Four Rare Nirvana Demo Tapes Have Found Their Way Online

The man who sold the tapes

Four extremely rare demo recordings of Nirvana were released on YouTube this week by a user who claims that Kurt Cobain personally gave him the tapes.

John Purkey, uploader of the tapes and Washington musician, says that he has been keeping these tapes, personally written notes, and other high-value items hidden for thirty plus years. One of these raw tapes includes Bleach demos that was recorded during the band’s first ever session in 1988 at Reciprocal Studios in Seattle, with Dale Crover from The Melvin’s on drums.

One of the other tapes features Nevermind demos that were recorded in the 1990s with Chad Channing, before Dave Grohl’s arrival.

In a seperate video, Purkey explains how his close relationship with the band developed. He played in a number of bands in Tacoma during Nirvana’s early years of being a group. Purkey watched them develop and grow out of the Washington scene, and soon befriended the members.

Although Purkey was thankful to have the tapes, the stress had been starting to get to him. He stashed the valuables in a metal box and rarely ever opened it in fear something would happen to them. When incidences occurred, including a Monsoon hitting and someone stealing a tape, he thought it would be best to sell two of the tapes for other Nirvana fans to enjoy. Safe to say, I think it relieved some pressure off him!

The audio clips he uploaded almost hit the two hour mark! Listen here: