Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: Nirvana squalor

Before Nirvana unexpectedly hit it big with Nevermind in the fall of 1991, everyone in the band was living way below the poverty line. If they weren’t living out of a broken down touring van, they had their terrible apartments.

Dave Grohl, who joined the band in 1990 at the age of 21, remembers “[W]e were pretty much living in squalor. I was living with Kurt in this tiny little apartment and there were just corn dog sticks and cigarettes all over the place.” Kurt also had some pet turtles—about half a dozen of them—that lived in a bathtub in the middle of the living room. This was fine until there was an intolerable build-up of turtle poo that really started to smell.

So how did Kurt fix that? By drilling a hole in the bathtub that allowed the poo to drain somewhere. It’s amazing Dave had the stomach to stick around.

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.

Alan Cross has 37832 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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