NFC News 11/2002
- - - November 28, 2002 - - -

The Toronto Star put up an article earlier this month with comments from Krist and Dave about Nirvana and their respective bands: "Time heals. And it also helps, no doubt, that both Novoselic and Grohl are chronically laid-back individuals who've managed to retain a stoner detachment through meteoric ups and downs. It's rather comforting, a nice affirmation of contemporary rock-mythological shorthand that holds Nirvana was just three regular guys who stumbled into something far bigger than themselves and wound up altering the course of 1990s popular music. 'The whole 100,000-foot shadow? You can't even think about that stuff or it'll cripple you,' says Novoselic from his home in Austin, TX. 'It's just like with that Nirvana song, You Know You're Right. It achieved mythical proportions, so then it finally came out and people were like: ''That's it?'' ... It's just like they thought that song was gonna save them — save them from the crap culture and their miserable existence.' 'I wasn't so directly involved in the lawsuit that I had to wake up every morning and conference call a bunch of lawyers,' says Grohl, in town this past week to promote the new Foo Fighters disc, One By One. 'But there were times when it was somewhat of a burden. Like I don't have better things to do, you know, between studio time and then I have to f---ing jump on a 7 a.m. flight to Seattle to give a deposition.' Small wonder, given the past, hellish few months, that Grohl and Novoselic have both put out unabashedly blithe-spirited records of their own in recent weeks and are revelling in the simple pleasure of playing music these days." Article courtesy of Ben Rayner and the Toronto Star. Read the full piece here. Also check out this article from the Washington Post. Thanks to Troy for the link.

The November 15 issue of Entertainment Weekly had an article on the 'Journals' book. Read it here: #1, #2 and #3. Thanks to Jordana for this one!


- - - November 26 & 27, 2002 - - -

Last night Danish TV aired a very interesting NIRVANA special, produced by Geffen (Universal) and the Nirvana management (John Silva, Michael Meisel and James Barber). The show told the story of Nirvana very briefly - focusing mainly on the Nevermind and In Utero albums. Consisting of concert shots, interview clips, band members fooling around and various clips from TV shows, the special had a surprising amount of footage that I personally hadn't seen before. One of the more interesting aspects was a funny promo for the In Utero album - depicting the band members giving birth! There was also more of the rare footage from behind-the-scenes of the Come As You Are video shot, of which clips can be seen in the You Know You're Right music video. This video concluded the special. You can check out some screen captures from the show here (excuse the Danish subtitles!)

UPDATE: As it turns out, the special described above is the one that was first aired on MTV2 in the US about a month ago. It has since been aired several times on MTV with the title of "NIRVANA" instead of the grossly misleading "DVD Special" description. The show has also replaced the "Driven: Kurt Cobain" programme that was supposed to be shown on VH-1 recently. The "Driven" show has not been cancelled but merely re-scheduled. Most likely because it has simply taken longer to finish the production than expected. As soon as I know the actual air date and time, it will be posted here. Thanks to Adam.

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Krist Novoselic's new band Eyes Adrift are still on tour and have now played more than 50 shows all together. You can view the latest tour dates here. If you catch one of their shows, feel free to send in a review and/or pictures. The band has also made a video for their debut single Alaska which you can watch through the official Eyes Adrift website. You can also listen to the entire song in the NFC Sound Gallery. On their website you can also find an interesting journal with entries from Krist Novoselic (latest one is from Nov. 22, 2002).

I forgot to mention this at an earlier time -- in the January 2003 issue of Guitar World Magazine there is an article on Nirvana's You Know You're Right by Charles R. Cross. This "inside story" basically covers what you can read in the linernotes for the new album and in previous Rolling Stone articles. He also talks about how the song leaked on the net a while before it's official release, and all the legal trouble preceding it's eventual release. There's also interesting comments from the person who edited the You Know You're Right video. A very nice read. Thanks to Adam and others.

"About 1½ month ago, Toronto radio station Edge 102 did a 'Top 300 Songs of the 90s' countdown. Nirvana was included 10 times." The Nirvana songs were placed as follows: 1. Smells Like Teen Spirit. 6. Come As You Are. 14. All Apologies. 26. In Bloom. 52. Heart-Shaped Box. 82. About A Girl. 91. Lithium. 110. Rape Me. 156. Dumb. 279. The Man Who Sold The World.

The competition celebrating the release of the new "NIRVANA" (Best-Of) ended about a week ago and eleven lucky winners were found. The first prize was an exclusive one-of-a-kind gold disc of the album. The winner was Kasper Møller Larsen. Ten people got the second prize, a rare brand new poster for the "NIRVANA" album that is not being sold in stores. The winners are: Peter Rendell, Charles Furth, Chris Clark, Dave Duell, Justin Hagerman, Matthias Richter, Nigel Wheatley, John Callan, Lucas Dorrestein and Daniel Sasto. They have all been notified and should get their poster within a few days. Don't forget that a "real" NFC Competition is still running - offering books and CD's. If you haven't already, hurry up and enter your name here. The final deadline (after several changes!) is December 1st.

