DAY-BY-DAY HISTORY: 1989

January
1 - The band's contract with 'Sub Pop' began. It was for one year, until 31 December 1989, with two further one year options The band were to produce three albums and would be paid $600 in the first year, $12,000 in the second and $24,000 in the third (Gaar, Goldmine).

6 - Portland, OR, Satyricon (could this be the 'Nir Vona' gig?). 'Nirvana' once supported 'Mudhoney' in Portland and were billed on the poster as 'Nir Vona'.

21 - Portland, OR, Satyricon.

24 - The band enter the studio for the last time to finish recording the tracks that would end up being the 'Bleach' album. The total cost ends up at $606.17. This is paid for by Jason Everman, his payment being that he is credited on the album, even though he didn't play on any of the tracks. Songs over the last three recording sessions included 'Downer' / 'Blew' / 'School' / 'Negative Creep' / 'Scoff' / 'Swap Meet' / 'Mr Moustche' (with gibberish lyrics) / 'Floyd The Barber' / 'Paper Cuts' and the elusive 'Big Long Now'. 'Paper Cuts' and 'Floyd The Barber' weren't deemed good enough versions from these sessions. So the versions from the January 1988 session a year earlier were remixed and used on the album.

February
? - First West Coast tour begins (lasts two weeks).

? - Olympia, WA, Evergreen State College (dorm party, Jason Everman's 1st gig).

8 - Tacoma, WA, Community World Theatre.

10 - San Francisco, CA, The Covered Wagon Saloon (supporting the 'Melvins').

11 - San Jose, CA, Marsugi's. They opened up for 'Mudhoney'. Kurt was balancing on his head during the set, whilst still playing guitar. Steve Turner is so impressed that he tries it out for himself without a great deal of success.

? - San Diego, CA, Casbah.

16 - Davis, CA, Freeborn Hall UC Davis.

17 - San Francisco, CA, Chatterbox.

? - Seattle, WA, The Vogue.

25 - Seattle, WA, Hub East Ballroom, University of Washington. Charles Petersen takes photographs. Alice Wheeler takes photographs of the band after the show (CAYA, p.104-05). After the show, Kurt is interviewed by Phil West of "The Daily" (HTH).

? - Seattle, WA, Annex Theatre.

? - Ellensburg, WA, Community Centre. 10 local bands play on the bill. 'Nirvana' play last, but their set is cut short as all of the other bands had played too long. Chris begins to throw his bass in the air and catching it with one hand, whilst Kurt turns his amp up to full, meanwhile the bands tour manager gets in a fight with the person who was stopping the gig.

? - Kurt plays guitar for 'Go Team', which is released as a 7" single on 'K Records'. The band is Kurt, Calvin Johnson and Donna Biddle, all on guitars, Tobi Vali on drums, Louise Olsen on bass and Tamra Ohrmund singing.

March
18 - A brief blurb on Nirvana appears in Melody Maker: "Basically this is the real thing. No rock star contrivance, no intellectual perspective, no master plan for world domination. You're talking about four guys in their early twenties from rural Washington who wanna rock, who if they weren't doing this, they would be working in a supermarket or lumber yard or fixing cars".

April
7 - Seattle, WA, Annex Theatre. The crowd passed Kurt over their heads during 'Blew' (CAYA, p.97).

14 - Ellensburg, WA, Hal Holmes Centre. Steve Fisk is in the audience: "I hated them. The PA system was set up really bad by this jock guy from Yakima. Kurt had a broken string and was really upset and stood in the corner trying to change his guitar string. They were just clowning off and they were all nervous - except for Chris - and they were playing Ellensburg. Even when it was obvious that Kurt wasn't playing his guitar they kept playing. Jason started moving his hair, but it wasn't in time with the music at al. I'm sorry - I've seen Black Flag and you move your hair in time with the music or you don't move it at all". He walked out during the first song (CAYA, p.97).

15 - Portland, OR, Satryicon.

26 - Seattle, WA, The Vogue.

May
9 - Seattle, WA, Central Tavern.

26 - Auburn, WA, Lindbloom Student Centre (Green River Community College).

