Krist Novoselic Biography

Krist Anthony Novoselic was born on May 16, 1965, in Compton, California. His parents, Krist and Maria, were Croatian immigrants, Mr. Novoselic (the name means “new settler” in Croatian) moved to the United States in 1963, his wife-to-be the following year. They set uphouse in Gardena, California, and Mr. Novoselic got a job driving a truck for Sparklets drinking water. After moving around to a series of apartments with Chris and his younger brother Robert, they got a modest house and then another, nicer one in 1973 when Chris’s sister Diana was born. “Robert and I were kind of big boys and we used to get into trouble,” says Chris of his preteen years. “Slash tires, stuff like that. My dad would just have to whip us, because thats all he knew how to do. We were scared of him. But it wasn’t like he was an abuser–I don’t think he abused us at all. It’s not like he would slap us for anything. It was action and reaction. “Like Robert, he got glasses and the first day he got his glasses, he busted ’em,” Chris Continues. “That’s just Robert, We’d just do shit like that. Go throw rocks at houses, throw rocks at cars. There was a time when vandalism was really cool, We really got into vandalism. Throwing eggs…” Chris says he and his brother straightened out by the time the family moved to Aberdeen in 1979, when Chris was fourteen. Property values in Southern California were getting too high for the Novoselic family and they could get a nice house for a little money in Aberdeen. Besides, there were lots of other Croatian families in the area. Mr. Novoselic got a job as a machinist at one of the town’s many lumber mills. Aberdonians wore leather tennis shoes and elephant flares, while Chris sported (deck shoes and straight-leg Levi’s. You were a geek if you wore straight-leg pants. “Three years later,” says Chris, “everybody was wearing straight-leg pants. And I suffered for nothing.”

Chris was into bands like Led Zeppelin, Devo, Black Sabbath, and Aerosmith while his peers were into Top Forty, perhaps because that was all the local radio station played. By June of l980, Chris’s parents got so worried about his depression that they sent him to live with relatives in Croatia, Chris. had picked up Croatian “around the house,” and is still fluent in it. He loved living, there–he made lots of friends and the schools were, excellent. He even heard something there called “punk rock,” and discovered the Sex Pistols, the Ramones, and even some Yugoslavian punk bands. It didn’t make too much of a dent, however. “It was just music to me.” Chris recalls. “It didn’t really mean anything” to me–it was just music that I liked.” After a year, his parents called him back home. “I was just in a weird limbo.” Chris says. He began drinking and smoking pot heavily. “I’ve always been a big drinker.” says Chris, “When I drink, I just don’t stop. I like to drink because you’re in some weird cartoon land where anything goes. Your vision is blurry and nothing and everything makes sense. It’s crazy. It’s a different reality and a different world of consciousness.” Chris became well known on the party circuit. “You’d go to parties and people would be like ‘Hey, Novie!'” says Matt Lukin. “They always knew him as the big, wacky guy because he, was always doing weird things. They just thought he was kind of weird. He’d go to parties and jump around.” He had some people to hang out with, but he was hard pressed to call them friends. “I hung out with them because I had no where else to go,” says Chris. “It was kind of odd and and uncomfortable.”

He finally got a job at the local Taco Bell and threw himself into work, working every night and not socializing, just saving money. By senior year of high school, he had bought a car, some stereo speakers, and a guitar. He look some lessons along with his brother Robert and told his teacher, Warren Mason–the same guy who taught Kurt that he really wanted to play the blues. He quit after a few months and then woodshedded intensively in his bedroom, patiently working out the licks to old B.B. King records with bis brother. Around this time Chris’s brother Robert brought his friend Kurt Cobain over to the Novoselic house. When Kurt asked about the racket emanating from the upstairs stereo, Robert replied, “Oh, thats my brother Chris, he listens to punk rock.” Kurt thought that was very cool and filed the information away. Chris graduated from high school in 1983. Soon after, his parents got divorced. It was a rough enough time as it was, but he also had some plastic surgery done on his face–doctor’s cut a small section of bone out of Chris’s jaw and moved some teeth forward to correct a severe underbite (“I looked like ‘Jay Leno,” he says). Chris’s jaw was wired shut for six weeks. He still went out to parties, except he had to carry a pair of wire cutters with him in case he threw up or something got caught in his throat. “He’d go out and get all fucked up.” Lukin recalls. “and he’d be puking and it would be draining through his wires. He said he never did have to cut them, but all the food was like milkshakes anyway, no solid food. Still, it was somewhat reckless of him.” “Then the swelling, went down.” says Chris, “and I had a new face.” One day during his senior year in high school, he had been walking behind two junior girls in the hall hall who were raving about the album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols. “Yeah, they’re really great!” he piped up.Shelli remembered him as a “class clown-type guy, always joking.” They talked a little and made friends. Shelli dropped out her senior year and took a job at McDonald’s and got her own apartment on Market Street, across from the fire department. On her way to work, she would walk past the Foster Painting company where Chris worked and she would talk to him. She got his phone number and started calling him up. They had a lot in common–Shelli had been an odd-ball in school, too–and by March 1985, they had started hanging out as friends at Shelli’s apartment, listening to punk rock records and going to shows. Soon they started going out.

