I think it's time to look back on 2004 and the events that occured throughout
the year when it comes to Nirvana. Outside of the Nirvana world, it's been a
terribly tragic year; the tsunamis in Asia. Beslan. Madrid. Iraq. Darfur. The
US election. But as for Nirvana, 2004 would be the year where the long awaited
box set finally came out. And it marked the 10th anniversary of Cobain's passing.
January: The year started off with a media frenzy over this website offering the first Nirvana concert for download as the 2003 NFC X-mas present. Many radio stations around the world reported the news (some even played a song or two from the concert), and Rolling Stone magazine ran the story.
February: Krist Novoselic got involved with various events to boost voter registration and encourage more interest in the election. Krist also reported this month that he would not run for lieutenant governor afterall.
March: Q Magazine runs a Nirvana-related cover story to celebrate the 'genius of Kurt Cobain'. News starts to surface about the new Gus Van Sant movie, Last Days, which is about the grunge music scene of the 90s. Also, a rare French interview with Cobain is published as part of the excellent 'Uncut Legends #2' magazine. Finally, throughout this month, the media hype surrounding the 10th anniversary of Kurt's death starts to build.
April: This month turned out to be the biggest in this website's history, both in terms of visitors and news updates. As you can see in the archive, the number of news stories published throughout April 2004 is far greater than any previous month and exceeds hundreds of different stories and links. Obviously, the media coverage of the 10th anniversary is enormous. There are also many tribute events, vigils, concerts and similar gatherings around the world to commemorate Kurt Cobain. Also, in April, I appear on nationwide television and radio in Denmark to talk about Nirvana and this website. Indeed, Cobain is found on a bunch of magazine covers this month and a lot of TV -and radio specials related to Nirvana are aired. Also in April, the book Nirvana: The Chosen Rejects is finally published. It is impossible to list all the events and updates that happened in April, so check the archive.
May: In early May I launched a huge competition featuring more than 40 prizes, including books signed by the authors, CDs, posters and much more.
June: A fairly uneventful month. Courtney Love had fun with her usual court appearances and media events.
August: An auction for various unique items is launched. The items include drawings made by Kurt Cobain, an MTV award the band won, and some original artwork. Ultimately the auction fetches thousands of dollars - an easy way for the Cobain family to make some quick cash. Also in August, rumours start to circulate that a DVD focusing on Nevermind as part of the 'Classic Albums' series will come out in 2005.
September: Krist Novoselic's first book, Of Grunge and Government: Let's Fix This Broken Democracy is published and he embarks on a book-signing tour of the US. Also in early September, the stunning news is first revealed by this website: in November a Nirvana box set comprimising 3 CDs and 1 DVD will be released. It is announced that it will include more than 50 unreleased recordings. Also, Krist and Dave try to build support for presidential candidate John Kerry.
October: Information about the box set starts to roll in, an official website is launched, and the artwork surfaces. Then on October 29, I get hold of the tracklisting which is featured in an upcoming issue of Q Magazine. Interest in the box set reaches new heights in the Nirvana community. Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, Krist and Dave are "re-united" for a Kerry/Edwards campaign rally.
November: In late November, With The Lights Out is released. I create a comprehensive section of the website to celebrate the box and collect a bunch of material related to it in one place. This includes a timeline that chronicles the long period that preceded the long-awaited release. A book about Nirvana's recording sessions is also published this month. In mid-November - before the official release - a very exciting trailer is released and MTV2 airs a special show with clips from the boxset.
December: It is reported that the box set is one of the best selling in history, more than doubling the record for box sets sold in a single week. Also in December, this year's NFC X-Mas present is made available.
So, yeah. It's been a fairly interesting year. We finally got the box set that we've been waiting for all these years. And it turned out to pretty much meet our expectations and a lot of much-wanted recordings were finally uncovered. Indeed, as the events of March and April proved, not to mention how well the box has been selling, the interest in Cobain and Nirvana is still huge. Ironically, ten years after the band ended, they seem to be more popular than ever.
That is also proved by the fact that this website continues to gain visitors. In January, we started out with some 13,000 unique visitors per day. The bandwidth use went through the roof in the early days of the month because of the aforementioned hype surrounding the X-Mas download. For example, on January 6, the site transferred 50 GB in one day and ultimately caused the server to collapse. The total data transfer in January passed 500 GB or so. In April, the number of visitors reached new records but unfortunately I don't have the exact statistics as the software generating the stats seemed to crash on the days where the traffic peaked. Generally, from April 4 to April 10 there were about 25,000 to 30,000 unique visitors per day. To sum up 2004 there has been about 5 million unique visitors (150 million 'hits'), and the server has transferred more than 3.5 billion kbytes (more than 100 million files). Many thanks to everyone visiting this website and for supporting NFC.