June
? - The band record some tracks at Evergreen State College and let a student mix the final versions. They record 'Do You Love Me' (which was recorded for the 'Kiss' tribute album 'Hard To Believe') and a version of 'Dive'. The band is a four piece for this session as Jason Everman is on second guitar.

9 - Seattle, WA, Moore Theatre (Sub Pop's first 'Lame Fest'). 'Nirvana' open for 'Tad' and 'Mudhoney'. Backlash magazine deployed the bad way in which the band was received and said that the performance was "totally intense" (CAYA, p.110).

15 - 'Bleach' is released in the US. The first 1000 copies on white vinyl and the next 2000 copies contain a special poster. 'Sub Pop's' PR states "They're young, they own their own van, and they're gonna make us rich!".

16 - Olympia, WA, Reko-Muse. Tracy Marander takes photographs. The band would later want to use these on the cover of 'Bleach', but alternative photos were used. During the big Krist through his bass in the air and it hit Chad on the head (CAYA, p.107).

21 - Seattle, WA, The Vogue.

22 - San Francisco, CA, The Covered Wagon Saloon (with 'Badmutha Goose'). This is the start of the tour for 'Bleach' (26-dates) .

23 - Westwood, CA, Rhino Records. Nirvana's first know gig in a record store.

24 - Los Angeles, CA, Al's Bar.

25 - Long Beach, CA, Bogarts.

26 - Tempe, AZ, Sun Club.

27 - Santa Fe, NM, Rockin' TP.

30 - San Antonio, TX, Alfred's.

?/JULY - Houston, TX, The Axiom.

?/JULY - Fort Worth, TX, Axis Club.

?/JULY - Dallas, TX, Concrete Jungle (two days after Fort Worth).

July
? - Madison, WI, O'Cayz Corral.

6 - Minneapolis, MN, Uptown Bar.

7 - Chicago, IL, Club Dreamerz.

9 - Wilkinsburg, PA, Sonic Temple.

12 - Philadelphia, PA, JC Dobbs.

13 - Hoboken, NJ, Maxwell's.

14 - Kurt and Chris go to see 'Sonic Youth' and 'Mudhoney' at New York Ritz as part of the New Music Seminar.

15 - Jamaica Plain, MA, Green Street Station.

? - Newark, NJ.

18 - New York, Pyramid Club (New Music Seminar). The running order is 'Surgery' / 'Lonely Moans' / 'Cows' / 'Nirvana' / 'God Bullies'. This is Jason Evermans' last gig. They cancel 7 gigs at the end of the tour and drive home. Iggy Pop is in the audience.

22 - The band arrive back in Seattle after the long drive back from the East coast.

August
? - Kurt seeks medical help for stomach with a specialist at Tacoma St Joseph Medical Center (HTH).

? - Make up tour dates due to exit of Jason Everman.

11 - Hoquiam, WA, Hoquiam Eagles Lodge. 'Bleach' is reviewed in 'CMJ New Music Report'. The review states "Nirvana is a retro-fueled blast of sabbath-like-mega-sludge riffs supplied with feedback and other nifty 70's tricks".

12 - Bellevue, WA, Bellevue VFW Hall.

13 - Olympia, WA, Washington Center for the Performing Arts.

20 - The Jury are in the studio with Jack Endino (HTH). Kurt, Chris, Mark Lanegan and Mark Pickeral record some tracks for a band they had put together tentatively entitled the 'Jury' (although Kurt wanted them to be called 'Lithium'). Kurt provides the lead vocals for a track called 'Ain't It A Shame", which remains unreleased. They also supposedly record a Leadbelly track called 'Grey Goose'.

26 - Seattle, WA, Centre on Contemporary Arts.

28 - More recording is done for the 'Jury' project.

? - 'Bleach' is released in the UK on the Tupelo label. First 300 on white vinyl, next 2000 on green. The UK version had 'Love Buzz' instead of 'Big Cheese'.

? - A split single is scheduled for release on 'Sub Pop' with 'Nirvana' and 'Mudhoney'.

