Despite often centring their sound on profound or emotional content, Nirvana spent much of their time off stage joking around. Kurt Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl were always smiling and playing pranks on each other. It would seem that this playfulness was also extended to their fans.
In 1991, before the band released their stinking record Nevermind, they sent handwritten letters to some of their fans, which among other things, promised them a Nevermind Happy Meal™.
Kurt, Krist and Dave sent the letter with their tongue placed forthrightly in their collective cheek as they laid out their plans for, what they didn’t know, would be a landmark release. The album would launch Nirvana into the rock and roll stratosphere so the fact the band had some diehard fans to send letters to in the first place was a real testament to their playing.
The band write their letter thanking their fans and say: “Nirvana, in special conjunction with McDonald’s™, are proud to announce the NEVERMIND HAPPY MEAL™. The only way to receive Nevermind is when you buy the HAPPY MEAL™.” The joke falls in line with the band also claiming to be “the benevolent friends of the proleteriet.”
The letter also suggests that the band have some other irons in the fire including a special TV release Nirvana play Chariots of Fire and other Hits as well as a book called Nirvana’s Craft Secrets. The book will “show you all of our special touches for those sea shell macrame plant hangers and spray-painted macaroni paperweights and much much more.”
That claim comes complete with a proposed you of shopping malls and county fairgrounds. The hilarious letter concludes a hint of the future, “Also in the planning is a video cassette demonstrating how to have a tranquil day at the beach collecting driftwood and seashells, and how to make the memory last by constructing a wall hanging with what you have found.”
The band sign their funny letter with a simple note that reminds you not to take this seriously as they write their names “Kurdt, Chris, Dave”. So despite what you know, despite their menacing sound, it’s clear at the heart of Nirvana was always a laugh.
“Thanks for writing! Here at NIRVANA Central, the switch boards are buzzing, the conveyor belts are moving fast, and the crews are working double shifts towards the Septemeber 24th release date. The band, being the benevolent friends of the proleteriet that they are, just raised the coolies pay 10¢ to an even $1.50 an hour. The same price as the ALL AMERICAN MEAL at McDONALDS™.
“NIRVANA, in special conjunction with McDonalds™, are proud to announce the NEVERMIND HAPPY MEAL™. The only way to receive NEVERMIND is when you buy the HAPPY MEAL™. It will not be available in stores, just like another project NIRVANA has been working on, NIRVANA PLAY CHARIOTS OF FIRE AND OTHER HITS. It will only be available through a special T.V. offer. And, as an added bonus, a book called NIRVANAS CRAFT SECRETS will be offered. It will show you all of our special touches for those sea shell macrame plant hangers and spray painted macaroni paperweights and much much more.
“We are also doing a tour of shopping malls and county fairgrounds to promote our new record and book of craft secrets.
“Also in the planning is a video cassette demonstrating how to have a tranquil day at the beach collecting driftwood and sea shells, and how to make the memory last by constructing a wall hanging with what you have found. We’ll have tranquil New Age music, along with step by step instructions so you can relax while you work. Rainbow and unicorn stickers will also be included. Look for it in 92.
“Well thats all for now folks. See you soon.
“Kurdt, Chris, Dave.”
Source: Letters of Note