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Home / Articles / Arts / Pop Culture /  That Time Nirvana Played Santa Fe
Kurt_cobain drawing
Thomas Mikael

That Time Nirvana Played Santa Fe

April 5, 2014, 3:00 pm

I

t was the summer of 1989 and a little-know rock outfit from Washington, Nirvana, had just released their their debut studio album, Bleach.

It was cut for around $600 at Jack Endino's studio and featured the raw energy of Kurt Cobain and crew dolling out their signature underground rock style, which would later be dubbed grunge.

"Bleach is more than a historical curiosity since it does have its share of great songs, but it isn't a lost classic—it's a debut from a band that shows potential but haven't yet achieved it." AllMusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote.

For the album's promotion, Nirvana embarked on a West Coast tour and, on June 27, 1989, sandwiched between gigs in Tempe and San Antonio, the band descended in Santa Fe to perform an all-ages show.

The setting was the Rockin' T.P. a now gone divey club located behind La Quinta Inn on Cerrillos Road.

Based on the recollections of a member of  opening band 27 Devils Joking, only about 17 people checked out the show:  

"I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Nirvana. It probably started in the mid 1980's when my band traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico. We were booked to play at a dive bar on the outskirts of town called the Rockin' T. P. It was a local band called 27 Devils Joking, us and some cats out of Seattle called Nirvana. There were about 17 people at the whole gig, including band members. Nirvana played like madmen and killed it. Won me over and I still dig that sound. Not concerned so much over the "purity" of any of the albums. I just dig Rocking.

At the end of the night, the chick that was traveling with them as a merch/road manager approached us. She noticed we were selling some of our own records and handed me a cassette. She said the band was trying to get signed to a label and saw that we were on one and if we liked the music, perhaps we could help Nirvana get on our label. I explained that our "label" consisted of the smallest post office box available and about 875 of those albums stashed under the singers bed, keeping it level. She dug what was up and said I could keep the cassette. Less than a year later, most of those songs appeared on a record called Nevermind."

It went a little something like this:



Portrait by Thomas Mikael / flyer via GigPosters.com / video via YouTube/‪‪Curmodgeon NIRVANA‬‬

 

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