the happening: original nirvana faq
Originally compiled by Jeff McRae. Updated by Mike Ziegler.

Copyright © 1999 by Mike Ziegler. All rights reserved.
1999, 1998 by David Perle.
1996, 1995, 1994 by Jeff McRae.

History of FAQ:
v1.0 Mar '94 - The original, only took a few hours to write. v1.1 Apr '94 - Added some small bits of info & Incesticide info. v2.0 Apr '94 - Added Kurt's death and a few others... v3.0 Jun '94 - A few minor changes. v3.1 Jul '94 - Added Kurt vs. Axl and Vanity Fair stuff. v3.2 Aug '94 - Removed suicide note, added demo list. v3.3 Nov '94 - Added a few minor things. v4.0 Jan '95 - Same major changes, including text of suicide note. v4.1 Feb '95 - Split the FAQ into 3 parts and an index. v4.2 May '95 - Added the Fecal Matter demo info. v4.3 Jan '96 - Added the In Utero Symbols. v5.0 Dec '96 - Major facelift. Changed things around a bit. v6.0 Jun '98 - FAQ changes hands to David Perle. Major facelift w/rearrangements & updates, HTML'ized it. Added questions from the Alt.Music.Nirvana FAQ and Fecal Matter section from the newsgroup. The new era begins... v6.1 Jun '98 - Fixed some mistakes. v7.0 Sept'99 - FAQ passed over to Mike Ziegler. Cleaned up the whole FAQ and added some new information. v7.1 Nov '99 - Added various new info and more cleaning up.

Without these people, this FAQ couldn't have happened:
Jeff McRae / Rick Scaia / Art Lee / Alex Lum / Liz Ellison / John Loughney / Jonas Blank / Leo P Cailleteau III / Michael Azerrad / Everyone who supported, and everyone else who I might have missed.
Extra Special thanks go out to: Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl.

Please note that this document is to serve only as an overview of the band Nirvana. For a much more comprehensive text well worth its cost, please be sure to pick up "Come As You Are, The Story of Nirvana," by Michael Azerrad. You won't regret it!

Table of Contents


I. The Band, Basic Info

II. Frequently Asked Questions and Trivia
    A. Trivia
    B. Frequently Asked Questions
    C. Bootlegs, bootlegs, bootlegs
III. Album & Song Info
    A. Album list and song interpretations (where applicable)
      1. Bleach
      2. Nevermind
      3. Incesticide
      4. In Utero
      5. MTV's Unplugged In New York
      6. From The Muddy Banks Of The Wishkah
    B. Singles, EPs, Videos, and compilation appearances
      1. Singles
      2. EPs
      3. Videos
      4. Compilation appearances
    C. Information on some older, non-studio demos
      1. Fecal Matter
      2. "Mellow 4-track shit"
      3. "4 quirky song demo"
    D. Unused studio tracks
    E. What's next?
IV. TV and Radio Appearances

V. Miscellaneous

    A. Krist's Internet posts
    B. Mini-Book Reviews
    C. Early Nirvana biography
    D. Kurts Cobain's designed Fender Jag-Stang
    E. Dave Grohl's top 10 drummer jokes
    F. 1992 Australian tour info
    G. FAQ Of "Perfume" - Kurt Cobain's Favorite Book
    H. Nirvana album linear notes
      1. Nevermind
      2. Hormoaning
      3. Incesticide
      4. From the Muddy Banks of Wishkah
    X. Full text of Kurt Cobain's suicide note
VI. How to get in contact with me

Part One

I. The Band

    A.1 - How it all began -

    The core of Nirvana formed when Kurt Cobain met Krist (then Chris) Novoselic through the punk band 'The Melvins'. Since then, they have gone through many different drummers and different names. The name "Nirvana" means 'absolute and total bliss,' 'Buddhist beatitude, extinction of individuality & absorption into the supreme spirit.

    A.2 - Who they were, and where are they now -

    (an '*' before the name indicates the bands final line up)

Band Name        Who was in it/what did he play     Where now?
=========        ==============================     ==========
Fecal Matter     Kurt Cobain     - Guitar/Vocals
                 Dale Crover     - Bass Guitar
                 Greg Hokanson   - Drums
                 Mike Dillard    - Drums

Brown Cow        Buzz Osbourne   - Bass Guitar      The Melvins
                 Dale Crover     - Drums            The Melvins
                 Kurt Cobain     - Guitar/Vocals

Stiff Woodies    Krist           - Vocals/Guitar/Bass
                 Kurt            - Drums

The Sellouts     Steve Newman    - Bass Guitar      (lost fingers in
                                                     chainsaw accident)
                 Kurt Cobain     - Drums
                 Krist           - Guitar/Vocals

???????          Kurt            - Guitar/Vocals
                 Krist           - Bass Guitar
                 Bob McFadden    - Drums   

Skid Row         Aaron Burckhard - Drums                  
                 Kurt            - Guitar	    	
                 Krist           - Bass Guitar    
Bliss            Aaron Burckhard - Drums                  
                 Kurt            - Guitar	    	
                 Krist           - Bass Guitar    

Throat Oyster    Aaron Burckhard - Drums                  
                 Kurt            - Guitar	    	
                 Krist           - Bass Guitar    

Pen Cap Chew     Aaron Burckhard - Drums                  
                 Kurt            - Guitar	    	
                 Krist           - Bass Guitar    

Windowpane       Aaron Burckhard - Drums                  
                 Kurt            - Guitar	    	
                 Krist           - Bass Guitar  

Ted Ed Fred (1)  Kurt            - Guitar/Vocals
                 Krist           - Bass Guitar
                 Chad Channing   - Drums  

Ted Ed Fred (2)  Kurt            - Guitar/Vocals
                 Krist           - Bass Guitar
                 Dale Crover     - Drums

Nirvana         *Kurt Cobain     - Guitar Vocals    Died: 1st week of 4/94
                *Krist Novoselic - Bass             Band - Sweet 75
                 Aaron Burckhard - Drums            Band - Attica
                 Dave Foster     - Drums            Band - Papawheelie
                 Chad Channing   - Drums            Band - The Methodists, T.V.I.V.
                 Jason Everman   - Guitar           Band - Mindfunk
                 Danny Peters    - Drums            Band - Mudhoney
                *Dave Grohl      - Drums            Band - Foo Fighters
                 John Duncan     - Guitar           Band - The Exploited
                *Pat Smear       - Guitar    	    Band - ???

