On Friday the 13th in September 1991, Nirvana threw an album release party in a nightclub called the Re-bar in Seattle. The band still wasn’t all that well known, but their new album would soon sell 10 million copies and become a rock staple.
But, before they became iconic, they got kicked out of their own release party. The DJ played the full album Nevermind a few times in a row. The band actually asked for him to stop playing it and play something New Wave or Disco instead.
The owner Steve Wells said that Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, and Krist Novoselic eventually got a little too drunk off the free beer.
Nirvana Got The DJ Booth A Little Too Drunk
At the time, the Washington State Liquor Control Board was keeping an eye on the club. Selling liquor in the 80s and 90s was somewhat difficult for certain bars. This was particularly true for gay clubs or anyone that played “black” music.
Re-bar is still known to throw drag queen parties, so the Control Board was looking for an excuse to fine or shut down the bar. As things started to get a little wilder inside, the owner noticed some suspicious cars outside.
About this time, the owner noticed that the DJ booth had just finished off a half gallon of Jack Daniel’s, which was on the floor.
The Party That Nearly Shut Down Re-Bar
Nirvana got so drunk they started to rip posters off of the wall. Eventually, Krist threw a tamale at Kurt, who shot back with guacamole. Then, a massive food fight broke out in the nightclub.
If the suspicious cars were not outside, it may not have been so bad. But with the risk of the club shutting down, the bar owner got his bouncers to round up the band and he sent them all outside.
According to Wells, they all got immediately sick when they were kicked to the curb. So, it sounds like he made the right choice at the right time. Krist remembers laughing off the situation: a band getting kicked out of their own release party. Not long after the band was kicked out, the Control Board did rush the club and shut down the party. At the time, Nirvana was in a limousine headed to another party.
What is your favorite song from the Nevermind album?