Former Spin editor Mark Blackwell posted the above images on his Facebook page last night and encouraged me to share:
"From my collection of stuff…here’s a never-before-seen Polaroid of Nirvana taken as a test during our cover shoot for the October 1993 issue of Spin magazine. It’s been in a box of my old photos for over 20 years. You can see the creases where the Polaroid was folded to approximate the eventual rectangular cropping of the cover. Photo by Frank W. Ockenfels III.”
"This one is a tribute to my buddy Jerry Cantrell."
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.
Spin: On the 20th anniversary of their iconic 1993 breakthrough, now reissued as an expanded package titled ‘LSXX,’ the Breeders’ definitive lineup reunites and AMANDA PETRUSICH dives in, talking with all the key players and supporters who helped make ‘Last Splash’ one of the most exhilarating albums of the decade. [Link]
It’s been really hard to go back and listen. I miss Baker. I miss Layne. I wonder how Layne would be met these days, what kind of music he’d be making or if he’d be a father. And his lyrics [on Above] in particular still sound fresh to me. They still make me feel, and that’s good.