[Writer’s Cove] “Flowerland at Nirvana – September 26, 1991 The Moon, New Haven, CT”
The first time all four members of Flowerland were in the same room was September 26, 1991 at The Moon in New Haven, CT. The Moon was a small club on Whalley Avenue, just up the road from Westville, a section of New Haven where I was living. National bands came through as well as local and regional bands – lots of good shows – plus open mic night, poetry night and cheap beer, I was there quite often. Less than five months from that night, Flowerland’s first show would be at The Moon.
I was at The Moon one night and saw an ad written on lined note book paper for an upcoming Nirvana show – just the band name, date and time. Nevermind hadn’t come out yet and I had never heard their music, but I was a big Soundgarden fan and had seen a photo of Chris Cornell in a magazine with a Nirvana shirt on – that was recommendation enough for me.
At the time, I was finishing my last semester at Southern CT State University and I was in the early stages of putting a band together. Roger, a friend of mine from Norwalk was going to sing and I was just beginning to look for a bass player and drummer. The day Nirvana was playing, Roger was in New Haven visiting me and we went to the show.
There was a good size crowd that night, we stayed at the back of the club by the bar drinking pitchers. The only thing I can remember about the show was that towards the end, the guitar amps started breaking down and the band started throwing cantaloupe and other fruit at the audience who, in turn, threw it back.
During the last song, the crowd carried Kurt Cobain to the back of the club and dumped him on the floor right in front of Roger and me. Kurt got up, I offered him a beer and we started talking…Roger stood to the side and listened. Kurt was easy to talk to, I told him how I had seen their shirt in the magazine and that I was a Soundgarden fan. He asked if there were any music stores near by (for the amps) to which I told him about Brian Guitars and Sam Ash, both just 5 minutes down the road. He also wanted to know where the record stores were and I told him about Rhymes Records right downtown, which was my favorite.
At some point Kurt asked me if I played music or was in a band – motioning to Roger, I told him that he was my singer and I was looking for a drummer and bass player. I remember him asking if we had a name yet…Besides Roger and the musicians I was meeting while searching for a bass player and drummer, Kurt Cobain was the only person I told that I was putting a band together.
Neither Roger nor I saw Jef or Jon that night, but, not only were they both at the show – they were part of the group of kids that carried Kurt to the back of the club.
I would meet Jon about two weeks later and that’s when I found out that he was at the Nirvana show. He didn’t mention that he was with Jef, but shortly after meeting Jef I learned that they had gone to the show together – the next time we were all in the same room would be the band’s first rehearsal at 44 Bouton Street in Westville, about 2 months later.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hu2tGN1NWrw – This is the show I’m talking about…you can get a sense of The Moon and catch a glimpse of Nirvana playing a small club…as you can see, they fuckin’ rocked. No one thought much of it then, but now, looking back, the fact that all the members of Flowerland were at the show that night seems more than coincidence…it seems to me, we were in the heart of our time.