> Sessions History > Radio Sessions > September 25, 1990 - KAOS Radio, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA, US

September 25, 1990 - KAOS Radio, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA, US View in Google Maps


  • Cobain, Kurt (vocals, guitar)
  • Johnson, Calvin (backing vocals)


  • Johnson, Calvin (producer, host)


  • [O] Opinion
  • [O] Lithium
  • [U] Dumb
  • [O] Been A Son
  • [X] D-7 (duet with Calvin Johnson)
  • [X] Polly
  • [?] others?


  • 09/25/90, KAOS-FM Olympia Community Radio, Boy Meets Girl

Best available sources

Source Quality Complete Runtime Lowest Gen Tracks Featured Notes
SBD #1a 8.0 No 0:04:40 FM>ANA(2)>FLAC • Opinion
• Lithium
Features some banter between Cobain and Calvin Johnson. Lithium cuts out halfway through.
SBD #1b 8.5 No 0:04:35 Official CD (With The Lights Out) • Opinion
• Lithium
• Been A Son
Been A Son fades out halfway through.
SBD #1c 8.5 No 0:08:59 TBC>FLAC • Opinion
• Lithium
• Dumb
• Been A Son
Been A Son fades out halfway through.


In June 2002, whilst on their US tour, the owners of this website chatted to Calvin Johnson backstage at a K-Records showcase in New York City. After the show they asked Johnson some questions about this much sought-after radio session, recorded for his Boy Meets Girl radio program.

When asked which other songs were recorded besides Opinion (a song Johnson unsurprisingly did not recall) and Lithium, Johnson confirmed that D-7 and Polly were aired. Whilst he could not remember precisely which other songs were played, he insisted that eight songs were aired in total because this was the format his show took (four songs/interview/four songs/interview). Johnson was surprised that the complete session had not surfaced among collectors and lamented this on account of a duet he performed with Cobain on D-7 which he remembers as being rather good. Johnson insisted that his tape of the session was blank but thought that someone had to have a copy. (1)

However, independent LN research reveals that KAOS are indeed in possession of a tape of this broadcast, but for obvious reasons they do not wish to be hounded and therefore deny its existence.

Cobain intended this session to be a showcase for some new material; indeed, Dumb was also debuted at this session. (2) The song was penned in summer 1990, just before NIRVANA signed with Geffen. Cobain also wrote Pennyroyal Tea in winter of 1990, after the band signed. During the interview segments, Cobain announced live on air that Dave Grohl was to be the band's new drummer and that he had not yet informed Bruce Pavitt (Sub Pop co-founder). (2)

The full transcript of the surfaced portion of the radio session is presented below:

Calvin Johnson - Hey, Kids! Got a special treat for you today - Kurt Cobain's here. You know, Kurt Cobain from Aberdeen. (pause) (To Cobain) What's going on Baby?

Kurt Cobain - Not a damn thing.

Calvin Johnson - I see.

Kurt Cobain - How are you?

Calvin Johnson - I'm pretty groovy.

Kurt Cobain - Do a lot of people ask you that?

Calvin Johnson - Umm, not really.

Kurt Cobain - Oh.

Calvin Johnson - Umm, I was, uh, I was fine. I was just hanging out here on the Boy Meets Girl Show, and, umm, you called up and said, "I wanna play some songs."

Kurt Cobain - This is true.

Calvin Johnson - So I said, "Rockin' good news."

Kurt Cobain - Bloody brilliant!

Calvin Johnson - So, uhh, what's going on. You got some new tunes? You gonna share 'em with us or what?

Kurt Cobain - Yes, I'm gonna share some new tunes with you.

Calvin Johnson - Cool.

Kurt Cobain - And everyone else. Umm, I just wrote most of the lyrics this evening.

Calvin Johnson - On the… In the car on the way up here?

Kurt Cobain - While I was driving with one foot.

Calvin Johnson - Uh huh! (sarcastically)

Kurt Cobain - I wanted it to be as spontaneous as possible, you know? So, umm. Umm. Yeah, that's what I did. I just, thought I'd just come here and say "Hi."

Calvin Johnson - Well, let 'er rip.

Kurt Cobain - OK, (pause) uhh, this song's called "Opinion."

(Kurt performs Opinion)

Kurt Cobain - Don't you think that song sounds like Taxman?

Calvin Johnson - Nothing sounds like Taxman after I heard the Jam doing, um, Start. You heard that song?

Kurt Cobain - Uhh…

Calvin Johnson - Sounds exactly like Taxman. So I mean… You couldn't even come close to sounding like Taxman like the The Jam sound like Taxman.

Kurt Cobain - Oh well you know there is a song called Mr. Cigarette Man by Herman's Hermits.

Calvin Johnson - I haven't heard that one.

Kurt Cobain - Boy oh boy… Oh, and here's a song that was… that's gonna be on… our new album.

Calvin Johnson - Whose new album?

Kurt Cobain - On Nirvana's new album. And it's called "Lithium". And I'll play it.

(Kurt Cobain plays the first chords of "Lithium")

Kurt Cobain - Is it soundin' okay?

Calvin Johnson - It sounds really good.

Kurt Cobain - Good…

(Kurt Cobain performs Lithium)

Kurt Cobain - It's a rip off!

Calvin Johnson - Only steal from the best.

(Kurt Cobain performs Dumb)

(Kurt Cobain performs Been A Son)

Many thanks to Chris Hickman for this transcription.


  1. Johnson, Calvin, 2002. Personal communication with Adam Andrews & Charles Furth.
  2. Azerrad, Michael, 1993. Come As You Are: The Story Of Nirvana. Doubleday.