    A.3 - Current Sketch -

    As of right now, there is no more Nirvana; Kurt Cobain died on or around 4/5/94 at his home in Seattle, WA (171 Lake Washington Blvd. East). Dave Grohl started the band Foo Fighters which also included Pat Smear for a while (1995-1997), and Krist Novoselic is in a band called Sweet 75. Krist has also been involved in fighting for artists' rights, and is currently the president of Joint Artist & Music Promotions Action Committee, (JAMPAC).

    B - Important dates in Nirvana history:

    08-05-59 Pat Smear is born (as George Ruthenburg)
    07-09-64 Courtney Love is born (as Love Michelle Harrison)
    05-16-65 Krist Anthony Novoselic born to Krist and Maria Novoselic
    01-31-67 Chad Channing born to Wayne and Burnyce Channing
    02-20-67 Kurt Donald Cobain born to Wendy and Donald Cobain
    01-14-69 David Eric Grohl born to James and Virginia Grohl
    ??-??-75 Kurt's parents divorce, Kurt lives with mother
    02-??-78 Kurt's father remarries
    ??-??-79 Krist's family moves to Aberdeen
    06-??-80 Krist sent to Croatia for a year to live with relatives
    02-20-81 Kurt gets his first guitar
    ??-??-81 While working at Taco Bell, Krist meets Buzz Osbourne
    ??-??-82 Kurt and Krist finally meet thru Buzz Osbourne
    ??-??-83 Krist graduates from high school
    05-??-84 Kurt's mother remarries to Pat O'Connor
    05-11-85 Kurt drops out of high school
    ??-??-86 Krist and Kurt form various bands, they change band names often
    01-23-88 Nirvana records demo with Dale Crover
    04-24-88 Nirvana plays their first show in Seattle at the Vogue
    10-30-88 Kurt smashes his first guitar
    11-??-88 First single: Love Buzz/Big Cheese released
    02-xx-89 First west coast tour
    04-11-89 Kurt and Courtney meet for the first time at the Satyricon in Portland
    06-09-89 Bleach released
    06-22-89 The tour for Bleach begins in San Francisco
    07-18-89 Last show with Jason Everman
    09-xx-89 Make up tour dates due to the loss of Jason
    10-xx-89 Blew EP recorded at Music Source Studios in Seattle
    10-23-89 Nirvana plays first European show, Newcastle, England
    12-30-89 Krist and Shelli get married in Tacoma, WA
    02-xx-90 Nirvana begins another short US tour
    05-??-90 Chad Channing is kicked out of the group
    07-11-90 Sliver single recorded with Dan Peters with TAD's equipment
    09-??-90 Sliver/Dive single released on Sub-Pop
    09-22-90 Dan Peters only show with Nirvana
    10-11-90 Dave Grohl's first show with Nirvana
    04-17-91 Nirvana first plays Smells Like Teen Spirit
    04-30-91 Nirvana formally signs with Geffen Records
    06-??-91 Begin recording Nevermind with Butch Vig
    08-17-91 The video for Smells Like Teen Spirit is made
    08-xx-91 2 week European tour with Sonic Youth
    09-13-91 Release party for Nevermind
    09-14-91 MTV debuts Smells Like Teen Spirit on 120 minutes
    09-20-91 North American tour for Nevermind begins in Toronto
    09-24-91 Nevermind is released, debuted at #144 on Billboard
    10-12-91 Nevermind goes Gold
    10-14-91 Smells Like Teen Spirit in Buzz Bin rotation on daytime MTV
    11-04-91 European tour for Nevermind begins in Bristol England
    12-10-91 Soundscan reports Nevermind selling 300,000 per week
    12-xx-91 Short US tour with Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chilli Peppers
    01-07-92 Nirvana turns down Guns & Roses tour invitation
    01-10-92 Nirvana plays MTV studios
    01-11-92 Nirvana plays Saturday Night Live, Nevermind hits #1
    01-21-92 The video for Come As You Are is made
    01-??-92 Hormoaning released in Australia and Japan
    01-24-92 Nirvana begins a Pacific rim tour.
    02-24-92 Kurt Cobain marries Courtney Love in Waikiki, Hawaii
    06-xx-92 2 week European make-up tour
    06-22-92 Kurt collapses in Belfast due to stomach problems
    07-21-92 Lithium single released with Nevermind album lyrics inside
    08-18-92 Frances Bean Cobain is born at 7:45
    08-30-92 Nirvana headlines Reading Festival
    09-08-92 Nirvana plays Lithium at MTV music awards, wins 2 awards
    11-??-92 In Bloom Video premieres on MTV
    12-15-92 Incesticide released
    03-xx-93 Video for Sliver is shot
    03-xx-93 In Utero recorded in 2 weeks
    05-??-93 Sliver
    07-23-93 Nirvana plays surprise show at New Music Seminar in NYC
    08-06-93 Nirvana plays Mia Zapata Benefit for former lead singer of The Gits
    09-08-93 Nirvana wins Best Alternative Video award at MTV Video awards
    09-??-93 Pat Smear joins Nirvana
    09-14-93 In Utero released in UK
    09-19-93 Heart Shaped Box video premieres on MTV
    09-21-93 After a week delay, In Utero released in US
    09-25-93 Nirvana plays Saturday Night Live for a second time
    10-18-93 Nirvana begins US tour supporting In Utero
    11-18-93 Nirvana records Unplugged session for MTV
    12-12-93 All Apologies video premieres on MTV
    12-13-93 MTV's Live and Loud is recorded
    12-16-93 Nirvana Unplugged airs on MTV
    12-31-93 MTV's New Years Eve special airs, Nirvana headlines
    02-06-94 Nirvana begins European Tour
    03-01-94 The Final Nirvana show is played in Munich, Germany
    03-04-94 Kurt Cobain is hospitalized comatose
    03-05-94 Kurt awakens from coma, asks for milkshake
    03-08-94 Kurt leaves hospital under his own power
    04-05-94 Kurt died from apparently self-inflicted gunshot to the head.
    04-07-94 is created
    04-08-94 The body of Kurt Cobain is found
    04-10-94 Memorial Service held in Seattle, Courtney reads from suicide note
    09-08-94 Nirvana wins Best Alternative Video for Heart-Shaped Box
    11-01-94 Nirvana: Unplugged in New York is released in the US
    11-15-94 Nirvana: Live! Tonight! Sold Out! is released in US
    07-04-95 Dave Grohl's Foo Fighter's Album released
    10-01-96 From the Muddy Banks Of The Wishkah released
    05-20-97 Dave Grohl's Foo Fighter's 2nd album is released
    08-26-97 Krist Novoselic's band Sweet 75 releases their self titled debut album

