Rare Nirvana Video from 1988

YouTube / Jean Berwian
YouTube / Jean Berwian / YouTube / Jean Berwian

Today marks 20 years since Kurt Cobain committed suicide. I remember that day vividly—I was in high school and I remember watching MTV run the Unplugged concert over and over, seemingly unable to figure out what else to do. To remember Cobain and his band, let's look at some extremely early footage of Nirvana.

Krist's Mom's Basement

This home video was reportedly recorded in 1988 in bassist Krist Novoselic's basement. That's Chad Channing on drums (before he was replaced by Dave Grohl), and there are three songs here: "Love Buzz," "Scoff," and "About a Girl" (that last one starts around 3:25).

You'll see Cobain singing at the wall, which seems a little odd unless you've tried to rock out in a basement with a drum set. He's singing into a mic, running into a PA system next to the drums. Facing the wall is the best way for him to actually hear his voice in such a noisy environment, plus it may reduce feedback from the PA.

Note: There's a much longer version of this recording for hardcore fans (including a cover of "Immigrant Song"!).

Radio Shack

And here's home video of the band (now with Dale Crover on drums) set up in the Radio Shack in Aberdeen, as covered by a news report.

And here's an attempt to use the footage from that news report to reconstruct a video, using the audio of the released version of "Paper Cuts":

Community World Theater, Tacoma

Here's Nirvana when they were known as "Ted Ed Fred" performing at the Community World Theater in January of 1988.

If you want to experience a little of what 1994 felt like, check out the full video of the Nirvana Unplugged show, starting with "About a Girl."