I Found My Friends review

Andrew Lagambina

There are a lot of Nirvana fans out there. Since the band’s meteoric rise in the nineties all the way to the present day, more than 20 years after Kurt Cobain’s tragic death, millions upon millions of people have listened to the band’s music, bought books about the band, and have even grown so rabid that publishing houses have made Cobain’s private journals a bookstore staple.


However, even with all this merchandising and fandom, far too many people have no clue who the people in this band were. Why where they so important? Where did they come from? Why should I appreciate them in a time where every other band that puts out an album sounds something like them?

I Found My Friends: The Oral History of Nirvana helps answer these questions in a way that most other biographies fail to achieve.

Nick Soulsby interviewed over 150 musicians, producers and other people that were in some way affiliated with the band to create an intimate history of the band, and I challenge you to find somewhere else.

What’s interesting is how little Soulsby writes himself. Rather than telling the story, he includes paragraphs upon paragraphs of interviews with the musicians that played house shows and stadium concerts with the band, as well as the people in the industry that helped them get where they were going.

The people that were there tell the story, and paint a picture of what it was like to be a punk from Washington state in the late 80s and early 90s. Did you know that more often than not, it was Krist Noveselic, the band’s bassist, who stole the spotlight while the band was first getting started? Can you name the various drummers that played with Nirvana before Rock’s now-Lord and Savior Dave Grohl joined the band? Do any of these questions pique your interest? If so, I’d buy this book now.

Even those fans that think they know everything about Nirvana will probably find more than a few interesting stories that they hadn’t heard before.

In recent years, there’s been a lot of examining of Nirvana’s career. There are countless books that outline the record deals and the big shows and the struggle with fame, but few will make you feel like you were there in the way I Found My Friends manages to.

It’s truly an experience to read a nonfiction book that weaves a story as compelling as this, and it’s no wonder, considering how long people have loved Nirvana, and how dedicated those fans are, and now is the perfect time for those fans to start reading. With the Kurt Cobain Biopic, Montage of Heck coming out later this year, it makes sense to brush up on your Nirvana knowledge before going to see what exactly their front man was all about. I highly recommend this book.