The NFC FAQ - Part 2
Introduction: This FAQ was originally made available when the NFC first opened in 1997. Its purpose is to answer the most common questions about Nirvana, Kurt Cobain, this website and related topics. Currently it features detailed answers to more than 130 questions. In other words, if there is something you want answered, this section should be consulted first. Thus, please do not e-mail the NFC webmaster with questions that are answered here. As this resource is more than 10 years old, some questions and answers may seem dated.
Some questions are marked with bold in the list below. These are the questions I get most often. Also notice that some numbers are missing. This is simply because some questions/answers have been removed because they no longer seemed relevant for this document. The questions have been divided into sub-categories:
This site and its author
#01 Who made this site ?
#02 Who are you ?
#03 When did you make this site and why ?
#04 How do I join the club ?
#05 Why are your sound clips only 30 seconds or less ?
#15 I wanna add a link and/or your banner to my site, may I ?
#16 Could you add a link to my site please ?
#17 Do you have e-mails for Krist, Dave or Courtney Love?
#21 Is this the official Nirvana website ?
#22 Do you think Kurt Cobain was murdered ?
#23 I want FREE NIRVANA STUFF .. can you send it to me ?
#24 I have this cool file I want you to see, can I E-mail it to you ?
#25 I wanna chat with you, where can I find you online ?
#26 Can I advertise on your page with a banner for my site ?
#28 Can you send me a full length movie version of the song "xxxx"
#29 Can you send me a full length sound file of the song "xxxx"
#36 Hey, why do you keep this site up when you don't make any money off it ?
#47 Do you have the complete Nirvana version of Old Age ?
#51 I'm not very good at English, can I E-mail you in other languages ?
#52 Why do you have the suicide note on your page ?
#57 How do I [Insert question here] to the Nirvana Fan Club Newsletter ?
#62 I'd like to use some of your files, such as the lyrics, on my page. Can I ?
#65 Why don't you have more info on bands such as Foo Fighters & Eyes Adrift ?
#66 I found several errors in your tabs and/or lyrics !
#67 I'm trying to download this file from your site, but it's so slow!
#68 Which HTML editor did you use to make this site ?
Nirvana recordings and songs
#06 Where can I find full songs ?
#07 What exactly is a bootleg ?
#08 So, how do I get Nirvana bootlegs ?
#09 But how can I trade when I don't have any bootlegs ?
#10 So do you trade Nirvana bootlegs ?
#14 I want some rare Nirvana stuff, where can I get it ?
#31 Where is the hidden song on "In Utero" ?
#32 Where is the hidden song on "Nevermind" ?
#38 Where can I find the song "Sappy" (aka. "Verse Chorus Verse") ?
#39 Is "Verse Chorus Verse" the real title of that song ?
#40 Where can I get the "Outcesticide" bootlegs ?
#41 I can't find the Nirvana singles anywhere !
#42 What is 'NTSC' and 'PAL'? I have VHS!
#43 Where can I get Nirvana videos ?
#59 What's this "Fecal Matter Demo" I keep hearing about ?
#70 When did Nirvana perform on Saturday Night Live ?
#71 Is there a list of all Nirvana songs ?
#76 Which songs were cut from the MTV Unplugged performance ?
#78 Where can I find a list of bad Nirvana bootleg traders ?
#85 I have obtained a rare Nirvana item that I would like to sell. How ?
#88 Where do I get the song "I hate myself and want to die" ?
#91 What's this "The 'Priest' They Called Him" song I keep hearing about ?
#92 How many music videos did Nirvana make ?
#93 What Nirvana bootlegs are the best ?
#108 What is "Hormoaning" ?
#109 What is Kurt mumbling in the beginning of "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter" ?
#110 Where can I get a video/DVD of Nirvana's MTV Unplugged concert ?
#113 What is that song Kurt is playing in the living room, seen in LTSO ?
#116 Have any Nirvana DVD's been released?
#117 I found a rare Nirvana song on Napster/KaZaA/WinMX!
#120 Did Courtney Love write "Pennyroyal Tea"?
#121 What about "Old Age" then?
#123 Where can I find setlists for Nirvana's concerts?
#126 What is the deal with "You Know You're Right" (aka. "On A Mountain") ?
#128 What is "Token Eastern Song" (aka. "Born in a Junkyard") ?
#129 What is "Montage of Heck" ?
#130 How do I find MP3s of Nirvana songs on the net?
General Nirvana-related information
#11 Can you send me some information on Nirvana and stuff please ?
#13 What is the name of that baby on the "Nevermind" cover ?
#33 When will there be a new Nirvana album out ??
#37 How do you spell Kurt Cobain ?
#48 What does "Fuhgawz" mean ?
#49 What does "Chaka" mean ?
#50 I need Nirvana information for a school project !
#53 Who is the girl on the In Utero Disc ?
#54 Where did the title for "Smells Like Teen Spirit" come from ?
#55 What is the meaning behind [Insert song title here] ?
#56 Where can I find a list of Nirvana's albums ?
#63 Where is Kurt Cobain buried ? And was he cremated ?
#75 What is the exact date of Kurt's death ?
#77 Where can I find Kurt Cobain's Suicide Note ?
#83 Which brand of cigarettes did Kurt smoke ?
#84 Which brands of clothes did Kurt use ?
#90 Which bands were Kurt, Krist and Dave in before they joined Nirvana ?
#95 Which equipment, such as guitars and drums, did Nirvana use ?
#96 What is "waif me" all about ?
#99 What is the big deal about Nirvana's single for "Pennyroyal Tea" ?
#100 I have seen "24k GOLD" editions of some Nirvana albums ?
#102 Where do I get the latest news on Nirvana ?
#105 What was the first name of the band, now called "Nirvana" ?
#106 Why doesn't my "Incesticide" contain liner notes ?
#111 What does the word 'NIRVANA' mean ?
#122 How many times did John Duncan play with Nirvana ?
#125 What exactly is Nirvana's record label?
#34 Where can I meet other Nirvana fans to talk with ?
#64 Did Puff Daddy do a cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" ?
#72 What is "JAMPAC" ?
#81 Who is Lynn Hirschberg ?
#86 How many Nirvana websites are out there ?
#87 Where can I find the autopsy pictures of Kurt Cobain ?
#89 I'm looking for pictures of Frances Bean Cobain ?
#97 I have a Nirvana item that I believe to be rare. What is it worth ?
#98 What is up with that movie "Highway" (aka. "A Leonard Cohen Afterworld") ?
#104 Is the Foo Fighters song "My Hero" about Kurt Cobain ?
#107 Are there any official websites for Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Eyes Adrift & Hole ?
#112 Why did Kurt get in a fight with someone at the Dallas '91 show ?
#114 What did Kurt think of Pearl Jam ?
#115 Who was Frances Farmer ?
#118 Where do I find the bridge, mentioned in "Something in the way"?
#119 What does the sticker on Kurt's guitar say?
#124 I saw some Nirvana albums called; "Orange & Blue", "All of Us" ... ?
#127 Have the remaining members of Nirvana ever reunited after Kurt died?
#131 Did Kurt have a tattoo on his arm?
#133 What are some good Nirvana or Cobain-related places to visit in Seattle or Aberdeen?
