The Night Nirvana Played Trees

Fans knew that things could have quickly gotten ugly: "Had Nirvana not returned, I feel certain Trees would have been demolished," Crayon says.

Liles found drummer Dave Grohl and bassist Krist Novoselic backstage. They were willing to give it a go. Finding Cobain would prove more difficult.

"He was in a broom closet," Liles says. "And there was some skinny kid trying to sell Cobain some smack or something. I literally took the stuff out of Kurt's hand and I told him he was coming with me."

Somehow, the show restarted. But Van Blarcum still had revenge on his mind. He waited out front for Cobain to come out after the show. Liles saw Van Blarcum and called a cab with instructions to meet the band in the back of the venue.

"I pushed the band out the door and into the alley and told the cab driver to get the fuck out of here," Liles says.

As the cab slowly pulled away, Nirvana's road manager came out of Trees yelling about the band not knowing what hotel everyone was staying in. When the cab stopped amidst the confusion, Van Blarcum spotted Cobain inside.

"Turner ran up and punched all the glass out of the back of that cab," Liles says. "The three guys in Nirvana were just sitting there covered in glass. I will never forget that scene."

Van Blarcum was eventually subdued and Nirvana made it to the right hotel. The band ended up paying Van Blarcum's medical bills and for damages to the venue.

"Look, I love Nirvana as much as anyone," Liles says. "But, on that night, [Cobain] was a douche."

Douche or not, Cobain and his antics still resonate with those lucky enough to honestly claim they were in attendance.

"In rock 'n' roll, you don't always realize when what you're seeing is history," Hammond says. "But that one was major. I think a lot of people in that room sensed it."

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15 comments
AUserThatReadThis
AUserThatReadThis

I don't know about the rest of the story but from the actual video:


-Cobain didn't jump off his back, he just jumped into the crowd

-The guy didn't pull him back on stage.  Cobain was floating on the crowd toward the stage and the bouncer has his hand pushing Cobain's face to keep him in the crowd

-Cobain then smashed the butt of his guitar twice into the head of the bouncer

-Cobain got on stage and started to get to his feet and then the bouncer punched him in the back of the head

-The bouncer's face was covered in his own blood

Crazy, but that is what the video shows.  I am not sure about why the bouncer was so pissed at Cobain but I read that the band had been using his PA and it was working poorly and Kurt had been smashing it with his guitar out of frustration and hence the pushing of his face when he went into the crowd.

 

Brad Featherstone
Brad Featherstone

I still have the master of Nirvana & Sister Double Happiness. Can't believe it's been 20 years.

yeah
yeah

dude, you got the story all wrong. watch live tonight or youtube its all on there

Brandon Giannasi
Brandon Giannasi

I couldn't believe this article came out. Perfect timing. I have always ben secretly stoked that Nirvana played Deep Ellum, furthermore the video evidence with the guitar fight and all and I go to Trees quiete a bit. One week prior when I saw Ishi there I told the group of people I was with Nirvana played here once and then Blam this came out 3 days later which was really ironic... But for Lile call Cobain a douche that night kinda pissed me off especially w the inacuracy of the article such as launching off Turners back etc not noting that turner had ben forcefully trying to hurt cobain out of perhaps jealousy and Cobains modest but" ill do what i want attitude." Frusterated as shi, Turner saw his chance to try to F cobain up a bit, and you know what? He paid for it. haha Kurt then used his guitar as a weapon and smashed him in his face. Someone make the video game. Kurt handled it like a true rockstar would. Legendary. Im so glad this footage was captured lol. The guy whom filmed it deserves to be taken care of financially by someone who is blessed with finances and appreciates Nirvana and I hope he already has ben. I also liked how Kurt "kicked at" a couple people(stage jumpers) whom invaded his space. He wasnt the type of person to really start shi for no reason. So yeh this article kinda contradicted itself which I frowned upon. With like "yeh were so happy it happened but were gonna talk shi about the people that made it happen." Especially with video evidence, took some balls to fabricate what the observer did. You'd think Van Blarcum himself wrote it. Props to Van Blarcum too though, he was doing a hell of a job for the 1st half of the show then the insanity just got to him and he flipped. Props to Liles as well, sounds like he was the one in charge of what seemed to be quiete a circus and for "the show must go on, just another day in the park" attitude. Furthermore, the glass covered cab ride was an interesting detail to try and imagine. One more Pisser the Observer created in the past week was, Last night I showed up to CLUB DADA to see the MEAT PUPPETS as it stated they were playing in the most recent issue and it had ben cancelled but not updated! Anyways, Peace, Love, Gringo Soul

CR
CR

smells like sour grapes.

Texasdave60
Texasdave60

This kinda reminds me the Stones at Altamont....I wasn't there, or at Trees for Nirvana. But I WAS at Mother Blues for Bruuuuuuuuce!!!

Darryl
Darryl

I respectfully disagree. You can clearly see Cobain hit Turner in the head with his guitar. Now before hand, Turner was yelling at Cobain, but the first violent move was Cabain's.

Smarcus
Smarcus

this article is inaccurate. Turner started it.

one can clearly see what happened in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

at 2:43 you can see that Kurt did not launch into the crowd off Turner's back, he launched off the monitor.

at 2:49 in the video, you can clearly see Turner NOT helping Kurt back onstage, but actually pushing Kurt back into the crowd in a downward motion with a lot of force. it's then that Kurt popped Turner with the butt of his guitar.

Hummmmmdinger
Hummmmmdinger

@ Smarcus: I agree. I've seen that video many times over the years and it has always been clear that Kurt launched from the monitor and Turner can be seen pushing him out toward the crowd and possibly even pulling on Kurt's hair before he gets popped with the guitar. Only then is he able to return to the stage. I also always thought it seemed like Turner almost kisses his fist before hitting Cobain in the back of the head while his back is turned. The fact is that Turner was clearly frustrated with his duties and probably didn't care for the band he was having to "protect," and decided to act out.

