Late last year, someone attempted to sue guitar tech Earnie Bailey for allegedly falsely
representing a left-handed Fender Stratocaster guitar as Kurt Cobain's. The story
hit the media when Canadian Press published an article about the lawsuit on Dec. 31
2003: "Phil Gross, a resident of North Vancouver, traded his own
six-string Gibson electric guitar for the guitar, believing it was used by Cobain in
one of his band Nirvana's last concert tours before Cobain's 1994 suicide. His plans
hit a sour note when a famous British rock-collectibles auction house found out the
claim was false. Gross is suing Bailey for negligence and wants special and punitive
damages. The suit alleges a conspiracy to defraud." Here is Earnie Bailey's
response to the claims presented in the story that ran in the press (quoted above):
"While I am choosing to fight these false and misleading allegations in the courts rather than in the press, there are many people in the Northwest and the Nirvana community who know the details behind why I contacted a UK auction house last year to notify them about a guitar I felt was being inaccurately represented as being used by Kurt Cobain. At no time did I ever sell or trade a guitar to a 'business man' named Philip Gross, nor have I ever had any meeting with him outside a single phone conversation prior to the auction listing in which I told him I did not believe him to be in possession of a guitar owned by Cobain. Mr. Gross informed me that he had obtained the guitar from Danny Mangold. I informed Mr. Gross that I had never sold, traded, or consigned to Mr. Mangold such a guitar as Mr. Gross described.
While Mr. Gross did not inform me in our conversation, I have since learned that Mr. Gross and Mr. Mangold have been in a legal battle filed in Snohomish County Superior court and Federal Bankruptcy court wherein Mr. Gross alleges fraudulent equipment trades and other misrepresentations by Mr. Mangold. Accordingly, I am somewhat surprised that Mr. Gross would have initiated the auction in question based upon authentication provided by Mr. Mangold.
I have in the past actively spoken out against individuals attempting to falsely market instruments allegedly owned by Kurt, and have offered my support to those in possession of instruments I believe to be legitimate based on my firsthand experience of maintaining and modifying Mr. Cobain's guitars."
- Earnest Bailey, January 27th 2004.
Earnie Bailey was Nirvana's guitar tech from 1992 to 1994. He also worked with The Foo Fighters for several years and a number of other respected artists. In the some five years I've known him personally, he has struck me as being an incredibly honest and kind man. He has provided the Nirvana fan community with countless invaluable facts and details from his time with the band. For some more insight into this remarkable man, check NFC's interview here.
This website is mentioned in the latest issue of the legendary Rolling Stone Magazine.
Issue #941 (February 5, 2004) with Howard Dean on the cover features a news story about
the fact that nirvanaclub.com has the first ever Nirvana concert available for download,
as the 2003 NFC X-Mas Present. The article, by Heavier Than Heaven author Charles
R. Cross, even includes a comment from the person that taped the show back in 1987:
"Though Cobain, 20, often forgot lyrics, he did make an impression on the crowd. 'When they
got done with the first song, we were like, What was that?' says Jeff Franks who taped the
show. 'It was different' " The article also features a previously unpublished photograph
shot at the event. A huge thanks to Rolling Stone for giving props to the website, even
though I can't take credit for making this show available (which it has been for some 6
years in the community), and many others have put it online before me. Anyhow, it's great
to see that Nirvana can still create quite a buzz and that there's still such a huge interest
in the band. Rolling Stone followers a number of other media sources that have reported the
story, including NBC & MTV and radio stations such as K-Rock in New York, Total Rock & WBCN.
A copy of Nirvana's hard-to-find limited edition first single for Love Buzz was recently put on eBay: "This copy belongs to the original (Chad Channing) drummer's parents. It comes with a Certificate of Authenticity from his dad. Also included with this record is an original copy of the SUBPOP Nirvana promo pic. It will be personally autographed to the winning bidder by Chad with your choice of inscription, within reason." Quite interesting indeed! This single is #23 out of the 1,000 that were produced. It comes in a plain white sleeve. View the auction here. It ends on February 1st and the current high bid is $202.50. Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Channing for info.
City Pages put up an interesting article about Pachyderm Record Studio, the place where Nirvana recorded their final studio album, In Utero. The article features an interview with the owner of the studio. Read it here.
MTV2 had a "World's Best 22 Bands" special recently and none other than Nirvana landed on the #1 spot. Metallica were #2 and Guns N' Roses #3. Not a bad Top 3! The list was based on votes from the viewers. Thanks to Tom for the news.
BBC Radio 1's Lamacq Live is launching an awesome Nirvana competition this Monday (19th January).