Q #62: I'd like to use some of your files, such as the lyrics, on my page. Can I ?
A: The short answer would be yes since I don't own the copyright for most of the files on this site. But I am asking that if you take something from this site, such as documents, please give me credit for it and please don't take "everything". For example by taking all the document files, since I worked a while with typing it all up, and people contributed to it. With the files I created myself, I ask that you either link directly to the file on this server or if you want to put it on your own site, please ask first. In any case, leave the file UNEDITED with the original copyright comments and other information included.
Q #63: Where is Kurt Cobain buried ? And was he cremated ?
A: Kurt Cobain was not buried since you ask. The official reason for this is that Courtney and the large cemeteries, mainly the ones in Seattle, did not want fans "invading" the place like it is the case in Paris where Jim Morrison is buried, for example. Kurt was cremated and I believe parts of his ashes were scattered over the Wishkah river, while Courtney apparently has the remaining ashes in her possession. Some people say she has the ashes in a teddy bear, some say she doesn't have them at all. Exact details are unknown. Though, Aaron Chernak believes that; "Courtney carried the ashes around with her in a back pack for a while. She even got in trouble with a customs agent in an airport because they thought Kurt was a container of drugs. She flipped out and caused a whole scene, and they let her go. Later when she started to come to her senses, she buried the ashes by the tree she and Kurt planted together at the Lake Washington house. When she moved, she transplanted the tree, and all the surrounding dirt with ashes to her new home and replanted it." Andrew Preston also added some interesting information; "In the summer of 1998 I visited Aberdeen, WA. Kurt's home town. There I met a woman who knew Kurt personally and made a statue of him. Her name is Ria Kamache, and she is a credible source. She works in an autobody shop where she keeps her statue, and has no plans to profit from it, showing it to anyone interested. She told me that she was given a small portion of Kurt's ashes by Courtney Love (who visits from time to time) to use in the statue. You can't see them of course, but I do believe her, and I advise you [to] visit her in Aberdeen. Her shop is across from the Grays Harbor Welcome Center."
There was an official memorial service for friends and family, and others close to Kurt, in April 1994. Finally there was a vigil for Nirvana fans on April 10 1994 in Seattle, WA.
Q #64: Did Puff Daddy do a cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" ?
A: Not to my knowledge. This rumor started when MTV did a story about the soundtrack to the movie "Highway" (then entitled "A Leonard Cohen Afterworld"), and apparently the soundtrack was to feature Nirvana covers by various artists. Then, as a joke, MTV stated that Puff Daddy could be doing a cover of SLTS. The way I see it, they just meant it as a joke ... they could also have joked about Marilyn Manson doing a cover of Polly, or whatever.
Q #65: Why don't you have more info on bands such as Foo Fighters & Eyes Adrift ?
A: Because this is a Nirvana site. It would be virtually impossible to do a complete site about just Nirvana and the Foo Fighters. There is so much material for these two bands and I would not have the energy nor resources to concentrate on both bands. So I just focus on Nirvana and mention Foo Fighters, Eyes Adrift, or Hole if there is important news concerning their activities - such as a new album or things like that. There are many good Foo Fighters websites out there, with my favorite being www.foofighters.com.
Q #66: I found several errors in your tabs and/or lyrics !
A: Yep, they're hard to get rid of. Since there are only officially printed lyrics available for the two albums Nevermind and In Utero, it is somewhat hard to get 100% accurate lyrics for the other albums. So I, and contributors, just interpreted the lyrics as we hear them and that's just about it. Only Kurt Cobain knows the exact lyrics to all his songs, so just take the lyric files with a grain of salt. After numerous corrections and suggestions from other people, I think I have managed to write down somewhat accurate lyrics for the seven official Nirvana albums. Find the lyrics and more info here. The tablature [tabs] is a whole different story; there are many good tablature books out there but they too have errors, usually. So it is difficult to get accurate tabs for the Nirvana songs, and I don't know how to tab songs myself since I don't play guitar. For more info on all this, please refer to the tablature section.
Q #67: I'm trying to download this file from your site, but it's so slow!
A: I'm afraid I can't really help that. Usually the server which hosts this domain is rather fast but during peak hours it can be extremely slow and it can take a long time to download even short files. All I can suggest is that you try to download the certain file again at a later time, and I'm sure it will work. I can assure you that no files on this server have technical errors, and no files have a virus.
Q #68: Which HTML editor did you use to make this site ?
A: I didn't use an HTML editor, but a nifty little piece of software called Notepad+ by RogSoft. It is pretty much the same as the notepad program that comes with Windows, but this one has a few extra features such as using a fixed font, using colors and other details. Anyway I wrote all the HTML files with this program. For the CGI scripts I used Notepad+ to write and edit them in, Perl5 and a HTTPd client to test them. For editing pictures and making new ones, I used Lview PRO, ACDSee32 and Adobe Photoshop v5.0. To make animations, I used either Paint Shop Pro v5.01 or Gif Construction Set. For the sounds, such as MP3s, I used Cool Edit Pro v1.01 to record them, and MP3 Compressor to encode the MP3 files. The only thing I used an HTML editor for [Netscape Composer and CoffeeCup HTML Editor++] was to find the color codes and some other obscure HTML tags. Some of this software can be downloaded from Tucows.
Q #70: When did Nirvana perform on Saturday Night Live ?
A: Well, the first time they did was on the 11th of January 1992 - performing their hit song "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and finishing the show with another Nevermind classic, "Territorial Pissings". During the closing credits, Krist decides to kiss his band mates ... pretty funny moment! This Nirvana performance is fairly easy to find on video and audio while the complete show is a tad harder to come by. The second and final time they performed on Saturday Night Live was on the 25th of September 1993, performing the two In Utero songs "Heart-Shaped Box" and "Rape Me". Another great performance, and a great show featuring Charles Barkley as guest host and the usual SNL cast, including the late Phil Hartman and Chris Farley. This performance and full show is fairly easy to get on video and is often broadcast on various channels. Both shows have been aired at Comedy Central a number of times. Also available is Nirvana's rehearsals for the 1993 show, featuring a few different versions of the two songs and some funny clips with Nirvana and Barkley.
Q #71: Is there a list of all Nirvana songs ?
A: Yes. The most complete list can be found here.
Q #72: What is "JAMPAC" ?
A: JAMPAC stands for "Joint Artists and Music Promoters Action Committee" and was a non-profit organization who were "working to ensure complete and total artistic freedoms to all artists and music industry companies". The organization was founded by Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic who was the president of JAMPAC. I don't believe the organization exists anymore. At least the website for it doesn't.
Q #75: What is the exact date of Kurt's death ?
A: His body was discovered by electrician Gary Smith during the morning of Friday, April 8th 1994. The coroner believes that the body had been lying there for a few days, so he died in the beginning of April. The official date for his death, as it is listed on Kurt's death certificate, is the 5th of April 1994. He was born on the 20th of February 1967. Cobain was thereby 27 when he died.
Q #76: Which songs were cut from the MTV Unplugged performance ?