    C - Kurt's first poem -

    "I hate mom. I hate dad. Dad hates mom. Mom hates dad. It simply makes you want to be so sad."

II. Frequently Asked Questions and Trivia

    A. - Trivia

    • Courtney was married in an old dress of Frances Farmer's.

    • "Breed" was originally called "Imodium," based on the medicine that the lead singer of Tad used on one of their European tours.

    • "Stay Away" was originally called "Pay To Play" and was recorded as that. A last minute change of taste caused the change.

    • 'In Utero' went through 2 name changes. It was originally to be called "I Hate Myself And Want To Die' and then later "Verse, Chorus, Verse."

    • The morning of the New Music Seminar 7/23/93, Kurt OD'd on heroin; Courtney injected him with an illegal drug used to wake people who've OD'd on heroin. He went on-stage and performed. No one knew the difference.

    • The rights for "Never Fade Away: The Kurt Cobain Story" were sold to Paradigm Talent, who plan to make a movie. Cobain's family prevented Azerrad from selling the rights to his stunning authorized biography "Come As You Are: The Story Of Nirvana."

    • Some of Kurt's early jobs before becoming a full time musician included being a janitor of his old school for eight months and being a lifeguard for a summer. His other main hobbies included his artwork, and reading.

    • If Nirvana had stuck with the Sub-Pop label as originally planned; for their second album it would have been titled "Sheep." Kurt said so in the circulated "The Bark Not The Bite" interview. Krist brings up in "Nevermind - It's An Interview," that it basically would have consisted of the Butch Vig demos with a few other songs.

    • Chad Channing is actually the one who plays the cymbal parts on the Nevermind version of "Polly." He is not credited on the album, because there really is no percussion part to the song. It was recorded in the earlier Vig sessions, and not when Nevermind was formally recorded.

    • Nirvana will be eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014. The way it works is that you become eligible 25 years after your first album release. And Nirvana's first album 'Bleach' was released in 1989.

    • There are two lines in the Nevermind liner notes that are not lyrics on the album:
        1) "The second coming came in last and out of the closet"
        2) "At the end of the rainbow and your rope"

    • Thanks to Kurt's Uncle by marriage, Larry Smith:
      I wanted you all to know that Kurt used to tell my sister that he was "forever in debt to your priceless advice" when they were bitching at each other. It used to just piss her off royally when he said that. When me and Debbie (my wife) first heard those words set to music, I just got goosebumps. I discussed the meaning with her, and she would tell me that she was "forever in debt to my priceless advice" just to be smart-aleck! :-) Let me tell you that my wife certainly loved Kurt, and especially what he stood for. She was a huge fan. She was really hit hard by his death, as I know so many of you were. She was in the hospital a couple of months ago, and on some pretty heavy medication. She was really grieving for Kurt and the whole damn situation when she was "out of it." It was hard to see her like that.

      Does anyone know of the origin of that phrase (priceless advice...) other than what I know, I mean from the musical standpoint? I would be interested to hear. Let me also tell you that Don and Jen had a dog named Blackie that used to wear an e-collar (that plastic thing that keeps them from taking out stitches or whatever from their hind quarters). The dog in the video (CAYA) looks so eerily like Blackie. Also, I will relate to you about what I feel is significant about the water coming down the stairs. Made me just cringe (still does). You know, there are a significant number of people in my age bracket who just still love Nirvana...I know, hard to believe. Will write more soon. Listening to Lithium at this moment. Gives me chills down my spine when I hear Kurt's voice. It's all so weird, and so damn sad. You know, my lower lip still trembles...young Kurt was so unbelievably idealistic and so far ahead of his time...

    • There are Muzak (elevator music) versions of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Negative Creep" on a CD titled "Grunge Lite" (CZ 064).

    B. - Frequently Asked Questions

    • Where can I find a complete listing of Nirvana songs?
      The best place is to go to John Loughney's "
      Recording Sessions Guide." John does a good job of keeping everything updated with alternate song titles and other various information, as well as extensive recording sessions information.