To mark the anniversary of Kurt's death, they're making a special feature about why Kurt Cobain
was and is such an important artist and to find out the reasons his fans today still feel such a
strong connection - and it's a programme that one young fan is going to get to present! Win the
competition and you'll be going with Radio 1 to Seattle. Amongst lots of Nirvana related things,
the winner will be meeting and interviewing people who knew and worked with Kurt, hanging out at
the venue where Nirvana played their first gigs, and visiting the memorial spot where thousands
of fans still pay their respects. If you want to enter, listen to Lamacq Live this Monday to find
out what to do (19/1/04 From 8pm on BBC Radio 1, 97-99FM) Good Luck! Note: this competition
is for the UK only! Thanks to Lyndon for the information. Make sure to mention the NFC if you enter!
On Thursday the 19th of February, six bands will be performing Nirvana's In Utero album live! The event takes place at C-Note on 157 Avenue C & 10th Street in New York City. It begins at 7.00 PM and admission is just $5 USD. The bands each play covers of two songs off the album. They are: Aaron Seven, Double Deuce, The Leader, Rachel Lipson, so l'il and The Leader. For further info you can call this number: 212-842-BOOG (2664). Alternatively, you can send an e-mail to the editor. Thanks to David for the news.
"The owner of a Baja Fresh restaurant franchise in Austin, Texas, has decided against demolishing a wall painted with a popular mural by local artist Daniel Johnston. Why does anyone care? Both the artist and the mural, titled 'The Frog', were a favorite of late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, who once wore a T-shirt bearing a picture of the mural (hihowareyou.com). After protests by numerous locals, the restaurant owner, John Oudt, decided to stop the wall's demolition." Thanks to MTV News and other sources for the story. Thanks to Tom Mullen and others for the link.
I must apologize for the instability that you may have experienced over
the past week or so. The server has had a boost in visitors following the
popularity of this year's NFC Christmas Present - a recording of Nirvana's
first ever live show. Over the past couple of days, a large number of media
outlets have been reporting the story and talked about the show being
available for download here. These include MTV, Channel 4 in the UK, Premiere
Radio Networks, the brilliant Total Rock (www.totalrock.com),
Wolf 101.5 FM, 101.7 WFNX, WBCN 95.5 Providence, RI, Sporting News Radio, K-Rock in New York, XM Radio,
Mexico's Orbita 105.7 FM, 94.7 The Zone in Chicago, 99.3 The Fox in Vancouver, B.C. and a handful of other radio stations
around the world. A huge thanks to these for mentioning the website and telling their
viewers/listeners about the present. In fact, Total Rock even played a song from
the show (the 'Heartbreaker' cover) on the air during Monday afternoon and noted
that the whole thing was "very, very fascinating indeed" and a "historic recording".
Hopefully the server will be able to handle the extra bandwidth -- currently this website alone (nirvanaclub.com) is handling some 15,000 unique visitors per day! Since this show was only supposed to be available over the holidays, make sure you get it fast as it will be removed shortly.
Some news I didn't get around to posting earlier: "A judge has ruled that the bass player for the rock band Meat Puppets, who has been charged with assault, is a flight risk and a danger to others and must remain in custody. U.S. Magistrate Judge Virginia Mathis also ruled Wednesday that there is enough evidence to try Cris Kirkwood, 43, in connection with a December 26 incident at a Phoenix post office, said Harriet Bernick, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office. Kirkwood is accused of hitting a federal post office security guard in the head with a baton that the musician took from the guard during a struggle. According to court documents, the guard then shot Kirkwood in the back. The incident began over a dispute about parking with another customer. Kirkwood has been charged with one count of assault with a dangerous weapon at a federal facility. Kirkwood was released from a Phoenix hospital on December 30 and was subsequently arrested. Kirkwood and his brother Curt fronted the Meat Puppets, who had several hit records in the 1980s and 90s. They were cited as an influence for bands such as Nirvana and earned a gold record in 1994 for 'Too High to Die.' " Story courtesy of CNN and The Associated Press. Thanks to Tim and others.
Dave Grohl is on the cover of the February 2004 issue of Guitar World. Inside, he talks about his metal roots - even present in his days with Nirvana. "[Krist] Novoselic and I actually talked about having Sepultura open for us." Not sure if he was kidding on this one, but nevertheless interesting! Grohl's heavy-metal project Probot will see an album release in February. Read more about Probot here.
Today's final in the 'World Idol' contest was won by Kurt Nilsen from Norway,
while Peter Evrard from Belgium got the third place with his cover of Nirvana's
Nevermind classic, "Lithium". The second place went to Kelly Clarkson who
won the popular 'American Idol' show in the US. Peter Evrard won the Belgish
edition of the Idols show and was thereby able to participate in today's final.