A journalist from Bucks County Courier Times in Philadelphia, PA spoke with Krist Novoselic about Eyes Adrift and Nirvana: "Eyes Adrift happens to be on tour during the same month, in which Nirvana's eponymous greatest hit disc and Kurt Cobain's Journal, were released. So, surely Novoselic understands that it's impossible to avoid mentioning his former band. 'Sometimes I wonder should I even talk about Nirvana anymore,' Novoselic said. 'When I do an interview should I get $10,000, or a quality household appliance, or a used car?' The good natured Novoselic is only kidding. The towering, self-proclaimed mayor of Seattle is open to chatting about Nirvana. A box set should hit the bins next year and it will include a myriad of alternate versions of songs and live material. 'Fans are going to absolutely love it,' Novoselic said. If Cobain was still around today, Novoselic believes he would have remained a vital artist. 'He was one of a kind and I believe it was total providence that led Kurt and I together,' Novoselic said." Courtesy of Ed Condran and The Courier Times. Read full article here.


- - - November 25, 2002 - - -

A couple of Nirvana specials are coming up on TV in the near future. On MTV2 in the US they will be airing a NIRVANA special on November 28 at 3.00 AM (ET) followed by the "No Apologies: Nirvana's MTV History" show at 3.30. MTV Artist Collection on Nirvana is aired at 4.00 AM the same night. Over on MTV Germany they will have a 'Nirvana Night' on November 30. It begins with a "History on MTV" special at 8 PM (CET) followed by a videography at 9 PM, "Bare Witness" at 9.30 PM, Unplugged at 10 PM and finally "Live and Loud" closing the night at 11 PM. Already tonight, the Danish TV2 Zulu will air a show on Nirvana's history at 11.20 PM (CET) followed by the Unplugged performance at 11.50 PM.

In the November 25, 2002 issue of People magazine they did a Q&A session with Courtney Love. Among other things she is asked about Kurt Cobain's 16-year old half-sister Brianne: "I'm working on becoming her legal guardian. She was having a little trouble and needed some stability. The good news is I can give her money. The bad news is I'm [already a] mom." She was also asked about the 'Journals' book: "There aren't any letters to his daughter [Frances Bean] in there, including the letter I have in the safety-deposit box that says on the envelope 'Give to Frances when she's 18.' How many times [have] we wanted to open that?" Thanks to 'riotboy' for this one.

The new NIRVANA album has dropped to place #16 on the Billboard 200 album chart (issue date Nov. 30) from place #10 last week. Meanwhile, Pearl Jam's new album made its debut at #5. Funnily the new Jay-Z album debuted at #1. One by One, the new Foo Fighters album, is at place #41 for this week.


- - - November 19, 2002 - - -

Daniel Slate recently wrote a lengthy article on the 'new' Nirvana track You Know You're Right, speculating on the real meaning of the lyrics, among other things: "Somewhere up in pop star heaven, wearing the same ratty cardigan that he wore on MTV Unplugged, Kurt Cobain is no doubt enjoying a last, bitter laugh over the release of a brand-new Nirvana single, 'You Know You're Right.' The song begins with Kurt in one of his Gollum-like moods of dependence and resentment, tiptoeing around emotions that are bound to explode. 'I will never follow you/ I will never bother you,' the singer promises, his voice simmering with rage. As the weight of the resentment grows, his voice revs upward into the supercharged Boeing-engine whine that could channel more stress than any other sound on the planet. Given the available evidence, it seems fair to say 'You Know You're Right' is about Courtney Love—and that the release of the song marks the beginning of yet another chapter in the ongoing negotiation between the rock star and his wife about their famous marriage. Love has helped prevent the release of 'You Know You're Right' until the end of 2002—eight years after it was recorded and eight years after Nirvana's commercial peak. She also made sure to first record her own version of 'You Know You're Right' with her own band, Hole—a version in which she deliberately alters the lyrics, reversing the emotional dynamics of the song."

Interestingly he also comments on the unreleased song Verse Chorus Verse (usually labeled as In His Hands): " 'You Know You're Right' is not even necessarily the best unreleased Nirvana song. My own favorite is 'In His Hands' —a song Cobain wrote for Nevermind, in which he accurately foresaw the predicament that he would later blame on fame, heroin, and his wife: 'Giving medications, in a lighted room/ Wouldn't want to fake it, I know I should.' Proceeding from a weariness of the super-stardom he had discarded before it ever happened, Kurt then launched into a sly, perfect parody of the Who's 'We're Not Gonna Take It,' changing the time-signature and rewriting the lyrics: 'We're not gonna make it, well I don't mind,' he sang. 'Wouldn't want to fake it, but I have this time/ Giving conversations, to whom they don't know/ Taking medications till my stomach's full.' " There's probably only a handful of journalists who have listened to this song - let alone written about it. Read the full article here, courtesy of Daniel Slate and The Microsoft Corporation. Thanks to Jena for the link.

"I wanted to let Canadian fans with MuchMusic know that on Dec. 8, MuchMusic will be airing an hour of Nirvana music videos, then Nirvana Live! Tonight! Sold out!! and finally there will be some nirvana special." Thanks to Kyle. Check the air times here.

Between 1989 and 1991 Nirvana recorded four excellent radio sessions for the British BBC. Some of the songs eventually landed on Incesticide. Now the BBC Radio 1 website has put all four sessions online: "We've come over all nostalgic and have been down to the Radio 1 archive and dug out four classic Nirvana Sessions for you to listen to in their entirety. The first Peel session was recorded in 1989 way before smelling any teen spirit and Dave Grohl wasn't yet behind the drum kit. The session features a version of what was Nirvana's first single release on Sub Pop 'Love Buzz'. In 1991 they performed an untitled track for John Peel which was the secret track on Nevermind and is also known as Endless, Nameless. The Evening Session in 1991 were treated to an upbeat version of the song Polly." They are also running a competition at the moment where you can win a copy of the new album. Check it all out here. Thanks to Nazim for the link.


