Even nearly 25 years after Kurt Cobain's passing, there are still corners of Nirvana's legacy left largely unexplored — as evidenced by the recent surfacing of some cassette demos Cobain gave a fellow Washington musician.

As reported by Alternative Nation, the tapes — four in all — spent decades locked away in the possession of John Purkey, a friend of Cobain's who's shared a number of stories about his relationship with the late singer/songwriter over the years. According to Purkey, the tapes were in a box that was then locked inside another box, and although the audio fidelity is about what one might expect given the source, it still opens a fascinating window into the early days of a beloved band.

The sessions in question took place before Dave Grohl joined the lineup. One batch of demos, recorded in the late '80s, found Melvins drummer Dale Crover behind the kit; another batch features Chad Channing, the drummer who briefly joined the group before making way for Grohl. "Sound quality is not perfect but it’s not too bad," Purkey writes of the first tape. "It is listenable. Paper cuts sounds a little warbaly [sic] at first and that is exactly how it was when Kurt gave it to me. I got used to it. It slowly becomes clear sounding."

Although much of what's on offer here has been released in one form or another at some point, these recordings remain about as close to the source as a fan can get. Stream that first tape above, and check out the other three below — along with another video on which Purkey discusses how they came into his possession and why they've remained locked up.


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