A: From MTV's official broadcast the songs "Oh Me" and "Something in the way" were cut out, but are available on the CD release of the show. However, both the CD and MTV's original broadcast are really missing a significant portion of talking, small jams and more -- the CD is missing no full songs though. In fact the complete show runs some 70 minutes, while MTV broadcast *exactly* 45 mins and the official CD is 54 mins. A bootleg video of the complete 70 min show has turned up. If you want to know why songs were cut, please refer to the interview I did with Alex Coletti who produced the show. Check the interview here.
Q #77: Where can I find Kurt Cobain's Suicide Note ?
A: Search Google. A scan of the note is also available. It was made by Tom Grant who borrowed the note from Courtney Love, and made a copy of it on her fax machine.
Q #78: Where can I find a list of bad Nirvana bootleg traders ?
A: For the record, a bad trader is a person who doesn't send the stuff that was agreed upon in the trading deal - or a person that lies significantly about having a show or whatever. A bad trader is not a guy who sends a couple of weeks too late, that's just how it can be. livenirvana.com maintains an extensive listing of bad traders.
Q #81: Who is Lynn Hirschberg ?
A: She is a writer for the magazine Vanity Fair. In 1992, she wrote an article claiming that Courtney was using heroin during her pregnancy which obviously upset both Courtney and Kurt since it was not true. This resulted in the couple presenting Hirschberg with severe threats and many people got upset with her.
Q #83: Which brand of cigarettes did Kurt smoke ?
A: Well I do believe he smoked "Winston Lights 100". That is just the standard answer you'd get to the question. Someone said he also smoked Marlboro Lights. Apparently he also smoked Benson & Hedges Ultra Delux Light Menthals 100's and he liked hand-rolled cigarettes.
Q #84: Which brands of clothes did Kurt use ?
A: Personally I couldn't care less about that, but for those who do care he is an answer. Jordan Sullivan believes he wore Levi's straight leg regular jeans in 1989, and he had at least four pairs of these pants. One stone washed and Jordan believes he was wearing this pair during the interview in Cincinatti in 1989. Kurt also used cardigan sweaters and the Vans shoes. Kurt also wore Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars at times, and he wore a lot of shirts (homemade and non) advertising bands that were lesser known from the underground that he felt deserved recognition. Thanks to Joshua for this info.
Q #85: I have obtained a rare Nirvana item that I would like to sell. How ?
A: I do believe a popular place to sell such items is the online auction eBay. Usually, hundreds of Nirvana items are for sale here. It is everything from common CDs, T-shirts to hardcore collector items such as autographs and the Love Buzz 7". Go to the eBay page for more information on how to register and be able to sell items there. You can also leave a message about it on the newsgroup.
Q #86: How many Nirvana websites are out there ?
A: It's tempting to say "millions!" but the correct answer would probably be thousands, or hundreds at least. There is a lot of them out there. Actually it's one of the only music groups who have such a large number of websites about them. Of course there are no complete listings of them all, but for a nice listing of some, check out Yahoo! or the NFC links section.
Q #87: Where can I find the autopsy pictures of Kurt Cobain ?
A: I remember a website called "Dan's Gallery of the Grotesque" or something like that. It claimed to have the authentic autopsy pictures of Kurt Cobain's remains. I don't know if it did, but I gather it was just the picture that is still floating around the net. If you do a little search on the words 'Cobain' and 'Autopsy' on search engines such as Lycos or Excite, you should be able to find the picture I have in mind. Anyway, this very picture is most likely a fake since you can't really make out what it actually IS on that picture - and it certainly doesn't look like Kurt Cobain. It could be anything on that picture, literally.
I've also seen 2-3 other pics that claim to be showing Kurt's body but I don't think the person on those pictures looks like Kurt at all, and other circumstances prove them to be fakes. The truth is that I strongly believe that all the "autopsy" pictures of Cobain floating on the net are either fake, or showing a different person. Of course the Seattle P.D. did take Polaroid's of the scene, but they are not available to the public. Please don't ask me to send you the fake pictures, you can find them on some of the more fanatic websites out there. On the picture I mentioned in the beginning of this answer, you can see a bottle on the left and big pile of blood in the middle -- if you find a pic resembling that description, it's probably the one I was talking about, and it should be fake. Just for the record I think it's extremely distasteful to talk about this and a picture like that should never be available to the public. I take no responsibility if you get offended by one of the fake autopsy pictures. I didn't create them and I will not give links to them. I think they're appalling.
Q #88: Where do I get the song "I hate myself and want to die" ?
A: This fine song is the first track on the compilation album called "The Beavis and Butt-head Experience". This compilation album put out in 1993 on Geffen features other great artists as well, such as Anthrax, Megadeth, Aerosmith, White Zombie, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and the popular duet with Beavis and Butthead and Cher for the song "I got you babe". 'I hate myself and want to die' was also the original title of Nirvana's third studio album, but at the last minute it was changed to "In Utero". According to the official Nirvana Biography, Kurt claims to have called the album and the song "I hate myself and want to die" because he was mocking the stereotypes the media was creating about him and applying to him [Thanks to DaBurke101@aol.com for this info]
Q #89: I'm looking for pictures of Frances Bean Cobain ?
A: There are a couple of pictures of her in the pictury gallery on this site. For recent pictures of Frances, check the news section archive.
Q #90: Which bands were Kurt, Krist and Dave in before they joined Nirvana ?
A: Well, the list of pre-Nirvana bands for each member is somewhat long but the authors of the Nirvana FAQ have compiled a list with some of the band names. The FAQ is no longer online, though. The list of bands that former Nirvana drummer Chad Channing played in include: Fire Ants, 48 School, The Magnet Men, Stone Crow, Tic Dolly Row and probably a few others. He was recently in the brilliant band The Methodists that evolved into 'TVIV' after Dan McDonald's departure from The Methodists. Currently he's playing drums for East of the Equator. Krist was in Sweet 75 but they broke up and then a few years later he joined Eyes Adrift. They ended in mid 2003. Dave Grohl is in the highly successful Foo Fighters. Pat Smear was also in this band once but left in 1997. More info here.
Q #91: What's this "The 'Priest' They Called Him" song I keep hearing about ??
A: Kurt Cobain decided to contribute to this project which is basically a recording of author William S. Burroughs reading one of his short stories, with Kurt playing background guitar. Burroughs' voice was recorded in Lawrence, KS in September 1992 and Kurt's guitar solo was recorded in November 1992. The project started because Tim Kerr records' Thor Lindsay knew Cobain was interested in Burroughs. "Me and Kurt had been talking beat books for awhile, and trading them," he says. "I sent him a first edition, autographed edition of Naked Lunch with a dust jacket; that literally became his bible, pretty much is what he stated. Then he wanted to talk to Burroughs, so I gave him William's number. He told me, "If there's any kind of idea about me and Burroughs ..." and I said, "You should do a collaboration." He said "I'd do it in a second!" So that's how Priest came about." - taken from the Goldmine article. You can find the full text to the story in the lyrics section. The piece was released by Tim Kerr records and is available on CD and vinyl. William Burroughs died in '97.
Q #92: How many music videos did Nirvana make ?
