Food & Culture

Watch Nirvana Rock an Aberdeen Radio Shack in 1988

New footage from a 1988 video shoot has been uncovered.

By Michael Rietmulder July 6, 2017


The world was a very different place 29 years ago. Nirvana was an unknown band and Radio Shack was a thriving company built on tube TVs and coin-eating robot banks.

Yet in 1988, fate and perhaps budgetary constraints brought the battery slingers and future rock gods together. On Jan. 23 of that year, bassist Krist Novoselic, then-drummer Dale Crover and a 20-year-old Kurt Cobain recorded Nirvana’s first demo tape at Seattle’s Reciprocal Recording Studios with producer Jack Endino. The next day the straggly-haired go-getters took over an Aberdeen Radio Shack after closing time to film a music video. Snippets of the in-store rock-out have emerged in the past. But on the Fourth of July, archivist and true American hero Mike Ziegler unearthed the full 17-minute video on (where else) YouTube.

As first reported by Spin, Cobain and Novoselic pick their unplugged instruments along to the demo tape, while Crover plays live behind them. According to Ziegler, the footage on the TVs in the background is from a concert the band played at Tacoma’s Community World Theater the night before.

Watch both videos below and long for a time when generational rock talents lurked in our retail stores.


Follow Us

The Sound of Giving

The Sound of Giving

Three nonprofit music organizations worthy of support

In the March/April issue of this magazine, I wrote an article about the problems with Seattle’s music scene and how we can fix them. There’s a lot to be desired in Seattle’s music scene — like more regular, paying gigs for musicians at local establishments and a more reasonable volume level at venues across the…

A Taste of Europe Comes to Seattle for Christmas

A Taste of Europe Comes to Seattle for Christmas

Monthlong celebration begins the day after Thanksgiving

A scene reminiscent of old Europe will be on full display at Seattle Center this holiday season when the city’s first-ever Seattle Christmas Market opens for a monthlong celebration. Inspired by historic German Christmas markets, the Seattle Christmas Market opened Nov. 24 and runs through Christmas Eve at Fisher Pavilion and South Fountain lawn at…

Editor's Note: An Experience That Lives  Forever

Editor’s Note: An Experience That Lives Forever

The world isn't always as it seems

It was Friday night after a long week. I had just arrived home. The red light was flashing on my answering machine (remember those?). I was ready for the weekend. The call crushed me. My first love, my high school sweetheart, my partner in mischief, had passed away due to complications from Multiple Sclerosis. Gwen…

Author Sadie Hartmann’s Halloween Reads

Author Sadie Hartmann’s Halloween Reads

Some trusted classics and fresh finds 

In the spirit of Halloween, Tacoma resident and author of 101 Horror Books to Read Before You’re Murdered, Sadie Hartmann, recommends some of her favorite scary books and stories. It’s time to let the flashlight cast eerie shadows in the dark, listen for mysterious sounds outside your window, and immerse yourself in the world of…