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Kurt Cobain Asked J Mascis to Join Nirvana – Twice

J Mascis
Karl Walter, Getty Images

J Mascis, the frontman and only constant member of alternative heroes Dinosaur Jr., was almost a member of Nirvana. In a new interview, Mascis confirms long-believed rumors that Kurt Cobain asked him to be the band’s second guitarist after a show at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, N.J, in the summer of 1989.

“Nirvana was playing Maxwell’s and after the show I was talking to Kurt and [Sonic Youth's] Thurston Moore,” Mascis told Spin. “Kurt said, ‘You should join my band.’ I think he was sick of the guy Jason [Everman] who was in the band at the time, and thought I should play guitar. I didn’t think much about it. ”

Despite the rejection, Cobain pressed Mascis a year later to join, this time as a drummer, again to no avail. “There was also talk of playing drums on a single [1990's 'Sliver'] they were doing,” he continued, “But it ended up being [Mudhoney drummer] Dan Peters.”

Instead, of course, Nirvana carried on as a trio and found Dave Grohl a few months later, and the rest, as they say, is rock history. Still, it’s tempting to imagine how different Nirvana would have sounded with Mascis, either as a guitarist or drummer.

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