    • Were there any other bands called "Nirvana?"
      Two other bands have been called "Nirvana."
      The first had a minor hit in the late 60s titled "Chasing Rainbows." They released several albums, one titled "The Story of Simon Simeopath." The other is a Christian-Rock band from the early 80s. They attempted to sue our Nirvana for stealing their name. In early '92, the Christian Nirvana played a show in California and it was attended by many angry fans expecting our Nirvana to play. Nirvana had to settle the lawsuits, paying out $200,000 to the 60's band, and $100,000 to the Christian band.

    • Was Frances Bean named after Frances Farmer? What's the deal with "Bean"?
      Frances was not named after Frances Farmer, but after a member of the Vaselines, Frances McKee. Kurt said he'd wished he'd thought of naming her after Farmer. Frances' middle name comes from the shape she appeared in a sonogram (bean). A picture of the sonogram appears within the "Lithium" single.

    • Where did the title for "Smells Like Teen Spirit" come from? The deodorant?
      One day Kurt and a friend were having a discussion about teenage revolution, they later got drunk and his friend wrote on the wall 'Kurt smells like teen spirit.' Kurt was inspired, he thought she meant he would be the type of person who could incite a teen rebellion. He went and wrote the song. She thought that he just smelled like the deodorant. Kurt hadn't heard of the deodorant at the time, and he claimed to have rarely used it himself.

    • Hey, I was watching the "Teen Spirit" video the other day and I noticed "Chaka" written all over Dave's drum kit -- what's the deal with that?
      Apparently there was some infamous graffiti artist in L.A. who tagged everything as "Chaka," and after he was caught and sentenced with community service, he was told not to tag anything else. However, supposedly after he left the building, they checked the elevator to discover that he had in fact written "Chaka" inside.

    • What is "Endless, Nameless"?
      "Endless, Nameless" is a hidden song on the Nevermind album. It is hidden, and not mentioned on the CD anywhere. It appears approximately 10 minutes after the end of the 12th song, "Something In The Way," on certain copies of the CD. If your CD player stops right after "Something In the Way," you do not have a copy with "Endless, Nameless." The first 50,000 CDs pressed lack the track. The song is also available on the "Come As You Are" single, as a b-side, but it is a slightly different version.

    • I have Nevermind w/o "Endless, Nameless." Is it worth anything special?
      No. Unless you have one of the first 50,000 (chances are you don't), you just have a regular copy of Nevermind. Some came with, some without, "Endless, Nameless." It all depended on where the discs were made, were they were going, and when they were made.

    • What's all this talk about a secret song on some "No Alternative" compilation?
      There is an uncredited Nirvana song on the 1993 compilation "No Alternative," an AIDS benefit album. The song is called "Sappy." It is a very old Nirvana song and was recorded numerous times over the years. This version almost finally appeared on In Utero.

    • Where is Kurt Cobain buried?
      Kurt Cobain's body was cremated; the remains are not yet buried in any public place, if they even ever will be. Courtney has supposedly spread small parts of the ashes in many places such as a Buddhist monastery, which was later returned, and under a tree in the front yard of their Lake Washington home in Seattle, WA that was pulled up when Courtney and Frances moved from the home.

    • Where can I find Kurt's suicide note?
      You can find it at the end of this FAQ. Scans of the actual note are abundant on Nirvana fan sites.

    • Who is the baby on the Nevermind cover?
      That is Spencer Eldon. Kurt got the idea for the cover when Dave and him were watching a documentary on underwater births. Kurt and Courtney once commented that they were going to take him out to dinner when he was old enough. His family reportedly made $200 for the picture.

    • Who is that woman (?) on the In Utero CD?
      That is not a woman at all, but Michael Dewitt (aka "Cali") in drag; he was Kurt & Courtney's nanny for Frances during that time. It was said at one time that he had a striking resemblence to Kurt because Cali had long blonde hair as well.

    • Is "Rape Me" about poetic justice for a rapist, or is it about the media?
      Kurt always insisted that it wasn't aimed at the media, but one line of the song is directed toward the Vanity Fair article and it's author, Lynn Hirschberg: My favorite inside source. Hirschberg claimed to have gotten the info that Courtney did heroin the whole time of her pregnancy from 'an inside source'. The song itself, written in 1991, is a song of justice (as Kurt put it): A guy rapes a girl, goes to prison, and is raped there by other prison inmates.

    • Is there actually a released single for "Pennyroyal Tea?"
      Yes. The "Pennyroyal Tea" single contains three tracks: Scott Litt's remix of the title track, which contains louder backing vocals and more guitar at the coda, as well as "I Hate Myself And Want To Die" and "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" (the latter being from Unplugged). This was released to coincide with Nirvana's European tour, but circumstances ultimately canceled the tour and the singles were recalled. It's estimated that 5,000 or so are still out there.

    • What is the correct spelling of Kurt's name?
      It is spelled K-u-r-t; the odd spelling Kurdt came from when they recorded "Mexican Seafood" for the "Teriyaki Asthma" compilation. When it came time to make the album, they realized that they didn't know Kurt's name so they got a hold of someone who "thought they knew" and it went from there. Incidentally, the people at Caroline records (who put out the "Teriyaki Asthma" compilation) received no money for the appearance of "Mexican Seafood" on Incesticide because they didn't bother with a contract, 'cause they didn't make contracts for any bands. He later used the misspelling to give himself some anonymity. The 'monkey photo' credit on Nevermind is to Kurdt Kobain. Other misspellings can be found in autographs, etc., like first names Curt, Curtis, and last names Cohbain, and Covain. I read in one article Dave mispelt his name "Cave" for a short while. Other band members are properly spelled Krist Novoselic, changed form Chris back to original Croatian spelling in 1993, and David Eric Grohl.

