Tacoma Musician Posts Early Nirvana Demos Given to Him by Kurt Cobain
Over the years, Nirvana's musical catalog has been combed over many a time as fans have latched on to any shred of the gone too soon band. But thanks to a Tacoma musician named John Purkey, there's even more material that fans can check out. Purkey has posted on YouTube four early Nirvana demo tapes that were given to him by Kurt Cobain.
Purkey was a fellow musician in the Pacific Northwest music scene around the time that Cobain's career was beginning. Over time, Cobain would share some of the music he had been working on and Purkey held onto most of the items that Cobain shared. As he explains later in his postings, he was certainly aware as the band exploded in the '90s exactly how valuable that would be.
The first demo was recorded with Dale Crover at Seattle's Reciprocal Studios, and as Purkey reveals in the introduction, it leads into Montage of Heck. As Purkey states in the notes for the recording, the sound quality is not perfect, but definitely listenable and slowly becomes clearer sounding. Take a listen to the demo below.
The second demo was given to Purkey by Cobain back in 1988. He reveals that the original that Cobain had given him was stolen out of a car, but luckily he had made a copy for his brother to listen to and it was saved for his posterity. That demo can be heard below.
The third demo shows a bit of the band's evolution, as Purkey reveals that the material came after they had recorded songs for the Bleach album. Unfortunately, one of the songs got cut off in his transition of the tape. Take a listen below.
And the fourth and final demo features Nirvana during a period when Chad Channing was with the group and it was produced by Butch Vig. It includes some of the songs that would end up on Nevermind. Check out the demo below.
Purkey also shot yet another video that consists of his notes on the Nirvana tapes. In the clip, he speaks about the steps he took to secure all of the material that Cobain had given him over the years. One of the remaining items he owns is a piece of mail sent to him by Cobain.
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