On This Day in 1991…

On September 3, 1991, Nirvana would return to Maida Vale studios in London to record what would be their final BBC Session with John Peel.

The Seattle band were in the midst of a European tour ahead of the release of their ground-breaking album major label debut, Nevermind. Nirvana recorded 3 songs in Studio 5 that day, including Drain You, an early version of Dumb, and the maniacal Nevermind hidden track, Endless Nameless, which was, at the time, quite literally nameless.

“Nirvana did a few sessions at Maida Vale,” John Peel said in an archived interview. “I think I did their last one, which was still relatively early in their career. Jeff Smith phoned me and said ‘you’ve got a really hot one this week – Nirvana’, and to be honest I hadn’t really heard of them. The session went well, and I thought they were good. We recorded it, went to the pub for a couple of drinks, then came back to mix it. It was only when their manager, John Silva, came in to the studio and told them that they’d just gone double-platinum in America (with ‘Nevermind’) that I thought, ‘hmm, they must be quite famous then’.

“I remember that Kurt didn’t react much when his manager told him their album was number one in the States. He seemed to be more bothered about that fact that Fender had delivered six white, left-handed Stratocaster guitars to his hotel room. They must’ve liked the session though, because they later insisted that I do the live recording at Reading. The Foo Fighters have used me ever since, too.”

Nevermind was released a matter of weeks after this recording took place, and by the time the session would air, Nirvana would have become a global phenomenon based on their mega hit single, Smells Like Teen Spirit.

After that, the rest, as they say, is history.

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