Watch Rare Footage of Dave Grohl’s First Performance with Nirvana


Have you witnessed the very first time the iconic drummer Dave Grohl took his place behind the drum kit for Nirvana?

From this point forward, Grohl would become a constant presence alongside Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic. The two were doing their thing up front. This moment in history holds immense significance for many fans, akin to the pivotal moment when the first electric guitar was plugged in.

In the latter part of 1990, as the leaves turned brown, another relationship was fading, losing its vitality. The emerging underground Grunge Kings, also known as Nirvana, were growing weary of their drummer Chad Channing.

Channing’s inability to power through a set of increasingly potent tunes became a concern for the trio as fame began to beckon. While he had the rhythm, a certain raw energy was missing in his performance. It wasn’t long before the band started searching for a new drummer. And that’s when the youthful and spirited Dave Grohl entered the scene.

Young Grohl was in search of a new musical journey after his previous band, Scream, a group of hardcore punks from the vibrant Washington D.C. scene, disbanded. With an assist from Melvins’ frontman Buzz Osbourne, Grohl soon found his new home behind the legendary Nirvana drum kit. Osbourne introduced Grohl to Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic, and after a relatively brief audition, Nirvana as we know it was born.

Just days later, Grohl would find himself thrust into action, taking his place behind one of his life’s most crucial drum kits. As the man with the sticks, he tore through a set with Nirvana at the North Shore Surf Club in Olympia, Washington. It marked the beginning of many awe-inspiring performances and established Grohl as a superstar right from the start.

Were Cobain and Novoselic testing Grohl’s mettle, or was this just Nirvana’s way? Were they initiating their new band member, or was this rawness inherent to the underground sound? It’s hard to say. Regardless, the performance wasn’t a brief one. The band powered through 20 tracks, including five covers, which meant Grohl had much to absorb before taking the stage.

The songs played by Nirvana heavily leaned on their debut record, Bleach. The covers included tracks by Devo, Wipers, Shocking Blue, and others, with the latter’s “Love Buzz” also featuring on the band’s debut LP. It was as close to a musical baptism of fire as one could expect. But then again, this is Nirvana we’re talking about—what else would you expect?

The footage captures a glimpse of the brilliance the band was destined to achieve. Cobain and company had been making waves in their adopted hometown of Seattle as underground royalty. However, the “big time” and all the challenges it brought were just a few miles away.

They not only changed the life of a 21-year-old Dave Grohl but countless others around the world. From its inception to the present day, Nirvana is still among the cornerstones of modern music.

While Cobain rightfully receives a lot of credit, it’s essential to recognize Dave Grohl. Without him, Nirvana would have been a ship without a rudder.

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