Imagine Nirvana without Dave Grohl, long, lank hair flying behind his drumkit, goofy grin plastered on his face. It’s kind of hard to do, but there was a point in time where the two parties existed without the other. On September 25, 1990, the former Scream drummer replaced Chad Channing (and Dale Crover, who’d been filling in since Channing’s departure) and changed the course of his own life as well as the future of rock. His first gig with Nirvana was October 11, 1990 – 26 years ago today.

Where would the world be if Grohl hadn’t joined Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic’s group? Would ‘Nevermind’, the first Nirvana album to be released after the new addition, be as iconic? Maybe. Would Foo Fighters ever have come into being? Who knows.

It’s easy to write off Grohl now as a slightly cheesy stadium rocker, but back then he was undeniably cool. Just 16 days after joining the band, he played his first gig with them at the North Shore Surf Club in Olympia, Washington and, as the video below shows, the then-21-year-old nailed it right away. Check out footage from the history-making gig below.