As everyone knows that buying a Nirvana signed memorabilia’s is a crapshoot. You would not know what you are getting unless you got the autographs in person yourself. Nirvana autographs are widely forged and available all over the internet. There has been much discussion here on the forum on Nirvana autographs. But there are not too many Nirvana autographs that have been authenticated by widely recognized 3rd Party Authentication companies. Solid provenance of where the autographs came from is the best evidence that you can depend on to be sure that the autographs are authentic to start with. But still more research and homework needs to be done to verify the authenticity of the autographs.  There are many sellers on the net that have the usual provenance of that it was obtained from someone who works in the music industry. Or it was from one of Seattle’s biggest in-person collector of Nirvana memorabilia’s. Lastly fake seller will always use a radio- station promo Nirvana CD as to suggest that it was signed at a radio station.

I always follow the five simple rules of “How to Buy Rock….Without Getting Rolled” by Steve Crykin when I acquire an autograph.

Recently I came across an early 1990 Nirvana Signed Bleach CD cover signed by Kurdt, Chris and Chad.  Bleach is the debut studio album by the American rock band Nirvana, released in June 1989 through the independent record label Sub Pop. The main recording sessions took place at Reciprocal Recording in Seattle, Washington between December 1988 and January 1989.

Here are some pictures of the 1990 Nirvana Bleach Signed CD Cover.




 Below is the statement from the seller. The seller did sell an authentic Kurt Cobain written Nirvana set list from the same show a few months ago. Here is the picture of the set list and show handbill.



"My name is Johnny Riggs. In 1989 & 1990 I was in a band called THUD. On April 29th 1990 we opened for NIRVANA,
who was the second band on the bill that night, as they were not yet famous, and they opened for LOOP.

The show took place at the original 9:30 Club at 930 F St. NW, before they changed locations and moved into a larger venue.

My band and I shared the tiny dressing room with Kurt, Chris and Chad (any of you who played there remember it).

That afternoon, I helped the guys from Nirvana load in their equipment and we ended up palling around all day.  Chris (Krist)
gave me and my girlfriend at the time a bunch of t-shirts (a couple of which I may still have somewhere.)

Having hours to spare, I asked the band to sign some things.
I have since given away or sold most of them, including a beautiful set list on a paper plate sold a few months ago! This is the final piece I own.

This is a piece of history from one of the most talented singer/songwriter/musicians ever.

At the time, and for many years later, I was a well-known DJ in Baltimore and DC, and eventually befriended future drummer Dave
Grohl, photographed him many times, and photographed Chris/Krist (who, oddly enough, remembered this gig, remembered me, and
remembered my girlfriend's name ten years later).

You can Google my name, Johnny Riggs, and see that I've photographed Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic, Courtney Love and many
other famous folks.

Although the provenance seems rock solid, I still have my doubts about this signed CD cover the first time I saw it as the autographs on this signed CD cover were quite different from examples that I have seen and familiar with.  I have consulted a few people who are familiar with Nirvana autographs but they were skeptical on this signed CD cover. I proceeded to do some research on this signed CD cover especially on Kurt Cobain signature and Chad Channing signature. Both were quite different from examples that I have seen before.

 Kurt Cobain spelled his name several different ways for no apparent reason.  The odd spelling Kurdt came from when Nirvana recorded “Mexican Seafood” for the “Teriyaki Asthma” compilation. When it came time to make the album, they realized that they didn’t know how to spell Kurt’s name so they got a hold of someone who “thought they knew”.

Here are the credits from the “Teriyaki Asthma” album.

Here are the credits on the back of Nirvana’sBleach” album.

He later used the misspelling to give himself some anonymity. The ‘monkey photo’ credit on Nevermind is to Kurdt Kobain.


Other misspellings can be found in autographs, etc., like first names Curt, Curtis, and last names Cohbain, and Covain.


I have seen examples of Chad Channing autographs. He usually signed his full name. Here are some of Chad Channing autograph examples.

Chad Channing has a new band called Before Cars. I went to his Before Cars website info to try and get in contact with Chad Channing. I was directed to his Facebook page where I did sent him a message trying to get Chad’s confirmation that this was his signature. To my surprise, he replied me on the same day. Here is Chad Channing’s reply:


 The next issue was to check whether this signed Bleach CD cover was actually from the 1st CD pressing back in 1989. A fellow forum member who is familiar with Nirvana autographs suggested that I make sure that this signed CD cover was from 1989. Since this was signed on April 29th 1990, the CD cover has to be from the 1989 1st pressing. The 1st Pressing CD has a flat finish. Later reissue CD has a glossy finish. From research, I found out the cover graphic and the printing resolution are different on the 1st pressing CD cover. The fonts on the word “Nirvana” and “Bleach” are much bigger and print in silver. The later CD cover have much smaller fonts and print in white.