September
? - Record 'Blew' EP at the 24-track Music Source Studios in Seattle (Capitol Hill). Steve Fisk is the producer, having changed his earlier opinion about the band on hearing 'Bleach'. Their equipment was very beat up by this point (CAYA, p.123). Kurt was unhappy with the recording and tried to rerecord some of the tracks with Craig Montgomery, but these didn't turn out well either (CAYA, p.124). Originally it was intended that the EP would be released to support their upcoming European tour, but it ended up being released when it had finished.

? - St Louis, MO (part of two-week midwest tour).

? - Minneapolis, MN.

? - Iowa.

9 - Chicago, IL, Cabaret Metro (opened for 'Sonic Youth').

13 - Denver, CO, The Garage.

23 - Milwaukee, WI, The Unicorn (could be Detroit?).

26 - Seattle, WA, The Vogue.

29 - Madison, WI, Marquette University. The band were due to support the Flaming Lips, but Kurt was ill and their support slot was cancelled.

OCTOBER
? - Toledo, OH, Frankie's Inner-City.

? - Louisville, KY, Tewligan's (this show is not confirmed).

3 - Ann Arbor, Blind Pig. Played with 'Flaming Lips'.

6 - Cincinnati, OH, Murphy's Pub. The band are interviewed after the gig for the local radio station.

7 - Lawrence, KS, The Outhouse.

8 - Omaha, NE, Lift Tick Lounge.

? - Seattle, WA, Smegma Studios. Kurt plays guitar and sings some vocal parts for the 'Earth' EP with Dylan Carlson called 'A Bureaucratic Desire for Revenge'.

22 - 'Nirvana' and 'Tad' fly to the UK to start a European tour.

23 - Newcastle, UK, Riverside (start of a 36-date tour in 42 days). This is 'Nirvana's' first European show. 'Tad' and 'Nirvana' are paid 500 between them. Chris slams his bass on the floor due to the frustration of a broken amp and broke the neck of his bass. The snapped-off neck went right throught one of the speakers in Kurt's rented Twin Reverb amp (CAYA, p.126).

24 - Manchester, UK, Manchester Polytechnic.

25 - Leeds, UK, Duchess of York Public House (a gig was originally scheduled for this date at Canterbury Art College, but not properly booked as the social secretary thought that 350 was too much to pay for two relatively unknown bands).

26 - London, UK, Maida Vale Studios, studios 4 and 5 (Peel session). They record 'About a Girl' / 'Love Buzz' / 'Polly' / 'Spank Thru'.

27 - London, UK, SOAS Student Union. The show is nearly cancelled by fire officers as the venue is almost filled to double it's capacity. The band are interviewed before the gig by Carl Williams for 'Metal Forces' magazine, which was eventually published in January 1990. The band are staying at the Dalmacia Hotel whilst in London.

28 - Portsmouth, UK, Portsmouth Polytechnic.

29 - Birmingham, UK, Edward's No. 8.

30 - Norwich, UK, Norwich Arts Centre.

31 - The band leave England and arrive in Holland at Hoek Van Holland by ferry, to start their short tour of the Netherlands. The band are initially booked into the Quentin Hotel, but after Chris insults one of the owners they are thrown out and have to find another hotel. They eventually end up staying at the Acro Hotel.

November
1 - Hilversum, Netherlands, VPRO Studios ('Nozems-A-GoGo'). The band played three songs live in the studio for this Dutch radio broadcast ('About A Girl' / 'Dive' / 'Love Buzz'). Chris apologises on air to the staff of the Quentin Hotel for his behaviour the previous day during an interview with the band. The band drive straight to Rotterdam after the show is recorded.

1 - Rotterdam, Netherlands, Nighttown. 66 paying people come to the gig.

2 - Groningen, Netherlands, Vera. They all stay at the hotel Friesland.

3 - Utrecht, Netherlands, Tivoli.

4 - Apeldoorn, Netherlands, Gigant.

5 - Amsterdam, Netherlands, Melkweg. Some American members of the audience that are living in Amsterdam try to get the band to play on the following day (a day off) at a squat bar venue by the Ij river, just out of the centre of Amsterdam (it is not known if they did actually play). Chris and Chad are interviewed in the afternoon by Gutter Heijting for 'Opscene' magazine.

7 - Moenchengladbach, West Germany, B-52.

8 - Koln, West Germany, Rose Club.

9 - Hannover, West Germany, Bad.

