Due to the untimely passing of Kurt Cobain, Nirvana only released three studio albums, but fans know that there’s a lot more music than that floating around. Various demo recordings and bootlegs have circulated for years, and now, one of the more interesting sets of rare Nirvana material has surfaced. John Purkey, a musician from Tacoma who played in multiple bands that were active during Nirvana’s early years, has shared four demo tapes that he says Cobain himself give to him.
On the four tapes, which feature over two hours of material, are recordings from Nirvana’s first ever studio session, at Reciprocal Studios in Seattle in 1988 with Melvins drummer Dale Crover. There are also Nevermind demos recorded with Chad Channing, who replaced Crover in the band for a brief period before himself being replaced by Dave Grohl. One of the tapes includes Montage Of Heck, which was later officially released a few years ago (although it didn’t sell super well). As that last point makes obvious, some of the material on these tapes has already been distributed on various bootlegs.
Listen to the demos above and below, along with a video of Purkey giving some more context about his experience with the tapes.