I have removed the Signed Nirvana Bleach Cover from the framing and has confirmed that the Nirvana Bleach CD Cover was from the 1st Pressing in UK by Tupelo and was released in August of 1989. It also have only 11 Tracks on the CD. The later Press CD has 13 Tracks o the CD.


Other interesting information that I found out while doing my research is that Dave Grohl does not signed Bleach album since he did not play on this album. There were occasions where he signed CHAD on Bleach LP if he did sign. Here are 2 examples of Dave Grohl signing Chad Channing name and Dan Peters. Photos and info from 


I am also writing to Krist Novoselic to get his confirmation on this signed Nirvana Bleach CD cover. I will update as soon as I hear back from him.

UPDATE: 11/21/13 I wrote to Krist Novoselic on this signed Nirvana Bleach CD Cover back on March 5, 2013. Just got a reply back from Krist Novoselic yesterday with a note. :)

Update: 7/27/15

Recently I was able to get Chad Channing to sign off on his Bleach CD Cover autograph. He also signed a Nirvana picture which was taken at the 9.30 Club, Washington DC on April 29, 1990.

Update: 05.23.19

The Kurt Cobain Written Set List was sold at Julien's Auctions on 05.18.19 for 
$24,200 plus the buyers premium.

Update: Here is an example of an authentic early Nirvana autographs on a Sub Pop Concert Poster from April 6, 1990. Note the similarity of Kurt Cobain’s autograph on the Bleach CD and the Sub Pop Poster. Also Chad Channing did not sign with a sun and z below his autograph. I have since confirmed that he did not earlier in his autograph signing.

Views: 9061

Comment by Josh Board on November 21, 2013 at 11:54pm

Great job on this! What an enjoyable read. Just a suggestion for ANYBODY ELSE that goes down this path tracking down the authenticity: Make sure the musicians know you aren't doing this because you plan to sell them. They often think you have motives behind the requests. Just let them know you spent a pretty penny, and want to make sure you didn't get duped.

Comment by Trevor Song on November 22, 2013 at 6:47am
I enjoyed reading the post. However, to echo what some people have said, having an opinion is great from a band member - the real question is will it pass a PSA or JSA authentication? If you already got them passed, then you obviously have more peace of mind. However, your suggestion to have these kind of items checked by a band member doesn't guaranteed it will pass authentication from a third party. The truth of the matter is, we don't know exactly what their database looks like when they compare these autographs - they could have few actual Nirvana autographs as you claim, but they could also have quite a few. Likewise, I understand there are issues when someone gets an autograph in person and PSA / JSA says otherwise about it. I have yet to see an item put for sale that had the description "guaranteed authentic, didn't pass PSA /JSA - but trust me, they don't matter because they are just opinions anyway" - who would buy that kind of autograph???
Comment by J.Seah on November 22, 2013 at 7:08am

That is the issue many people have with 3 rd party authentication even though that an autograph was obtained in person and but they cannot authentiacte it. As for Nirvana autographs, there are only a few that I had come across that have PSA/DNA authentication. And 1 Kurt Cobain autograph that is authenticated by JSA. For me personally this has been a fun and enjoyable journey trying to find and attain an authentic Nirvana autograph. Getting confirmations from the two surviving members who signed it is good enough for me. BTW it cost $300.00 to get PSA/DNA to authenticate a Nirvana autograph. Moreover this is for my personal collection and I do not intend to sell it. Always do your due deligence and research before pulling the trigger on the autograph you are about to obtain. Cheers!!!



Comment by Trevor Song on November 22, 2013 at 7:53am
A due diligence, as you said, would not be of much help to the average person who doesn't have all the tools and knowledge of an "autograph expert." We can argue that there are some people here who are in the field of authenticating, but again, little of the independent opinions matter when someone decides to get it appraised and it can't pass a third party authenticator. Imagine this scenario - I question people on this forum if my autograph is real, I get several opinions that say yes, but when I attempt to authenticate it through PSA / JSA, they say otherwise. If this was my situation, I would be very unhappy! How does someone put insurance on their collectible when a reputable third party authenticator can't authenticate it? That's how I feel about buying these things. The truth is, we don't know who actually signed any of these things we owned. I think the big key here is to be happy and confident about with you buy - especially when it is not authenticated.
Comment by Forty on December 31, 2017 at 8:38am

if people would please check out my discussion post and give me feedback about my autograph it would be greatly appreciated, thanks!


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