10 - Enger, West Germany, Enger Forum.

11 - Berlin, West Germany, Ecstasy.

12 - Oldenburg, West Germany, Kulturzentrum.

13 - Hamburg, West Germany, Fabrik. The band are interviewed by Nils Bernstein for Seattle's 'Rocket' newspaper.

15 - Heidelberg, West Germany, Schwimmbad.

16 - Nurnberg, West Germany, Trust.

17 - Frankfurt, West Germany, Negativ.

18 - Hanau, West Germany, Ku-Ba.

19 - Gammelsdorf, West Germany, Gammelsdorf Circus.

20 - Linz, Austria, Kapu.

21 - Budapest, Hungary, Petofihall.

22 - Vienna, Austria, U4.

23 - Graz, Austria, Forumstadtpark.

24 - Hohenems, Austria, Konkret.

25 - Fribourg, Switzerland, Fri-Son.

26 - Mezzago, Italy, Bloom.

27 - Rome, Italy, Piper Club. The showed is marred by a combination of a poor PA and poor rented equipment. Kurt smashes his guitar during 'Spank Thru' and climbs up on to one of the speakers in an apparent nervous breakdown. Poneman and Pavitt had flown in especially to see this gig from Seattle. Kurt apparently quit the band and Jonathon Poneman mentioned to Kurt that they would be interested in him as a solo artist. Kurt reconsidered the band, as Chris and Chad had also decided to call it a day. They all decided to carry on and finished the remaining dates.

28 - Firenze, the Flog Auditorium.

29 - Geneva, Switzerland, UGDO. The set includes 'Where Did You Sleep Last Night' and 'Swap Meet'. 'Come As You Are' states that this show was cancelled as Kurt was sick. On the way to the gig, via train, Kurt had his wallet, shoes and passport stolen. He had to go to the American embassy in Geneva to get a new passport. Jonathon Poneman also bought Kurt a new guitar.

30 - Zurich, Switzerland, Rote Fabrik (cancelled?).

? - 'Mexican Seafood' is released on 'C/Z's' 'Teriyaki Asthma Vol.I'. A 7" on black vinyl limited to 1,000 copies.

December
1 - Issy Les Molineaux, France, MJC Farhenheit. The gig was broadcast on French radio.

2 - Ghent, Belgium, Democrazy.

3 - London, UK, Astoria Theatre (Sub Pop Lame Fest). 'Tad' and 'Nirvana' miss their scheduled ferry crossing and have to catch the next available sailing. They end up arriving at the Astoria with only half an hour before they are due on stage. A coin is tossed, 'Nirvana' lose and have to open the show (the running order was 'Nirvana', 'Tad', 'Mudhoney'). 'Mudhoney' headline. The venue was packed. Kurt's guitar kept cutting out during the show and he had to keep pausing to fix it, meaning that to some the show suffered. Therefore Kurt threw his guitar at Krist at the end of the show, who totally destroyed it with his bass. Krist then took out his anger by swinging his bass guitar around his head by the strap. The strap broke and almost hit Dan Peters, who just managed to bat it out the way (CAYA, p.128). The show got a poor review in Melody Maker: "As yet, I'm unmoved". Bruce Pavitt on the other hand remembers it as one of their greatest shows and Jonathon Poneman refers to it as "one of the proudest moments in my life". Keith Cameron, formerly of 'Sounds', referred to it as "the most amazing band I'd seen" (CAYA, p.129). Stephen Sweet was there and took photographs for Melody Maker.

4-10 - Italy (all cancelled).

? - Kurt and Chad go home, whilst Chris and Shelli flew to Yugoslavia to see Chris' father.

? - Kurt and Chris help Mark Lanegan of the 'Screaming Trees' with tracks for his solo LP, the 'Winding Sheet'. Kurt sings backing vocals for 'Down In The Dark' and Kurt and Chris both play backing instruments for the Leadbelly cover 'Where Did You Sleep Last Night'.

30 - Chris and his long time girlfriend Shelli Dilley are married in Tacoma, Washington. Matt Lukin is the best man.

? - The 'Blew' EP is released in the UK only, on 'Tupelo' as a 12" (on black vinyl and limited to 3,000 copies) and CD.


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