Before Nirvana were grunge-rock icons and a logo branded across Hot Topic t-shirts worn by angsty teenagers, they were a fledgling band trying to find their feet.
For a short while in 1988, before Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic decided on the name Nirvana, the band performed under the moniker Ted Ed Fred. It was during this period the future grunge-rockers recorded their first proper demo with pre-Dave Grohl drummer Dale Crover (of The Melvins).
The ten-track demo – recorded at Reciprocal Recording Studios in Seattle on 23 January 1988 – featured three songs which would later appear on Nirvana’s debut album Bleach (“Floyd the Barber,” “Paper Cuts” and “Downer”).
To coincide with the demo, the band holed up in an Aberdeen, Washington Radio Shack to film an accompanying video. Over the years, clips of the performance have surfaced online, but now, thanks to video archivist and famous Nirvana bootlegger Mike Ziegler, the full 17-minute video is available to watch on YouTube.
The recording shows a 20-year-old Cobain and bandmate Novoselic lip syncing to their track, pretending to play their unplugged guitars, while Crover enthusiastically bangs the live drums. There are also multiple takes of Cobain jumping into the shot from stage left. For added effect, a smoke machine is turned on halfway through the video.
In addition to the Radio Shack performance, Zeigler has released complete, unedited interviews with the band from 1993. Cobain’s interview is over 90-minutes long and features appearances from his wife at the time Courtney Love and their daughter Frances Bean Cobain.