Jump to content

Kurt Cobain

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kurt Cobain
Cobain performing with Nirvana at the MTV Video Music Awards, 1992
Kurt Donald Cobain

(1967-02-20)February 20, 1967
Diedc. April 5, 1994(1994-04-05) (aged 27)
Cause of deathSuicide by gunshot
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • musician
  • visual artist
(m. 1992)
ChildrenFrances Bean Cobain
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Years active1982–1994
Formerly of

Kurt Donald Cobain (February 20, 1967 – c. April 5, 1994) was an American musician who was the co-founder, lead vocalist, guitarist and primary songwriter of the rock band Nirvana. Through his angst-fueled songwriting and anti-establishment persona, Cobain's compositions widened the thematic conventions of mainstream rock. He was heralded as a spokesman of Generation X and is highly recognized as one of the most influential alternative rock musicians.

Cobain formed Nirvana with Krist Novoselic and Aaron Burckhard in 1987 and established it as part of the Seattle music scene that later became known as grunge. After signing with DGC Records, Nirvana found commercial success with the single "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from their critically acclaimed second album Nevermind (1991). Although Cobain was hailed as the voice of his generation following Nirvana's sudden success, he resented this, believing his message and artistic vision had been misinterpreted by the public. In addition to "Smells Like Teen Spirit", Cobain wrote many other hit songs for Nirvana, including "Come as You Are", "Lithium", "In Bloom", "Something in the Way", "Heart-Shaped Box", "All Apologies", "About a Girl", "Aneurysm",[1] and "You Know You're Right".[2]

During the last years of his life, Cobain struggled with a heroin addiction and chronic health problems such as depression.[3] He also struggled with the personal and professional pressures of fame, and he had a tumultuous relationship with his wife, fellow musician Courtney Love.[4] In March 1994, Cobain overdosed on a combination of champagne and Rohypnol, and he subsequently entered an intervention and underwent a detox program. On April 8, 1994, Cobain was found dead in his Seattle home at the age of 27; police concluded he had died on April 5 from a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head.

Cobain was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, alongside Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl, in their first year of eligibility in 2014. Rolling Stone included Cobain in its lists of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time, 100 Greatest Guitarists, and 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. He was ranked 7th by MTV in the "22 Greatest Voices in Music". In 2006, he was placed 20th by Hit Parader on their list of the "100 Greatest Metal Singers of All Time".

Early life

Grays Harbor Hospital in Aberdeen, where Cobain was born.
Cobain's childhood home in 2020.

Cobain was born at Grays Harbor Hospital in Aberdeen, Washington, on February 20, 1967,[5] the son of waitress Wendy Elizabeth (née Fradenburg; born 1948)[6] and automotive mechanic Donald Leland Cobain (born 1946). His parents married on July 31, 1965, in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. He had Dutch, English, French, German, Irish, and Scottish ancestry.[7]: 13 [8][9]: 7  His Irish ancestors emigrated from Carrickmore, County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1875.[9]: 7  Researchers found that they were shoemakers, originally surnamed "Cobane", who came from Inishatieve, a townland within Carrickmore. They first settled in Canada, where they lived in Cornwall, Ontario, before moving to Washington.[10] Cobain mistakenly believed that his Irish ancestors came from County Cork.[11] His younger sister, Kimberly, was born on April 24, 1970.[6][8]

Cobain's family had a musical background. His maternal uncle, Chuck Fradenburg, played in a band called the Beachcombers; his aunt, Mari Earle, played guitar and performed in bands throughout Grays Harbor County; and his great-uncle, Delbert, had a career as an Irish tenor, making an appearance in the 1930 film King of Jazz. Kurt was described as a happy and excitable child, who also exhibited sensitivity and care. His talent as an artist was evident from an early age, as he would draw his favorite characters from films and cartoons, such as the Creature from the Black Lagoon and Donald Duck, in his bedroom.[5][9]: 11  He was encouraged by his grandmother, Iris Cobain, a professional artist.[12]

Cobain developed an interest in music at a young age. According to his aunt Mari, he began singing at the age of two. At age four, he started playing the piano and singing, writing a song about a trip to a park. He listened to artists including Electric Light Orchestra (ELO),[13] and, from a young age, would sing songs including Arlo Guthrie's "Motorcycle Song", the Beatles' "Hey Jude", Terry Jacks' "Seasons in the Sun", and the theme song to the Monkees television show.[9]: 9 

When Cobain was nine years old, his parents divorced.[9]: 20  He later said the divorce had a profound effect on his life, and his mother noted that his personality changed dramatically; Cobain became defiant and withdrawn.[7]: 17  In a 1993 interview, he said he felt "ashamed" of his parents as a child and had desperately wanted to have a "typical family ... I wanted that security, so I resented my parents for quite a few years because of that."[14]

Cobain's parents found new partners after the divorce. Although his father had promised not to remarry, he married Jenny Westeby, to Kurt's dismay.[9]: 24  Cobain, his father, Westeby, and her two children, Mindy and James, moved into a new household. Cobain liked Westeby at first, as she gave him the maternal attention he desired.[9]: 25  In January 1979, Westeby gave birth to a boy, Chad Cobain.[9]: 24  This new family, which Cobain insisted was not his real one, was in stark contrast to the attention Cobain was used to receiving as an only boy, and he became resentful of his stepmother.[9]: 24, 25  Cobain's mother dated a man who was abusive; Cobain witnessed the domestic violence inflicted upon her, with one incident resulting in her being hospitalized with a broken arm.[9]: 25, 26  Wendy refused to press charges, remaining committed to the relationship.[9]: 26 

Cobain behaved insolently toward adults during this period and began bullying another boy at school. His father and Westeby took him to a therapist who concluded that he would benefit from a single family environment.[9]: 26  Both sides of the family unsuccessfully attempted to reunite his parents. On June 28, 1979, Cobain's mother granted full custody to his father.[9]: 27  Cobain's teenage rebellion quickly became overwhelming for his father who placed him in the care of family and friends. While living with the born-again Christian family of his friend Jesse Reed, Cobain became a devout Christian and regularly attended church services. He later renounced Christianity, engaging in what was described as "anti-God" rants. The song "Lithium" is about his experience while living with the Reed family. Religion remained an important part of his personal life and beliefs.[7]: 22 [9]: 196 [9]: 69 

Although uninterested in sports, Cobain was enrolled in a junior high school wrestling team at the insistence of his father. He was a skilled wrestler but despised the experience. Because of the ridicule he endured from his teammates and coach, he allowed himself to be pinned in an attempt to sadden his father. Later, his father enlisted him in a Little League Baseball team, where Cobain would intentionally strike out to avoid playing.[7]: 20–25  Cobain befriended a gay student at school and was bullied by peers who concluded that he was gay. In an interview, he said that he liked being associated with a gay identity because he did not like people, and when they thought he was gay they left him alone. He said, "I started being really proud of the fact that I was gay even though I wasn't." His friend tried to kiss him and Cobain backed away, explaining to his friend that he was not gay, but remained friends with him. According to Cobain, he used to spray paint "God Is Gay" on pickup trucks in the Aberdeen area. Police records show that Cobain was arrested for spray painting the phrase "ain't got no how watchamacallit" on vehicles.[9]: 68 

Cobain playing drums at an assembly at Montesano High School in 1981

Cobain often drew during classes. He would draw objects, including those associated with the human anatomy.Template:Explain When given a caricature assignment for an art course, Cobain drew Michael Jackson but was told by the teacher that the image was inappropriate for a school hallway. He then drew an image of then-President Ronald Reagan that was seen as "unflattering".[9]: 41  Through art and electronics classes, Cobain met Roger "Buzz" Osborne, singer and guitarist of the Melvins, who became his friend and introduced him to punk rock and hardcore music.[15]: 35, 36 [16] As attested to by several of Cobain's classmates and family members, the first concert he attended was Sammy Hagar and Quarterflash, held at the Seattle Center Coliseum in 1983.[5][9]: 44  Cobain, however, claimed that the first live show he attended was the Melvins, when they played a free concert outside the Thriftway supermarket where Osborne worked. Cobain wrote in his journals of this experience, as well as in interviews, singling out the impact it had on him.[9]: 45 [17] As a teenager living in Montesano, Washington, Cobain eventually found escape through the thriving Pacific Northwest punk scene, going to punk rock shows in Seattle.[7]

During his second year in high school, Cobain began living with his mother in Aberdeen. Two weeks prior to graduation, he dropped out of Aberdeen High School upon realizing that he did not have enough credits to graduate. His mother gave him a ultimatum: find employment or leave. After one week, Cobain found his clothes and other belongings packed away in boxes.[7]: 35  Feeling banished, Cobain stayed with friends, occasionally sneaking back into his mother's basement.[7]: 37  Cobain also claimed that, during periods of homelessness, he lived under a bridge over the Wishkah River,[7]: 37  an experience that inspired the song "Something in the Way". His future bandmate Krist Novoselic later said, "He hung out there, but you couldn't live on those muddy banks, with the tides coming up and down. That was his own revisionism."[18]

In late 1986, Cobain moved into an apartment, paying his rent by working at the Polynesian Resort, a themed resort on the Pacific coast at Ocean Shores, Washington approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of Aberdeen.[7]: 43  During this period, he traveled frequently to Olympia, Washington, to go to rock concerts.[7]: 46  During his visits to Olympia, Cobain formed a relationship with Tracy Marander. Their relationship was close but strained by financial problems and Cobain's absence when touring. Marander supported the couple by working at the cafeteria of the Boeing plant in Auburn, Washington, often stealing food. Cobain spent most of his time sleeping into the late evening, watching television, and concentrating on art projects. Marander's insistence that he get a job caused arguments that influenced Cobain to write the song "About a Girl", which appeared on the Nirvana album Bleach; Marander is credited with having taken the cover photo for the album, as well as the front and back cover photos of their Blew single. She did not become aware that Cobain wrote "About a Girl" about her until years after his death.[9]: 88–93 [9]: 116–117 [9]: 122 [9]: 134–136 [9]: 143 [9]: 153 

