Four extremely rare Nirvana demo tapes have surfaced online

This is pretty special.

Four early Nirvana demo tapes have surfaced online after they were posted on YouTube by a musician who claims that they were personally given to him by Kurt Cobain.

The raw audio was uploaded by Washington musician John Purkey and includes ‘Bleach’ demos that were reportedly recorded during Nirvana’s first ever session at Seattle’s Reciprocal Studios in 1988.

The recording comes before the arrival of first Nirvana drummer Chad Channing, and instead features the efforts of The Melvins’ Dale Crover who eventually recorded the drums for Nirvana’s debut album.


A second tape purportedly features ‘Nevermind’ demos which were recorded in the 1990s with Chad Channing, before the eventual arrival of Dave Grohl.

In an accompanying video, Purkey claims that he developed a close relationship with Nirvana after watching them develop in Washington.



He says that he stashed the cassettes away in a metal box, and decided to sell two of them after a cassette was stolen from a friend’s car.

In December 2017, a previously unreleased recording of a Nirvana acoustic gig from 1991 was discovered and shared online.

The performance from Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl took place at Edinburgh’s Southern Bar, with the pair billed as Very Special Guests at a fundraising event at the venue alongside local band Joyriders.

The gig raised money for the city’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children.

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