- - - November 18, 2002 - - -

"Nirvana's self-titled 'best of' collection has debuted in the top 10 in more than 11 countries, pushing the total sales of Nirvana's catalog past the 50 million mark in worldwide sales. Nirvana's groundbreaking Nevermind has sold 10 million albums alone in the U.S., and for that feat, it's been certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America. In related news, Journals, a book culled from the actual journal entries of late Nirvana singer/guitarist/songwriter Kurt Cobain, is set to make its debut at Number One on the New York Times' Best Seller List for Hardcover Non-Fiction. That chart is published November 24." Story courtesy of LAUNCH Media.


The Rolling Stone magazine website currently has a poll going: "Whose hits are really the greatest?". After some 16,500 votes, Rolling Stones (the band) were ahead with 36% of the votes. Following them closely with 29% were our very own NIRVANA. By the way, the new "NIRVANA" (Best-Of) CD has dropped to place #10 on the Billboard 200 album chart. As for "You Know You're Right", the song is currently #2 on Billboard's Modern Rock Chart after staying at the top spot for the previous four weeks. Funnily the Foo Fighters are now #1.

"This Sunday (Nov 24) at 7pm AEDST, Channel [V] on Foxtel/Austar cable in Australia will feature a two hour live special on Nirvana. 'Nirvana: Live Tonight. See Nirvana in their prime. This live recording marks one of the seminal moments in the career of the band that changed the face of rock in the 90s.' " More info can be found here. Thanks to Chris.

- - - November 16, 2002 - - -

For about two weeks now, people have been sending in their opinion about the new Kurt Cobain 'Journals' book, arguing why they support it or don't support it. I have picked out some of the most compelling and interesting conclusions from both sides and listed them here. It looks like the British NME have been doing the same and will present a similar overview in a coming issue or on their website. Anyhow, here are some of the reasons. Thanks to the 600 or so people who contributed. Note that most of these entries were written by people who haven't read the book.

Reasons for supporting the book:
Reasons for not supporting the book:
I would like to see more of his personal life and what really influenced him to write his songs.

After reading Courtney's post I think I am in favor of the release. The fact that the more personal things are being kept away is a good thing, as I would be seriously upset if my inner most private thoughts were published for all to read. This will no doubt be a very interesting insight into Kurt's mind. After all he was the driving force behind the band that we all love!

This seems like a collection meant to give fans who remember Kurt and were there for Nirvana [a chance] to reflect back on who the guy was. And for the new generation of music lovers who missed Nirvana, to gain insight into why he was such an important person to so many people.

Journals are one of the only ways for people to share what they truly think.

If Charles Cross can read the journals and use them for Heavier Than Heaven, why can't Nirvana fans? Also, as Courtney said, it's stuff that he would [have] liked to [have] published. Whether or not this is true is something we'll never know. But I'd like to think, of all people, his wife would know what he would've wanted.

I'm for the book and not for the book at the same time. I feel the need to read what he was saying to himself, that shows an inside window peek into the true Kurt that we would never see on stage. Yet, at the same time I feel like a peeping tom, looking into his soul and stealing what is truly his own heart and mind. My whole saying is "if you write it down on paper, then you wanted someone to read it." Think about it, if Kurt didn't want someone to read it, and his writings were a total secret, than he would only file them in his mind and not on paper.

I support it because it gives new insight into Kurt's thought processes. All of the personal stuff is censored anyway, so it's not exploitative. From the Newsweek excerpts I can tell that Kurt put a lot of thought into his "heroine" addiction, and maybe it's these essays that can help fans come to terms with his eventual suicide.

Since Kurt Cobain is no longer living--and in his death, has become a cultural icon--it does not really hurt anybody to have his private writings released. This is a standard practice among people who have achieved a status of cultural significance. We can go to any good library and read the letters and memoirs of figures as diverse as James Joyce, Ronald Reagan, Sylvia Plath or William James. These personal writings give us a kind of comfort of authenticity--these were his choices, his thoughts, his artistic expression, his approach to art, music, and his audience. For any committed Nirvana/Kurt Cobain fan, how can you admittedly not be intrigued by the possibility of gleaning what was essentially "Kurt" from the man himself?

It's always great to get into the minds of the great, creative people that inspire us. Being a writer myself, I've always been interested in reading the private thoughts of other writers who have inspired me. It can make you angry, it can make you sad and cry, and it can make you laugh. You run the entire gambit of human emotion by getting into the real thoughts of another individual.

I support it just because I love Kurt and Nirvana so much, and relate to them so well, and am always grasping for whatever little bits of information about Kurt I can find. It's cliche to say that he reminds me of me, but he reminds me of someone I very much want to know, and if the Journals might help ... then I'll buy them.

The insights gained from reading Kurt's inner thoughts will be a benefit to any fledgling musician interested in getting a perspective on how to go about music, especially from such a mentor as Kurt Cobain. I think people focus too much on Kurt as a person, and forget how truly amazing a songwriter he was, and why we all fell in love with Nirvana.