Soon after his separation from Marander, Cobain began dating Tobi Vail, an influential punk zinester of the riot grrrl band Bikini Kill who embraced the DIY ethos. After meeting Vail, Cobain vomited, overwhelmed with anxiety caused by his infatuation with her. This event inspired the lyric "love you so much it makes me sick" in the song "Aneurysm".[9]: 152  While Cobain regarded Vail as his female counterpart, his relationship with her waned; he desired the maternal comfort of a traditional relationship, which Vail regarded as sexist within a countercultural punk rock community. Vail's lovers were described by her friend Alice Wheeler as "fashion accessories".[9]: 153  Cobain wrote many of his songs about Vail.[9]



Early musical projects


On his 14th birthday on February 20, 1981, Cobain's uncle offered him either a bike or a used guitar; Kurt chose the guitar. Soon, he was trying to play Led Zeppelin's song "Stairway to Heaven". He also learned how to play "Louie Louie", Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust", and the Cars' "My Best Friend's Girl", before he began working on his own songs. Cobain played left-handed, despite being forced to write right-handed.[7]: 22 

In early 1985, Cobain formed Fecal Matter after he had dropped out of Aberdeen High School.[15] One of "several joke bands" that arose from the circle of friends associated with the Melvins,[15] it initially featured Cobain singing and playing guitar, Melvins drummer Dale Crover playing bass, and Greg Hokanson playing drums.[19] They spent several months rehearsing original material and covers, including songs by the Ramones, Led Zeppelin, and Jimi Hendrix.[15][20] Fecal Matter disbanded in 1986 while the Melvins supported their debut EP, Six Songs.[citation needed]



During high school, Cobain rarely found anyone with whom he could play music. While hanging out at the Melvins' practice space, he met Krist Novoselic, a fellow devotee of punk rock. Novoselic's mother owned a hair salon, and the pair occasionally practiced in the upstairs room of the salon. A few years later, Cobain tried to convince Novoselic to form a band with him by lending him a copy of a home demo recorded by Fecal Matter.[7] After months of asking, Novoselic agreed to join Cobain, forming the beginnings of Nirvana.[7]: 45  Religion appeared to remain a significant muse to Cobain during this time as he often used Christian imagery in his work and developed an interest in Jainism and Buddhist philosophy. The band name "Nirvana" was taken from the Buddhist concept, which Cobain described as "freedom from pain, suffering and the external world", a concept that he aligned with the punk rock ethos and ideology.[citation needed]

Cobain became disenchanted after early touring because of the band's inability to draw substantial crowds and the difficulty in supporting themselves financially. During their first few years playing together, Novoselic and Cobain were hosts to a succession of drummers. Eventually, the band settled on Chad Channing with whom Nirvana recorded the album Bleach, released on Sub Pop Records in 1989. Cobain, however, became dissatisfied with Channing's style and subsequently fired him. He and Novoselic eventually hired Dave Grohl to replace Channing. Grohl helped the band record their 1991 major-label debut, Nevermind. With Nevermind's lead single, "Smells Like Teen Spirit", Nirvana quickly entered the mainstream, popularizing a subgenre of alternative rock called "grunge". Since their debut, Nirvana has sold over 28 million albums in the United States alone and over 75 million worldwide.[21][22] The success of Nevermind provided numerous Seattle bands, such as Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden, access to wider audiences. As a result, alternative rock became a dominant genre on radio and music television in the U.S. during the first half of the 1990s. Nirvana was considered the "flagship band of Generation X", and Cobain found himself reluctantly anointed by the media as the generation's "spokesman".[23] He resented this characterization since he believed his artistic message had been misinterpreted by the public.[24]

When you're in the public eye, you have no choice but to be raped over and over again – they'll take every ounce of blood out of you until you're exhausted. ... I'm looking forward to the future. It will only be another year and then everyone will forget about it.

—Kurt Cobain on the overwhelming media attention after Nevermind, 1992[25]

Cobain struggled to reconcile the massive success of Nirvana with his underground roots and vision. He also felt persecuted by the media, comparing himself to Frances Farmer whom he named a song after.[26] He began to harbor resentment against people who claimed to be fans of the band yet refused to acknowledge, or misinterpreted, the band's social and political views. A vocal opponent of sexism, racism, sexual assault, and homophobia, he was publicly proud that Nirvana had played at a gay rights benefit concert that was held to oppose Oregon's 1992 Ballot Measure 9, which would have directed Oregon schools to teach that homosexuality was "abnormal, wrong, unnatural and perverse".[27][28] Cobain was a vocal supporter of the pro-choice movement, and Nirvana was involved in L7's Rock for Choice campaign.[29] He received death threats from a small number of anti-abortion activists for participating in the pro-choice campaign, with one activist threatening to shoot Cobain as soon as he stepped on a stage.[9]: 253 

Other collaborations


In 1989, members of Nirvana and fellow American alternative rock band Screaming Trees formed a side project known as the Jury. The band featured Cobain on vocals and guitar, Mark Lanegan on vocals, Krist Novoselic on bass, and Mark Pickerel on drums. Over two days of recording sessions, on August 20 and 28, 1989, the band recorded four songs also performed by Lead Belly; "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?", an instrumental version of "Grey Goose", "Ain't It a Shame", and "They Hung Him on a Cross", the latter of which featured Cobain performing solo.[30] Cobain was inspired to record the songs after receiving a copy of Lead Belly's Last Sessions from friend Slim Moon; after hearing it, he "felt a connection to Leadbelly's almost physical expressions of longing and desire."[31]

In 1990, Cobain and his girlfriend, Tobi Vail of the riot grrrl band Bikini Kill, collaborated on a musical project called Bathtub is Real in which they both sang and played guitar and drums. They recorded their songs on a four-track tape machine that belonged to Vail's father. In Everett True's 2009 book Nirvana: The Biography, Vail is quoted as saying that Cobain "would play the songs he was writing, I would play the songs I was writing and we'd record them on my dad's four-track. Sometimes I'd sing on the songs he was writing and play drums on them ... He was really into the fact that I was creative and into music. I don't think he'd ever played music with a girl before. He was super-inspiring and fun to play with."[32] The musician Slim Moon described their sound as "like the minimal quiet pop songs that Olympia is known for. Both of them sang; it was really good."[33]

In 1992, Cobain contacted William S. Burroughs about a possible collaboration. Burroughs responded by sending him a recording of "The Junky's Christmas"[34] (which he recorded in his studio in Lawrence, Kansas).[35] Two months later at a studio in Seattle, Cobain added guitar backing based on "Silent Night" and "To Anacreon in Heaven". The two would meet shortly later in Lawrence, Kansas and produce "The 'Priest' They Called Him", a spoken word version of "The Junky's Christmas".[34][35]

Musical influences


The Beatles were an early and lasting influence on Cobain; his aunt Mari remembers him singing "Hey Jude" at the age of two.[9]: 9  "My aunts would give me Beatles records", Cobain told Jon Savage in 1993, "so for the most part [I listened to] the Beatles [as a child], and if I was lucky, I'd be able to buy a single."[36] Cobain expressed a particular fondness for John Lennon, whom he called his "idol" in his posthumously released journals,[37] and he said that he wrote the song "About a Girl", from Nirvana's 1989 debut album Bleach, after spending three hours listening to Meet the Beatles!.[9]: 121 

Cobain was also a fan of 1970s hard rock and heavy metal bands, including Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Queen, and Kiss. Nirvana occasionally played cover songs by these bands, including Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker", "Moby Dick" and "Immigrant Song", Black Sabbath's "Hand of Doom", and Kiss' "Do You Love Me?" and wrote the Incesticide song "Aero Zeppelin" as a tribute to Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith. Recollecting touring with his band, Cobain stated, "I used to take a nap in the van and listen to Queen. Over and over again and drain the battery on the van. We'd be stuck with a dead battery because I'd listened to Queen too much".[38]

He was introduced to punk rock and hardcore music by his Aberdeen classmate Buzz Osborne, lead singer and guitarist of the Melvins, who taught Cobain about punk by loaning him records and old copies of the Detroit-based magazine Creem.[39] Punk rock proved to be a profound influence on a teenaged Cobain's attitude and artistic style. His first punk rock album was Sandinista! by The Clash,[9]: 169  but he became a bigger fan of fellow 1970s British punk band the Sex Pistols, describing them as "one million times more important than the Clash" in his journals.[37] He quickly discovered contemporary American hardcore bands like Black Flag, Bad Brains, Millions of Dead Cops and Flipper.[39] The Melvins themselves were a major early musical influence on Cobain; his admiration for them led him to drive their van on tour and help them to carry their equipment.[15]: 42 [5]: 153  He and Novoselic watched hundreds of Melvins rehearsals and "learned almost everything from them", as stated by Cobain.[40][25] The Melvins' heavy, grungey sound was mimicked by Nirvana on many songs from Bleach; in an early interview given by Nirvana, Cobain stated that their biggest fear was to be perceived as a "Melvins rip-off".[9]: 153  After their commercial success, the members of Nirvana would constantly talk about the Melvins' importance to them in the press.[41][25]

Cobain was also a fan of protopunk acts like the Stooges, whose 1973 album Raw Power he listed as his favorite of all time in his journals,[37] and The Velvet Underground, whose 1968 song "Here She Comes Now" the band covered both live and in the studio.[citation needed][42]

The 1980s American alternative rock band Pixies were instrumental in helping an adult Cobain develop his own songwriting style. In a 1992 interview with Melody Maker, Cobain said that hearing their 1988 debut album, Surfer Rosa, "convinced him to abandon his more Black Flag-influenced songwriting in favor of the Iggy Pop/Aerosmith–type songwriting that appeared on Nevermind.[43] In a 1993 interview with Rolling Stone, he said that "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was his attempt at "trying to rip off the Pixies. I have to admit it. When I heard the Pixies for the first time, I connected with that band so heavily that I should have been in that band—or at least a Pixies cover band. We used their sense of dynamics, being soft and quiet and then loud and hard".[44]

Cobain's appreciation of early alternative rock bands also extended to Sonic Youth and R.E.M., both of which the members of Nirvana befriended and looked up to for advice. It was under recommendation from Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon that Nirvana signed to DGC in 1990,[7]: 162  and both bands did a two-week tour of Europe in the summer of 1991, as documented in the 1992 documentary, 1991: The Year Punk Broke. In 1993, Cobain said of R.E.M.: "If I could write just a couple of songs as good as what they've written... I don't know how that band does what they do. God, they're the greatest. They've dealt with their success like saints, and they keep delivering great music".[44]

