Today in rock history, 1990, Dave Grohl played his first Nirvana gig. This was fresh off being plucked from his band Scream, which Kurt Cobain was reluctant to check out, but went. He was complaining to someone about how bands go corporate and dress and sound like Van Halen, when one thing stood out. Grohl was a madman behind the kit. Cobain looked at Nirvana bass player Krist Novoselic and said, “That’s the kind of drummer we need.”
You can thank Melvins guitarist Buzz Osbourne for the invite.
Many close to Nirvana said that was the key ingredient that put the band over the top.
So, in the Fall of 1990, Nirvana flew Grohl up to Washington State and auditioned him. It was an immediate no brainer. As Novoselic said, “We knew within two minutes that he was the right drummer. He was a hard hitter. He was really dynamic. He was so bright, so vital, so hot. He rocked.”
Now, Nirvana had already released the Bleached album with “Love Buzz” “About a Girl,” “Blew” and “Floyd the Barber” on it. And their cult following was big. But in less than a year, they would release Nevermind and change rock and alternative radio forever.