When Sub Pop mortgaged the farm to send some of their acts on a tour of the UK in the fall of 1989, no one involved had any clue of what this music would become. Label co-founder Bruce Pavitt went along to help manage things and to take pictures with his cheap Olympus camera.
Nirvana almost didn’t survive the Heavier Than Heaven tour, especially after Kurt Cobain had a meltdown when he looked out on the audience and Rome and saw only “the kind of guys who used to beat me up in high school.” But by the time the tour pulled into London, the British music press was all over Nirvana and this grunge thing. Little did anyone know what would come next.
Pavitt’s 500-plus photos first appeared in an ebook in 2012, but now Experiencing Nirvana: Grunge in Europe, 1989, is available in hardcover (It was released late last year.) Expect a spike in sales as we get to what would have been Kurt’s 47th birthday (February 20) and the 20th anniversary of his suicide in April.
Read an interview with Pavitt about the book at Pitchfork. (Thanks to Nathalia for the link.)