Kim Gordon on Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’: “Every kid wanted to be Kurt Cobain for a while”

Gordon toured with Nirvana in 1991

Former Sonic Youth member Kim Gordon has spoken of her tour with Nirvana in the summer of 1991 and how she feels about ‘Nevermind’ today – the album that was released 25 years ago this month.

‘Nevermind’ was the second album from Nirvana, released on September 24, 1991. Sonic Youth took Nirvana on tour a few months before it’s release, which is chronicled in Dave Markey’s documentary 1991: The Year Punk Broke.

Speaking during the documentary – as pointed out by Entertainment Weekly – Gordon spoke of the tour, explaining that “it was so funny, because not many people knew who they were and they were playing first.” She continued, “It’s so hard to play in the daylight and be the first band. But at all those gigs, Nirvana would go wild and Kurt would go down into the audience.”


Speaking of the release of ‘Nevermind’, Gordon said that it wasn’t suprising that the album was successful but at the same time, “the mainstream seemed so impenetrable”. “We had a tape of [Nevermind] before it was released,” she continued. “I remember talking to the Geffen Records A&R person, Mark Kates, about it. And we gave a copy of that and a Dinosaur Jr. album to Neil [Young] while we were on tour with him [in 1991]….we gave it to his stage manager. I don’t know if [Neil] ever listened to them.”

Gordon explained that “Nirvana was a band that was more commercial”, stating that Lollapalooza founder Perry Farrell showed that there was a market for “something called alternative music”. “It just set the stage for Nirvana, they solidified that idea,” she said. “So there were other bands from Seattle…you know, people get lumped in. There was Bush and bands that had this big sound. Every kid wanted to be Kurt Cobain for a while.”