After attaining mainstream success, Cobain became a devoted champion of lesser known indie bands, covering songs by The Vaselines, Meat Puppets, Wipers and Fang onstage and/or in the studio, wearing Daniel Johnston T-shirts during photo shoots, having the K Records logo tattooed on his forearm, and enlisting bands like Butthole Surfers, Shonen Knife, Chokebore and Half Japanese along for the In Utero tour in late 1993 and early 1994. Cobain even invited his favorite musicians to perform with him: ex-Germs guitarist Pat Smear joined the band in 1993, and the Meat Puppets appeared onstage during Nirvana's 1993 MTV Unplugged appearance to perform three songs from their second album, Meat Puppets II.[citation needed]

Nirvana's Unplugged set includes renditions of "The Man Who Sold the World", by David Bowie, and the American folk song, "Where Did You Sleep Last Night", as adapted by Lead Belly. Cobain introduced the latter by calling Lead Belly his favorite performer, and in a 1993 interview revealed he had been introduced to him from reading the American author William S. Burroughs, saying: "I remember [Burroughs] saying in an interview, 'These new rock'n'roll kids should just throw away their guitars and listen to something with real soul, like Leadbelly.' I'd never heard about Leadbelly before so I bought a couple of records, and now he turns out to be my absolute favorite of all time in music. I absolutely love it more than any rock'n'roll I ever heard."[45] The album MTV Unplugged in New York was released posthumously in 1994. It has drawn comparisons to R.E.M.'s 1992 release, Automatic for the People.[46] In 1993, Cobain had predicted that the next Nirvana album would be "pretty ethereal, acoustic, like R.E.M.'s last album".[44]

"Yeah, he talked a lot about what direction he was heading in", Cobain's friend, R.E.M.'s lead singer Michael Stipe, told Newsweek in 1994. "I mean, I know what the next Nirvana recording was going to sound like. It was going to be very quiet and acoustic, with lots of stringed instruments. It was going to be an amazing fucking record, and I'm a little bit angry at him for killing himself. He and I were going to record a trial run of the album, a demo tape. It was all set up. He had a plane ticket. He had a car picking him up. And at the last minute he called and said, 'I can't come.'" Stipe was chosen as the godfather of Cobain's and Courtney Love's daughter, Frances Bean Cobain.[47]


The Lake Placid Blue Fender Mustang played by Cobain during the filming of the video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit", shown at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle

According to Grohl, Cobain believed that music comes first and lyrics second; he focused primarily on the melodies.[48] He complained when fans and rock journalists attempted to decipher his singing and extract meaning from his lyrics, writing: "Why in the hell do journalists insist on coming up with a second-rate Freudian evaluation of my lyrics, when 90 percent of the time they've transcribed them incorrectly?"[9]: 182  Though Cobain insisted on the subjectivity and unimportance of his lyrics, he labored and procrastinated in writing them, often changing the content and order of lyrics during performances.[9]: 177  Cobain would describe his own lyrics as "a big pile of contradictions. They're split down the middle between very sincere opinions that I have and sarcastic opinions and feelings that I have and sarcastic and hopeful, humorous rebuttals toward cliché bohemian ideals that have been exhausted for years."[49]

Cobain originally wanted Nevermind to be divided into two sides: a "Boy" side, for the songs written about the experiences of his early life and childhood, and a "Girl" side, for the songs written about his dysfunctional relationship with Vail.[9]: 177  Charles R. Cross wrote, "In the four months following their break-up, Kurt would write a half dozen of his most memorable songs, all of them about Tobi Vail." Though Cobain wrote "Lithium" before meeting Vail, he wrote the lyrics to reference her.[9]: 168–169  Cobain said in an interview with Musician that he wrote about "some of my very personal experiences, like breaking up with girlfriends and having bad relationships, feeling that death void that the person in the song is feeling. Very lonely, sick."[50] While Cobain regarded In Utero as "for the most part very impersonal",[51] its lyrics deal with his parents' divorce, his newfound fame and the public image and perception of himself and Courtney Love on "Serve the Servants", with his enamored relationship with Love conveyed through lyrical themes of pregnancy and the female anatomy on "Heart-Shaped Box". Cobain wrote "Rape Me" as an objective discussion of rape. He wrote about fame, drug addiction and abortion on "Pennyroyal Tea", as well as women's rights and the life of Seattle-born Farmer on "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle".[citation needed]

Cobain's model of Fender Jaguar

Cobain was affected enough to write "Polly" from Nevermind after reading a newspaper story of an incident in 1987, when a 14-year-old girl was kidnapped after attending a punk rock show then raped and tortured with a blowtorch. She escaped after gaining the trust of her captor Gerald Friend through flirting with him.[9]: 136  After seeing Nirvana perform, Bob Dylan cited "Polly" as the best of Nirvana's songs, and said of Cobain, "the kid has heart".[9]: 137  Patrick Süskind's novel Perfume: The Story of a Murderer inspired Cobain to write the song "Scentless Apprentice" from In Utero. The book is a historical horror novel about a perfumer's apprentice born with no body odor of his own but with a highly developed sense of smell, and who attempts to create the "ultimate perfume" by killing virginal women and taking their scent.[52]

Cobain immersed himself in artistic projects throughout his life, as much so as he did in songwriting. The sentiments of his art work followed the same subjects of his lyrics, often expressed through a dark and macabre sense of humor. Noted were his fascination with physiology, his own rare medical conditions, and the human anatomy. According to Novoselic, "Kurt said that he never liked literal things. He liked cryptic things. He would cut out pictures of meat from grocery-store fliers, then paste these orchids on them ... And all this stuff on [In Utero] about the body – there was something about anatomy. He really liked that. You look at his art – there are these people, and they're all weird, like mutants. And dolls – creepy dolls."[53] Often unable to afford artistic resources, Cobain improvised with materials, painting on board games and album sleeves, and painting with an array of substances, including his own bodily fluids. The artwork seen in his Journals later drew acclaim. Many of Cobain's paintings, collages, and sculptures appeared in the artwork of Nirvana's albums, such as the covers of Incesticide and In Utero. His concepts featured in Nirvana's music videos, sometimes leading to arguments with the video producers.[citation needed]

Cobain contributed backing guitar for a spoken word recording of beat poet William S. Burroughs' entitled The "Priest" They Called Him.[9]: 301  Cobain regarded Burroughs as a hero. During Nirvana's European tour Cobain kept a copy of Burroughs' Naked Lunch, purchased from a London bookstall.[9]: 189–190  Cobain met with Burroughs at his home in Lawrence, Kansas in October 1993. Burroughs expressed no surprise at Cobain's death: "It wasn't an act of will for Kurt to kill himself. As far as I was concerned, he was dead already."[54]



In a Guitar World retrospective, Cobain's guitar tone was deemed "one of the most iconic" in the history of the electric guitar, while noting that rather than relying on expensive or vintage items, Cobain used "an eccentric cache of budget models, low-end imports and pawn shop prizes." Cobain stated in a 1992 interview, "Junk is always best," but denied this was a punk statement and claimed it was a necessity, as he had trouble finding high quality lefthanded guitars.[55]

Cobain's first guitar was a used electric guitar from Sears that he received on his 14th birthday. He took guitar lessons long enough to learn AC/DC's "Back in Black" and began playing with local kids. Cobain found the guitar smashed after leaving it in a locker, but he was able to purchase new equipment, including a Peavey amp, by recovering and selling his stepfather's gun collection, which his mother had dumped in a river after discovering his infidelity.[55] Upon forming what would be Nirvana, Cobain was playing a Fender Champ amplifier and a righthanded Univox Hi-Flier guitar he flipped over and strung for lefthanded playing.[55]

For the recording of Bleach, Cobain needed to borrow a Fender Twin Reverb due to his main amplifier, a Randall Commander II, being repaired at the time, but as the Twin Reverb's speakers were blown, he was forced to pair it with an external cabinet featuring two 12" speakers. He used a Boss DS-1 for distortion, while playing Hi-Flier guitars, which cost him $100 each. Nirvana embarked on their first American tour in 1989, at the start of which Cobain played an Epiphone ET270; however, he destroyed the guitar onstage during a show, a subsequent habit that forced label Sub Pop to have to call local pawn shops looking for replacement guitars.[55] Cobain's first acoustic guitar, a Stella 12-string, cost him $31.21. Cobain strung it with six (or sometimes five) strings, and while the guitar's tuners had to be held together with duct tape, it sounded good enough that the guitar was later used to record the Nevermind tracks "Polly" and "Something in the Way."[55]

Despite receiving a $287,000 advance upon signing with Geffen Records, Cobain retained a preference for inexpensive gear.[55] He became a fan of Japanese-made Fender guitars ahead of recording Nevermind, due to their slim necks and wide availability in lefthanded orientation. These included several Stratocasters fitted with humbucker pickups in the bridge positions, as well as a 1965 Jaguar with DiMarzio pickups and a 1969 Competition Mustang, the latter of which Cobain cited as his favorite, despite noting, "They're cheap and totally inefficient, and they sound like crap and are very small."[55] For the album, Cobain used a rackmount system featuring a Mesa/Boogie Studio preamp, a Crown power amp, and Marshall cabinets. He also used a Vox AC30 and a Fender Bassman. Producer Butch Vig preferred to avoid pedals, but allowed Cobain to use his Boss DS-1, which Cobain considered a key part of his sound, as well as an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff fuzz pedal and a Small Clone chorus, which can be heard on songs like "Smells Like Teen Spirit," "Come As You Are," and "Aneurysm."[55]

Cobain used his '69 Mustang, '65 Jaguar, a custom Jaguar/Mustang, and a Hi-Flier for the In Utero recording sessions. To tour behind the album, Cobain placed an order for 10 Mustangs split between Fiesta Red and Sonic Blue. As the Fender Custom Shop was new, the guitars were to be shipped out two at a time over a period of months. By the time of his death, Cobain had received six of the guitars. The remaining four, waiting to be shipped, were instead sold as regular stock at Japanese music stores without informing buyers the guitars had been made for Cobain.[56]

