Teen Discovers Photos of First Nirvana Concert

Anton Corbijn / www.npr.org
Anton Corbijn / www.npr.org

Exactly one week ago, 19-year-old Seattle native Maggie Poukkula uncovered rare photos of Nirvana‘s first concert in 1987. On July 15, Poukkula posted a photo strip with three images of her dad, Tony Poukkula, playing with Kurt Cobain with the caption, “Pictures of my dad and Kurt Cobain playing together back in the day.” Unbeknownst to her at the time, Maggie revealed photographs of the first ever Nirvana concert, which took place in her father’s basement in March of 1987.

In 1987, Nirvana’s lineup consisted of frontman and guitarist Kurt Cobain, bassist Krist Novoselic, and drummer Aaron Burckhard. According to Maggie Poukkula, her dad Tony (now of the band Laytem) went to high school with Cobain and was friends with him during this time. Although Tony Poukkula was not technically a member of Nirvana, he joined the band onstage and played two Led Zeppelin covers (“Heartbreaker” and “How Many More Times”) with them during their first show. The rest of the setlist from that night includes “Aero Zeppelin,” “If You Must,” “Mexican Seafood,” “Pen Cap Chew,” “Spank Thru,” and “Hairspray Queen.”

After posting the photo strip on Twitter, Maggie Poukkula immediately became inundated with tweets and messages from people all over the world thanking her for releasing the images and amazed by the historical event that they depicted. Maggie Poukkula states that her dad originally showed her the images a while ago, but that she recently rediscovered them tucked in a Cobain biography her dad kept on a bookshelf. She also spoke to Rolling Stone yesterday, stating, “I had no idea that those were during Nirvana’s first concert. My dad showed me them a while back, but he never mentioned that’s what was going on in the photos. I found out because of all the articles. I didn’t realize it was such a historical thing. I thought they were just cool pictures of my dad and Kurt jamming together.”

This discovery comes on the heels of the documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck that was released earlier this year. In this documentary, Cobain’s life was explored like never before, as director Brett Morgen was granted access to never-before-seen or heard notebooks, audio tapes, and much more of Cobain’s private files.