    • Hey, in that picture inside of Wishkah, what's it say on Kurt's shoe? It looks like "Fuhgawz"? What is that?
      Some tend to think that it's a Fugazi, a hard-core punk, reference, while others think it's nonsense. According to one Nirvana article both of his shoes had it written on them in two different spellings of the name. Reportedly Kurt put it on his shoes to make fun of the misspelling that Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder had on his shirt that he had written the band name Fugazi on during a photo shoot.

    • I bought the Teen Spirit single and it said Even in His Youth is 4:20, but it's actually a lot shorter!
      You've overlooked a clever marijuana reference, just another one of the band's inside jokes. A 420 is police code for someone with an illegal substance on them.

    • Where does the "Vandalism: Beautiful As A Rock In A Cop's Face" sticker on Kurt's guitar come from?
      It's a lyric from the song "Gut Rage" off the Feederz CD Re-release of "Ever Feel Like Killing Your Boss?" and possibly their most popular bumper sticker as well...

    • How far did each member of the band go in their schooling?
      Well, Kurt dropped out of high school weeks before he was to graduate. He didn't have enough credits to pass anyways and didn't want to take summer school. Krist did end up graduating, yet neither of them once appeared in any of their high school yearbooks. Dave dropped out of high school on the East coast of the US to be the drummer in one of his favorite bands, Scream.

    • What's the deal between Kurt and Axl?
      Axl had asked Kurt to join them on their huge tour. Kurt declined. Later, Axl asked Kurt to play at his 30th birthday party. Kurt declined.

      This is from 'The Advocate' Feb 03 1993. Kurt was asked 2 questions about Guns and Roses.

      Q: Is there anything about Guns N' Roses' music you like?

      A: I can't think of a damn thing. I can't even waste my time on that band, because they're so obviously pathetic and untalented. I used to think that everything in the mainsteam pop world was crap, but now that some underground bands have been signed with majors, I take Guns N' Roses as more of an offense. I have to look into it more: They're really talentless people, and they write crap music, and they're the most popular rock band on the earth right now. I can't believe it.

      Q: Didn't Axl Rose say something nasty to you at the MTV Video Music Awards in September?

      A: They actually tried to beat us up. Courtney and I were with the baby in the eating area backstage, and Axl walked by. So Courtney yelled, "Axl! Axl, come over here!" We just wanted to say hi to him--we think he's a joke, but we just wanted to say something to him. So I said, "Will you be the godfather of our child?" I don't know what had happened before that to piss him off, but he took his aggressions out on us and began screaming bloody murder.
      These were his words: "You shut your bitch up, or I'm taking you down to the pavement." [laughs] Everyone around us just burst out into tears of laughter. She wasn't even saying anything mean, you know? So I turned to Courtney and said, "Shut up, bitch!" And everyone laughed and he left. So I guess I did what he wanted me to do--be a man. [laughs]

      Kurt told this story to the crowd at the Portland OR 9/10/92 concert, try to get it if you can.

    • What went on with the Vanity Fair article?
      Vanity Fair wrote an article about Courtney and her drug use. They twisted the facts and got the Cobains into a lot of trouble. Kurt was asked two questions about it.

      Once again this is taken from 'The Advocate' Feb 03 1993.

      Kurt: I've never read an article that was more convincing yet more ridiculous in my life. Everybody from our record label to our management to our closest friends believed that shit.

      She [Hirschberg] did a really good job of taking a piece of what Courtney had said and turning it into something completely different. I've seen that happen before--it's happened with me a lot of times--but this was such an extreme and done so well that I have to give her credit. She's a master at being catty.

      Q: What about the drug use?

      A: Courtney was honest about the heroin excursion we went on for a few months. Then Courtney found herself pregnant, realized she was pregnant and had a drug problem, and got off drugs. It's as simple as that. But it made it look like eight months after the fact, Courtney was still nine months pregnant and still doing drugs and everyone was really concerned. Like there was some awful den of iniquity going on in our apartment. I looked really skinny. Well, I am a skinny person, and I gain ten pounds every time I'm photographed, so people assume I'm this chunky, normal weight person.

      I'm just so tired of talking about this. We have to live with the results of this one article every fucking day. It's something we have to deal with all the time.

      The results of this article were that there was an investigation into the Cobains that resulted in Frances being taken away for some time (Courtney's sister took care of her). They finally got custody back after being able to prove they were good parents.

    • I want to check out some other bands that either influenced Nirvana or sound like, what are some?
      According to CDNow!:

      Influenced Nirvana: The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Meat Puppets, Pixies, Sonic Youth, Melvins, Vaselines, R.E.M.

      Similar to Nirvana: Alice in Chains, Babes In Toyland, Breeders, Cheap Trick, Dinosaur Jr., Fastbacks, Husker Du, L7, Minutemen, Bob Mould, Mudhoney, My Bloody Valentine, Pearl Jam, Raincoats, Soundgarden, Tad, Teenage Fanclub, Throwing Muses, Fluid, Green River, Half Japanese, Hole, Daniel Johnston, Love Battery, Urge Overkill, P.J. Harvey, Frank Black, The Lemonheads

    • What's that mumbling in the middle of "I Hate Myself and Want to Die?"
      That is Kurt reciting a Jack Handey 'Deep Thought' from Saturday Night Live, around 1991 or 1992: Most people don't realize that two pieces of coral, painted brown and attached to the skull by common wood screws can make a child look like a deer.

