If Nirvana Had Beaten Steve Albini At Pool, He Would Have Produced ‘In Utero’ For Free

In Utero, the 1993 Nirvana album that would end up being the band’s final one, is one of the most beloved records of the ’90s. It also has one of the best behind-the-scenes stories: Steve Albini, who produced the album, proposed a wager to the group, saying that if one of them could beat him in a game of pool, he would produce the album for free.

He told the story in a new Kerrang feature, adding that if he won the game, his fee of $100,000 would be doubled. Albini said, “I did that with every band I worked with, and no one ever took me up on the offer. It’s not like I’m a particularly good pool player, but I have an equal chance of winning in a fair game. Ultimately, it wasn’t going to make that much difference to my life if I got double the money for the session or worked for free. But I guess Nirvana were a little more risk-averse than I was.”

Grohl once addressed that proposed wager, saying, “We were paying him $100,000. Anyone who’s got the stones to gamble something that large must be amazing, so everyone said no. Plus he had his own stick. We didn’t want to f*ck around with that.”

Read the full Albini feature here.