Jim H on facebook reminds me that "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was release on this day nineteen years ago.
I had graduated St. Johns and was working at the Tower Records on University Avenue in Seattle. I had no idea how to survive in the real world, and had only gotten the job at the record store through the intervention of my friend Doug, otherwise I would be completely unemployable.
I think Doug must have brought home the single for "Smells Like Teen Spirit" when it was released to radio, two weeks before Nevermind came out. Doug and I shared the basement of our house. He had the finished part of the basement, and I had a corner of the unfinished part, walled off by plywood. We listened to the single by the laundry machines. I remember thinking that it sounded more or less like the Nirvana I had been listening to all summer. I was obsessed at the time with the CD single for "Sliver" and the live version of "About at Girl" that came with it. The new Nirvana was just a hair slicker, though. I distinctly disliked the bweep BWEEP you hear during the verse (bweep BWEEP/load up on guns...)
I was working the night Nevermind itself came out, and I remember telling the manager around five that I was taking my dinner break. She said, "Don't you want to wait an hour to go to the Nevermind record release party at Beehive." Beehive was our competition around the block. I waited till six and wound up seeing Nirvana in a small shop that looked just plie my place of work, but it was full of sweaty people. Never got a chance to see them that close again.