    • What are those symbols on the back cover of In Utero?
      Here's the decoder information:


      1: sow - most popular animal form of the Goddess -- Demeter often appeared as one
      2: jar sprouting a stream of water - symbol for fertility & fertility gods
      3: honeycomb - see "bee"
      4: dolphin - totem of Demeter as Mistress of the Sea - word "dolphin" comes from Greek word for "womb"
      5: triangle - represented female + trinity of Goddess (Virgin, Mother, Crone) - also represented fire
      6: mare - symbolizes Goddess Epona + daytime aspect of Mareheaded Demeter - Scandinavian witches turned themselves into mares


      1: Alchemical Rose - symbol of sacred womb - symbol of virgin daughter within mother - applied to images like Kore/Demeter and Mary/Eve
      2: Baubo - [I think you could easily read this as Baubo representing Courtney and Demeter representing Kurt] - female clown who managed to draw laughter from Demeter in the midst of her grief. Baubo induced the Great Mother to forget her anger long enough to take a little nourishment.
      3: diameter - symbol for water, salt, and sea - related to the primordial Mother Goddess, who mingled all elements to create life from flesh (earth), blood (water), breath (air), and fire (vital heat)
      4: ??? (wasn't in the 1988 printing)
      5: symbol for planet Pluto - female Pluto deity who was despised and discredited by Greeks + was combined w. Demeter in a triple form (Virgin, Mother, and Crone)
      6: poppy - "since opium and its derivatives--morphine, heroin--are extracted from the opium poppy, it is hardly surprising to find the flower associated w. sleep, inertia, numbness, and death. Demeter as a death Goddess was often shown with poppies [like the Heart-Shaped Box video]....Thebaine yields an important narcotic antagonist, naloxone, which is given to infants born of heroin addicts, to help soften the sock of withdrawal that such infants must go through"


      1: Sub Pop logo
      2: Geffen logo
      3: oops - forgot to look this one up
      4: bee - greatly prized because they gave valuable honey - Demeter addressed as "the pure mother bee" - identified w. mortality in folklore - "bee was symbol of feminine potency of nature"
      5: infinity sign - [another interesting one] - sexual union and sense of perfection - two becoming one (two uniting circles, one representing man and the other woman)


      1: ???? - not in the 1988 edition
      2: sulfer - sacred to Athene - associated w. purification - also symbolized angry aspect of Athene (Goddess Brimo), which was also identified w. Demeter
      3: labrys (axe) - stood for Amazons and their Goddess (Demeter / Artemis / etc.) - has been adopted by lesbians as their amuletic symbol
      4: corn dolly - embodiment of the harvest - one of its many alternate names was the Demeter
      5: symbol for Ceres, Roman title of Great Goddess as Mother of the Harvest and ruler of all grains - indicated planting of male seed in earth's womb
      6: sistrum - used to worship Egyptian Great Goddess - sacred rattle - its sound dispelled evil spirits

    • What's the deal with this crazy 'Beans' song? That can't be Kurt, can it?
      Yes it can be! And it is. Chad Channing, Nirvana drummer extraordinaire, 1988-1990, says so himself!

    • What is the Church of Kurt Cobain?
      The Church Of Kurt Cobain in Washington started getting national recognition after Kurt's death. They supposedly were built around the philosophies found in Nirvana lyrics. However, after about a week, this "church" was revealed to have been a hoax to win a Portland, Oregon radio station contest. The idea was to expose the station to as many people as possible; however, these guys did not win.

    • What is Melvana?
      Melvana is a group featuring members of Nirvana and the Melvins. The group was composed of Buzz Osbourne, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Grohl. They played once, on 01/15/92. They played as many as 5 songs, but only 2 are available, 2 Flipper covers, "Sacrifice" & "Way of The World."

    • Is Krist online? Is it true that Krist posted in the newsgroup?
      It is true that Krist has posted a few messages in the newsgroup since 1994. You may read the posts below, in the Miscellaneous section.

    • Who are Sweet 75, and have they broken up?
      Sweet 75 is the band featuring former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic. They broke up for a few months in 1998, but as of June '98 they reunited. As of now, they have one self-titled record and an Australian-released single. After breaking up, Krist was in the band Sky Cries Mary, and Sweet 75 lead singer Yva Las Vegas was in the band Didi7.

    • Wasn't Krist into a lot of politics after Nirvana ended?
      He sure was, and he still is. Early on after the demise of Nirvana he was much involved with an anti-censorship group called JAMPAC. He is currently the president of JAMPAC.

    • Who is Tom Grant? What's all this I keep hearing about Kurt being murdered?
      Tom Grant is an investigator in California. He was originally hired by Courtney to find Kurt. He, among others, has formulated theories that Kurt was murdered. He has accumulated quite the online following and has just as many people who think he's crazy. Tom Grant has his own web site where he updates his theories and progress; you can find a link here.

    • What is "Fecal Matter?"
      It is a demo Kurt made at his Aunt Mary's house in December of 1985. It is considered the "holy grail" of Nirvana collectibles. There is a CD titled "Fecal Matters." This is not the real Fecal Matter demo. It is just some Bleach-era studio material. A few years back, Fecal Matter Quest (an old online group which hoped to find the demo and other rare Nirvana recordings) found what some believe to be the Fecal Matter demo. It was the hot topic of discussion in online discussions among Nirvana fans. That recording turned out to be a fake.

    • What is "Organized Confusion"?
      Organized Confusion is similar to Fecal Matter, except it was recorded a couple years before Fecal Matter in December of 1982. Some think that the fake "Fecal Matter demo" being distributed through the Internet is actually O.C., but it's not.

    • What are a few of the aliases that Kurt and Nirvana went under?
      When Kurt & Courtney would check into hotels many times they would go under the names Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. Sid Vicious was the bass player for the Sex Pistols and Nancy was his girlfriend. Just one of the couples Kurt & Courtney were compared to. Kurt & Courtney were also compared many times to John Lennon and Yoko Onno. When Nirvana was recording "In Utero" with producer Steve Albini they checked into the recording studio as the Simon Ritchie Project. Simon Ritchie was actually Sid Vicious's real name. If you are interested in finding out more about Sid Vicious or the Sex Pistols check out the 1986 movie "Sid and Nancy." Courtney Love is also in a small part of the movie, playing one of Nancy's friends.