For Nirvana's Unplugged performance, Cobain played a righthanded 1959 Martin D-18E acoustic guitar modified for lefthanded playing. The guitar became the most expensive ever sold when it fetched over $6 million at auction in 2020.[57] Cobain's 1969 Competition Mustang, which he also played in the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" music video, sold at a 2022 auction to Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, for $4.5 million, with an original estimate of $600,000.[58]

Personal life


Relationships and family


There are differing accounts of exactly when and how Kurt Cobain first met Courtney Love. In his 1993 authorized biography of Nirvana Michael Azerrad cites a January 21, 1989, Dharma Bums gig in Portland where Nirvana played as support,[59] while the Charles R. Cross 2001 Cobain biography has Love and Cobain meeting at the same Satyricon nightclub venue in Portland but a different Nirvana show, January 12, 1990,[60][9]: 201  when both still led ardent underground rock bands.[61] Love made advances soon after they met, but Cobain was evasive. Early in their interactions, Cobain broke off dates and ignored Love's advances because he was unsure if he wanted a relationship. Cobain noted, "I was determined to be a bachelor for a few months [...] But I knew that I liked Courtney so much right away that it was a really hard struggle to stay away from her for so many months."[7]: 172–173  Everett True, who was an associate of both Cobain and Love, disputes those versions of events in his 2006 book, claiming that he himself introduced the couple on May 17, 1991.[62][63]

Cobain was already aware of Love through her role in the 1987 film Straight to Hell. According to True, the pair were formally introduced at an L7 and Butthole Surfers concert in Los Angeles in May 1991.[64] In the weeks that followed, after learning from Grohl that Cobain shared mutual interests with her, Love began pursuing Cobain. In late 1991, the two were often together and bonded through drug use.[7]: 172

On February 24, 1992, a few days after the conclusion of Nirvana's "Pacific Rim" tour, Cobain and Love were married on Waikiki Beach in Hawaii. Love wore a satin and lace dress once owned by Frances Farmer, and Cobain donned a Guatemalan purse and wore green pajamas, because he had been "too lazy to put on a tux." Eight people were in attendance at the ceremony, including Grohl.[65] Love said she was warned by the Sonic Youth bassist Kim Gordon that marrying Cobain would "destroy her life"; Love responded: "'Whatever! I love him, and I want to be with him!' ... It wasn't his fault. He wasn't trying to do that."[61]

The couple's daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, was born August 18, 1992.[66] A sonogram was included in the artwork for Nirvana's single, "Lithium".[67] In a 1992 Vanity Fair article, Love admitted to a drug binge with Cobain in the early weeks of her pregnancy.[68] At the time, she claimed that Vanity Fair had misquoted her. Love later admitted to using heroin before knowing she was pregnant.[66][69] The couple were asked by the press if Frances was addicted to drugs at birth.[7] The Los Angeles County Department of Children's Services visited the Cobains days after Love gave birth and later took them to court, stating that their drug usage made them unfit parents.[7][70][71]



In October 1992, when asked, "Well, are you gay?" by Monk Magazine, Cobain replied, "If I wasn't attracted to Courtney, I'd be a bisexual."[72] In another interview, he described identifying with the gay community in The Advocate, stating, "I'm definitely gay in spirit and I probably could be bisexual" and "if I wouldn't have found Courtney, I probably would have carried on with a bisexual life-style", but also that he was "more sexually attracted to women".[73][74] He described himself as being "feminine" in childhood, and often wore dresses and other stereotypically feminine clothing. Some of his song lyrics, as well as phrases he would use to vandalize vehicles and a bank, included "God is gay",[73] "Jesus is gay", "HOMOSEXUAL SEX RULES",[73] and "Everyone is gay". One of his personal journals states, "I am not gay, although I wish I were, just to piss off homophobes."[37]

Cobain advocated for LGBTQ+ rights, including traveling to Oregon to perform at a benefit opposing the 1992 Oregon Ballot Measure 9,[73] and supported local bands with LGBTQ+ members. He reported having felt "different" from the age of seven, and was a frequent target of homophobic bullying in his school due to his having a "gay friend".[75] Cobain was interviewed by two gay magazines, Out and The Advocate;[76] the 1993 interview with The Advocate being described as "the only [interview] the band's lead singer says he plans to do for Incesticide",[73] an album whose liner notes included a statement decrying homophobia, racism and misogyny:[73]

If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of different color, or women, please do this one favor for us—leave us the fuck alone! Don't come to our shows and don't buy our records.

Health and addiction


Throughout most of his life, Cobain suffered from chronic bronchitis and intense physical pain due to an undiagnosed chronic stomach condition.[7]: 66  According to The Telegraph, Cobain had depression.[77] His cousin brought attention to the family history of suicide, mental illness and alcoholism, noting that two of her uncles had died by suicide with guns.[78]

He used drugs heavily; his first drug experience was with cannabis in 1980, at age 13. He regularly used the drug during adulthood.[9]: 76  Cobain also had a period of consuming "notable" amounts of LSD, as observed by Marander,[9]: 75  and was prone to alcoholism and solvent abuse.[9] Novoselic said he was "really into getting fucked up: drugs, acid, any kind of drug".[9]: 76  Cobain first took heroin in 1986, administered to him by a dealer in Tacoma, Washington, who had previously supplied him with oxycodone and aspirin.[7]: 41  Cobain used heroin sporadically for several years; by the end of 1990, his use had developed into addiction. Cobain claimed that he was "determined to get a habit" as a way to self-medicate his stomach condition. "It started with three days in a row of doing heroin and I don't have a stomach pain. That was such a relief," he said.[7]: 236  However, his longtime friend Buzz Osborne disputes this, saying that his stomach pain was more likely caused by his heroin use: "He made it up for sympathy and so he could use it as an excuse to stay loaded. Of course he was vomiting—that's what people on heroin do, they vomit. It's called 'vomiting with a smile on your face'."[79]

Cobain's heroin use began to affect Nirvana's Nevermind tour. During a 1992 photoshoot with Michael Lavine, he fell asleep several times, having used heroin beforehand. Cobain told biographer Michael Azerrad: "They're not going to be able to tell me to stop. So I really didn't care. Obviously to them it was like practicing witchcraft or something. They didn't know anything about it so they thought that any second, I was going to die."[7]: 241 

The morning after the band's performance on Saturday Night Live in 1992, Cobain experienced his first near-death overdose after injecting heroin; Love resuscitated him.[80] Prior to a performance at the New Music Seminar in New York City on July 23, 1993, Cobain suffered another overdose. Rather than calling for an ambulance, Love injected Cobain with naloxone to resuscitate him. Cobain proceeded to perform with Nirvana, giving the public no indication that anything had happened.[9]: 296–297 


Cobain's suicide note. The final phrase before the valediction, "It's better to burn out than to fade away", is a quote from the lyrics of Neil Young's song "My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)".

Following a tour stop at Terminal Eins in Munich, Germany, on March 1, 1994, Cobain was diagnosed with bronchitis and severe laryngitis. He flew to Rome the next day for medical treatment, and was joined there by his wife, Courtney Love, on March 3, 1994. The next morning, Love awoke to find that Cobain had overdosed on a combination of champagne and Rohypnol. Cobain was rushed to the hospital and was unconscious for the rest of the day. After five days, Cobain was released and returned to Seattle.[6] Love later said that the incident was Cobain's first suicide attempt.[81]

On March 18, 1994, Love phoned the Seattle police informing them that Cobain was suicidal and had locked himself in a room with a gun. Police arrived and confiscated several guns and a bottle of pills from Cobain, who insisted that he was not suicidal and had locked himself in the room to hide from Love.[82]

Love arranged an intervention regarding Cobain's drug use on March 25, 1994. The ten people involved included musician friends, record company executives, and one of Cobain's closest friends, Dylan Carlson. Cobain reacted with anger, insulting and heaping scorn on the participants, and locked himself in the upstairs bedroom. However, by the end of the day, Cobain agreed to undergo a detox program, and he entered a residential facility in Los Angeles a few days on March 30, 1994.[83][84]

The following night, Cobain left the facility and flew to Seattle. On the flight, he sat near Duff McKagan of Guns N' Roses. Despite Cobain's animosity towards Guns N' Roses, Cobain "seemed happy" to see McKagan. McKagan later said that he knew from "all of my instincts that something was wrong".[9]: 331  Most of Cobain's friends and family were unaware of his whereabouts. On April 7, amid rumors of Nirvana breaking up, the band pulled out of the 1994 Lollapalooza festival.[85]

Cobain's former home, and the site of his death.

On April 8,[86] Cobain's body was discovered at his Lake Washington Boulevard home by an electrician,[87] who had arrived to install a security system. A suicide note was found, addressed to Cobain's childhood imaginary friend Boddah, that stated that Cobain had not "felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music, along with really writing ... for too many years now". Cobain's body had been there for days; the coroner's report estimated he died on April 5, 1994, at the age of 27.[88]



A public vigil was held on April 10, 1994, at a park at Seattle Center, drawing approximately 7,000 mourners.[7]: 346  Prerecorded messages by Novoselic and Love were played at the memorial. Love read portions of the suicide note to the crowd, crying and chastising Cobain. Near the end of the vigil, Love distributed some of Cobain's clothing to those who remained.[7]: 350  Grohl said that the news of Cobain's death was "probably the worst thing that has happened to me in my life. I remember the day after that I woke up and I was heartbroken that he was gone. I just felt like, 'Okay, so I get to wake up today and have another day and he doesn't.'"[89][90][91]

Billboard, reporting from Seattle on April 23, 1994, stated that within a few hours of Cobain's death being confirmed on April 8, the only remaining Nirvana titles at Park Ave Records on Queen Ann Street were two "Heart-Shaped Box" import CD singles. A marketing director at the three-store Cellophane Square chain said that "all three stores sold about a few hundred CDs, singles, and vinyl by the morning of April 9". A buyer at Tower Records on Mercer Street said: "It's a pathetic scene, everything is going out the door. If people were really fans, they would've had this stuff already."[92] In the United Kingdom, sales of Nirvana releases rose dramatically immediately after Cobain's death.[93]