Brandon Giannasi
Brandon Giannasi

I couldn't believe this article came out. Perfect timing. I have always ben secretly stoked that Nirvana played Deep Ellum, furthermore the video evidence with the guitar fight and all and I go to Trees quiete a bit. One week prior when I saw Ishi there I told the group of people I was with Nirvana played here once and then Blam this came out 3 days later which was really ironic... But for Lile call Cobain a douche that night kinda pissed me off especially w the inacuracy of the article such as launching off Turners back etc not noting that turner had ben forcefully trying to hurt cobain out of perhaps jealousy and Cobains modest but" ill do what i want attitude." Frusterated as shi, Turner saw his chance to try to F cobain up a bit, and you know what? He paid for it. haha Kurt then used his guitar as a weapon and smashed him in his face. Someone make the video game. Kurt handled it like a true rockstar would. Legendary. Im so glad this footage was captured lol. The guy whom filmed it deserves to be taken care of financially by someone who is blessed with finances and appreciates Nirvana and I hope he already has ben. I also liked how Kurt "kicked at" a couple people(stage jumpers) whom invaded his space. He wasnt the type of person to really start shi for no reason. So yeh this article kinda contradicted itself which I frowned upon. With like "yeh were so happy it happened but were gonna talk shi about the people that made it happen." Especially with video evidence, took some balls to fabricate what the observer did. You'd think Van Blarcum himself wrote it. Props to Van Blarcum too though, he was doing a hell of a job for the 1st half of the show then the insanity just got to him and he flipped. One more Pisser the Observer created in the past week was, Last night I showed up to CLUB DADA to see the MEAT PUPPETS as it stated they were playing in the most recent issue and it had ben cancelled but not updated! Anyways, Peace, Love, Gringo Soul

Liles
Liles

What that video doesn't show is what happened two songs prior to that, when Kurt took a beater guitar and destroyed the monitor console at stage left. That console belonged to Creighton Curlee, who was a friend of Turner's. (The band's road manager paid $3500 cash for it after the show and they took it with them.) Step outside your YouTube existence for a second and try and see it from Turner's perspective. Five minutes prior to that, a petulant rock star was throwing a temper tantrum onstage, smashing gear that didn't belong to him, and was openly encouraging the audience to climb onstage themselves. Turner was hired to keep people off the stage, and Kurt was standing directly behind him, essentially mocking him by waving his arms towards him. Dave and Krist were obviously disgusted and humiliated by Kurt's behavior. Novaselic used his own shirt to stop the blood pouring from Turner's head. In retrospect, this happened because of this: Cobain was dope sick and hated the whole routine. He wanted it to be a punk rock show, and his road manager was trying to turn it into something else altogether by insisting on barricades, making the band sign autographed posters beforehand, posing for photos with label reps, etc... Kurt hated all that. It was happening in a different city every night, and it wasn't fun for him. That all came to a head at Trees. And then Bob Mould came in the next night, was a total professional, and we were back on track again.

CR
CR

"So any production company that owns expensive sound gear should just offer it all up to any petulant, egotistical, whiny musician to use as a convenient prop whenever they want to make a ridiculous and calculated spectacle of themselves onstage?"

If they are smart they will... how much is a guitar destroyed by Jimi Hendrix or Pete Townsend worth? Further, I don't choose my music based on the artist's attitude towards fans (I could really care less) or their personal life issues. And people that claim they do are simply jealous and envious of the musician's fame and success, or have a crappy collection of music.

Liles
Liles

So any production company that owns expensive sound gear should just offer it all up to any petulant, egotistical, whiny musician to use as a convenient prop whenever they want to make a ridiculous and calculated spectacle of themselves onstage? Oh, OK. Got it: special rules for corporate punk rockers. Is it any wonder the music business is dead? is it really any wonder Cobain committed suicide? As a typical Dallas Observer reader (another dead industry, btw), is it really any wonder you have no earthly idea what the fuck you're talking about? No, no, and no. BREAKING NEWS: It was people like you - the fans that loved Nirvana the most - that Cobain looked upon with the greatest of contempt. He did not appreciate your support. Ever. Not then, and certainly not now. When will you guys get that? You didn't matter to him. You were the douche bag who liked his music for all the wrong reasons. While you were busy blowing smoke up his ass, he was laughing behind your back. You worshipped him, and he thought you were a human roll of toilet paper. And now twenty years later, he's dead and you're STILL - like a pathetic glutton for punishment- defending his honor. Say what you will about Turner, but he's still here. Cobain left an innocent four year old kid in the custody of an idiot smack fuck like Courtney Love. (Was Francis Bean just another prop to destroy in public? Guess so. And who marries a boob job idiot like Courtney Love, anyway? A fake punk rocker, that's who.) How about all of you people who weren't there and really don't have the faintest clue about what happened that night just go download The Stranglers song "No More Heroes", listen to it, and then keep your revisionist history to yourself? Seriously. Some of you really couldn't be any more wrong about this. Just stop embarrassing yourselves.

CR
CR

BREAKING NEWS: Rock band destroys equipment on stage. Nirvana did it at a lot of the shows, including MTV music awards and SNL. So did Pearl Jam, NIN, and plenty of rock bands over the past 40 years. Nirvana paid handsomely the owner of destroyed console after the show. Sounds like Turner was just a jealous ne'er-do-well, and if he didn't want the gig as bouncer to protect musicians far more talented than he was, there was always 7-11, UPS or whatever shit job.

 
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