The Live NIRVANA Collectors Union [LNCU] was founded in 2000 by Frank Morris, and is an organization dedicated to surfacing new NIRVANA recordings to the general trading community. This is a task previously thought too large for any one person to accomplish, but following the prodigious activities of Mike Ziegler, Benoit Martigny and others, it has been demonstrated that everyone is capable of surfacing new material. However, sometimes it is easier to work as a team, and through a combined effort of many fans, LNCU is able to help members with the quest. Calling club owners, placing advertisements in newspapers, and scouring the internet are just a few of the methods by which we intend to accomplish our goal.
Membership of the LNCU is free of charge, and is open to all. The LNCU currently revolves around the VBB forum which bears its name, and all news items are announced in there. Members also have the opportunity to vote the LNCU leadership into position. Ben Martigny is the current LNCU President. Previous presidents include Mike Ziegler (April 2003 - April 2004) and Ben Martigny (April 2002 - April 2003).
Full recordings of any unsurfaced item obtained will be made available by non-commercial, non-monetary methods (i.e. blank trades, with no cash exchanges permitted) on this site.
As a group we have the power to change bring recordings into our trading community that fans have only dreamed of obtaining. Each member has the power to help. There are in fact many ways to help LNCU, as explained below.
There are three sorts of 'new' material that the LNCU aims to find: (1) unsurfaced concert recordings, i.e. recordings of concerts for which we do not currently have a recording; (2) new sources of concerts; i.e. a different recording of a concert for which we already have one recording. If this new version is better quality, then we have found a 'new source upgrade'; (3) better quality version of a known recording, i.e. an upgrade. This is because when cassettes are copied they lose quality, so a 'low generation' cassette will be of better quality than a high one.
Tracking down upgrades is generally easiest, because each high generation (low quality) cassette must originally have been made from a better quality, lower generation cassette. We aim to track down the master tape of each concert, which will be the best possible quality. If you know of anyone who recorded any NIRVANA concert, do let us know! However, finding a completely new concert is the most exciting part of being in LNCU, and is a relatively rare event now.
New members often ask how they can find new material. It is not an impossible task, but does require dedication and commitment.
First of all, new members should read Bootlegs For Beginners thoroughly, to ensure they have a full grasp of all trading terminology. We expect most new members will already know most of this information, but they may find some parts a useful refresher.
Next, new members do need to be aware of what material has been found already. The Live NIRVANA Tour History [LNTH] lists the lowest known generations of all surfaced recordings. If you can find a lower generation of any known recording, please report it in the LNCU forum. This section of the website also features an Unsurfaced Recordings List, which tabulates every known concert for which we do not have an audio recording. This list also keep a running total of the shows the LNCU itself has successfully tracked down!
Now you are aware of what material we already have, please consult the LN Mislabels Guide, which will inform you of concerts which have erronously been labeled as a different concert.
Finally, please read Benoit Martigny's Speech to the NIRVANA Conference in March 2002, in which he explains how the trading scene really works, and what the best strategy is for infiltrating the old network of tapers, which existed before the internet became popular.
With that information in hand, you are now ready to start scouring the web for trade lists, and see if you can spot anything which we don't have. Very many items have been and still are surfaced in this way. You can find trade lists via www.tapetracker.com, www.tapetrader.com, and by typing something appropriate into www.google.com.
Another method, which is surprisingly effective, is to ask everyone you know if they went to a NIRVANA concert, and to follow up with asking if they or (anyone they know) recorded it.
There are plenty of other strategies, such as writing to venues, asking journalists and photographers, and reading back issues of magazines in which traders used to post their advertisements (small advertisements in certain music publications were the means by which traders used to communicate). Drafts of such letters can be found here.
Finally, there are plenty of other ways you can help. These include: recording as many local concerts as possible. Often, we may find someone who has an unsurfaced NIRVANA show, but demands an unsurfaced show by a different band in exchange. The more shows members have recorded for their personal collections, the more chance we have of being able to do a deal. Therefore, please record as many concerts as you are able and add them to the LNCU Trade List, a list of shows of other bands that we can use exclusively as trade bait for new NIRVANA material. John Etter has written this guide to lead you through the process of how to record a show.
Another way is going to your local library and researching NIRVANA concerts that were played there. Many of the pre-1991 tour dates are still very uncertain, and by reading an appropriate local publication, you may be able to confirm old dates and find previously unknown ones.
To round things off, we emphasise, surfacing a new show is something EVERYONE is capable of. Yes, it requires a little dedication, and a lot of patience, and a little luck, but everyone can do it. It is only by trying that we can find new items. So please, give it a shot, and see what you can uncover.
UNSURFACED RECORDING: Any recording by the band NIRVANA or its members that is not already in the hands of LNCU members. If you believe you may have an unsurfaced recording please refer to Report An Unsurfaced Recording.