LIVE NIRVANA SESSIONS HISTORY December, 1982 - Music room, Earl residence, Burien, WA, US

  • Cobain, Kurt (vocals, guitar, bass, percussion)
  • [X] Unknown
  • Audio: ¼-inch 4-track analog magnetic tape (session tape)
Source ID Quality Complete Runtime Lowest Gen Tracks Featured Notes
SBD #1 CLIP TBC TBC Unofficial DVD (Kurt & Courtney) • Unknown  

Kurt Cobain made his first multi-track demo at his aunt Mari Earl's house in Burien, December, 1982. We had traveled down to Aberdeen for the family Christmas party and he rode along with us on our return trip, Earl recalled. All he brought with him was his electric guitar and his mom's old pink suitcase. (1)

He was excited about some songs he had written and wanted to use my recording equipment to get them down on tape, Earl explained. I told him he could use my computer drum machine too but he was adamant and said, I want to keep my music pure. He emptied out his suitcase and asked me if I had any drumsticks. I couldn't find my old drumsticks but I went to the kitchen and came back with a couple of wooden spoons. Will these work? I asked. Yeah, they'll work great, he nodded. (1)

Equipped with his electric guitar, Earl's bass, the empty Samsonite suitcase and set of wooden spoons, Cobain set about laying down tracks on Earl's TEAC A-2340 recorder. He named the resulting demo Organized Confusion. (2)

Most of what I remember about the songs was a lot of distortion on guitar, really heavy bass, and the clucky sound of the wooden spoons, Earl recalled. (2) The hollow sound of the empty Samsonite and thudding of wooden spoons on it gave the recording a very primal sound. Along with his low, muffled vocals and occasional blood curdling screams, it had all the raw ingredients that would eventually concoct the NIRVANA sound. (1)

  1. Earl, Mari, 2004. A Common Thread.
  2. Gaar, Gillian G., 1997. Verse Chorus Verse: The Recording History Of Nirvana, Goldmine, [online] Available at: http://www.nirvanaclub.com/articles/02.14.97.html.

© Alex Roberts. August 28, 2011