A: They made seven official music videos. They are as follows:
In Bloom (early version from 4/90, ended up on Sub Pop's "Video Network #1")
Smells Like Teen Spirit (from "Nevermind")
Lithium (from "Nevermind", features clips of the 10/31/91 show)
Come As You Are (from "Nevermind")
In Bloom (from "Nevermind", final version)
Sliver (from "Incesticide", features Frances Bean)
Heart-Shaped Box (from "In Utero")
You Know You're Right (released in 2002 -- compiled from archive footage)
The first video, In Bloom, features Chad Channing and the sound part of this one
comes from the 4/90 session at the Smart Studios in Madison, WI. For the new version
of the In Bloom video, the sound comes from the 'Nevermind' album. There are three
different versions available of this one. One is the "all dresses" version, once aired
on 120 Minutes and also seen on VH-1 a few times. Another is an "all suits" version
which I believe has never aired. The final is the most common version, which is a mix
of the two others (the band is featured in both suits and dresses).
There are two slightly different versions of the Heart-Shaped Box video. In one, there is a scene with Kurt lying in a field of poppies - in the other he is sitting in a room with Krist and Dave during the same spot of the video.
Apart from these, MTV have released some live clips, while they are incorrectly calling them "Nirvana music videos". This includes "Aneurysm" from "Live! Tonight! Sold Out!!" and songs from the MTV Unplugged session. Most commonly "All Apologies" and "About a Girl". Other "videos" MTV have been broadcasting are of songs such as "Territorial Pissings" and "Polly", really from the 01/10/92 show at the MTV Studios in New York, NY. This show can be recognized by Kurt's hair being red, or purple rather.
I believe the band were working on a video for "Pennyroyal Tea" shortly before Cobain's demise, however I have not been able to get this confirmed. It does seem likely since the single for this song was put out shortly before his death and thereafter immediately called back, resulting in only a few thousand copies reaching the market. It is worth to mention that the music videos have not been released on video tape officially, however, they are often broadcasted on music television channels such as MTV, Viva, VH-1, Much Music, ZTV and M2. The legendary video for the hit "Smells Like Teen Spirit" has been broadcasted on MTV Europe and MTV US about a million times (or around that!) and many other channels as well.
The band had planned on making a few videos from songs on
"Bleach"; on a PRO shot video of a show in Mexico, recorded on the 18th of February 1990, the
first song "School" didn't have the original live music, but "School" from 'Bleach' was dubbed
over the original sound. The only real explanation for this is that the band planned on making a
music video out of this. Also, in March 1990 the band went to Olympia, WA to shoot some music
videos at the Evergreen State College. This resulted in the songs "School", "Big Cheese", "Lithium" and
"Floyd the barber" being played live there where after a lot of special effects and stuff like
that was added to the sound part of the "show" - making them more or less music videos. However, these videos have
never been released officially. Finally, the band went to a Radio Shack store in early January of 1988
where they also wanted some music videos done. Clips from this was aired on US TV in 1994.
In connection with the release of the Best-Of album in 2002, a video for "You Know You're Right" was released. It features a collage of clips from Nirvana concerts, interviews and various promos.
Q #93: Which Nirvana bootlegs are the best ?
A: To answer this question I will just list some of the bootlegs that I've had most requests for. They include: Outcesticide I-IV, 08/30/92 Reading, 02/22/94 Rome, 02/25/94 Milan, 01/23/88 Tacoma, 08/19/90 San Diego, 11/25/90 Seattle, 01/10/92 New York [complete], 12/31/93 Oakland and 03/01/94 Munich. This list is not necessarily of the best Nirvana bootlegs, just the ones that people seem to be requesting most often. I think the Outcesticide series are the best to get if you want rare, or uncommon songs, and 02/22/94 is one of the best to get if you just want a concert in good quality, and a really good performance from the "In Utero" tour. For reviews of many Nirvana bootlegs, check Digital Nirvana. As for videos, the ones I've had most requests for are without a doubt 01/10/92, 08/30/92, 12/31/93 and 06/23/89 is popular also.
Q #95: Which equipment, such as guitars and drums, did Nirvana use ?
A: I don't play an instrument such as a guitar myself, so I've never really paid attention to the specifics of the equipment Kurt, Krist and Dave used for recording their albums and on the concert tours. I know that Kurt used a slew of different guitars, mostly Fender guitars (i.e. the Jaguar model). In fact he had an unique guitar designed for him - the JagStang. There are many good equipment guides out there, mostly concerning Kurt's guitars though.
One is Brian's Kurt Cobain Equipment FAQ which is available here. It is worth to mention that the band's guitar technician, Ernie Bailey, has contributed to this guide. There are a few other guides out there too. For a great and very detailed description on how the Nevermind album was recorded, and which equipment was used to do so - you should definitely check out the new book "Classic Rock Albums: Nevermind - Nirvana" by Jim Berkenstadt and Charles Cross. The book describes everything related to the Nevermind album, mostly the recording of it, and also the Smart Studio Sessions in April 1990. Buy it online here.
Q #96: What is "waif me" all about ??
A: "Waif me" is the censored title for the song "Rape Me" from the In Utero album. Available is a "clean", censored, version of the album which can be purchased at "nice" places such as Walmart and K-mart. The catalogue number is DGCD-24705 on Geffen Records, Inc. The censored version of the album lists, on the back, a song called "Waif Me" but it is really just another name for "Rape Me". This version of the album also features a slightly different mix of the song "Pennyroyal Tea". The same mix that can be found on the single of the same name and the Best-of album. Other than that the censored version is equal to the regular one. It doesn't contain "Gallons of rubbing alcohol flow through the strip" though. I got the impression that "Incesticide" had also been censored in some countries, with an "explicit lyrics" sticker.
Q #97: I have a Nirvana item that I believe to be rare. What is it worth ?
A: That is very difficult to say. As mentioned earlier in this FAQ you can try putting a rare item up for sale on eBay and set a certain minimum price for it. If nobody bids, the price is perhaps too high so you can try lowering it. You get the drift. You can also try bringing your item to a specialized record store who may be able to give an approx. value of it. The CDs and vinyls that were only pressed in a limited edition are always the most valueable ones. For example the first single for Love Buzz was only pressed in 1000 copies. With that and it being over 10 years old it is worth a lot. About $500 I believe. If everything else fails, you could try asking around among Nirvana fans & try to get them to give a guess on how much the item is worth.
Q #98: What is up with that movie "Highway" (aka. "A Leonard Cohen Afterworld") ?
A: The movie is about "two teenage friends who, on the weekend of Kurt Cobain's death in April 1994, use the memorial vigil in Seattle as an excuse to escape to Las Vegas." "A Leonard Cohen Afterworld" is a line from the song "Pennyroyal Tea". This was the original title of the movie, but it was ultimately changed to "Highway". I talked with the property master of the film who provided some info to past NFC Newsletters. It stars Jared Leto and Selma Blair and is available on VHS/DVD.
Q #99: What is the big deal about Nirvana's single for "Pennyroyal Tea" ?
A: Since the answer to this question was getting really really detailed, I decided to collect comprehensive information about the single on it's own page. You may view it here.
Q #100: I have seen "24k GOLD" editions of some Nirvana albums ?
