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The Story of Nirvana: Seattle’s Favorite Rock Group

Nirvana’s music has had an undeniable impact on popular culture – from inspiring new bands to becoming an icon of grunge culture, their story is one that’s sure to intrigue readers. In this blog post, we’ll explore the history of the band and what made them such a popular force on the music scene.

One of the most well-known and influential bands in music history is Nirvana. They were founded in Seattle in 1987, and when their second album, Nevermind, was released in 1991, it essentially single-handedly propelled alternative music into the mainstream by shocking the music industry and upending popular culture. Although they initially caught the attention of the increasingly disenchanted Generation X youth, their unique blend of dirgey, down-tuned rock’n’roll, punk rock attitude, and cerebral lyrics still influences and shapes rock music today.

Nirvana 3 - Lorna Shore Store

Who made up the band Nirvana?
Kurt Cobain, a singer and guitarist, was joined by Dave Grohl, a drummer, and Krist Novoselic, a bassist, to establish Nirvana in their most well-known lineup. The band’s initial home base of Aberdeen, Washington is where Cobain and Novoselic first connected during high school.

All of Nirvana’s lyrics and virtually all of its music were written by Cobain, who also served as the band’s primary lyricist. However, Grohl and Novoselic also contributed to the music of the band, as heard on the song Aneurysm, which was co-written by all of the band members. The Heart-Shaped Box B-side Marigold was also written by Grohl.

Dave Grohl joined Nirvana when?
In 1990, after the group had already finished recording their self-titled album, Dave Grohl became a member of Nirvana. Grohl, who had dropped out of high school to pursue a career in music, called buddy and Melvins vocalist Buzz Osborne for guidance on what to do next when his first band, Scream, abruptly broke up mid-tour in 1990. Grohl received the phone numbers for Cobain and Novoselic from Osborne, and the rest is history. We recognised in two minutes that he was the right drummer, Novoselic remarked in a later statement.

Nirvana - Lorna Shore Store

Who was Nirvana’s first drummer?
As he played on the band’s self-titled debut album, Bleach, Chad Channing is widely regarded as Nirvana’s first “official” drummer. Yet, before he came, Nirvana had a rotating cast of drummers.

The first drummer ever to pick up the drums for Nirvana was Bob McFadden, but he only played with them for one month. McFadden was followed by Aaron Burckhard, who left the group after they left Aberdeen. Dale Crover, the drummer for the Melvins, who had played on Nirvana’s early demos from 1988, joined the band at this point, and they began to improvise. Dave Foster joined the group soon after Crover left but quit a few months later when he was arrested.

A mutual buddy introduced them to Channing at this point, who stayed around long enough to survive the Bleach sessions. But throughout the sessions, Channing’s drumming skills left Cobain and Novoselic chilly. Channing left as his resentment at not being able to participate in the songwriting process grew. Before Grohl joined the group, he was briefly succeeded by Mudhoney drummer Dan Peters, then by Dale Crover once more.

Nirvana 1 - Lorna Shore Store


How did they get the name Nirvana?
Cobain claimed that the reason Nirvana chose that name was that it is a beautiful name. These names Skid Row, Ted Ed Fred, and Fecal Matter were the band names prior to becoming Nirvana.

Given that they had been operating under the name since 1965, two years before Cobain was even born, Nirvana was sued over usage rights of the term by a British psych-rock band of the same name. In the end, a court agreement was made between the two bands. A tongue-in-cheek, psychedelic cover of Nirvana’s smash Come As You Are was released by the British Nirvana as part of an ultimately never-issued Nirvana Sings Nirvana covers album.

If you also want to try some of this rock band’s great music, check out the bestsellers at the Nirvana shop as well.

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