be released. The September 2001 release date, marking the 10th anniversary of the 'Nevermind' album, was first spread in early 2000. Eventually, several official sources - including Krist and Dave - backed it up. The rumors of a planned box-set started spreading sometime in '98, and for a long time September 24 2001 seemed to be the date where it would finally be released. Apparently, later it was changed to October 23. Unfortunately, neither of these dates are likely to mark the release of the box, as it was stopped by a injunction that Courtney Love launched earlier this year. "Love claims that a preliminary injunction was necessary to protect her legal rights and an immediate infringement upon them with the release of the box set." So, the matter is currently stuck in the legal system, and unless the parties settle things soon, a release this year is quite unlikely. Time will tell what happens ...

    In the August 28 issue of the British NME magazine there are a couple of articles on Nirvana. One goes over the same stuff as a recent CNN article; mostly focusing on the HTH book and the fact that the author got access to Kurt's journals. It also mentions the discovery of a recording of Nirvana's first show. The issue of NME also includes a comment from Jason Wade, vocalist of the band Lifehouse, talking about how much Cobain influenced him. Apart from NME, recent issues of the British Q and Mojo magazines also include articles on Nirvana. Thanks to Mic Wright.

    "The Channel ABC's (Australian TV) music program, Rage, will be screening all of Nirvana's video clips from approximately 3:00 am to 3:45 am on Sunday the 2nd of September. You can view Rage's online play list here." Thanks to Chris McCubbin.

    "I am a fan of the band Harlow. They were on the Bands on the Run thing and on the last episode when all members reunited to announce the winner, Pat Smear (everybody's buddy!) accompanied them. Harlow just finished recording their debut album 'Harlowland', and Pat Smear produced it!" This was also mentioned in a recent Harlow newsletter. Thanks to Matt for the news on Nirvana's former 2nd guitarist.

    "Courtney Love and Don Henley are putting their voices together, but it's not for song, it is for artist rights. Love and Henley will testify before a California Senate Committee on Sept 5 at a hearing to discuss the release of artists from long-term contracts. A 56 year old Californian law states that artists cannot be held under a contract for longer than 7 years, but an industry amendment passed in 1987 makes artists still liable for any albums not produced under the terms of the contract after the 7 year period expires. Kevin Murray, a former music agent and now State Senator will be chairing the hearing and admits he is not sure the current law is even good for the record industry." Full story. Thanks to Steve Harries for the link.

    A new Nirvana site recently opened, offering some interesting multimedia files. Most of all, these include Nirvana's music videos and live clips. These movie files can be difficult to find elsewhere. Check out the site here.

    New Yorker magazine also did a review of the new Cobain book that you can read here. Thanks to Maria for the link.

    The unsorted pictures section was updated with some great photos from a recent trip to Seattle and Aberdeen. They include brand new pictures of the home where Kurt Cobain lived in his final days, and the small park next to it. Check out the pictures here. Special thanks to tbe beautiful Maria for these.



    The Montreal Gazette and Ottawa Citizen newspapers recently ran an interesting story about the battle between Courtney Love and Nirvana's remaining members over rights to Nirvana's music. The article includes comments from a member of The Clash. Check out a transcript of it here. Special thanks to Alex Vance. Article courtesy of Mark Lepage and the Gazette.



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