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Chad Channing (born January 31, 1967 in Santa Rosamarker, CAmarker) is an Americanmarker musician who is best know for being the drummer of the band Nirvana from 1988 until 1990, during which time they recorded and released their debut album Bleach. He currently sings and plays bass in the band Before Cars.


Early life

Chad Channing was born on January 31, 1967, in Santa Rosa, California, to Burnyce and Wayne Channing. Wayne was a radio disc jockey and the family was constantly moving all over the country due to different jobs being offered to him. At the age of thirteen Chad shattered his thigh bone in an accident during gym class. Over the years of rehabilitation and surgeries he discovered music, beginning with a bass guitar which his parents bought him. The bass filled Chad's time as he was unable to go to school. When he was out of his leg casts, his parents bought him a drum set to help build strength in his legs. Chad was a natural at the drums and began jamming with friends.

Channing started the band Tick-Dolly-Row with Ben Shepherd, who would later become the bassist for Soundgarden. Tick-Dolly-Row shared a bill with Nirvana, who at the time were going under the name Bliss. Not long after, a mutual friend introduced Channing to Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic who were searching for a drummer. The three got together several times for jam sessions before they started playing shows.

Nirvana career

In June of 1988, only a couple months after Channing joined Nirvana, they recorded their first single, "Love Buzz", also marking their Sub Pop debut. Nirvana began the recording sessions for Bleach on Christmas Eve 1988, finishing up towards the end of January 1989. Jason Everman, a friend of the band, agreed to put up the money for the recording costs. Everman had known Channing since fifth grade and the two had also played in bands together in high school.

Bleach was released on June 15, 1989. Chad played drums on the entire album with the exception of "Floyd the Barber", "Paper Cuts", and "Downer" which featured drummer Dale Crover from an earlier recording session prior to Channing joining the band. In April of 1990 Nirvana recorded eight songs at Smart Studios with producer Butch Vig that ended when Cobain blew his voice out. During the sessions, Cobain and Novoselic became disenchanted with Channing's drumming, and Channing expressed frustration at not being actively involved in songwriting. These creative differences culminated in the departure of Channing, a mutual decision within the band. By the time Nirvana made their next attempt at recording, they had recruited Dave Grohl as their new drummer, who kept many of the same drum parts to the songs Chad had been playing. Although uncredited, the version of "Polly" used on Nevermind is the original version the band recorded with Channing, the only song carried over from the previous session.

Due to mass popularity and longevity, older work by Nirvana would continue to be rehashed, both during the bands existence, and following their demise. The 1992 compilation Incesticide featured the tracks "Big Long Now", "Stain", and "Dive", which all credited Channing as drummer. Live versions of "Polly" and "Breed" that included Channing appeared on From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah, a live album released in 1996. The 2004 With the Lights Out box set featured a DVD of a December 1988 Nirvana rehearsal, as well as seven songs scattered across the first two discs of the set, all with Channing on drums.

Post Nirvana work

After leaving Nirvana, Channing formed the Fire Ants who released the Stripped EP on Dekema Records in 1992, produced by Jack Endino, who had also produced Bleach. Members of the Fire Ants also included Brian Wood (vocals) and Kevin Wood (guitars), brothers of the late Mother Love Bone singer Andrew Wood, and bassist Dan McDonald. Channing and McDonald collaborated yet again in 1998 with John Hurd and Erik Spicer, forming The Methodists who released the album Cookie.

Most recently Chad stepped out from behind the drum set to front his new project Before Cars, who released the single "Old Chair" in 2006. They released their debut album Walk Back in 2008, again produced by Jack Endino. Channing supplies lead vocals and bass on all tracks, as well as some acoustic guitar.


Band name Release Date of release Credits
Tic-Dolly-Row Live 1987 Drums
Nirvana Love Buzz 1988 Drums
Nirvana Bleach 1989 Drums, excluding "Floyd the Barber", and "Paper Cuts"
Nirvana Blew 1989 Drums
Nirvana Nevermind 1991 Drums on "Polly" (uncredited)
Fire Ants Stripped 1992 Drums
Fire Ants Ant Acid 1992 Drums
Nirvana Incesticide 1992 Drums on "Dive", "Stain", and "Big Long Now"
Nirvana From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah 1996 Drums on "Breed", and "Polly"
The Methodists Cookie 1998 Drums, Vocals, Guitar
Nirvana Nirvana 2002 Drums on "About a Girl", and "Been a Son"
Nirvana With the Lights Out 2004 Drums on "Blandest" (Demo), "Dive" (Demo), "Token Eastern Song", "Even in His Youth" (Demo), "Polly" (Demo), "Pay to Play" (Demo), and "Here She Comes Now" (Demo)
Before Cars Old Chair 2006 Vocals, Guitar, Drums, Percussion
Before Cars Walk Back 2008 Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Guitar
Nirvana Bleach (2-Disc Deluxe Edition) 2009 Drums, excluding "Floyd the Barber", "Paper Cuts", and "Downer", includes bonus disc with a complete show from the Pine Street Theatre in Portland, Oregon on February 9, 1990

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