A: These 24-karat gold discs by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab are only good if you have a really high quality unit to play the discs on. The discs are described as: "The Ultimate Listening Experience as the original edition 24-karat gold audiophile CD, ULTRADISC II remains unsurpassed, delivering music reproduction as close to the actual recording session as possible. ULTRADISC II is mastered directly from the original master tape. Consequently, it does not suffer the loss of musical information inherent in the standard practice of mastering from production copies." - "Each disc is custom-pressed using 24-karat gold, known for it's superior reflective qualities and it's resistance to oxidation." All this sounds very impressive but the fact is that besides a more "clean" sound, and a better separation of the instruments, you can't really tell these Gold discs apart from the conventional CDs. Unless you have, as mentioned, a unit of very high quality to play these discs on - it is not worth getting them. Although one advantage with them is the fact that they should, in theory, last longer with the pressing being on gold plated discs which are more solid and long-lasting compared to the regular silver CDs. Currently, Nirvana's "Nevermind" (MFSL UDCD 666) and "In Utero" (MFSL UDCD 690) are available on 24k Gold discs. This edition of Nevermind includes all tracks, including "Endless, Nameless" while the 24k edition of "In Utero" contains 12 tracks, thus not "Gallons of rubbing alcohol flow through the strip". Obviously the CDs can be played back with any CD player, regardless of how advanced it is. However, I believe if you want the best result, you need a high quality unit to play it with.
Q #102: How do I get the latest news on Nirvana ?
A: Simply go here. This news section will always contain the very latest updates on Nirvana and is the only of it's kind on the net - that covers Nirvana related news in such detail. If you have news to add here, simply e-mail it to us. This section replaced the NFC Newsletters.
Q #104: Is the Foo Fighters song "My Hero" about Kurt Cobain ?
A: In a way it is. Guitar World magazine asked Dave Grohl himself, who wrote the song, about this in their August 1997 issue:
GW: Is "My Hero" about anyone in particular?
Grohl: It's about a bunch of people. When I was young, I didn't have sports heroes. I had "guitar heroes," but they didn't really mean that much to me. So my heroes were just people in my life that I had a lot of respect for. They were people that I know that just seemed like ordinary people. What, do kids look up to Dennis Rodman as a hero? What for - wanting to be six feet or ten feet tall so you can put a basketball in a hoop? That's just not my kind of hero.
Grohl: I'm sure. People have already said that " 'My Hero' is obviously about Kurt." And, in a way, it is. But there's nothing wrong with that.
Grohl: Yeah. Basically, it's about the power of the ordinary person.
For a scan of the page with this interview, click
Q #105: What was the first name of the band, now called "Nirvana" ?
A: Well, as mentioned previously in this FAQ - the first band Kurt Cobain formed was called Fecal Matter and they recorded a demo tape in late 1985. There is speculation, though, that Kurt Cobain recorded a demo in 1982 called "Organized Confusion". I believe Mari Earl, Kurt's aunt, stated that at one point. No recording is available of this and nobody knows which songs it featured.
The band Fecal Matter was Kurt Cobain on guitar and vocals, Dale Crover on bass and Greg Hokanson on drums. They also got help from Mike Dillard who took over on drums from Greg occasionally. More info about the band and demo can be found here. At this point, Kurt was a huge fan of the Melvins and had become friends with Buzz Osborne who is the frontman of this band. Kurt tried out for becoming the guitarist for The Melvins, but apparently it didn't work out. Instead he convinced Melvins drummer Dale Crover to record a demo with him; The Fecal Matter Demo. Fecal Matter played a handful of minor live gigs and a few gigs supporting The Melvins, but split up shortly after recording the demo. Then, Buzz Osborne introduced Kurt to Krist Novoselic and they became friends. Kurt gave Krist a copy of the Fecal Matter Demo and after listening to it a few times, he decided to form a band with Kurt. At the same time, Dale and Buzz from The Melvins used Kurt on guitar and lead vocals in a band called 'Brown Towel' (mislabeled as 'Brown Cow' on a poster). This band didn't last for long, and instead Kurt and Krist formed a new band called 'Stiff Woodies'. This one didn't last long either, so they [Kurt and Krist] finally settled on a band called 'The Sellouts' with Steve Newman on bass guitar. But then Steve lost his fingers in a chainsaw accident, so it was time to find a new lineup. According to a Nirvana book by Jeremy Dean, Kurt and Krist continued as a duo at this point - using Robert [Bob] McFadden on drums for rehearsals.
In April 1987, Kurt and Krist recruited Aaron Burckhard on drums and with this lineup they did a few gigs, and recorded a demo at the KAOS Radio on April 17th, 1987. To begin with, this band [Aaron, Kurt and Krist] was called Skid Row. Later they changed from Skid Row to Ted Ed Fred, to Bliss, to Throat Oyster, to Pen Cap Chew, to Windowpane - before finally settling on Nirvana. Using this final name, the band recorded their first demo in January 1988 at Reciprocal Studios in Seattle, with Jack Endino, using Dale Crover on drums. Since he was too busy with The Melvins, they needed to recruit a full-time drummer, and eventually teamed up with Chad Channing. Others who have been in the band under the name 'Nirvana' were Dave Foster, Jason Everman, Dan Peters, Dave Grohl, John Duncan and Pat Smear. And the rest is history ...
It is worth to mention that at least two other bands go by the name 'Nirvana' as well.
One British band from the 60's who've had a couple of hits, and released a number of
albums that can be found in many record stores. The other is a less known pro-christian band
from the 80's who tried to sue Kurt and Krist's Nirvana, for using the name 'Nirvana'. Also,
as of now, no recordings exist of the bands Brown Towel, The Sellouts and the Stiff Woodies.
Q #106: Why doesn't my 'Incesticide' contain liner notes ?
A: For some funny reason, most of the Incesticide CDs floating around do not contain the liner notes written by Kurt. In his notes Kurt Cobain states, among other things, that; "If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of different color, or women, please do this one favor for us - leave us the fuck alone! Don't come to our shows and don't buy our records." I believe that this statement and the other swearing in the notes made Geffen remove them entirely from most copies of the album. Of course, I couldn't agree with Kurt more on that statement but it could offend some. In addition, some of the copies of the album that contains these notes have an 'Explicit content' sticker on the front. Some copies of the album without the liner notes by Kurt have this sticker too. Mine didn't, but it doesn't contain the liner notes either. The copies without the notes only contain a fold out page with pictures of the band members, info on all the songs such as who produced them etc. Chances are that if you buy the album today it will not contain the liner notes. If you purchased it shortly after it's release, it would probably contain the notes. It's all guess work at this point, really. Some also claim that only the US distribution of the album features the liner notes while others, including European copies, do not contain this. Again, I don't know for sure what the exact truth behind this is. I got my copy in 1994 I believe and it didn't contain the liner notes nor the 'Explicit content' sticker. It did, however, contain a sticker on the front that reads "Inside Incesticide: Rare B-Sides, BBC Sessions, Original Demo Recordings, Outtakes, Stuff Never Before Available. GED 24504." The catalogue number is: "GED 24504" and the matrix number is: "Sonopress G-6431/GED 24504 A1". A scan of the standard fold-out sheet that comes with all copies is presented below.
