Kurt Cobain playing a gig at ManRay in Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 18th, 1990. Photo by JJ Gonson.
So here’s something that your ears will appreciate hearing at the loudest volume possible today—a rare audio recording of Nirvana performing songs from their 1989 debut record, Bleach as well as a couple of tracks from the yet-to-be-released smash, Nevermind at a small Goth club called ManRay (R.I.P.) in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Krist Novoselic and Kurt backstage at ManRay in Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 18th, 1990. Photo by JJ Gonson.
Photo by JJ Gonson
Krist Novoselic at ManRay. Photo by JJ Gonson.
Drummer Chad Channing at ManRay. Photo by JJ Gonson.
Kurt Cobain diving into the small crowd at ManRay in Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 18th, 1990. Photo by JJ Gonson..
Duane Bruce, legendary former DJ of Boston alternative rock station, WFNX, was on hand to introduce the band, and was also smart enough to record the raucous live set that was attended by less than 100 people on April 18th, 1990. In the audio recording I’ve posted below you’ll hear an exuberant sounding Kurt Cobain proclaim the following (at about 22 minutes in) about their upcoming release Nevermind before kicking into “Breed” and “In Bloom”:
This is from our next record, it’s gonna be out in September or something like that. It’s gonna be a rock n roll record! It’s gonna have all your rock favorites, and… it’s gonna be a blast!
If that’s not enough for you, the band also treated the small crowd to four songs that would find their way onto Nirvana’s 1992 record, Incesticide, “Dive,” “Stain,” “Been a Son,” and “Molly’s Lips” which was originally recorded by the Vaselines in 1988. We even get to hear the band rip through “Spank Thru” a track that Kurt Cobain recorded with his band Fecal Matter in 1985. Damn.
The other cool thing about this audio recording features a 23-year-old Chad Channing on drums before he was replaced by Dave Grohl later on that same year. I used to frequent this club back in the day (whose motto was to welcome “all nocturnal people young and old, straight and gay”), and it completely blows my mind to think of Nirvana, who would completely blow the fuck up a year later, played the little club that also played host to goth favorites such as Alien Sex Fiend and J. G. Thirlwell’s Foetus. Enjoy!
Nirvana recorded live at Man Ray nightclub, Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 18th, 1990.
H/T to former ManRay DJ, Chris Ewen!
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The cover for Nirvana’s iconic album ‘Bleach’ was based on an accident