Ongoing History Daily: Dibs on “Nirvana””

Before Kurt Cobain settled on the name “Nirvana,” his bands went through a series of names, including Pencap Chew, the Stiff Woodies, and the charming Fecal Matter.  It wasn’t until sometime in 1987 that the group became Nirvana. 

The problem with that was that there was already a British band from the 60s named “Nirvana.”  They sounded nothing like Kurt’s Nirvana, either. When Kurt’s Nirvana got big, the British Nirvana got annoyed and demanded money. 

In the end, they went away in exchange for $25,000 and an agreement they could continue using this name. The British Nirvana also turned this bit of notoriety into a reunion tour and album.  They also cheekily recorded a version of “Lithium” for good measure.     

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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