You can read the liner notes here. Let me know if you have more info that can solve this mystery. I found this in a recent copy of the HSMB; "They [The Incesticide CDs with liner notes] have the same stock number but they're written differently on the spine. The one without the liner notes says "NIRVANA *DGCD 24504 INCESTICIDE" whereas the liner note version has the same text but the stock number font is smaller, it's missing the asterisk and DGC is written underneath it." Thanks to Aaron for this. YOU CAN NOT use the above description to entirely identify whether the album has the liner notes, however, since people have reported that copies missing the asterisk don't necessarily contain the notes. Check a small scan of the regular fold out page here. You can also find a scan of the liner notes here and here. Both scans courtesy of Jason. Juan claims that only the first American pressing from October 1992 includes the liner notes.
Q #107: Are there any official websites for Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Sweet 75 and Hole ?
A: The only official Nirvana site at this point is the one hosted by their record label, Geffen. Find it in the links section. There is a terrific official Foo Fighters website here.
Jack Endino, who produced 'Bleach' has a great site here that you could check also. Also, Krist Novoselic opened his own site a while back offering info on his current activities. Visit his 'Murky Slough' here. The domain nirvana.com was handed over to Nirvana's lawyers in late 1999, but so far no site on the address has been unveiled.
Q #108: What is "Hormoaning" ?
A: Hormoaning is an EP that was released in Japan and Australia in January of 1992 to promote the band's present tour of the pacific rim. As it was only released in these two countries it is still considered to be somewhat rare, however most large record stores around the world have imported the album. It is also widely available at online record stores, and online auctions. The album usually sells for between $20-$40. The Australian version is slightly different, with changed front and back covers. The tracklisting of "Hormoaning" is as follows:
Son Of A Gun
Even In His Youth
Q #109: What is Kurt mumbling in the beginning of "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter" ?
A: Most believe that he is saying "What's your name? Do you like me?"
Q #110: Where can I get a video of Nirvana's MTV Unplugged concert ?
A: First of all, this show has been aired on MTV (and a number of other channels) quite a few times. You can count on it being aired every April in conjunction with the anniversary of Kurt's death. The concert has never been officially released on video. However, a bootleg of the entire show (70 minutes) is widely available and can usually be found at eBay. Though, these copies might be poor quality, depending on the source. Currently there are no plans of releasing the video officially, or make a DVD of it, but it can't be ruled out that this would happen in the future. Read my interview with Alex Coletti for more information and check the answer to question #76.
Q #111: What does the word 'NIRVANA' mean ?
A: This is from the Obituary Birthday FAQ; "The word 'Nirvana' is defined by The American Heritage Dictionary as: 1. Buddhism a. The state of absolute blessedness, characterized by release from the cycle of reincarnations and attained through the extinction of the self. b. A similar state in which reunion with Brahma is attained through the suppression of individual existence. 2. An ideal condition of rest, harmony, stability, or joy." Kurt picked the name because; "[he] wanted a name that was kind of beautiful or nice and pretty instead of a mean, raunchy punk rock name like the Angry Samoans and because he 'wanted to have something different.' " Again courtesy of the Obituary Birthday FAQ.
Q #112: Why did Kurt get in a fight with someone at the Dallas '91 show ?
A: As seen in the "Live! Tonight! Sold Out!!" video, during a show in Dallas on October 19 (1991), Kurt gets in a fight with a bouncer at the venue during Nirvana's performance of "Love Buzz". Here's the full background; "The monitors were shit and Kurt couldn't hear anything. He was also VERY drunk. After a purposely bad performacne of "Polly" where he hits his distortion pedal randomly throughout the song, Kurt walks over to the monitor board and bashes it 3 times with his guitar. He didn't smash the soundboard. He smashed the monitor board. After a pause, they started playing again. The bouncer in the middle of the stage is really pissed off at Kurt's behavior, and he walks across the stage at one point and pushes Kurt out of his way and says something in his ear. Kurt makes motions after this like he wants to kick him. There are 3 bouncers across the stage. The audience is VERY close to the stage, pushing forward and getting onstage and making the bouncer's jobs very difficult. There is a bouncer seated right at Kurt's feet, on top of his monitor, keeping the fans from knocking over his microphone. Kurt, obviously pissed off, starts motioning to the crowd to "surge forward" and give the bouncers a hard time....behind their backs. Then during "Love Buzz", Kurt jumps into the crowd. The bouncer in the middle of the stage is not amused again, and he grabs Kurt by the hair and starts jabbing him. Kurt takes his guitar and bashes him hard in the forehead, giving him a nasty gash. Then the bouncer comes up and attacks Kurt from behind as he gets back onstage. Dave and Krist jumps in to interrupt the fight and Krist tries to wipe away blood from the bouncer's face with his shirt, as seen in the video of the show. The show stops for another long period, and then continues straight to the end without further incidents. Then, supposedly, there was the incident after the show with the cab where the bouncer tried to kick Kurt's ass. They pulled away just in time to avoid injury." Thanks to Juan for most of this info.
Q #113: What is that song Kurt is playing in the living room, seen in "Live! Tonight! Sold Out!!" ?
A: It's no particular song. It's just a jam. He is basically playing some made-up riff and singing to himself. It's unlikely that this was a Nirvana song, or an incomplete version of a song to be. It is not "All along the watchtower" or some other cover of a known song.
Q #114: What did Kurt think of Pearl Jam ?
A: From Juan; "He did not like Stone Gossard and Jeff Ament for various reasons, including old Sub Pop-related conflicts with their old band Green River. He became good friends with Eddie Vedder towards the end of his life." Kurt also stated in several interviews that he hated Pearl Jam's music.
Q #115: Who was Frances Farmer ?
A: Frances Farmer was a popular actress from Seattle, who lived from 1917 to 1970; "Frances Farmer, known around her home town as the 'bad girl of West Seattle' for her spirited, headstrong and magnetic personality, was the stunningly beautiful actress of stage and screen whose all-too-brief career lit up Hollywood and Broadway in the '30s and '40s. Appearing like a comet out of the Pacific Northwest to make her film debut in 1936 in Too Many Parents, during the next six years she appeared in 18 films, three Broadway plays, thirty major radio shows and seven stock company productions – all by the age of 27. She was soon being compared to Greta Garbo." - "In January of 1943, Farmer starred in the film No Escape, an ironic title, considering the direction that her life would take. According to one account, 'Drinking heavily and relying on amphetamines, which only made her more volatile and [difficult],' she got into a fight and was arrested. In court the following morning, she was placed into the custody of psychiatrist Thomas H. Leonard. Leonard, with whom Farmer refused to cooperate, soon diagnosed her as 'suffering from manic-depressive psychosis – probably the forerunner of a definite dementia praecox,' a diagnosis 'which has since been dismissed as meaningless gibberish.' The next day she was transferred to the screen actors' sanitarium in La Crescenta." In the following years, Frances was tourtured and raped repeatedly at various institutions and hospitals. The title of Nirvana's song "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle" was inspired by the sad story of the Seattle actress. And no, Frances Bean Cobain was not named after her, but after Frances of The Vaselines. Thanks to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights for the info on Frances Farmer.
Q #116: Have any Nirvana DVD's been released?
A: The first official stand-alone Nirvana DVD release was "Live! Tonight! Sold Out!!" in 2006. There's also a DVD included with the 2004 box set, "With The Lights Out".