Grohl believed that he knew Cobain would die at an early age, saying that "sometimes you just can't save someone from themselves", and "in some ways, you kind of prepare yourself emotionally for that to be a reality".[94] Dave Reed, who for a short time had been Cobain's foster father, said that "he had the desperation, not the courage, to be himself. Once you do that, you can't go wrong, because you can't make any mistakes when people love you for being yourself. But for Kurt, it didn't matter that other people loved him; he simply didn't love himself enough."[9]: 351 

A final ceremony was arranged by Cobain's mother on May 31, 1999, and was attended by Love and Tracy Marander. As a Buddhist monk chanted, daughter Frances Bean scattered Cobain's ashes into McLane Creek in Olympia, the city where he "had found his true artistic muse".[9]: 351  In 2006, Love said she retained Cobain's ashes, kept in a bank vault in Los Angeles because "no cemetery in Seattle will take them".[61]

A bench in Viretta Park, through tribute graffiti, has become an improvised memorial to Cobain

Cobain's death became a topic of public fascination and debate.[95] His artistic endeavors and struggles with addiction, illness and depression, as well as the circumstances of his death, have become a frequent topic of controversy. According to a spokesperson for the Seattle Police Department, the department receives at least one weekly request to reopen the investigation, resulting in the maintenance of the basic incident report on file.[96]

In March 2014, the Seattle police developed four rolls of film that had been left in an evidence vault; no reason was provided for why the rolls were not developed earlier. According to the Seattle police, the 35mm film photographs show the scene of Cobain's dead body more clearly than previous Polaroid images taken by the police. Detective Mike Ciesynski, a cold case investigator, was instructed to look at the film because "it is 20 years later and it's a high media case". Ciesynski stated that Cobain's death remains a suicide and that the images would not have been released publicly.[96] The photos in question were later released, one by one, weeks before the 20th anniversary of Cobain's death. One photo shows Cobain's arm, still wearing the hospital bracelet from the drug rehab facility he had left just a few days prior to returning to Seattle. Another photo shows Cobain's foot resting next to a bag of shotgun shells, one of which was used in his death.[97]


File:Minibus with Kurt Cobain Portrait - Bhaktapur - Nepal (13486900064).jpg
A minibus in Nepal with a portrait of Cobain on rear window

Cobain is remembered as one of the most influential rock musicians in the history of alternative music.[98] His angst-fueled songwriting[99] and anti-establishment persona[100] led him to be referenced as the spokesman of Generation X. In addition, Cobain's songs widened the themes[101] of mainstream rock music of the 1980s to discussion of personal reflection and social issues.[102] On April 10, 2014, Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Grohl, Novoselic and Love accepted the accolade at the ceremony, where Cobain was also remembered.[103] Cobain is one of the best-known members of the 27 Club,[104] a list of musicians who died when they were 27 years old.

Music & Media reporting on April 23, 1994, after Cobain had died, stated that Jorgen Larsen, the president of MCA Music Entertainment International was asked where he thought Cobain stood in terms of his contribution to contemporary music, and Larsen replied that "If anybody comes out of nowhere to sell 11 or 12 million albums you have to conclude that there's something there. He wasn't just a one-hit wonder."[105]

According to music journalist Paul Lester, who worked at Melody Maker at the time, Cobain's suicide triggered an immediate reappraisal of his work. He wrote: "The general impression offered by In Utero was that Cobain was some kind of whiny, self-absorbed, grunge, misery guts who could make routinely powerful music but was hardly a suffering godhead. You could almost hear a collective sigh of relief after April 5, 1994, that Cobain could no longer further sully his reputation; that the myth-making machinery could finally be cranked into action."[106]

Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins referred to Cobain as "the Michael Jordan of our generation",[107] and said that Cobain opened the door for everyone in the 1990s alternative rock scene.[108] Lars Ulrich of Metallica reflected on Cobain's influence stating that "with Kurt Cobain you felt you were connecting to the real person, not to a perception of who he was — you were not connecting to an image or a manufactured cut-out. You felt that between you and him there was nothing — it was heart-to-heart. There are very few people who have that ability."[109] In 1996, the Church of Kurt Cobain was established in Portland, Oregon,[110][111] but it was later claimed by some media outlets to have been a media hoax.[112][113] Reflecting on Cobain's death over 10 years later, MSNBC's Eric Olsen wrote, "In the intervening decade, Cobain, a small, frail but handsome man in life, has become an abstract Generation X icon, viewed by many as the 'last real rock star' ... a messiah and martyr whose every utterance has been plundered and parsed."[114]

In 2003, David Fricke of Rolling Stone ranked Cobain the 12th greatest guitarist of all time.[115] He was later ranked the 73rd greatest guitarist and 45th greatest singer of all time by the same magazine,[116][117] and by MTV as seventh in the "22 Greatest Voices in Music".[118] In 2006, he was placed at number twenty by Hit Parader on their list of the "100 Greatest Metal Singers of All Time".[119]

In 2005, a sign was put up in Aberdeen, Washington, that reads "Welcome to Aberdeen – Come As You Are" as a tribute to Cobain

In 2005, a sign was put up in Aberdeen, Washington, that read "Welcome to Aberdeen – Come As You Are" as a tribute to Cobain. The sign was paid for and created by the Kurt Cobain Memorial Committee, a non-profit organization created in May 2004 to honor Cobain. The Committee planned to create a Kurt Cobain Memorial Park and a youth center in Aberdeen. Because Cobain was cremated and his remains scattered into the Wishkah River in Washington, many Nirvana fans visit Viretta Park, near Cobain's former Lake Washington home to pay tribute. On the anniversary of his death, fans gather in the park to celebrate his life and memory.[120] Controversy erupted in July 2009 when a monument to Cobain in Aberdeen along the Wishkah River included the quote "... Drugs are bad for you. They will fuck you up." The city ultimately decided to sandblast the monument to replace the expletive with "f---",[121] but fans immediately drew the letters back in.[122] In December 2013, the small city of Hoquiam, where Cobain once lived, announced that April 10 would become the annual Nirvana Day.[123] Similarly, in January 2014, Cobain's birthday, February 20, was declared annual "Kurt Cobain Day" in Aberdeen.[123]

In June 2020, the 1959 Martin D-18E acoustic-electric guitar used by Cobain for Nirvana's MTV Unplugged performance sold at auction for $6,010,000 to Peter Freedman the chairman of Røde Microphones. It was the most expensive guitar and the most expensive piece of band memorabilia ever sold.[124] In May 2022, Cobain's Lake Placid Blue Fender Mustang guitar sold at auction for $4.5 million to Jim Irsay, making it the second-most valuable guitar ever sold and the most valuable electric guitar.[125]

In April 2021, around the 27th anniversary of Cobain's death, the American musician Kid Cudi performed his Man on the Moon III: The Chosen album cuts "Tequila Shots" and "Sad People" on Saturday Night Live. He wore a green sweater and later a dress in tribute to Cobain.[126] In July 2021, the Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation confirmed that Cobain's childhood home in Aberdeen would be included on their Heritage Register, and that the owner would be making it into an exhibit for people to visit.[127][128]





Prior to Cobain's death, Michael Azerrad published Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana, a book chronicling Nirvana's career from its beginning, as well as the personal histories of the band members. The book explored Cobain's drug addiction, as well as the countless controversies surrounding the band. After Cobain's death, Azerrad republished the book to include a final chapter discussing the last year of Cobain's life. The book involved the band members themselves, who provided interviews and personal information to Azerrad specifically for the book. In 2006, Azerrad's taped conversations with Cobain were transformed into a documentary about Cobain, titled Kurt Cobain: About a Son. Though this film does not feature any music by Nirvana, it has songs by the artists that inspired Cobain.

Journalists Ian Halperin and Max Wallace published their investigation of any possible conspiracy surrounding Cobain's death in their 1999 book Who Killed Kurt Cobain?. Halperin and Wallace argued that, while there was not enough evidence to prove a conspiracy, there was more than enough to demand that the case be reopened.[129] The book included the journalists' discussions with Tom Grant, who had taped nearly every conversation that he had undertaken while he was in Love's employ. Over the next several years, Halperin and Wallace collaborated with Grant to write a second book, 2004's Love and Death: The Murder of Kurt Cobain.

In 2001, writer Charles R. Cross published a biography of Cobain, titled Heavier Than Heaven. For the book, Cross conducted over 400 interviews, and was given access by Courtney Love to Cobain's journals, lyrics, and diaries.[130] Cross' biography was met with criticism, including allegations of Cross accepting secondhand (and incorrect) information as fact.[131] Friend Everett True – who derided the book as being inaccurate, omissive, and highly biased – said Heavier than Heaven was "the Courtney-sanctioned version of history"[132] or, alternatively, Cross's "Oh, I think I need to find the new Bruce Springsteen now" Kurt Cobain book.[133] However, beyond the criticism, the book contained details about Cobain and Nirvana's career that would have otherwise been unnoted. In 2008, Cross published Cobain Unseen, a compilation of annotated photographs and creations and writings by Cobain throughout his life and career.[134]

In 2002, a sampling of Cobain's writings was published as Journals. The book fills 280 pages with a simple black cover; the pages are arranged somewhat chronologically (although Cobain generally did not date them). The journal pages are reproduced in color, and there is a section added at the back with explanations and transcripts of some of the less legible pages. The writings begin in the late 1980s and were continued until his death. A paperback version of the book, released in 2003, included a handful of writings that were not offered in the initial release. In the journals, Cobain talked about the ups and downs of life on the road, made lists of what music he was enjoying, and often scribbled down lyric ideas for future reference. Upon its release, reviewers and fans were conflicted about the collection. Many were elated to be able to learn more about Cobain and read his inner thoughts in his own words, but were disturbed by what was viewed as an invasion of his privacy.[135]

In 2009, ECW Press released a book titled Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music. Written by Greg Prato, the book explored the history of grunge in detail, touching upon Nirvana and Cobain's life and death via interviews with former bandmates, friends, and various grunge-era contemporaries. A picture of Cobain from the Bleach era is used for the book's front cover, and its title comes from a shirt that Cobain was once photographed wearing.[136][137][138][139]

Cobain was also apparently 'the biggest influence' on the 2020 novel Dead Rock Stars, by the English author Guy Mankowski, particularly given Cobain's "message of feminism". Of the musician, Mankowski said, "I think he raised the consciousness."[140]