These journals fully make clear what Kurt's political viewpoints were and how open-minded and smart he was. These journals were the only chance for us to see how the real Kurt was. In his own words. That's an important point. Theres absolutely no other way for us to know who he really was without talking to him or reading his honest opinions on things. No "based on" book by another author could possibly tell the real story the way Kurt does in his own words.

After reading the book, I do not think it was too personal. I did not feel I was invading his privacy. I just got a mere glimpse of what went on while creating the band Nirvana, and it all hitting Kurt in the face.

I support the project. We're already enjoying a new single and three posthumous albums that Kurt had nothing to do with. Hell, most of us have even read his personal thoughts in other Nirvana books. Protesting this book is just anti-Courtney semantics. Most of the book is pertinent to Nirvana anyway; it's not as if we're invading Kurt's deep dark secrets.

I have recently bought it and read it all. It does not seem too personal at all. It is very good and interesting although it does not have anything too incriminating. I do feel somewhat guilty for reading something so 'secret'. Kurt Cobain was awesome and his journals display how funny and intricate he was. As most people know Kurt was an amazing writer and the Journals prove that. I now have so much more admiration and respect for him.

Well, Kurt Cobain is my idol, and reading this book kind of takes me one step closer to him. I was really young at the time of Nirvana's success, and when Kurt died is when I first heard of him. Everything surrounding him makes me feel more comfortable in this world because I feel like I can connect to him. This sounds really crazy, but it's just the way it is.

I believe Kurt would have wanted his private writings to remain private. For Courtney, or anyone else, to release these personal parts of Kurt's life to the whole world, seems insensitive and uncaring in my opinion. I also believe the journals are being let out now to push record sales of the new Nirvana album, and I do not believe that is something Kurt would [have] approved of. This kind of idolization of one person was something Nirvana fought against.

Publishing someones private thoughts is not right at all. If you want to know what Cobain was feeling, just listen to his music. He mostly sang what he felt.

I don't support the release of his journals. He once said to the people that stole pages of his journals that they 'had raped him harder than they would ever know'. This in itself states how private Kurt was. So I think it is a gross invasion of privacy and I think Kurt would be very embarrassed. Why didn't Courtney just publish a book of his art? A much [more] fitting tribute and something less likely to be attacked by the boomers and the journalists. I refuse to rape the man in death. He was raped enough in life.

It is not our business to read someone else's diaries just because he/she was famous. We don't own a person just because we are his/hers fans. We are not automatically allowed to know every single thing about Kurt Cobain just because we love his work or because we feel connected with him or whatever. He is just a guy who made some of the most incredible music in history and that's it.

There's a lot of talk about how much the world "misses" the music of Nirvana and the beauty of a soul like Kurt Cobain. But if people really do consider the music to be paramount, why should raping the songwriter's private thoughts be considered permissible as well? Shouldn't the music and the lyrics speak for themselves? Or are we all so far displaced from the beauty of music?

Kurt Cobain was very selective about what he did and did not reveal to people in his life, and the fans and media as well. Citing for example his highly self critical choices about not releasing certain songs, and deciding to not send letters to various people in his life, even though he had written the letters. He was also very upfront about the things he did want to reveal about his social and political values, and went out of his way to make a point of these at concerts, and when dealing with the media. Had he wanted his private thoughts revealed to the general public, the song 'Rape Me' would never have been written. I think the publishing of his journals is a stain on NIRVANA's legacy. And considering that Courtney Love is the source of this defilement of personal sanctity, all my remaining doubt that she only wanted to attach herself like a leech to his genius artistic stature, for the purpose of drawing attention to herself, is gone. Had Cobain wanted to reveal his personal writings, he would have done so when he was alive.

If courtney respected her husband, she wouldn't have sold the rights to release his journals for [a reported] $4 million. This is obviously done for money. If anyone says that its done for the public, then why didn't courtney sell it for less?

A man should have some privacy. Already having his life exploited by media, crazed-fans, and from various external sources this is another example of how society has broken down the walls of his privacy, just to suck in the crumbs of what used to be an amazing soul. It's not fair for us to know everything about him - part of life is having things made sacred and private; we shouldn't keep caging him up and staring at his life under a fine microscope.

I think there should be a limit to how public a person's life becomes, especially when they have no say in the matter. Every aspect of a person's life should not be turned into a capitalist commodity. It would be different if Kurt was still alive and willingly released them himself (although I doubt he would). Also, I question how much of a skewed view will be presented given that Courtney has had her influence on what comes out.

This will be cash cow, so maybe in 2004 we can expect 'Journals II' and in 2008 journals 479; Super Ultra Mega edition with less than one percent of editing!

I have two reasons why I can't support this book. One, because I won't be able to NOT read it. I will have to buy the book and read it just like I do with anything else about him or the band that I can get my hands on. And two, I dispise Courtney Love. I have grown to not believe a word that comes out of her mouth. I believe she released just enough of Kurts journals to continue the mystique around Kurt and to leave the fans with even more of a desire for future profit potential. She is in it for the money which is exactly what Kurt was not.

Why is Courtney doing this? The fans were (and still are) clamouring for Nirvana's unheard music, not Kurt's private journals.

The reason I don't support this is because too much is being made of Kurt Cobain's personal problems, when many of us tend to forget that it is the music that made Nirvana legendary, and not the issues that Kurt dealt with behind the scenes!

