Verse Chourus Verse: The Recording History Of NIRVANA
Goldmine #432, February 14, 1997
PAGE: 22 | back
October also saw the release of Hype!, the soundtrack for the film of the same name, on Sub Pop; Nirvana's track was "Negative Creep." On November 5, the soundtrack was released as a vinyl box set, with four singles and a poster. The Nirvana track appears on a green disc, arson with the Wipers' "Return Of The Rat" and a live version of Mudhoney's "Touch Me I'm Sick."
Hype!, which received limited release in October, was a documentary about the evolution of the "Seattle Scene." One of the most electrifying moments in the film is Nirvana's performance of "Teen Spirit" at the O.K. Hotel in Seattle in April '90. Its inclusion was a coup for the films director, Doug Pray, as he hadn't been able to get an interview with Nirvana. "Krist met with me about a year into the project, and he looked at footage," he says. "I think he didn't know what to do. Because I think honestly Kurt wanted nothing to do with this documentary I can't speak for him, it's just my theory that at that point, why would he want anything? It doesn't matter if it's cool or wrong or good or bad, its just nothing. He didn;t want anything like that. But helieve me, I sent plenty of letters and sneaking notes through friends and friends of friends and tapes and everything I could! I just wanted to know that they'd at least seen what I was trying to do and understood the spirit of it. And then if they said no, that's totally fine."
The "Teen Spirit" footage was finally acquired through a local filmmaker who had filmed the show. "It's really cool that there is that video footage because Kurt's so alive and that's cool," says Pray "And without it, before we had that Nirvana footage, it was a little sad because we only had black and white shots of people talking about him and people mourning his loss, his death. It's cool, I think, to have something, even a minute or two, which is all it is, of him just playing." Hype! is now playing the college circuit, and there are plans to release it on video, possibly in the fall of '97.
One video that did come out at the end of the year was Teen Spirit: The Tribute To Kurt Cobain, on PolyGram Video. The hour-long documentary combines footage Aberdeen and Seattle with interviews from journalists associates, and fans. There is no live Nirvana footage, though there are interviews with the band. Though haphazardly edited, Teen Spirit does offer an interesting, if brief, overview of its subject. The cover features some of Charles Peterson's shots from the January'93 Advocate shoot.
December saw the release of another Grohl-related project, dating back to 1990- Harlingtox Angel Divine (a.k.a. Harlingtox A.D.). "Harlingtox AD basically was me and Dave and this guy Tos Nieuwenhuizen who's a friend of ours; he used to be in a band called God," says BarrettJones. "The three of us basically in two days lin April '90] just came up with some music and recorded it at one of my studios, the last one I had in Arlington. And then a week or two later, we ran into this friend of ours, Bruce Merkle, he played in this band called 9353, downtown at a club. And sort of as an after thought we said, 'Hey, we just recorded some music. Do you want to sing on it?' So we gave him a tape and he took a while and figured out the Iyrics. Then we put it on. And that's pretty much how it came about.
"We never played all four of us at the same time, ever," Jones continues. "Never been a band, never did anything else except record this one tape. I always thought it was so great that it needed to get out somehow at some point. And I waited for the right time until I had the means and the time and the money to do it. It's an interesting little novelty item." The self-titled EP consists of five songs, and was released on Jones' new label, the appropriately-named Laundry Room Records. One track from the EP, "Recycled Children Never To Be Grown," was also included on a promo CD.
"I've been involved in just about every single aspect there is in the music business," Jones explains. "Officially I'm not really running the label; Justin's [Goldberg, formerly a Sony A&rR rep] doing all the business things that I don't want to deal with. I didn't expect it to expand as quickly as it is right now. The whole philosophy is to not go overboard with things and just get the bands involved as much as possible and teach them as much as possible. 'Cause really in this world of music that we're in, there's really no support for young bands who are learning."
As 1997 begins, there are already a number of Nirvana-related projects on the horizon. Sweet 75's album will probably be released in the spring, along with Foo Fighters' second album (recorded at Bear Creek Studio in Woodinville, one of Seattle's neighboring towns). Grohl may also appear on the soundirack for the upcoming film First Love Last Rites. But the release of Wishkah has many speculating that the album will be the final Nirvana release. In fact, there are any number of tracks in the vaults to be considered for future release, but Jim Merlis says there are no plans for any Nirvana releases at the moment, adding, "You just want to make sure there's good quality in what you do. You don't want to scrap the barrel. You don't want to put stuff out that the band never meant for anyone to hear, like rough demos. There's a legacy of the band and you don't want to don't want to ruin that."
Of course, collectors have already been plundering the realm of demos and live releases for many years, and this interest extends to non-music items as well. This past September, the Executive Collectibles Gallery "Rock &t Reel '96" auction not only featured such items as Nirvana autographs and backstage passes, but such emphemera as a "Publishers Clearing House" sweepstakes entry form sent to Cobain's house (the name misspelled "Covain"), a medical bill, empty hair dye bottle, and an empty prescription bottle (for ampicillan). All the items sold.
With a market so eager to snap up anything related to Nirvana, it's safe to assume some kind of official release will be forthcoming (a collection of the band's videos, embellished by their various television appearances, could be an obvious choice). And with both Grohl and Novoselic still active musicians, we're guaranteed a variety of releases in the years to come.
Come As You Are: The Story Of Nirvana, Michael Azerrad
Cobain, The Editors Of Rolling Stone
Teen Spirit: The Stories Behind Every Nirvana Song, Chuck Crisatulli
Nirvana Discography, Alexander Lum (http://www. Iudd. Iuth.se/misc/nirvana/disco g/discog.html)
Foo Fighters FA.Q., Ben Rogers
Nirvana FA.Q., Jeff McCrae
Nirvana Recording Sessions And Song List, John Loughney
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