A somewhat disturbing news story: "A handwritten letter from KURT COBAIN to COURTNEY LOVE has been sold at an auction for $19,120. The two-page letter, which was sold in a rock 'n' roll memorabilia sale on Friday (17DEC04) at auction house CHRISTIE'S, details the late NIRVANA frontman's life on tour. It says in part, 'I really do care but I'm not very convincing. He's sad. I'm sad. My throat is a swollen tumour, blood sausage colon. I puke air after coughing. It was morning by the time I fell asleep after talking to you. 200 lbs. I thought of a great idea for our video. Oh, forget it.' Christie's believes the letter was written on 28 November 1991, the night after Nirvana performed on British show TOP OF THE POPS, since the show is mentioned in the letter." Wow, imagine paying $20,000 for a short letter written by Kurt Cobain. Ladies and gentlemen, we may have located the biggest moron in the world. And possibly the richest.
In the Jan/Feb 2005 issue of Blender they have an article called "33 things about Nirvana". It is apparently a list of Nirvana trivia facts that many fans may not have known. I.e. 'how a chainsaw saved the band and how a girls' deoderant inspired a breakthrough hit' There is more info about the issue at the Blender website here. Thanks Sheila.
In the January 2005 issue of Mojo there is a comprehensive article about
Nirvana, detailing their recording sessions and offering new information
about the songs selected for the box set. Written by Seattle journalist
Gillian G. Gaar, The Rise of Nirvana is a unique insight into the
various recording sessions and how the box came together.
"Inside the super sessions and searing live shows that build the legend!
Plus, the stories behind the songs behind the box set! With the co-operation
of Krist Novoselic and those who were there." Gillian is one of the
few people involved 'behind the scenes' with the recent Nirvana box set.
Apparently Courtney Love is working on a book that will tell her life story. "The widow of tragic Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain promises, 'It's all going to come spewing out - every last dirty little secret. If it puts someone's nose out of joint that's tough luck.' Love is expected to receive a US $540,000 advance, but the family of her late husband are concerned about her plans. A source close to Cobain says, 'It's painful to think that Kurt and Courtney's secrets will come out.' " Story courtesy of Soundbuzz. Thanks to Michael also.
The 8th annual NFC Christmas Present is now available. This year's present
includes high-quality live performances of Nirvana rarities such as Talk To Me,
Oh, The Guilt and Help Me I'm Hungry. There's also a better version
of Opinion and some other neat stuff. Check it out here.
Last year's present was a recording of Nirvana's first show. It is not available for download anymore.
Former Pantera guitar player killed: "Pantera Guitarist
'Dimebag' Darrell Abbott Killed In Club Shooting. On Wednesday, December 8,
a deranged audience member burst onto the stage at Alrosa Villa club in Columbus,
Ohio and shot influential Pantera guitarist 'Dimebag' Darrell Abbot to death
along with three other audience members. The shooter, 25-year-old Nathan Gale,
was then shot and killed by police officer James D. Niggemeyer, who arrived
on the scene soon after the shooting was reported. Darrell Abbot, whose slow,
modal riffs reinvented the concept of 'heavy', was performing with his new
band Damageplan. They had just launched into the first song of their set when
Nathan Gale approached, opened fire on Darrell at close range, shot a bouncer
who tried to restrain him and fired into the crowd. Nathan Bray, 23, Erin Halk,
29, and Jeff Thompson, 40, are listed among the dead, and two more bystanders
were injured." Story courtesy of CMJ. Read more here.
"Canadian Nirvana fan and documentary filmmaker, Steven James May, is pleased to announce the release of his documentary, 'The Nevermind Year' on DVD. 'Told from the perspective of aging Nirvana fan, Steven James May, THE NEVERMIND YEAR explores the relationship between the suicide of punk-rock icon Kurt Cobain, and May's own quest for fulfillment in his 28th year.' The documentary premiered at the 23rd Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax, Canada, and aired on CBC Atlantic and SCN in April 2004 to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of Kurt Cobain. The Nevermind Year DVD includes the following extra features:
The DVD is available for sale exclusively at www.nevermindyear.tv or by calling 902-446-3669."
Competition for people in Denmark / Konkurrence kun for danskere: I samarbejde med Universal Music udloder vi nu en enkel Nirvana box, With The Lights Out, i en eksklusiv konkurrence. For at vinde boksen skal du indtaste dit navn og e-mail her og så vil du være med i lodtrækningen. Vinderen bliver fundet 1. januar 2005.
Konkurrence er slut.
Interesting story on how well the box set has been
selling: "The new Nirvana box set,
With the Lights Out, sold 105,760 copies during
its first week in stores, more than doubling the previous
SoundScan-era record for box sets sold in a single week,
according to Geffen Records. The three-CD/one-DVD compilation
surpassed the mark set in 1998 by Bruce Springsteen's Tracks,
which sold 46,516 copies. SoundScan began tracking album
purchases in 1991. With the Lights Out also entered
this week's Billboard 200 album chart at No. 19."
Courtesy of liveDaily. Also check Billboard's own story
on the latest Billboard 200 sales here.