I can see why people want to do this, clear names, shed light on facts, put horse's mouth words into the hands and eyes of interested people ... but what more can be said that can do anything for us but quench the thirst of curiosity. Everyone always beams about how Nirvana's music was so simple yet so powerful. Well, let's keep Kurt's mystique the same way. He made a concious decision to exit. What he left us, we should cherish and just leave it be, not further exploit a deceased man.

In light of all the arguments and opinions aired above I have started a new poll: "How do you think the Kurt Cobain 'Journals' book turned out?" (If you've read it). You can go vote now on the main page. The last poll: "If you have listened to it, did you like 'You Know You're Right' ?" received almost 15,000 votes and it was clear early on that most people would answer "yes". Thus, about 96% of the voters liked the song and only 4% (about 600 people) didn't. Thanks to everyone who took the time to vote.

Some more info has surfaced on the Kurt Cobain special to be aired on VH-1 soon: "Through rare and unreleased footage, photos and artwork, new interviews with friends and stories from Kurt's newly-released journals, Driven Presents: The Secret Life of Kurt Cobain portrays the Kurt Cobain the public never knew. After eight years of attention on Kurt's drug abuse and tragic suicide, conspiracy theories regarding his death and lawsuits about control of the band's legacy, this special will focus on the man, his creative vision and his off-stage personality. We'll learn what Kurt was really like in contrast to his public persona. While he portrayed his success as a product of luck that hit at the right time, he secretly plotted out his career path and planned for rock stardom. While some consider him an angry, dour rock poet, in person he was really funny and playful. An avowed punk rocker, he had a soft spot for catchy pop tunes and cried whenever 'Seasons in the Sun' was played. He complained about his bad press clips, but secretly wanted to write articles about his favorite bands. And while he publicly demurred about being a generational spokesman, his writings were filled with screeds of class warfare against Baby Boomers, whose loose morals he felt had contributed to society's ills." The special airs November 22 at 10 PM Eastern Time on VH-1 in the US (NOTE: New date and time!). More.


- - - November 11, 2002 - - -

After reading the new Kurt Cobain 'Journals' book (which was originally scheduled to be published today), I thought I would mention some of it's highlights. First off, the book consists of scans of selected pages from journals that Kurt wrote throughout his life. Included in the book are lyric sheets, poems, drawings, letters and various notes. Here is the formal description of it; "Kurt Cobain filled dozens of notebooks with lyrics, drawings, and writings about his plans for Nirvana and his thoughts about fame, the state of music, and the people who bought and sold him and his music. More than twenty of these notebooks survived his many moves and travels, and have been locked in a safe since his death. His journals reveal an artist who loved music, who knew the history of rock, and who was determined to define his place in that history. Here is a mesmerising, incomparable portrait of the most influential musician of his time." The book was published by Viking/Penguin Books in the UK and by Riverhead in the US.

One of the main highlights of the book is Kurt's own handwritten lyrics to a number of Nirvana songs. They include Downer, Floyd The Barber, Mexican Seafood, Dive, Aneurysm, Lithium, In Bloom, Come As You Are, Smells Like Teen Spirit and Sappy (it is finally confirmed that the song on No Alternative is indeed named Sappy, although the title Verse Chorus Verse has also been used for this song).

Especially the lyrics to Floyd The Barber are interesting as it has been debated amongst Nirvana fans for many years exactly what the correct lyrics were. In particular the first line of the song has gotten many interpretations.

On one of the first pages there is a letter to Dale Crover (drummer from The Melvins) who played on Nirvana's January 1988 demo. Among other things Kurt establishes that "Our last and final name is NIRVANA" and talks about how the demo has been received; "So within the last couple of months our demo has been pirated, recorded, and discussed between all the Seattle SCENE luminaries."

There's also a letter, dated May 29 1988, to Dave Foster (Nirvana's drummer at the time) where Kurt announces to him that he is fired from the band; "Instead of lying to you by saying we're breaking up or letting this go any further, we have to admit that we've got another drummer. His name is Chad, he's from Tacoma and he can make it to practice every night. Most importantly, we can relate to him."

One funny aspect of the book is the inclusion of various Nirvana biographies that were, for the most part, intended for record companies. One of the earliest biographies read; "NIRVANA is from Olympia WA, 60 miles from Seattle. NIRVANA is a trio who play heavy rock with punk overtones. They usually don't have jobs. So they can tour anytime. NIRVANA has never jammed on Gloria, or Louie Louie. Nor have they ever had to re-write these songs and call them their own." A later bio included the line; " Selling their bottled sweat and lochs of hair have proven to be their biggest money makers so far, and in the future: dolls, pee-chees, lunch boxes and bed sheets are in store." True!

Some other noteworthy things the book has to offer include concepts and ideas for the Smells Like Teen Spirit, Come As You Are and Heart-Shaped Box music videos. There's also proposed linernotes and cover art ideas for "Sheep" (the album that would eventually be entitled Nevermind) and notes on the recording of In Utero.

Fortunately the book focuses on the Nirvana years (1987 to 1994) and gives an idea of how the creative process behind Nirvana's songs and recordings worked. The book doesn't dwell too much on personal diary'ish entries where Kurt's thoughts and feelings and state of mind is described. There is more Nirvana-related material than I had dared to hope for, and that's definitely a good thing in my opinion. At the same time there are also many unnecessary ramblings and oddities from Kurt's persona but for the most part this aspect of Kurt's writing has been left out. Indeed, it seems most of the really personal and private entries were withheld as Courtney also stated in a recent message board post.

