And finally, a bona fide copy of Nirvana’s legendary “Smart Studios” demo — recorded with Butch Vig in April of 1990 — slipped to us by an A&R guy later that year (it was such a hot item that the exec actually tried to obscure the band’s name with Wite-Out). The tape included seven then-new songs along with three from Bleach. Five of those new songs would be re-recorded for Nevermind (including “Pay to Play,” a.k.a. “Stay Away”) along with two that weren’t: “Dive” (released as the B-side of “Sliver”) and “Sappy,” later re-recorded and retitled “Verse Chorus Verse.” It did not have a j-card — this one, such as it is, is homemade.
Everybody Loves Our Town featured in the new issue of The Fader (plus: the story behind that super-rare Nirvana photo)
The August/September issue of The Fader, on newsstands now, has a three-page piece on Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge. Pick it up today!
Some background on the super-rare photo of Nirvana above: It was taken by Alice Wheeler on Feb. 25, 1989 as part of a Belltown, Seattle, shoot for the Bleach album cover (Sub Pop ultimately used a live shot by Kurt Cobain’s then-girlfriend Tracy Marander). The image went undeveloped for 20 years, until Alice discovered it on an unlabeled partial roll of film at the bottom of a storage box.
The Nirvana pic is one of many previously-unpublished grunge-era photos featured in Everybody Loves Our Town (out September 6 in the U.S. and September 8 in the U.K). See some more images on Facebook; and while you’re at it, please make sure to “like” the page.