The matter of when Kurt and Krist finally met and started Nirvana has been debated for quite some time now. I will tell you right away that I do not have a definite answer. What we do know is that Kurt and Krist were playing together sometime during 1985. We also know that it took some time after Kurt gave Krist a demo tape before they finally got together. This demo tape is known as the Fecal Matter Demo. In the book Come As You Are it says that Kurt gave Krist the Fecal Matter Demo, but it took almost a year before Krist actually listened to it. If they did get together in 1985 which is most likely true, that would mean the Kurt made the Fecal Matter Demo in 1984. Most Nirvana fans claim that it was made in 1985, which could not work if they in fact played in 1985. My theory is that they met sometime in 1983, at the time Krist was a senior in high school. Kurt’s aunt Mari clearly states that Kurt made a demo at her house in 1982 which she calls “Organized Confusion.” I would rather believe Kurt’s aunt then a Nirvana fan as to when a demo was produced. In picture in People magazine, Kurt is actually playing a bass guitar. Mari says that the photo was taken in 1982. So whoever says that someone else must’ve played bass because Kurt didn’t know how to is wrong. Kurt did know how to play bass. As a matter of fact, he played guitar, drums, and bass. So that means with the proper equipment, which Mari had at her house, he could’ve easily mixed all 3 instruments together to come up with a demo. Kurt and Krist both hung out with Buzz Osborne during this time, so they could’ve easily met. The only person who would know the answer to this question of when they met would be Krist. And unfortunately that’s not at the top of the list of his things-to-do now.

Nirvana changed the music industry forever back in 1991. From Nirvana, came two of the most well-known names of the grunge-era, Kurt Cobain and David Grohl. Wait a minute, wasn’t there three people in Nirvana? Oh yes, the bass player, Krist. Most Nirvana fans agree that Krist was by far the loudest of the three, but also, the least known. I’m sure some of you will say that it’s his fault because he waitedso long before he became involved in music again. Well, you’re wrong, Dave’s new band,The Foo Fighters played a gig on March 3, 1995 which would be their first, but, what most of you don’t know is that Krist’s new band, Sweet 75 played a gig only 2 weeks after The Foo Fighter’s first,on March 17, 1995. The sad thing is that The Foo Fighters released a single and an album almost immediately, while Krist took a deeper dive into politics, and Sweet 75 didn’t release their first album till late 1997. What does all this have to do with Krist in Nirvana? Actually, nothing… I was just blabbering I guess. While in Nirvana, Krist took up the more important role of being the spokes-person for the band. While Kurt and Dave were clearly the more well-known of the 3, Krist took every chance he got to step into the spotlight. Remember the MTV Awards? Krist was always there to stick up for Kurt, as demonstrated in the infamous bouncer fight at The Trees Club in Dallas. Krist would also help Kurt with just about anything. I forget who said this, but during the recordings of Nevermind and In Utero, if Kurt didn’t know how to work something, Krist would jump right in, lend a helping hand, and say “here, this is how you do it.” Krist was also, by far, the funniest of the three. Everybody loves to hear Krist say something stupid during a concert. Dave was quoted as saying that Krist has brain spasms, which in turn, impairs Krist’s ability to make sense…ha. Nirvana concerts were great, you get to go see an awesome band play, and listen to some huge guy make an ass of himself. I myself went to a concert, and one of the things I can remember is one word Krist said, “Boo!” Many people complain that Krist is going into hiding, and that he doesn’t want anything to do with Nirvana. Hmm, well that’s because he’s got better things to do then answer some of those stupid Nirvana questions. Krist is trying now though, his Murky Slough Home Page now have a Nirvana page on it. The page isn’t much, but atleast it shows that he still cares for the band. I know all of you came to Krist in Nirvana to see all these cool pictures of him playing, go look in the pictures section, and you all hoped that you would learn some cool unknown information…forget it.

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