It would probably have been more accurate to call this collection a form of scrapbook rather than a Journal. If you truly want to get inside Kurt's head and understand what kind of person he was, a better book to get would be Heavier Than Heaven (which incorporates a lot of information from journal pages that were left out of this release).

Instead, this new book serves more as a presentation of interesting notes and writings concerning Nirvana's music making process, with the occasional glimpse into Kurt's crazed mindset. But the fact that the more personal and private entries (which do not concern any of us, really) were left out is probably a good thing.

In the latest issue of Rolling Stone Magazine there is a review of the 'Journals' book; "The text consists of facsimiles of pages from Cobain's private notebooks, with hardly any footnotes, dates, or editorial comments. You just dive right into a pile of raw diary entries, political screeds, track listings for mix tapes, letters, doodles, lyric sheets, a cartoon of Iron Maiden's mascot, a 1988 resumé, notes from his driving test, all written in his tiny scrawl. He describes the night he heard punk rock for the first time, at a Melvins gig in a parking lot, in words that could make you cry. To make any sense of Journals, you have to already know his story: the youthful indie days, his struggle with sudden fame, his marriage to Courtney Love, the drugs, the guns. But what comes across most vividly is the humane, tolerant rock & roll passion that made him an icon in the first place and that makes him still so badly missed today."


- - - November 10, 2002 - - -

NME in the UK recently reviewed the new "NIRVANA" album and gave it a rating of 9 (out of 10). You can read the full review here. They also did a Nirvana Top 20 based on votes from the website's visitors. Surprisingly, the number one song on that list was Lithium followed by All Apologies on place 2 and Smells Like Teen Spirit as #3. Three songs that didn't make it onto the new album did make it to this Top 10; Aneurysm (#7), Drain You (#8) and Radio Friendly Unit Shifter (#10). Out of the whole Top 20 is it noteworthy that only half of them were picked for the "NIRVANA" (Best-Of) album. Another example of the fans' favorite Nirvana songs conflicting with the opinions of those responsible for the new CD. Check out NME's special Nirvana section here. Finally, don't forget that you can still buy the latest issue which is focused largely on the band & the 'Journals' book.

In light of the new CD release, the 'official' Nirvana website hosted by their record label was finally re-opened after being idle for some six years. All the website offers at this point, however, is the streaming You Know You're Right video. They have also made a screen saver but apparently you have to subscribe to the Interscope newsletter in order to download this one. You can visit the site here.

The website 'Drink of the Week' has featured a drink called NIRVANA for this week. How it tastes, I don't know. But nevertheless here is a list of the ingredients you need and how to mix it all (courtesy of drinkoftheweek.com):

  • 1 1/2 oz. Dark Rum
  • 1/2 oz. Grenadine
  • 1 teaspoon simple syrup
  • Grapefruit Juice

    Combine rum, grenadine and simple syrup in a shaker filled with ice, shake and strain into a chilled collins glass filled with ice. Top with grapefruit juice and stir gently. Thanks to Drinks of the Week and Kevin.

    Nirvana is currently the top searched band on lycos.com when it comes to guitar tabulature. Don't forget that you can also get tabs for most Nirvana songs here. Once again thanks to Kevin for this notice.

    According to the Australian Record Industry Association (ARIA), the "NIRVANA" album is currently #3 on the chart of the Top 50 albums (for the week starting November 11). Last week the album was number one. Thanks to aria.com.au and Jodi. By the way, don't forget that the Australian edition of the album is identical to the European one (alas, only adding the bonus track Where Did You Sleep Last Night). The Japanese 16-track edition, adding Something In The Way, is out now. You can buy it online here (go to page 3 of the Nirvana listing and look for "Nirvana - Japanese - CD").

    "I was watching 'Much on Demand' last night (MuchMusic in Canada) and in between songs they were having this competition, and who ever got the question right would win the 'Journals' book. I think the question was: what day did Kurt Cobain die? Anyways they showed The Internet Nirvana Fan Club in full screen with them scrolling up and down and then they went to eBay to show some sort of Nirvana Game [auction]." Thanks to Randy (and MuchMusic for that matter!)

    Thanks to everyone who have expressed their opinion about the new 'Journals' book so far. I will accept entries for an additional couple of days. Check the November 3 update for more info. Also don't forget to enter your name into the NIRVANA competition mentioned in the October 30 update. The first prize is a spectacular gold disc of the new album. Ten people will get the second prize - an exclusive and rare "NIRVANA" poster. Finally, remember you can still vote for this site in the dotmusic People's Choice Awards by going here.

    A limited edition white vinyl of Nirvana's Bleach album has been issued in the UK this month. It is priced at just £11.99 for the time being. The tracklisting of the vinyl is the same as that of the CD release. You can order the vinyl online here. A regular 'black' vinyl of the album will be released on November 18. I believe this edition will only feature 11 tracks as opposed to the 13 tracks on the limited edition vinyl. Finally, the CD version of the album was re-issued last month by Sub Pop/Warner. Note that Nirvana's debut album will no longer be distributed by Universal/Interscope/Geffen as they, for some reason, no longer have the rights to the first album. Thanks to Emma.

    "You Know You're Right has debuted at number 2 on the Kerrang TV Top 10. This means it is the second most requested video on the UK 'Loud' Music Channel, Kerrang TV." Thanks to Matt. Kerrang! TV also had a Nirvana Week recently, playing videos and specials. Speaking of Kerrang!, the magazine had Kurt on the cover for the October 26 issue (thanks to Zack).