Film and television


In the 1998 documentary Kurt & Courtney, filmmaker Nick Broomfield investigated Tom Grant's claim that Cobain was actually murdered. He took a film crew to visit a number of people associated with Cobain and Love; Love's father, Cobain's aunt, and one of the couple's former nannies. Broomfield also spoke to Mentors bandleader Eldon "El Duce" Hoke, who claimed Love offered him $50,000 to kill Cobain. Although Hoke claimed he knew who killed Cobain, he failed to mention a name, and offered no evidence to support his assertion. Broomfield inadvertently captured Hoke's last interview, as he died days later, reportedly hit by a train. However, Broomfield felt he had not uncovered enough evidence to conclude the existence of a conspiracy. In a 1998 interview, Broomfield summed it up by saying:

I think that he committed suicide. I don't think there's a smoking gun. And I think there's only one way you can explain a lot of things around his death. Not that he was murdered, but that there was just a lack of caring for him. I just think that Courtney had moved on, and he was expendable.[141]

Broomfield's documentary was noted by The New York Times to be a rambling, largely speculative and circumstantial work, relying on flimsy evidence as was his later documentary Biggie & Tupac.[142]

Gus Van Sant loosely based his 2005 movie Last Days on the events in the final days of Cobain's life, starring Michael Pitt as the main character Blake who was based on Cobain.[143] In January 2007, Love began to shop the biography Heavier Than Heaven to various movie studios in Hollywood to turn the book into an A-list feature film about Cobain and Nirvana.[144]

A Brett Morgen film, entitled Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2015, followed by small-screen and cinema releases.[145] Morgen said that documentary "will be this generation's The Wall".[146]

Soaked in Bleach is a 2015 American docudrama directed by Benjamin Statler. The film details the events leading up to the death of Kurt Cobain, as seen through the perspective of Tom Grant, the private detective who was hired by Courtney Love to find Cobain, her husband, shortly before his death in 1994. It also explores the premise that Cobain's death was not a suicide. The film stars Tyler Bryan as Cobain and Daniel Roebuck as Grant, with Sarah Scott portraying Courtney Love and August Emerson as Dylan Carlson.[147] Love's legal team issued a cease-and-desist letter against theaters showing the documentary.[148]

Regarding the depiction of Nirvana, and in particular Kurt Cobain, the indie rock author Andrew Earles wrote:

Never has a rock band's past been so retroactively distorted into an irreversible fiction by incessant mythologizing, conjecture, wild speculation, and romanticizing rhetoric. The Cobain biographical narrative – specifically in regard to the culturally irresponsible mishandling of subjects such as drug abuse, depression, and suicide – is now impenetrable with inaccurate and overcooked connectivity between that which is completely unrelated, too chronologically disparate, or just plain untrue.

— Andrew Earles[149]

Matt Reeves' film The Batman depicts a version of Bruce Wayne, performed by Robert Pattinson, that was loosely inspired by Cobain. Reeves stated, "when I write, I listen to music, and as I was writing the first act, I put on Nirvana's 'Something in the Way,' that's when it came to me that, rather than make Bruce Wayne the playboy version we've seen before, there's another version who had gone through a great tragedy and become a recluse. So I started making this connection to Gus Van Sant's Last Days, and the idea of this fictionalised version of Kurt Cobain being in this kind of decaying manor."[150] "Something in the Way" was used in trailers to promote The Batman prior to its release and is featured twice in the film.[151][152]



In September 2009, the Roy Smiles play Kurt and Sid debuted at the Trafalgar Studios in London's West End. The play, set in Cobain's greenhouse on the day of his suicide, revolves around the ghost of Sid Vicious visiting Cobain to try to convince him not to kill himself. Cobain was played by Shaun Evans.[153]

Video games


Cobain was included as a playable character in the 2009 video game Guitar Hero 5; he can be used to play songs by Nirvana and other acts. Novoselic and Grohl released a statement condemning the inclusion and urging the developer, Activision, to alter it, saying they had no control over the use of Cobain's likeness. Love denied that she had given permission, saying it was "the result of a cabal of a few assholes' greed", and threatened to sue. The vice-president of Activision said that Love had contributed photos and videos to the development and had been "great to work with".[154]





For a complete list of all Nirvana releases see Nirvana discography

Posthumous albums

Kurt Cobain albums
Title Album details Chart positions
BE (Ultratop Flanders)
BE (Ultratop Wallonia)
Montage of Heck: The Home Recordings 121 42 78 94 65 47 51 47 51

Posthumous singles

Kurt Cobain singles
Song Year Peak chart positions Album
(physical sales)

(physical sales)
"And I Love Her"/"Sappy" 2015 2 2 Montage of Heck: The Home Recordings

Posthumous videos



Musical collaborations of Kurt Cobain
Release Artist Year Comments
"Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" The Jury 1989 In 1989, members of Nirvana and fellow band Screaming Trees formed a side project known as the Jury (a Lead Belly cover band).[30]

"Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" was later released on Mark Lanegan's album, The Winding Sheet, in 1990.[166] "Grey Goose", "Ain't It a Shame" and "They Hung Him on a Cross" were later released on Nirvana's B-sides collection, With the Lights Out, in 2004.[166]

"Grey Goose"
"Ain't It a Shame"
"They Hung Him on a Cross"
"Scratch It Out" / "Bikini Twilight" The Go Team 1989
The Winding Sheet Mark Lanegan 1990 Background vocals on "Down in the Dark" and guitar on "Where Did You Sleep Last Night".
Earth's demo Earth Lead vocals for song "Divine Bright Extraction"[167] and backing vocals for "A Bureaucratic Desire For Revenge".[168] Lead vocals for a cover song "Private Affair" (original by The Saints), but that was never released.[169]
The "Priest" They Called Him William S. Burroughs and Kurt Cobain 1993 Background guitar noise.
Houdini Melvins Co-producer, Guitar on "Sky Pup" and percussion on "Spread Eagle Beagle".


