Rare photographs from Nirvana’s first concert in March 1987 have been unearthed and shared by an unlikely source: Maggie Poukkula, the 19-year-old daughter of Tony Poukkula, a member of Seattle band Laytem who grew up with Kurt Cobain and hosted the fledging outfit’s first show in his basement.
Last week, Poukkula tweeted a photo strip featuring three snapshots from the 1987 gig in Raymond, Washington, along with the caption, “Pictures of my dad and Kurt Cobain playing together back in the day.” At the time, Nirvana’s lineup consisted of Cobain, bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Aaron Burckhard, though that night, Poukkula reportedly joined the outfit on guitar for, at least, two Led Zeppelin covers.
“I had no idea that those were during Nirvana’s first concert,” Poukkula tells Rolling Stone. “My dad showed me them a while back, but he never mentioned that’s what was going on in the photos. I found out because of all the articles. I didn’t realize it was such a historical thing. I thought they were just cool pictures of my dad and Kurt jamming together.” Poukkula said she found the photos tucked away inside her father’s biographies of Cobain and Nirvana.
Pictures of my dad and Kurt Cobain playing together back in the day pic.twitter.com/y7lXh6acVn
— Maggs❂ (@mjpoukkula) July 16, 2015
According to an incomplete set list from the show, Nirvana jammed on covers of Led Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker” and “How Many More Times,” but also performed nascent versions of “Aero Zeppelin,” “Mexican Seafood,” “Pen Cap Chew,” “Hairspray Queen,” “Spank Thru” and “If You Must.” A recording of the band’s “Heartbreaker” jam appeared on the 2004 box set, With the Lights Out, while a bootleg version of “If You Must” is available on YouTube.
Poukkula’s shots come on the heels of a deluge of rare Cobain and Nirvana artifacts, many of which were incorporated into Brett Morgen’s acclaimed documentary, Montage of Heck. Morgen was given unprecedented access to Cobain’s archives, comprising mountains of notebooks and hours of never-before-heard audio cassette tapes, which featured eerie Beatles covers and the noise collage that gave the film its title.