    Pop Matters put up an interesting Nirvana article that you can read here.

    - - - November 7, 2002 - - -

    In the November 28 issue of Rolling Stone Magazine (RS #910) they did a review of the new "NIRVANA" (Best-Of) album; "With its chorus of double-tracked, serrated, drowsy bellowing, 'You Know You're Right' is the most Sabbath-esque song Kurt Cobain ever wrote. The last recording of his short career centers around harsh drones and repetitions. It is not upset and losing it; it is upset and inert. Cobain sings it with certainty. Collections typically reveal the collector's agenda, but you can't say what aspect of Cobain the set favors, since starting with Nevermind he presented one tormented, often contradictory aspect. His songs went from sad and sorry to sad and angry to sad and loving; the ones selected here are all troubling, and all good." Courtesy of Rolling Stone. Read the full review here. The previous issue of the magazine contains interesting background info on all the songs presented on the album. You can read that here. For many more Rolling Stone articles and features on Nirvana - click here.

    The "NIRVANA" album has entered the Billboard 200 album chart at number 3 (issue date November 16). The new Christina Aguilera album "Stripped" entered at #2 while the soundtrack for the movie 8 Mile made a remarkable debut at #1. The new Foo Fighters album has dropped from spot #3 last week to #19 this week. In the US, the "NIRVANA" album has sold 234,000 copies in its first week (according to MTV and VH-1). Also, don't forget that the Kurt Cobain 'Journals' book was released earlier this week. The book is currently #18 on amazon.com's Top Sellers list. You can order it online here.


    - - - November 5, 2002 - - -

    The latest issue of the British magazine NME is a 'Nirvana special issue' featuring; Everything you need to know about the greatest rock band of our age. Exclusive excerpts from Kurt's diaries. Your essential guide to the journals. What's in them, who's in them and what they tell us about Kurt. Dave Grohl speaks exclusively on the music, the myths and life in Nirvana. Free postes; Kurt/'Teen Spirit' handwritten lyrics, Kurt on stage and more. Queens of the Stone Age, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Graham Coxon on why they love Nirvana.

    Legendary musician Pete Townshend of The Who wrote a detailed review of the new Kurt Cobain 'Journals' book for the British mag Observer. Funnily, Cobain actually mentioned Townshend in one journal entry; Hope I die before I turn into Pete Townshend. "As a songwriter and rock architect, I was interested to look behind the creative process of Kurt Cobain. Nirvana's second album, Nevermind was a breath of 'punk' fresh air in the musically stale early Nineties. So I picked up this book searching for connections. Where might a particular lyric idea have begun? What, for example, is behind the smart, striking and ironic wit of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'? If this sounds rather professorial, that's me, the first proprietor of the rock academy of lyric analysis. If the first draft words for 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' are here somewhere, I'm not sure I could find them without help. I believe that there are actually three drafts in this book. But the song on the CD is clear, outstanding, dark, ironic, amusing and disturbing at once. It occurs to me that somewhere along the way, in the business that passed between his first infantile scribblings and the rehearsals and recording studio sessions with his band members, Kurt Cobain had a lot of help to reorganise, focus and realise his ideas. Most of these pages are facsimiles from what appears to be four or five other notebooks. The tatty front covers are sometimes themselves displayed. Apparently, there were actually 20 notebooks. It's a pity the entries are not dated, and that no attempt has been made to provide a chronology. The entries are not uninteresting. It is simply that they are devastatingly hard to contemplate." Courtesy of The Observer. Read full review here. You can also read excerpts from the journals here.

    James sent in this notice; "'Nirvana' has entered the UK album Top 40 chart at number 3 ahead of the newly released Manic Street Preachers album and also ahead of the previously released Foo Fighters album. 'Nirvana' is however behind David Gray (number 1) and Gareth Gates (number 2)." The CD also reached #3 on the HMV album chart. Thanks to James M and Matthew.


    - - - November 4, 2002 - - -

    Today the legendary heavy-metal band Iron Maiden released their greatest hits compilation Edward The Great [in the UK], featuring 16 tracks spanning their lengthy career. At the same time they released a boxed set for the fans, offering some 77 tracks spread over six CD's. The reason I bring this up is that I think it can be compared to what the Nirvana camp did - or rather didn't do. What Iron Maiden did, well knowing that their true fans couldn't use a Greatest Hits CD for very much, was release something for them as well as potential newcomers.

    An article in the November 2002 issue of Classic Rock explains; "They haven't even reconvened yet to begin work on the follow-up to 2000's Brave New World album, but Iron Maiden are in the news again, with two new compilations to be issued via EMI on November 4." - "Maiden manager Rod Smallwood comments; 'We appreciate that the majority of our loyal fans will already have all these tracks [on the Greatest Hits album], but hope like us they will get a kick from seeing Iron Maiden TV ads blasting across the nation's homes. The 'greatest hits' album is aimed at those who need to be initiated into the world of Iron Maiden and metal, and to make sure everyone clearly understands that Eddie's Archive [the box-set] is for the fans, both releases will be on the same day. We will also make the amazing new themed 'Edward The Great' artwork be available as a free download from our website for our fans, because we wouldn't want them to feel obliged to buy a series of tracks they already have in their collection just to get the packaging."


