The group recorded demos with Seattle producer Jack Endino, who played the tapes for Sub Pop Records co-founder Jonathan Poneman. Poneman signed Nirvana to Sub Pop, and their first single, a cover of Shocking Blue‘s “Love Buzz,” came out in December of 1988.
THAT LED to a six-song demo produced by Butch Vig … and a deal with DGC/Geffen Records, while Dave Grohl signed on as the band’s permanent drummer.
DGC expected to sell about 100,000 copies of the record. Instead, it went on to sell over 14 million copies.
Drummer Dave Grohl recalls playing at England’s Reading Festival in 1992 as one of the biggest highlights of the band’s initial success.
“It was a huge show, and we were headlining, and we hadn’t practiced for about three months, and we just stepped onstage and we expected it to suck really bad, and it turned out to be totally amazing.”
In recent years, plans have surfaced for a movie, documentary and even stage musical based on Kurt Cobain’s life, although no official word on any of those projects is yet to emerge.
TRIBUTES TO KURT COBAIN:
Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch recalled hearing Nirvana’s music and sensing that Kurt Cobain was already in a lot of pain:
“I just remember tripping and going, ‘Wow, that guy must have been like really in a dark place,’ you know. it just shows you, you know, like that life isn’t all about fame and being a rock star and making it and money and all that stuff, you know. It’s about finding like who you are and being happy inside and finding that place, because you can have the whole world and still want to kill yourself. You know, even 20 years later, it’s like a reality check, you know. We should use this, his anniversary of his death, as a reality check.”
Judas Priest singer Rob Halford sums up what Kurt Cobain meant to rock music.
“He was an absolute genius. In the legacy of rock and roll music, he’ll be there with, like, Hendrix and Lennon and Joplin and Morrison. Incredibly evocative, inspiring, controversial, human musician. For me, there’s been nothing great since Nirvana, in the way it shook up the world. There’s been nothing great since that band.”