LIVE NIRVANA SESSIONS HISTORY Summer, 1990 - The Dutchman, Seattle, WA, US View in Google Maps

  • NIRVANA
    • Cobain, Kurt (vocals, guitar)
    • Novoselic, Krist (bass)
    • Peters, Dan (drums)
  • [?] Sliver
  • [?] others?

It is not known whether these sessions were recorded, no tapes have surfaced to date.

Having dispensed with drummer Chad Channing in May 1990, NIRVANA began auditioning for a permanent replacement. After bumping into Krist's girlfriend, Shelli, at a local bar, Mudhoney's Dan Peters expressed an interest in the position. So I got a call from Kurt, and he was like, Wow, you wanna play with us? I was like, Hell yeah, let's hook it up and have some fun. Peters recalled. (1)

Prior to rehearsing together for the first time, Cobain and Novoselic played Peters a cassette of the Smart session; Peters was blown away by the strength of the new material: They played me In Bloom and I was like, Wow! That's one of the best songs I've ever heard! I was floored about how great that was. Kurt's like, Cool, this is sort of what we're doing now. So we start practicing… (1)

Practices were held at Peters' grungy rehearsal room, The Dutchman, 101 S. Spokane Street. Immediately, however, there were problems: On the first day of rehearsal with NIRVANA, Peters watched as Cobain plugged into an enormous guitar rig and turned up the amplifier full blast; the guitar was so loud, the drummer couldn't hear himself, nor could anyone else. They'd be going, I can't hear that bass drum. Yeah, well, no shit you can't hear the bass drum—I can't even hear the bass drum! Peters quipped. (2) Novoselic had to resort to placing his foot by Peters' bass drum to feel the beat. (1)

The following session, Cobain and Novoselic arrived with a huge, dilapidated drum set for Peters to play, They're like, Would you mind playing this drum set? I'm looking at this thing, it's like something they dragged out of the garbage. It's huge—a 24" kick drum, 14" rack tom, totally deep—and I'm like, Well, I'll use bits and pieces… (1)

If I had known that they were really serious, I would have pursued another drum kit somehow, but I wouldn't play this big hunk of shit they wanted me to play, Peters explained. (2) So the problem remained, they couldn't hear me. But we did work on a brand new song (Sliver), which I got to put my own stamp on. (1)

  1. Cameron, Keith, 2003. If only they could remember to… BREATHE, MOJO, [online] Available at: https://www.livenirvana.com/documents/mojo110.html.
  2. Azerrad, Michael, 1993. Come As You Are: The Story Of Nirvana. Doubleday.

© Alex Roberts. August 28, 2011