    Now, I didn't post this to promote Iron Maiden and their new releases. I simply think it shows an interesting approach to pleasing fans, in the context of a 'Greatest Hits' release, and how their method can be compared to Nirvanas.

    For starters it should be noted that it is difficult to compare these two bands and situations since Iron Maiden is still active, and their band members are the ones deciding on new releases, etc. In addition, with Iron Maiden there have been no lengthy legal battles and lawsuits to fight over the rights to the music [which was essentially what halted the Nirvana boxed set].

    Even so, I think it's interesting to observe how they clearly understand the fact that fans are not particularly interested in the Greatest Hits CD since they will already have all the songs. The band even makes it explicit by putting the artwork for the CD on their website so that the fan won't be obligated, or feel a need, to buy the CD. And, most remarkably, they decide to acknowledge the fans' wishes by releasing a 6-CD boxed set of rarities and live material the same day.

    Nirvana only released a 'Best Of' CD that is essentially useless to most fans and only serves the purpose of introducing newcomers to Nirvana, and possibly get them to buy their back-catalogue. Of course, one selling-point is that the songs have been re-mastered and there's a couple of semi-rare versions of known songs (Been A Son, Pennyroyal Tea). Regardless, I don't think anyone can rightfully say that the 'true' fans benefit much from this album.

    What they would have benefitted from is a boxed set à la the one Iron Maiden released today. Indeed, a Nirvana boxed set has been planned for a long time but is still 1-2 years away from release ... and who knows what it will contain. I think it is interesting to point out how Iron Maiden chose to handle their 'Greatest Hits' release, putting the fans' point of view and desires ahead of the almighty dollar. In Maiden's case both the wishes of the fans and those new to the band (and heavy metal) are taken into consideration, and met in an extremely satisfactory way. I don't think that can be said in Nirvana's case -- unless waiting 6+ years for a boxset to arrive can be considered appropriate :)

    - - - November 3, 2002 - - -

    As mentioned several times before, tomorrow a book comprising some of Kurt Cobain's journals will be released. Courtney Love - who sold the rights to the journals to a publisher - recently commented on the book in a post on the Hole message board; "I gave maybe 15 percent of Kurt Cobain's writings to be edited. Mostly they are neutral. What some people are calling a 'love letter' was allowed because of the bigger point of the letter -- there is nothing of a sexual nature in anything you have [will] read, and very very little in terms of romance, or specific grudges or angry things. Anyway, brevity is the soul of making sure all understand a simple fact. This is a very very very small amount of his writing -- things he would have liked to see published. The reason is simple; he speaks for himself. His basic values are there and thats what counts. What [has] to do with his very personal self will never be there." In other words, only a small part of his journals will be in the book and the most personal and private things remain locked away. In any case, what did make it into the book will be revealed completely when the book is released tomorrow.

    The fans are very torn when it comes to this book. Some are disgusted by the whole concept while others feel it gives a unique insight to Kurt Cobain's life, and offers a rare glimpse of Nirvana 'behind the scenes'. I would like to hear your opinion about the fact that this book is being released. All the 'best' and most convincing reasons for both sites (supporting the release/not supporting it) will be compiled from the entries and posted here shortly.

    THANKS FOR ALL YOUR ENTRIES!

    VH-1 in the US have scheduled a Nirvana/Kurt Cobain special for November 18 @ 9.30 PM (EST); "Driven Presents: The Secret Life of Kurt Cobain. Through unreleased footage, photos and artwork, new interviews with friends, and stories from Kurt's heretofore unreleased journals, this news special will show the Kurt Cobain the public never knew. We lead it off with the controversy over his diary being released in the first place (many in the Nirvana camp refuse to read it) and the legal tussle over the release of the new song/album. This will segue into new revelations about Kurt's life."


    - - - November 2, 2002 - - -

    VH-1 in the UK will have a 'Nirvana Night' today;

  • 8:00 PM - Nirvana: MTV Unplugged
  • 9:00 PM - Ego's And Icon's: Nirvana
  • 10:00 PM - Kurt And Courtney The Movie
  • 11:30 PM - Greatest Hits: Showing all the best Nirvana Music Videos

    All times are GMT. Thanks to James Moore and Kevin.

    The Dutch Radio/TV station VPRO have put up an audio stream of a rare Nirvana session on their website. In November 1991 Nirvana visited the station and recorded the songs Here She Comes Now, Where Did You Sleep Last Night and a third song of which a title is not known (since the two other songs are covers this one most likely is too). The session starts with a funny jam of a song featuring Dave Grohl on vocals.

    Here She Comes Now from the session was originally broadcast on November 26, 1991 while Where Did You Sleep Last Night got aired the day after. Thus, these two songs have been available on bootlegs for years but the third song remained locked away in their vaults until now. The two first songs were originally broadcast on a show called Twee Meter De Lucht In (referred to as the 'Two Meter Sessie'). It is rumoured that they did at least two takes of Here She Comes Now (a Velvet Underground cover) and possibly jammed on other songs also. Anyhow, the VPRO website only put up the audio stream for 24 hours and during most of that time the site was so extremely slow that it was almost impossible to use it. You can visit it here.

    The 20-minute session can be downloaded here (thanks to Arthur). The VPRO website also offers an audio stream of Nirvana's performance at The Paradiso in Amsterdam on November 25, 1991. Follow this link. Also thanks to Guus.



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