  1. ^ Petridis, Alexis (June 20, 2019). "Nirvana's 20 greatest songs – ranked!". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on June 5, 2020. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  2. ^ Shoup, Brad (March 24, 2022). "'I Will Crawl Away For Good': 20 Years Ago, Nirvana Reconquered Modern Rock With an Uncanny Old New Song". Billboard. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
  3. ^ Mazullo, Mark (2000). "The Man Whom the World Sold: Kurt Cobain, Rock's Progressive Aesthetic, and the Challenges of Authenticity". The Musical Quarterly. 84 (4). Oxford University Press: 713–749. doi:10.1093/mq/84.4.713. JSTOR 742606.
  4. ^ Hirschberg, Lynn. "Strange Love: The Story of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love". HWD. Archived from the original on December 15, 2016. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d Cross, Charles (2008). Cobain Unseen. Little, Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0-316-03372-5.
  6. ^ a b c Halperin, Ian; Wallace, Max (1998). Who Killed Kurt Cobain?. New York City: Birch Lane Press. ISBN 1-55972-446-3. Archived from the original on April 23, 2021. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x Azerrad, Michael (1993). Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana. New York City: Knopf Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-47199-8.
  8. ^ a b Addams Reitwiesner, William. "Ancestry of Frances Bean Cobain". Wargs.com. Archived from the original on February 12, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax Cross, Charles R. (2001). Heavier Than Heaven. New York City: Hyperion Books. ISBN 0-7868-6505-9.
  10. ^ Fox, Aine (March 24, 2010). "Nirvana legend Kurt Cobain's roots traced to Co Tyrone". Belfast Telegraph. Belfast, northern Ireland: Independent News & Media. Archived from the original on November 2, 2013. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  11. ^ Savage, Jon (August 15, 1993). "Sounds Dirty: The Truth About Nirvana. By Jon Savage: Articles, reviews and interviews from Rock's Backpages". Rocksbackpages.com. Archived from the original on November 1, 2013. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  12. ^ Audrey Davies. "The Visual Art of 8 More Famous Musicians – Part 2". Rock Cellar Magazine. Archived from the original on February 19, 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  13. ^ "In Which We Discard A Heart-Shaped Box". Archived from the original on August 23, 2013. Retrieved August 26, 2013.
  14. ^ Savage, John. "Kurt Cobain: The Lost Interview". NirvanaFreak.net. Archived from the original on April 30, 2004. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  15. ^ a b c d e Gillian G. Gaar. Entertain Us!: The Rise of Nirvana Penguin, 2012
  16. ^ Hankey, Rick (December 13, 1993). Kurt Cobain: "These kids really like our band". Seattle, WA: MTV. Question: So it was your friend, the Melvins' Buzz Osborne, who introduced you to punk rock?
    Cobain: Yeah, ... I was living in Aberdeen, and I was going to school in Montesano, which is about 30 miles away. I had him in an art class and electronics class and I remember just hanging out with him. He had a few punk rock magazines, and I would look at them and just like... "Oh." I was just mesmerized. ...
  17. ^ Arnold, Gina (January–February 1992). "Better Dead Than Cool". Option. Kurt Cobain: [The Melvins] started playing punk rock and had a free concert right behind Thriftways supermarket where Buzz worked, and they plugged into the city power supply and played punk rock music for about 50 redneck kids. When I saw them play, it just blew me away. I was instantly a punk rocker. I abandoned all my friends, 'cause they didn't like any of the music. Then I asked Buzz to make me that compilation tape of punk rock songs and got a spike haircut. ...
  18. ^ Cross, Charles R. "Requiem for a Dream." Guitar World. October 2001.
  19. ^ Michael Azerrad. Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana. Doubleday, 1993. ISBN 0-385-47199-8.
  20. ^ Gillian G. Gaar. The Rough Guide to Nirvana. Penguin, 1993.
  21. ^ "Top-Selling Artists". Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Archived from the original on August 15, 2011. Retrieved September 22, 2008.
  22. ^ "Nirvana catalogue to be released on vinyl". CBC.ca. March 21, 2009. Archived from the original on June 26, 2013. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  23. ^ Michael Azerrad (April 16, 1992). "Nirvana: Inside the Heart and Mind of Kurt Cobain". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 16, 2018. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
  24. ^ Freedland, Jonathan (April 5, 2014). "Kurt Cobain: an icon of alienation". The Guardian. Archived from the original on April 8, 2018. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  25. ^ a b c Kowalewski, Al; Nunez, Cake (March 1992). "An Interview with... Kurt Cobain". Flipside. No. 78. Los Angeles, California (published May–June 1992). p. 37. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  26. ^ Gaar, Gillian G. (2006). In Utero. United States: Continuum Publishing. pp. 50–52. ISBN 0-8264-1776-0.
  27. ^ Barrett, Dawson (January 6, 2014). "King of the Outcast Teens: Kurt Cobain and the Politics of Nirvana". Portside. Archived from the original on March 11, 2015. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  28. ^ Villarreal, David (December 7, 2017). "In 1992, Nirvana Fought an Anti-Gay Ballot Initiative (and Wanted to Burn Down GOP Headquarters)". Hornet. Archived from the original on August 8, 2018. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  29. ^ Gold, Jonathan (September 29, 1992). "POP MUSIC REVIEW: Bands Get Together for Rock for Choice". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 2, 2015.
  30. ^ a b "Live Nirvana | LiveNirvana.com Sessions History | Studio Sessions | (The Jury) August 20 & 28, 1989 – Reciprocal Recording, Seattle, WA, US". LiveNIRVANA. Archived from the original on January 6, 2010. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  31. ^ True, Everett (2006). Nirvana – The True Story. Omnibus Press. pp. 146, 636. ISBN 978-1-84449-640-2.
  32. ^ True, Everett (March 13, 2007). Nirvana: The Biography. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Da Capo Press. p. 187. ISBN 978-0306815546.
  33. ^ "LIVE NIRVANA SESSIONS HISTORY: (Bathtub Is Real) 1990 – ?, Olympia, WA, US". livenirvana.com. Archived from the original on November 1, 2013. Retrieved October 23, 2013.
  34. ^ a b "When Kurt Cobain met William Burroughs". DangerousMinds. October 26, 2012. Archived from the original on October 11, 2018. Retrieved October 11, 2018.
  35. ^ a b "The "Priest" They Called Him: A Dark Collaboration Between Kurt Cobain & William S. Burroughs". Open Culture. Archived from the original on October 11, 2018. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
  36. ^ Savage, John. "Kurt Cobain: The Lost Interview". NirvanaFreak.net. Archived from the original on April 30, 2004. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  37. ^ a b c d Cobain, Kurt (2002). Journals. New York City: Riverhead Hardcover. ISBN 978-1-57322-232-7.
  38. ^ Weller, Amy (September 5, 2013). "If it wasn't for Freddie Mercury... 13 artists inspired by the Queen icon". Gigwise. Archived from the original on March 30, 2019. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
  39. ^ a b Guarino, Mark (October 12, 2001). "Heavy heaven New Cobain bio sheds light on fallen hero". Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, Illinois). Archived from the original on February 22, 2021. Retrieved January 3, 2013. Soon band member Roger "Buzz" Osborne started Cobain's schooling, loaning him records and old copies of the '70s rock magazine Creem.
  40. ^ Sorge, Claudio (March 1992). "Kurt Cobain, Il Punk Da Un Milione Di Dollari". Rumore (in Italian). Mezzago, Italy. Kurt Cobain: Ci aggregammo subito ai Melvins, che erano anche loro di Aberdeen. Definitivamente sono il gruppo che ci ha maggiormente influenzato. Andavamo alle loro prove, ai loro concerti. Abbiamo suonato con loro in vari show. Abbiamo imparato quasi tutto da loro. {{cite magazine}}: Check |author-link= value (help)
  41. ^ Michalski, Thomas (May 2, 2012). "The Melvins @ Turner Hall Ballroom". Shepherd Express. Retrieved March 2, 2021.
  42. ^ YouTube Nirvana "Here She Comes Now" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPJTRh40sZU
  43. ^ Cobain, Kurt. "Kurt Cobain of Nirvana Talks About the Records That Changed His Life. Melody Maker. August 29, 1992.
  44. ^ a b c Fricke, David. "Kurt Cobain: The Rolling Stone Interview". Rolling Stone. January 27, 1994
  45. ^ Laurence Romance (April 21, 2010). "Kurt Cobain interview Date: 08/10/1993 Location: Seattle Ze Full Version Uncut !!!". Romance Is Dead. Archived from the original on April 12, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  46. ^ Thomas, Stephen. "MTV Unplugged in New York – Nirvana". AllMusic. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  47. ^ "Everybody Hurts Sometime". Newsweek. September 26, 1994. Archived from the original on March 4, 2014. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  48. ^ Classic Albums—Nirvana: Nevermind (DVD). Isis Productions. 2004. Kurt used to say that music comes first and lyrics comes second, and I think Kurt's main focus was melody
  49. ^ Sliver: The Best of the Box album booklet.
  50. ^ Morris, Chris. "The Year's Hottest Band Can't Stand Still". Musician, January 1992.
  51. ^ Savage, Jon. "Sounds Dirty: The Truth About Nirvana". The Observer. August 15, 1993.
  52. ^ Gaar 2006, pp. 42–43
  53. ^ "Krist Novoselic on Kurt Cobain's Writing Process". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  54. ^ Miles, Barry (2015). William S. Burroughs: A Life. Weidenfeld & Nicolson. p. 621. ISBN 978-1-7802-2120-5.
  55. ^ a b c d e f g h Gill, Chris (February 17, 2021). "The definitive Kurt Cobain gear guide: a deep dive into the Nirvana frontman's pawn shop prizes, turbo-charged stompboxes and blown woofers". guitarworld.com. Guitar World. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  56. ^ Williams, Stuart (May 21, 2022). "The story of Kurt Cobain's Fender Mustang guitars in Nirvana". musicradar.com. Music Radar. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  57. ^ Kreps, Daniel (June 20, 2020). "Kurt Cobain's 'MTV Unplugged' Guitar Sells for $6 Million at Auction". rollingstone.com. Rolling Stone. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  58. ^ "Kurt Cobain's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' guitar sells for $4.5 million at auction". nbcnews.com. NBC News. Retrieved March 13, 2023.
  59. ^ Azerrad, Michael (January 23, 2013). Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana. ISBN 9780307833730.
  60. ^ Cross, Charles R. (March 13, 2012). Heavier Than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain. ISBN 9781401304515.
  61. ^ a b c Barton, Laura (December 11, 2006). "Love me do". The Guardian. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  62. ^ True, Everett (November 4, 2009). Nirvana: The True Story. ISBN 9780857120137.
  63. ^ Nirvana - Uncensored on the Record. ISBN 9781781580059.
  64. ^ Everett True. "Wednesday 1 March". Archived from the original on February 6, 2008. Retrieved April 6, 2012. Plan B Magazine Blogs. March 1, 2006.
  65. ^ Raul (June 20, 2011). "Dave Grohl Was One Of Eight Guests At Kurt Cobain And Courtney Love's Hawaiian Wedding". feelnumb. feelnumb. Archived from the original on January 25, 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  66. ^ a b Brenda You (June 18, 1994). "Heroin Addiction Blamed In Death Of Another Seattle Rock Musician". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on May 9, 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  67. ^ Raul (September 28, 2009). "Nirvana's Lithium Single Artwork Includes A Sonogram Of Frances Bean Cobain". feelnumb. feelnumb. Archived from the original on November 12, 2014. Retrieved January 11, 2015.
  68. ^ "Strange Love: The Story of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love". Vanity Fair. September 1, 1992. Retrieved February 23, 2022.
  69. ^ "Courtney Love Admits To Using Heroin While Pregnant With Frances Bean". HuffPost. January 28, 2015. Retrieved February 23, 2022.
  70. ^ "Frances Bean Cobain". Biography. Retrieved February 23, 2022.
  71. ^ Laudadio, Marisa (December 18, 2009). "Inside Story: Courtney Love and Daughter Frances Bean's Rocky Relationship". people.com. Retrieved February 23, 2022.
  72. ^ Crotty, James (October 30, 1992). "GO FOR THE GRUNGE". Monk Magazine. Archived from the original on October 24, 2004. Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  73. ^ a b c d e f Allman, Kevin (February 9, 1993). "The Dark Side of Kurt Cobain" (PDF). The Advocate. No. 622. pp. 35–43. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  74. ^ Peeples, Jase (October 24, 2013). "Rediscovered Interview Reveals Kurt Cobain Thought He Was Gay". The Advocate. Archived from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  75. ^ Cruz, Niki (October 23, 2013). "Rare Kurt Cobain Interview Reveals Gay Curious Thoughts [Audio]". Inquisitr. Archived from the original on April 1, 2019. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
