This Dec. 13, 1993 file photo shows Kurt Cobain of the band Nirvana performing in Seattle. (AP Photo/Robert Sorbo, File)

Remembering Nirvana on Cobain’s 52 birthday

Nirvana played one show in Victoria on March 8, 1991 at the Forge

Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain would have turned 52 years old today, and while the band split up after Cobain’s death, their memory is still alive worldwide.

Before the band hit the big time, pre-Nevermind, they played a show right here in Victoria at what was once the Forge, now called Distrikt. Andrew Murray, an assistant teaching professor for the department of English at the University of Victroia, was at the show on March 8, 1991 and recalls it well.

“I remember they played quite a lot of songs off their first album Bleach. I remember they played a Velvet Underground cover called Here She Comes Now, which I had never heard them play before,” said Murray.

RELATED: Soulful Songstress Morgan James returning to Victoria

Murray had already seen the band play once before in Vancouver, but says the low ceilings and grunge feel to the Forge made it a pretty unforgettable show. Murray was born the same year as Cobain and said he felt a special connection to the lead singer.

“In a weird way I felt not like a peer of his, but at least a contemporary for sure.”

He recalls how Kirst Novoselic, who played bass in the band, almost couldn’t stand up straight because of the Forge’s “basement-like” interior.

“He couldn’t really bounce like he wanted to because he would hit his head on the ceiling if he did, whereas Kurt Cobain was a very small man so he was quite comfortable,” said Murray.

According to Murray, the band played for about an hour, calling it a “proper show” even if it was just before the band’s big break that would come later with the release of their second studio album, Nevermind.

“It was a really really good show … but you could tell they had the power and the charisma of a great rock and roll band,” said Murray.

Murray still has his ticket stub from the concert in Victoria, although he describes it as a simple 50/50 raffle ticket with no band names on it.

RELATED: Young B.C. musician sings with the Foo Fighters

“They were a ferocious band, they really were,” said Murray. “What was different was at the later venues the mosh pit and dancing was bigger, but the band always played with real energy.”

With the release of Nevermind in September 1991, the band’s fan base grew exponentially almost overnight, but according to Murray they always played a good show — having seen them play a total of four times in his life.

“Victoria was the smallest one so it was cool to be a part of that and feel like you were on the ground floor of something — but it wasn’t like they were so small that nobody had heard of them. You went to the show knowing their songs … we loved it.” he said.

Murray still holds on to a lot of the memorabilia that he got during the climax of Nirvana’s fame.

“It wasn’t a time when you took photos or recorded parts of the show, you were just there and lived it and then it was over,” said Murray. “It was ferocious and energetic — a young band really hitting their stride. You could see Kurt Cobain had a charisma, that he was a rock star that hadn’t become a rock star yet.”

In celebration of Cobain’s 52 birthday, Lucky Bar will be holding a special event featuring Nirvana’s music and other ‘90s inspired grunge music along with a video tribute that will take place from 11:30 p.m. to midnight.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

West Kelowna transmission line delays frustrating for council

Plans to twin existing transmission line from Merritt appear to be too costly

West Kelowna winery’s Festival of Trees returns

The fundraiser for the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation will return for a third year Nov. 22.

New era for West Kelowna Warriors with new ownership, management and culture

The Warriors’ revealed the team’s new president and outlook for remainder of the season

World’s largest Indigenous tourism conference hits Kelowna

The Syilx, Nlakápamux and Secwépemc Nations are hosting the 2019 IITC

Canadian Mental Health Association launches Kelowna initiative to improve workplace mental health

Known as “Thoughtfull” the initiative aims to work with employers to create a healthy workplace

VIDEO: Canadian allergists’ group wants Benadryl behind the counter due to side effects

Some doctors say the medication is over-used because of its easy availability

Yelling at your dog might hurt its long-term mental health: study

Researchers find dogs trained using negative reinforcement are more ‘pessimistic’

Vancouver Island soap company releases Lucky Lager beer soap

Beer-infused olive oil soap comes out just in time for holiday shopping

Jagmeet Singh says he’ll vote against throne speech if NDP requests not met

Singh is to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday

Community uses loophole to paint 16 rainbow crosswalks after B.C. council says no

So far 11 rainbows are painted and five planned, all since council denied the first proposal in September

Workers’ camp at LNG facility in Kitimat takes shape

Extensive worker camp now being assembled

Former B.C. youth pastor guilty on one of five sexual assault allegations

Judge cites reasonable doubt in finding Cloverdale couple not guilty of majority of charges

238 and counting: Vancouver gelato shop sets Guinness World record for most flavours

Vince Misceo has come up with 588 different flavours over the decades

Salmon Arm pilot takes part in Remembrance Day flyovers

Hamilton McClymont and other pilots pay aerial tribute at several North Okanagan-Shuswap ceremonies

Most Read