As the internet implodes over a ‘newly’ surfaced pre-Bleach mixtape by the Nirvana frontman, one of its original recipients reveals how and when it was really made
“I think he just did it because he was bored. He started doing it, and just kept going. It was a project.
These are the words of Tracy Marander, Kurt Cobain’s girlfriend when the Nirvana frontman made his newly infamous mixtape, Montage of Heck.
The internet is a strange place. The mixtape compiled by Cobain in his hometown of Aberdeen – recorded before Nirvana’s 1989 debut album Bleach – has been doing the rounds in the bootleg world for decades. A short excerpt was even used to introduce Nirvana’s first single, Love Buzz. So why is the news “Mixtape surfaces, with music and sounds compiled by Nirvana frontman before band’s 1989 debut” suddenly a top trending topic on Facebook?
The tape itself is a surreal, often psychedelic insight into the mind of the 20-year-old Cobain: cut-ups of 60s, 70s and 80s TV shows interspersed with the sound of the toilet flushing and people vomiting, bits of the Beatles and Led Zeppelin interspersed with troubled Austin singer-songwriter Daniel Johnston screaming about Satan, and white noise so intense that when Simon & Garfunkel’s Sound Of Silence starts up it comes as physical relief.
There are snippets of a few unreleased Nirvana songs, too, among the tumult and screaming and dead-end repetition, amid the excerpts of William Shatner, The Partridge Family, Queen, Queensryche, Butthole Surfers, James Brown. In many respects, Montage Of Heck echoes and predates turntable culture, the ubiquitous YouTube mash-up and the Beatles’ experimental sound collage Revolution No 9.
Read the full article by Everett True at the Guardian
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