    • How tall was Kurt, and how much did he weigh?
      Well, there are various reports, but according to the missing person report that Courtney filed claiming to be Kurt's mother in Seattle when Kurt was no where to be found states that he was 5'10" and weighed 135 pounds.

    • I heard Nirvana was once sued over copyright infringements. What was that all about?
      Nirvana was sued by the band, Killing Joke. According to the bassist Paul Raven, papers were filed in Los Angeles claiming that the guitar riff of Nirvana's "Come As You Are" is a direct copy of Killing Joke's 1985 hit, "Eighties." Krist Novoselic went in to court on the behalf of Nirvana, and the case was later dismissed.

    • Has Courtney stayed close with the Cobain family since Kurt's death?
      According to a Courtney press release from 1997 (at the same time she announced the sale of the Seattle home), Courtney was going to buy a "horse farm" in Washington St. where Kurt's mother and aunts were going to live. She planned for Frances to visit the farm often because "horses are good for little girls."

    • I have seen that Kurt had a some sort of tattoo on his arm, what is that?
      Yes, Kurt indeed had a tattoo on his arm, the K Records symbol. K Records is the Olympia, WA based label run by Calvin Johnson. Plus I'm sure it had an added bonus as the first letter of his name. Kurt did the tattoo himself circa 1991 and Dave Grohl reportedly taught Kurt how to do it.

    • I heard Kurt & Courtney made a few threatening phone calls to some people in 1992, what happened?
      Well, when Kurt & Courtney found out about an unauthorized book that was supposed to be coming out about them and Nirvana that was hyping itself up and going to reveal the real side behind their lives and this angered the too very much. They tried to come to a compromise with the two ladies writing the book to no avail. So Courtney Love left a message on Victoria Clarke's answering machine (one of the authors) followed by nine of Kurt's. They had already been having problems with Lynn Hirschburg of Vanity Fair, and now there was not to be just one bad article, which last time got custody of Frances taken away from them, but now a whole book! The messages stated everything from begging them to not publish a book, to trying to compromise with them by paying them off, and even went as fas as threatening to have them snuffed out. In the end, nothing came of the incident.

    C. - Bootlegs, Bootlegs, Bootlegs

    • What's the deal with Nirvana bootlegs?
      Well, obviously, Nirvana is not touring anymore. The only way to truly experience what Nirvana was is to listen to live tapes. There are currently over 220 'surfaced' Nirvana shows (meaning that they are circulating amongst the traders and not being hoarded by a small group). The earliest show available is an unknown 1987 party show. The last available show is a TV broadcast of the final Nirvana concert in Munich, Germany on March 1, 1994.

    • Aren't bootlegs illegal?
      We use the word bootleg freely in this FAQ. What we are trading are live concert tapes, which most bands don't have a problem with. The problem lies with bootleg and pirate CDs, which can cut into a band's profits. For more info on this, read the FAQ.

    • What is the band's view?
      I know that Kurt owned a few bootlegs (by other bands). In fact, he was introduced to the Meat Puppets music by a bootleg. Dave now collects some Nirvana bootlegs. There was a newspaper article where he talked about going to Europe and buying bootleg CDs.
      I have an older interview with Krist where he describes bootlegging as 'stealing music'. I don't know if he's changed his view, and trading tapes with someone else probably wouldn't be included in this description.

    • How do I get started?
      There are several ways to start collecting bootlegs of Nirvana. One of several is to get in touch with someone who will do a "trade for blanks" (see the FAQ for info).

      It's been my experience that most Nirvana fans are fairly generous with live recordings because they realize that now that the band is gone, the bootlegs are a great way to spread the music. Many fan home pages include personal bootleg collection lists in hopes of finding people to trade with, and the newsgroup is swarming with people interested in trading. If you don't have anything to trade yet, most traders will trade 2:1; this means that you send them two blank tapes, and they send you one back with whatever bootleg you chose.

      Another way is to visit your local import "hole-in-the-wall" record store. More often than not, these deal in bootlegs.

III. Album & Song Info

    A.1 - Bleach

    Info:  *Produced by Jack Endino.
           *Drums by Chad Channing on all tracks except Floyd the Barber,
            Paper Cuts, and Downer, which have Dale Crover on drums.
           *Album's recording cost is listed as being $606.17, which was
            paid for by Jason Everman, who did not appear on the album
            despite his credit in the liner notes.
           *The bulk of the album was recorded on 12/24/88, 12/29/88, and 
            1/24/89 at Reciprocal Studios in Seattle, WA with three tracks being 
            drawn from the 1/23/88 Jack Endino/Dale Crover session.
           *Nirvana was billed for 30 hours of studio time.
           *Downer appears only on the CD release.
           *Older vinyl versions do not contain Big Cheese.
           *Released June 6th, 1989 by Sub Pop Records (SP 34b US) and
    	remastered and rereleased by Geffen in 4/92.

    Notes: The first 1,000 pressings were on white vinyl. The second 2,000 pressings were on black vinyl. Other pressings can be found on red, marbled pink, marbled green, transparent pink, splattered purple, and marbled white vinyl.
    (More colors may exist.)

    The Songs and Their Meanings:
    DISCLAIMER: These Song Interpretations are NOT mine, they are drawn from interviews with the band. Do not e-mail me your interpretation of the song and expect me to put them in the FAQ. There are many different ways to interpret Nirvana's songs; I truly believe that there is no one correct interpretation to any song.

    Blew (2:53) - The whole song conveys themes of entrapment.

