Flashback: Nirvana Film Music Video in Empty Radio Shack - Rolling Stone
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Flashback: Nirvana Film Music Video in Empty Radio Shack

Band performs unplugged “If You Must” and “Paper Cuts” in unearthed clip from 1988

Nearly thirty years after it was recorded, a video of Nirvana attempting to film a music video in an empty Radio Shack in Aberdeen, Washington has surfaced.

The footage was filmed on January 24, 1988, one day after the band recorded a demo with Jack Endino. Then known as “Ted Ed Fred,” this early version of Nirvana featured Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and the Melvins’ Dale Crover. According to Mike Ziegler, who uploaded the nearly 20 minute clip, Dana Bong and another unknown party filmed the band with their instruments unplugged in the temporarily closed Radio Shack location in Cobain’s hometown.

Cobain awkwardly lip-syncs to the demos of “If You Must” and “Paper Cuts” that they had recorded the day before, and all three members vamp for the camera with dramatic slides across the floor and other rock star performance tropes. What appears to be fog floats in front of the camera and lights flash red and green around the band. The video screens behind them display footage of a concert that took place the night before at the Community World Theater in Tacoma, Washington.

In a second video, the band members play with plasma globes in the same Radio Shack, offering even more of a behind-the-scenes footage of the band preparing their video. At one point, the director warns Cobain of making “prolonged contact” with the flashing globes.

In This Article: Nirvana


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