Nirvana Plays in a Radio Shack, the Day After Recording its First Demo Tape (1988)

Here’s a strange home video of Nirvana when they were unknown, playing inside a Radio Shack in the band’s hometown of Aberdeen, Washington. The video was recorded on the evening of January 24, 1988, after the store had closed. In those days the group went by the name of Ted Ed Fred.

Only the day before, the band had recorded its first demo tape at a studio in Seattle. Guitarist and singer Kurt Cobain asked his new friend Eric Harter, who managed the Radio Shack, to videotape the band playing “Paper Cuts,” one of 10 songs from the demo. Along with Cobain, the video features Nirvana co-founder Krist Novoselic on bass and Dale Crover of the Melvins on drums.

The YouTube version below has been synched to the recording of “paper Cuts” made the day before, and was taken from a segment of the tabloid TV show American Journal that aired shortly after Cobain’s suicide in April, 1994. The unaltered clip from the program (above) includes footage of Harter talking about the Radio Shack video and giving a copy of the tape to Cobain’s grieving widow Courtney Love, who is shown with her friend Kat Bjelland of Babes in Toyland. At one point, Harter mentions a “Ted Ed Fred” concert at the Community World Theater in Tacoma. To see a full video of that show, which was staged the night before the Radio Shack taping (and only hours after the demo session), click here.

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Related content:

The First Live Performance of ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ (1991)

Kurt Cobain’s Isolated Vocal Track From ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’

Nirvana’s Home Videos: An Intimate Look at the Band’s Life in 1988

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Comments (2)
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  • Tyson says:

    An artist’s outlet is his art. When his art is hijacked & manipulated to please the ma$, then what?

  • Andrew Lowe says:

    Description Correction:

    “The YouTube version BELOW has been synched to the recording of “Paper Cuts” made the day before . . .”

    “The unaltered clip from the program ABOVE includes footage of Harter talking about the Radio Shack video . . .”

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