This has been a remarkably exciting week for Nirvana and Foo Fighters fans. First off, a whole slew of previously unheard Nirvana tracks were leaked to the internet over the weekend, ranging from alternate mixes/takes of classics like “Polly” and “Come As You Are” to acoustic demos of “Verse Chorus Verse” and “Pennyroyal Tea,” the latter of which you can hear below. (For a comprehensive list of all the demos and rarities that appeared out of nowhere, pay a visit to this Reddit thread.)
But wait, there’s more: Illiteracy Will Prevail, the demo tape of Kurt Cobain’s pre-Nirvana band Fecal Matter, also hit the web earlier this week. This is the first time the entirety of 17-song demo has been made publicly available online, though portions of it have existed on the internet for some time. You can hear that whole tape below:
Talk about a treasure trove, right? Well, it got even crazier yesterday with the sudden and surprising leak of seven tracks from Foo Fighters’ long salivated-over Million Dollar Demos. The demos are from the original One By One recording sessions in 2001, eventually scrapped due to intra-band tension, and include such future Foos classics as “All My Life” and “Have It All.” You can hear all seven newly leaked demos below.
So, you might be asking yourself, “What does Dave Grohl have to do with this?” Allow us to explain: The Redditor who posted the Foos demos had the username “Dale_Nixon.” Anyone familiar with punk history knows that “Dale Nixon” is a frequently used pseudonym by musicians trying to cover their identity on projects typically due to contractual obligations, used by everyone from Greg Ginn on a Black Flag record to Brian Baker on a Dag Nasty record to—whaddya know—Dave Grohl on a Melvins record. Could still just be a coincidence, right? Well, it’s also worth noting that the bassist of Cobain’s pre-Nirvana band, Fecal Matter, was Dale Crover—the same Dale Crover that plays drums for the Melvins.
To add to the conspiracy theory, the headline “Dale_Nixon” (whose account has since been deleted) used to drop those Foos demos on an unsuspecting public was “We get the warhead and we hold the world ransom for… ONE MILLION DOLLARS!” which you might recognize as a quote from Dr. Evil in the 1997 movie Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery. Why is this significant? Well, this magazine feature on Foo Fighters from that same year mentions that Grohl was obsessed with the movie, remarking he had watched it five times in a day, later ending the article with a story about Grohl impersonating Dr. Evil and shouting out some of his more memorable quotes. The plot thickens. (Sort of.)
Lastly, it’s pretty unusual that all of this admittedly super-rare and highly sought after material was leaked in such a short period of time, don’t you think? Seems like something that someone sitting at home with a busted-up ankle might be doing to pass the time before the next episode of a Deadliest Catch marathon comes on or something. (Keep in mind, the Foos have been off the road since the last week of July, which would give the guy plenty of time to dig through old boxes of junk and unearth these gems.) Unfortunately, Grohl’s publicist could not be reached for comment by press time, so we can’t truly confirm this, but Dave, if you’re out there and you’re leaking your old demos, that’s pretty damn cool. Thanks for always being awesome.
UPDATE: A member of Foo Fighters’ publicity team got back to us this morning with the following statement: “Absolutely not true. Official comment: ridiculous.” Of course, that’s what someone covering up for Dave Grohl being the Robin Hood of Nirvana tape trading would say… #thetruthisoutthere