LIVE NIRVANA SESSIONS HISTORY Summer, 1987 - Cobain residence, Aberdeen, WA, US View in Google Maps

  • Skid Row
    • Burckhard, Aaron (drums)
    • Cobain, Kurt (vocals, guitar)
    • Novoselic, Krist (bass, vocals)
  • [U] Love Buzz
  • [U] Downer
  • [U] Mexican Seafood
  • [U] Pen Cap Chew
  • [U] Spank Thru
  • [U] Floyd The Barber
  • [U] White Lace And Strange
  • [U] Hairspray Queen
  • [U] Annorexorcist
  • [U] Unknown #1
  • [U] If You Must
  • [O] Unknown #2
  • [U] Unknown #3
  • [U] Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves Novoselic on vocals
Source ID Quality Complete Runtime Lowest Gen Tracks Featured Notes
AUD #1 9.0 0:44:58 TBC>FLAC • Love Buzz
• Downer
• Mexican Seafood
• Pen Cap Chew
• Spank Thru
• Floyd The Barber
• White Lace And Strange
• Hairspray Queen
• Annorexorcist
• Unknown #1
• If You Must
• Unknown #2
• Unknown #3
• Gypsys, Tramps & Thieves
Unknown #1 cuts out.

This boombox demo first came to light in 2004, when the song currently listed as Unknown #2 was released as Mrs. Butterworth on the With The Lights Out box-set. Box-set project consultant, Jack Endino, later revealed that, rather than being a Cobain-accredited label, the title Mrs. Butterworth had in fact been ascribed by those within NIRVANA's management company, Silva Artist Management. Endino also suggested that the demo's origins had been estimated incorrectly: The rehearsal cassette with Mrs. Butterworth is undated, and someone at Silva took a wild guess that it was Dale Crover playing drums (and that's what it says in one part of the box-set booklet), but I took a good listen and concluded that no way was it Dale, plus I knew that Dale had only rehearsed with them a short time around January 1988, and had mostly done the songs recorded with me on Jan 23rd, while this tape had a much simpler drumming style and had more of the songs that they had been doing on the April 1987 [May 6, 1987] KAOS tape. Therefore, it was probably a rehearsal from summer 1987, with Aaron on drums. That's the kind of deductive reasoning we had to employ throughout the process. Unfortunately, some of the booklet had already gone to press by the time I got to hear that stuff! As for the title Mrs. Butterworth, someone at the Silva office just made it up, as Krist couldn't remember it, and the tape was unlabeled. (1)

In a Q&A on the LiveNIRVANA.com Forums, Gillian Gaar, who also served as project consultant on With The Lights Out, described the other two unknown compositions as follows: One song is a brief jam that lasts around 30-seconds, with some brief vocals. The other is longer, a drony song with one of those drawling Kurt vocals. (2)

  1. Endino, Jack, 2004. Endino Newsletter v9.2, Dec 2004, [online] Available at: http://www.endino.com/archive/arch9-2.html.
  2. Gaar, Gillian G., 2009. Posting on the LiveNIRVANA.com Forums, [online] Available at: https://www.livenirvana.com/forum/showpost.php?p=517129&postcount=2.

© Alex Roberts. August 28, 2011