    Floyd the Barber (2:15) - A song about a small town that goes bad, the title is taken from a character on The Andy Griffith Show. Everyone turns out to be a mass-murderer. The song also shows Freudian castration fears.

    About A Girl (2:46) - A song written for Kurt's girlfriend Tracy, she threatened to kick him out if he didn't get a job.
    Chad Channing named the song when Kurt asked him "What should I name this." Chad replied "What's it about." Kurt said, "A girl." Chad said, "About A Girl."

    School (2:40) - A song about the incestuous Seattle Scene. The bands seem to resemble high school cliques.

    Love Buzz (3:33) - A cover song from the Dutch group Shocking Blue.

    Paper Cuts (4:04) - Part of the lyrics are based on a true story of a family that Kurt was acquainted with, who locked their children in a room. Other lyrics have to deal with parents and neglect.

    Negative Creep (2:52) - the first-person narrative from an antisocial person.

    Scoff (4:07) - A song that's directed towards the people who didn't believe in Kurt's musical aspirations.

    Swap Meet (3:00) - A battle of the sexes put in the background of a Sunday swap meet.

    Mr. Moustache (3:21) - Speaks out against the stereotypical male macho image.

    Sifting (5:21) - Seems to take on authority figures with it's mention of preachers and teachers.

    Big Cheese (3:40) - This song is written about Sub Pop head honcho Jonathan Poneman and the pressures he put on the band.

    Downer (1:42) - Kurt's attempt at a political song.

    A.2 - Nevermind

    Info:  *Produced by Butch Vig.
           *All drums by Dave Grohl.
           *Some CDs contain the hidden track "Endless, Nameless" after
            10 minutes of silence following "Something In The Way."  The 
            first 50,000 CDs pressed lack the track and some versions
            pressed by the CD clubs lack it.  (Mine had it.)
           *The album was recorded in May and June of 1991 at Sound City
            Studios in Van Nuys, CA.
           *Inside the album is a page with random lyric lines from the 
            songs.  There are two lines of poetry which do not appear in
            any of the songs.  These lines were made up by Kurt.
           *Nevermind was released on 9/24/91 by Geffen Records (DGC-24425 US).
           *Has sold over 10 million copies worldwide.

    Smells Like Teen Spirit (5:01) - An attack on the apathy of our own generation.

    In Bloom (4:14) - An attack on people who listen to certain music for the wrong reason. Imagine the stereotypical, macho guy who sings along to Nirvana, but has no clue what he's singing about.

    Come As You Are (3:38) - A song full of contradictions on how we act versus how we think society thinks we should act.

    Breed (3:03) - Growing up and being trapped by middle-class America.

    Lithium (4:15) - A first person narrative of a nervous breakdown, or an update of the Marxist description of religion as 'Opiate of the masses'. An ode to disconnection.

    Polly (2:54) - Based on the actual kidnapping of a 14 year old girl and her torture.

    Territorial Pissings (2:22) - Multi-themed song that attacks macho men.

    Drain You (3:44) - A song about (plainly and simply) love. Highly medical theme.

    Lounge Act (2:36) - A song about having a certain vision and being smothered by a relationship.

    Stay Away (3:31) - An attack on any conformist clique.

    On A Plain (3:14) - Several stanzas of poetry having multi themes.

    Something in the way (3:51) - A song about Kurt's experiences living under a bridge when he was temporarily homeless.

    Endless, Nameless (6:45) - Previously called 'The Noise Jam'. An experimental song created when one of the takes on Lithium went bad.

    A.3 Incesticide

    Info:  *Collection of B-sides and rarities.
           *Originally planned as two different releases by Geffen
            and Sub Pop (to be called "Cash Cow"), but they joined
           *The band's intent was to 'beat the bootleggers' by
            releasing the rare songs before the bootleggers could.
           *The pictures in the album, from left to right are:
            Krist Novoselic, Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Dale Crover,
            Chad Channing, and Danny Peters.
           *Released on 12/15/92 by Geffen Records (DGC-24504 US).
   Song             Producer       Drummer        Date + Studio Session 
   ====             ========       =======        =====================
   Dive             Butch Vig      Chad Channing   04/??/90 - Smart Studio
   Sliver           Jack Endino    Danny Peters    07/11/90 - Reciprocal Recording Studios
   Stain            Steve Fisk     Chad Channing   09/??/89 - Music Source Studios
   Been A Son       Miti Adhikari  Dave Grohl      11/??/91 - BBC Studios, Mark Goodier
   Turnaround       Dale Griffin   Dave Grohl      10/21/90 - Maide Vaile Studios, John Peel
   Molly's Lips     Dale Griffin   Dave Grohl      10/21/90 - Maide Vaile Studios, John Peel
   Son Of A Gun     Dale Griffin   Dave Grohl      10/21/90 - Maide Vaile Studios, John Peel
  (New Wave) Polly  Miti Adhikari  Dave Grohl      11/??/91 - BBC Studios, Mark Goodier
   Beeswax          Jack Endino    Dale Crover     01/23/88 - Reciprocal Recording Studios 
   Downer           Jack Endino    Dale Crover     01/23/88 - Reciprocal Recording Studios 
   Mexican Seafood  Jack Endino    Dale Crover     01/23/88 - Reciprocal Recording Studios 
   Hairspray Queen  Jack Endino    Dale Crover     01/23/88 - Reciprocal Recording Studios 
   Aero Zeppelin    Jack Endino    Dale Crover     01/23/88 - Reciprocal Recording Studios 
   Big Long Now     Jack Endino    Dale Crover     01/23/88 - Reciprocal Recording Studios 
   Aneurysm         Miti Adhikari  Dave Grohl      11/??/91 - BBC Studios, Mark Goodier