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/// MUSIC


WHY NEVERMIND MATTERS


SEPT. 24 MARKS ANNIVERSARY OF ALTERNATIVE MILESTONE


by Rich Tupica and Lindsay Patton-Carson T TESCO VEE BRIAN VANDERARK


HINKING BACK TO THE PRE-INTERNET days of the early ‘90s, it makes sense Nirvana’s Nevermind album exploded and became a vital punk-rock gateway drug for millions of impressionable youths. “They went deeper into society; they changed teenage


kids,” said Don Dorshimer, owner of the Orbit Room. “I’ve seen different stuff, but I’ve never seen anyone that changed the teen movement – and Nirvana did that.”


Without access to the web, people in small towns across the United States and


other parts of the world were mainly exposed to what big-time rockers played on FM radio, or read about in Rolling Stone and Spin. To become exposed to genuine underground punk rock you had to be introduced by an overly knowledgeable friend, or talkative record store clerk. Twenty years ago access to punk wasn’t a click away; it wasn’t posted on blogs and Youtube. In those days most kids had to wait for it to land in their laps. And that’s where Nirvana comes in. Prior to Nevermind, mainstream rock consisted of glossy-pop music and even glossier hair metal. “I was in an ‘80s-style band that was being


looked at by labels,” said Jerry “JT” Tarrants, program director for 97.9 WGRD in Grand Rapids. “Come [1991 and 1992], we couldn’t get a call back because labels were looking for Nirvana-style bands. That ended my music career and started my radio career.” The idea of three-chord punk topping


charts and filling stadiums across the globe was unfathomable. When the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video caused just that, Nirvana remained dedicated to the on-the-fringe scene it emerged from and namedropped and championed as many of their favorite independent bands as possible. “When I heard ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit,’


it grabbed my attention immediately,” said Dorshimer, who also booked Nirvana in West Michigan. “We were in ‘80s-hair-band mode. These bands (Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Smashing


Pumpkins) — they moved the hair bands right out of there.” The fact is Nirvana introduced many of their fans to bands they would’ve


been hard pressed to discover on their own at that juncture in time. Fans would see photos of Cobain wearing shirts of Daniel Johnston, Scratch Acid, Mudhoney and Flipper, and then seek out the records to see what they were missing out on. It wasn’t just Cobain’s shirts that opened doors for fans; the songs Nirvana


covered would also open the floodgates for bands like The Vaselines and The Meat Puppets — who likely maintain careers today because of Nirvana’s support.


NEVERMIND SPECIAL


EDITION RELEASE Tuesday, Sept. 20 will see the release of a 20th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition of Nevermind, a four-CD, one-DVD set. The CDs will include previously unreleased recordings, rarities, b-sides, BBC radio appearances, alternative mixes of the Nevermind tracks, rare live recordings and an unreleased 1991 concert in its entirety on DVD. This set is now available for pre-order at Vertigo.


58 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2011


SCHEDULE | DINING | SIGHTS | SOUNDS | SCENE


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