In March 2005, "Classic Albums: Nevermind" was released on DVD. The documentary chronicles the recording of this landmark album. It features brand new interviews with Butch Vig, Krist Novoselic, Dave Grohl, Jack Endino and many others. They also re-visit the original multi-track masters for the album and offer a whole new perspective on the songs. A must-see! You can buy it here.
Q #117: I found a rare Nirvana song on Napster/KaZaA/WinMX!
A: It is more than likely a fake. A fraud. A hoax even. Unfortunately, some people have deliberately been labeling songs as Nirvana - even though they have nothing to do with the band - just to make people download them and spread them. Some people will download and re-distribute Nirvana MP3's without even listening to them first. There are a ton of fake Nirvana MP3 files being distributed through Napster or other file-sharing services. I suggest staying far away from them. The fakes include, but are not limited to:
There is also a file called "Half the man I used to be" that naive "fans" have labeled as Nirvana. How people can mistake this for
a Nirvana song is beyond me. It is in fact the song "Creep" by Stone Temple Pilots. It includes the lyric "I'm half the man I used to
be/This feeling as the dawn/It turns to gray". It has nothing to do with Nirvana whatsoever and in my opinion Scott Weiland's
voice sounds nothing like Kurt Cobain's.
There are more fakes but these are the worst. Please do not send me these fake songs, or ask me about them. Please use your common sense when judging whether or not the track you downloaded is actually a Nirvana one as it claims to be. There is more information about Nirvana fakes here.
Q #118: Where do I find the bridge, mentioned in "Something in the way"?
A: In the song "Something in the way", there is a lyric going "underneath the bridge". The bridge in question is located in Aberdeen, and was supposedly Kurt's home for a couple of days when he was young. From someone who has been there, here is how to find it; " To get to the bridge in Aberdeen, you most likely take 12W/101W into town, any AAA map can direct you into town, if you are in Seattle and are going to the ocean for a day you pass right through it. Anyway once in the town, if travelling from east to west you will be on the highway but it will be called Wishkah street in town. Take a right on either Alder St. or Park St. Then another quick right on Market. Follow that street straight on for about 20 blocks, and you will cross a small bridge, and that's it! Just go ahead and cross it and there will be some apartments on your left, so find somewhere to park. Then walk back to the bridge and on their are small mud trails that lead under the bridge. The far side of the bridge is the side with the most graffitti, but I recommend that you go to both sides while you're there." Special thanks to Adam Butters for this one. According to the "Heavier Than Heaven" book, Kurt never actually lived under this bridge.
Q #119: What does the sticker on Kurt's guitar say?
A: Sometimes Kurt used a guitar with a little white sticker, reading; "Vandalism: Beautiful as a rock in a cop's face". (see scan). As for where the line comes from, the Nirvana FAQ offers the following answer; "It's a lyric from the song 'Gut Rage' off the Feederz CD Re-release of 'Ever Feel Like Killing Your Boss?' " Courtesy of the Nirvana FAQ.
Q #120: Did Courtney Love write "Pennyroyal Tea"?
A: There's been a rumor going for a long time that Courtney wrote this song, but that's not entirely true. According to herself, she only "added a bridge and different lyrics." I believe Kurt wrote the song in the early 90's before he even met Courtney.
Q #121: What about "Old Age" then?
A: There's been a lot of confusion surrounding this song. Krist claims that Kurt wrote it, and Courtney has claimed she wrote it. A common interpretation of this ordeal is that Kurt came up with the tune and some of the lyrics, then handed it over to Courtney who recorded a few different versions of it - with slightly different lyrics. This was confirmed by a post Courtney made to the Hole message board in 2000; "As for Old Age, I wrote all the lyric verses and a new bridge. The chorus was Kurt's. I didn't do it very well either. I did it in five seconds. I wish I had had more time than just an evening with it - my phrasing was off, I sang it all too fast and tried to improve things of his. I made a mess of it. But it was a B-SIDE YA'LL! A f##king B-SIDE recorded in the middle of the night!" So it's safe to say that it's more of a Hole song than a Nirvana one, and Nirvana's version only ended up on a very rough demo made specifically for Butch Vig. There is, however, a theory that the song was recorded during the Nevermind sessions and could have ended up on the album. Too bad it didn't, as it's a very beautiful song. You can download a clip of Nirvana's version in the sound gallery. There is also more info about the song here. In conclusion it can be said that Kurt, Krist and possibly Dave composed most of the music while Courtney composed most of the lyrics.
Q #122: How many times did John Duncan play with Nirvana?
A: He just played with them once -- at the 07/23/93 show in New York, NY at the Roseland. After that, Pat Smear joined the band as a 2nd guitarist. James added a bit more info; "He was the guitar player for the Scottish punk band the Exploited, and he later worked as a roadie/guitar tech for Nirvana/Kurt. He played with them for a few songs in July 1993 at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC. It wasn't really clear who he was or why he was playing with them at the time, but I've since read that it was actually a live 'audition' of sorts, as they were seeking a second guitar player for the In Utero tour. Ultimately, of course, Pat Smear got the job."
Q #123: Where can I find setlists for Nirvana's concerts?
A: The Nirvana Live Guide has setlists to all the shows of which a recording has been found, along with a few incomplete or complete setlists to shows where a recording is unsurfaced. You can find the Nirvana Live Guide here. In addition, if you need tracklistings for commercial bootlegs, go to the DN bootography or the Trader's Guide to Nirvana.
Q #124: I saw some Nirvana albums called; "Orange & Blue", "All of Us", "Story of Simon Simopath", "Chemistry", "Travelling on a Cloud", "Local Anaesthetic" and "Black Flower" ? What are these?
A: These are NOT by the 90's band Nirvana (Cobain, Grohl and Novoselic) but actually by a British band from the 60's, also named "Nirvana". Ironically, the 60's group covered "Lithium" by the "real" Nirvana for a 1996 collection of unreleased material. "Nirvana appeared in 1967, starting as a six-piece led by Patrick Campbell-Lyons from Ireland, and Alex Spyropoulos from Greece. They were quickly signed to the fledgling Island label, which had formed out of Chris Blackwell's street-level R&B and rock steady label operations, Blackwell recognizing a need to hook into the exploding psychedelic genre of the time."
Q #125: What exactly is Nirvana's Record Label?
A: I believe Nirvana still belong to Geffen Records. They, however, belong to Interscope Records. On top of the chain is the Universal Music Group (UMG) who owns Interscope Records. Nirvana's label, Geffen Records (and DGC; The David Geffen Company), is a part of Interscope. Under Geffen are also bands such as Guns N' Roses and Hole. The UMG as a whole has hundreds of bands, including Bryan Adams, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Jimi Hendrix, U2 and many many others. In short, the labels under UMG are; A&M Records, Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, Geffen Records, Interscope Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Jimmy and Doug's Farmclub.com, MCA Nashville, MCA Records, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Records, and Verve Music Group.
"Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world's largest music company. Its global operations encompass the development, manufacture, marketing, sales and distribution of recorded music through a network of subsidiaries, joint ventures and licensees in 63 countries around the world. UMG's businesses also include music publishing, and mail order music/video clubs. UMG is the market leader in every major region, including the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. With over 12,000 employees worldwide, UMG leads the music industry in global sales with revenue for the fiscal year 1999 at an impressive $6.3 billion." (quote: UMG corporate overview, umusic.com). UMG is owned by the French Vivendi corporation.
Q #126: What is the deal with that song "You Know You're Right" (aka. "On A Mountain") ?
A: First of all, the correct title of this song is actually "You Know You're Right", though for a while it was believed to be "You've Got No Right" since Courtney used this title when performing the song with Hole. The song was performed live by Nirvana at a show in Chicago, IL on October 23 1993. It is possible that it was performed live additional times, but only a recording of the 10/23/93 performance exists. In addition, it was done at Robert Lang's studio in Seattle near the end of January 1994. A recording of this has not surfaced among bootleggers, but it was released officially on the "Nirvana" (Best-of) album in 2002.
The confusion about the song title stems from the fact that, prior to playing the song at the 10/23/93 show, Dave Grohl says; "This is our last song. It's called 'All Apologies' ". A lot of people mistakenly think he is saying "... It's called 'On a Mountain' " and some even believe he is saying "... It's called 'Auto Pilot' ". Neither is correct, though I'll admit it's an honest mistake, at least in the "Mountain" case, since this is the title the song has been given on a number of bootlegs, including the one that originally featured the entire show ("Sermon on the Mount"). The reason for Dave Grohl's introduction is that he probably thought they were going to play "All Apologies" since they'd usually play that song at this point in the show, and they did in fact follow the song with a performance of "All Apologies".
The song has been covered by Hole a few times, most noteably at their Unplugged performance. Dave Grohl and Adam
Kasper (who recorded it with Nirvana in the studio) has labeled the song with titles such as "Know your rights" and
"I know you're right". These titles are not correct. The studio session in January 1994 also yielded an instrumental
version of the Foo Fighters song "Exhausted" and possibly a rendition of "Gas Chamber".
Q #127: Have the remaining members of Nirvana ever reunited after Kurt died?
A: Well, kind of. On August 29, 1997 the Foo Fighters did a live show at the Bumbershoot Festival in Seattle. For the encore of the show, they were joined by Krist Novoselic. It should be noted that Pat Smear was still in the Foo Fighters at this point - so we actually got as close to a Nirvana reunion as possible with Dave Grohl, Pat Smear and Krist Novoselic being gathered together. Krist joined the band for a cover of the Led Zeppelin classic "Communication Breakdown" as well as the Price song "Purple Rain". Barrett Jones also joined them for "Communication Breakdown" to do vocals. Barrett and Dave recorded half of the 1990 "Pocketwatch" demo, as well as the first real Foo Fighters demo. Dave and Krist got together on stage a second time on December 9, 1999 in Seattle. Krist played bass on 3 songs, including "Big me" and "I'll Stick Around". In 2004, Krist and Dave re-united for a John Kerry rally.
At the MTV Video Music Awards in 2007, Dave Grohl and Pat Smear re-united for a Foo Fighters performance.
Q #128: What is "Born in a Junkyard" / "Token Eastern Song" ?
A: Back in the late 80's, Nirvana would sometimes perform an unreleased song live that was frequently referred to as "Born in a Junkyard" by bootleggers, as this line was believed to be in the chorus. Then, a low generation video of Nirvana's 09/13/89 show turned up, and prior to performing this song, Krist can be heard shouting "Token Eastern Song". It was therefore assumed that this was in fact the correct title of it. The song was done in the studio twice. Once in September 1989 and once at a 1/1/91 session. The latter was only an instrumental version of the song, however. A recording of the '91 session surfaced in 1999 while the complete 1989 studio session finally surfaced to bootleggers in 2001. As this was one of the most clear recordings of the song, it could also be determined that - in the chorus - Kurt sings "Hold it in your gut" and not "Born in a Junkyard" as many had believed, including Jack Endino and myself. Chad Channing insisted that it was "Hold it in your gut" which seems to be true. The '89 session was used to record songs for the Blew EP, but the EP didn't contain this song, and it remains to be released officially (for some odd reason). Look in the song list for some of the other incorrect names this song has been given over the years.
Q #129: What is "Montage of Heck" ?
A: "Montage of Heck" is basically the name of a collage Kurt made back in the 80's. It was originially to be included with the "Bleach" album but Sub Pop thought it was stupid. Thus, it was never released officially, and only a very short clip of the collage was used as an intro to Love Buzz on the original 7" single (it doesn't appear on the album version). The whole thing is about 40 minutes long, and a complete recording of it was uncovered by me a couple of years ago. Later, a lower generation copy has turned up. A circa 10 minute clip of the montage, including a clip of something called "The Landlord", was originally released on one of the Outcesticide bootlegs. The montage largely consists of clips from Kurt's record collection (Led Zeppelin, Cher, Aerosmith etc.) and stuff from TV shows. The tape I got with it also offered a cover of Cher's "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" with Krist Novoselic on vocals!
Q #130: How do I find MP3s of Nirvana songs on the net?
A: You can purchase MP3s from Nirvana's catalogue at iTunes. Also see Spiralfrog.
Q #131: Did Kurt have a tattoo on his arm?
A: Yes. On his right forearm he had a small 'K'. This was the symbol for K Records, a label based in Olympia run by Kurt's friend Calvin Johnson. Calvin was also of the band Beat Happening. Apparently the tattoo was done by Kurt himself at some point in 1991.
Q #132: Who sings on the song "Marigold"?
A: It should be pretty obvious to everyone that it's not Kurt Cobain singing on this B-side. It is in fact drummer Dave Grohl. He plays drums and sings on this song. Krist plays bass. It is believed that Kurt Cobain does not appear on the track at all.
Q #133: What are some good Nirvana-related places to visit in Seattle or Aberdeen?
A: Seattle is considered the home of 'grunge' and the city where many such bands hailed from - including Nirvana. This is the closest we'll get to Nirvana's actual home. Indeed, they played many shows here and just before he took his life, Kurt Cobain lived here with his wife. A good place to visit in Seattle is the Experience Music Project Museum. It features an extensive Nirvana exhibit with some unique Nirvana-related items on display. Visit the EMP website for info on when the museum is open, where it is located etc.
Kurt & Courtney's former home in Seattle is located at 171 Lake Washington Blvd. East in Seattle, WA (98122-6505). It's in the Madrona district of the city. As other people live at the house now, please be respectful of their privacy. A common place for Nirvana fans to meet is the nearby Viretta Park (151 Lake Washington Blvd. East) where tribute messages for Kurt has been scrawled into a wooden bench. It is usually here people meet in early April around the anniversary of Kurt's passing. Note that there is no Kurt Cobain grave site to visit. Other places in Seattle you may want to visit include Sub Pop Headquarters (2514 Fourth Avenue) and The Crocodile Cafe (2200 2nd Ave.). Also try this site for inspiration.
In Aberdeen there are also a number of places you may like to visit. The Aberdeen Museum of History has made 'A walking tour of Kurt Cobain's Aberdeen' which guides you to some of his childhood homes, schools, and provides you with lots of relevant information. You can find that here.
Oh, as for directions to the bridge immortalized by the song Something in the Way, see this answer for info.
Click here for part one of the NFC FAQ.