  76. ^ Tremblay, Pierre (1994). "The Suicide Of Kurt Cobain: A Victim Of The Binary And Biphobia?". The Gay, Lesbian And Bisexual Factor In The Youth Suicide Problem. Archived from the original on July 25, 2004. Retrieved April 6, 2019.
  77. ^ Haig, Matt (April 5, 2015). "Kurt Cobain was not a 'tortured genius', he had an illness". The Telegraph. London, England. Archived from the original on January 10, 2022.
  78. ^ Libby, Brian. "Even in His Youth". AHealthyMe.com. Archived from the original on February 2, 2007. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
  79. ^ "Buzz Osborne (the Melvins) Talks the HBO Documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck | The Talkhouse Music". Thetalkhouse.com. June 6, 2015. Archived from the original on November 19, 2015. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  80. ^ "Legacy". April 8, 2004. Archived from the original on August 3, 2004. Retrieved July 27, 2020.
  81. ^ Fricke, David (December 15, 1994). "Courtney Love: Life After Death". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on April 13, 2009. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
  82. ^ Neil Strauss (June 2, 1994). "Kurt Cobain's Downward Spiral: The Last Days of Nirvana's Leader". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on May 21, 2018. Retrieved September 2, 2017. she told them...he was going to kill himself. Cobain told them that he hadn't actually been planning to take his own life.
  83. ^ "Questions Linger After Cobain Suicide". The Seattle Times. May 11, 1994. Archived from the original on January 21, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
  84. ^ "Questions Linger After Cobain Suicide – Credit-Card Activity, Details Of Last Days Intrigue Investigators". archive.seattletimes.com. Archived from the original on March 16, 2021. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  85. ^ "Nirvana Pulls Out of Tour Plan: Pop music: Amid reports of a breakup, the band withdraws from talks about headlining this summer's 'Lollapalooza '94,' citing singer Kurt Cobain's health problems. – Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. May 21, 2020. Archived from the original on May 21, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2021.
  86. ^ Monica Guzman (April 7, 2009). "15 years later: Where were you when Kurt Cobain was found dead?". Seattle PI. Hearst Media. Archived from the original on February 2, 2015. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  87. ^ Whitely, Peyton (April 19, 1994). "Kurt Cobain's Troubled Last Days – Drugs, Guns And Threats; And Then He Disappeared". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
  88. ^ Liu, Marian (April 6, 2009). "Kurt Cobain's death, 15 years later, being marked with Friday tribute". Seattle Times. Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2012.
  89. ^ Thomas-Mason, Lee (November 15, 2018). "Dave Grohl opens up about how Kurt Cobain's death impacted his life". Far Out Magazine. Archived from the original on July 30, 2021. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  90. ^ Colothan, Scott (November 10, 2009). "Dave Grohl: 'Kurt Cobain's Death Is The Worst Thing That's Ever Happened To Me'". Gigwise. Archived from the original on July 30, 2021. Retrieved July 30, 2021.
  91. ^ 3am (November 12, 2009). "Dave Grohl reveals he knew Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain would die young". Mirror. Archived from the original on July 30, 2021. Retrieved July 30, 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  92. ^ Borzillo, Carrie (April 23, 1994). "Cobain Mourned By Fans, Industryites In Memorials, Music Stores" (PDF). Billboard. p. 102. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 2, 2021. Retrieved May 30, 2021.
  93. ^ "MCA puts hold on Nirvana releases" (PDF). Music Week. April 23, 1994. p. 5. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 20, 2021. Retrieved December 20, 2021.
  94. ^ "Dave Grohl: 'I knew Kurt Cobain was destined to die early'". NME. UK. November 10, 2009. Archived from the original on November 12, 2009. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
  95. ^ Harvey, Dennis (June 24, 2015). "Film Review: 'Soaked in Bleach'". Variety. Archived from the original on June 28, 2018. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  96. ^ a b Casey McNerthney; Amy Clancy (March 20, 2014). "Seattle police re-examine Cobain suicide, develop scene photos". kirotv.com. Cox Media Group. Archived from the original on March 26, 2014. Retrieved March 27, 2014.
  97. ^ "Kurt Cobain Death Scene Photos – New Kurt Cobain death scene photos – Pictures". CBS News. March 27, 2014. Archived from the original on November 29, 2015. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  98. ^ "10 years later, Cobain lives on in his music". TODAY.com. Archived from the original on March 23, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2018.
  99. ^ Ali, Lorraine (April 17, 1994). "POP VIEW; Kurt Cobain Screamed Out Our Angst". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on June 21, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  100. ^ Molon, Adam (April 5, 2014). "Inside Kurt Cobain's $450M empire". CNBC. Archived from the original on June 21, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  101. ^ "5 Ways Kurt Cobain Changed the Face of Music". Fuse. Archived from the original on June 19, 2020. Retrieved June 18, 2020.
  102. ^ Mazullo, Mark (2000). "The Man Whom the World Sold: Kurt Cobain, Rock's Progressive Aesthetic, and the Challenges of Authenticity". The Musical Quarterly. 84 (4): 713–749. doi:10.1093/mq/84.4.713. ISSN 0027-4631. JSTOR 742606.
  103. ^ "Courtney Love Says Nirvana's Rock Hall Induction Might Be 'Awkward' – Video". Rolling Stone. February 12, 2014. Archived from the original on April 20, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  104. ^ "The 27 Club: A Brief History". Rolling Stone. December 8, 2019. Archived from the original on October 2, 2019. Retrieved October 27, 2021.
  105. ^ Clark-Meads, Jeff; Sullivan, Julia (April 23, 1994). "Cobain" (PDF). Music & Media. p. 30. Archived (PDF) from the original on June 2, 2021. Retrieved May 30, 2021. continued from page 1
  106. ^ Lester, Paul (April 16, 2008). "The making of rock martyrs". The Guardian. Archived from the original on January 18, 2022. Retrieved January 17, 2022.
  107. ^ Campbell, Glen. "Billy Corgan: Kurt Cobain Is 'The Michael Jordan' Of '90s Rock". Amazon. Archived from the original on November 19, 2015. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  108. ^ Buchanan, Brett (July 22, 2015). "Billy Corgan Praises Kurt Cobain & Dave Grohl". Alternativenation.net. Archived from the original on September 19, 2015. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  109. ^ "Lars Ulrich: Kurt Cobain Didn't Want To Share The Stage With Guns N' Roses". Blabbermouth.net. April 1, 2004. Archived from the original on November 19, 2015. Retrieved November 18, 2015.
  110. ^ "Cobain Followers Form Their Own Church Fledgling Group Hopes To Find Meaning In Late Musician's Tragic Life". The Spokesman-Review. May 26, 1996. Archived from the original on December 17, 2021. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  111. ^ "Church of Kurt Cobain Forms". The Seattle Times. May 24, 1996. Archived from the original on December 17, 2021. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  112. ^ Chaplin, Julian (September 6, 1996). "Kurt Comes Alive". Spin. Vol. 12. p. 50. Archived from the original on December 22, 2021. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  113. ^ Cross, Alan (July 22, 2021). "Ongoing History Daily: The Church of Kurt Cobain". A Journal of Musical Things. Archived from the original on December 17, 2021. Retrieved December 22, 2021.
  114. ^ Olsen, Eric (April 9, 2004). "10 years later, Cobain lives on in his music". MSNBC.com. Archived from the original on June 22, 2013. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  115. ^ "100 Greatest Guitarists – David Fricke's Picks: 12) Kurt Cobain". Rolling Stone. December 3, 2010. Archived from the original on September 19, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
  116. ^ "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time: 73) Kurt Cobain". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on August 31, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  117. ^ "100 Greatest Singers of All Time: 45) Kurt Cobain". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on September 26, 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  118. ^ enigmazach (June 30, 2009). "MTV's 22 Greatest Voices in Music". Listology. Archived from the original on December 21, 2011. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  119. ^ oz (December 4, 2006). "Hit Parader's Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time – HearYa – Indie Music Blog". Hearya.com. Archived from the original on September 8, 2019. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  120. ^ Seminara, Dave (March 25, 2014). "Chasing Kurt Cobain in Washington State". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 3, 2022.
  121. ^ "The Daily World: Park's four-letter controversy erased". TheDailyWorld.com. August 7, 2009. Archived from the original on August 3, 2012. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
  122. ^ Chris Kornelis (August 17, 2009). "Seattle Weekly: You Can Sandblast All You Want, But Drugs Will Still Fuck You Up". Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved April 6, 2012.
  123. ^ a b Stubbs, Dan (January 24, 2014). "Aberdeen, Washington to celebrate annual Kurt Cobain Day". NME. Archived from the original on August 23, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  124. ^ "Kurt Cobain's MTV Unplugged guitar sells for record-setting $6 million in auction". Consequence of Sound. June 21, 2020. Archived from the original on June 21, 2020. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  125. ^ Laing, Rob (May 23, 2022). "Kurt Cobain's Smells Like Teen Spirit 1969 Competition Fender Mustang guitar sells for $4.5 million at auction". MusicRadar. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  126. ^ "Kid Cudi wore a dress on 'SNL' in a tribute to Kurt Cobain". NBC News. Archived from the original on April 25, 2021. Retrieved April 25, 2021.
  127. ^ Jacob, Mary K (July 30, 2021). "Cobain childhood home now a landmark, to be turned into an exhibit". New York Post. Archived from the original on August 1, 2021. Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  128. ^ Hammock, Dan (July 20, 2021). "Kurt Cobain's childhood Home Placed on Washington State Heritage Register". The Chronicle. Archived from the original on August 1, 2021. Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  129. ^ Halperin & Wallace, p. 202
  130. ^ "Heavier than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain". HyperionBooks.com. Archived from the original on June 23, 2011. Retrieved July 26, 2009.
  131. ^ Nirvana: the True Story by Everett True
  132. ^ "Smells Like Everett True – Books – The Stranger, Seattle's Only Newspaper". Thestranger.com. March 27, 2007. Archived from the original on January 20, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  133. ^ Matthew Fritch. "MAGNET Interview: Everett True". magnetmagazine.com. Archived from the original on June 17, 2003. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
  134. ^ Charles M. (sic) Cross. "Cobain Unseen: Rare Photos, Artwork and Journal Entries". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 20, 2008. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
  135. ^ David Hartwig (November 19, 2002). "Nirvana releases a hit and miss". Notre Dame Observer. Archived from the original on March 7, 2004. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  136. ^ Prato, Greg. "Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music'". Toronto: ECW Press. Archived from the original on April 8, 2012. Retrieved April 8, 2012.
  137. ^ Prato, Greg (2009). Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music. Toronto: ECW Press. ISBN 978-1-55022877-9. Archived from the original on June 2, 2021. Retrieved March 16, 2016.
  138. ^ "'Grunge Is Dead' - An Interview with Greg Prato". UGO Entertainment. April 29, 2009. Archived from the original on July 1, 2011. Retrieved March 5, 2012.
  139. ^ Sweet, Stephen (October 1992). "LIVE NIRVANA PHOTO ARCHIVE". Melody Maker. Archived from the original on October 4, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  140. ^ "Six Of The Best: Guy Mankowski". Narcmagazine.com. Archived from the original on September 18, 2020. Retrieved September 14, 2020.
  141. ^ Miller, Prairie. "Kurt and Courtney: Interview with Nick Broomfield". Minireviews.com. Archived from the original on March 1, 2001. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
  142. ^ Leland, John (October 7, 2002). "New Theories Stir Speculation On Rap Deaths". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 2, 2013. Retrieved September 30, 2013.
  143. ^ Feinstein, Howard (May 6, 2005). "Howard Feinstein on Gus Van Sant's new film, Last Days". The Guardian. Archived from the original on July 20, 2018. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  144. ^ "New Kurt Cobain biopic to feature original Nirvana music". NME. November 6, 2007. Archived from the original on August 23, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  145. ^ Why Courtney Love Isn't a Producer on Kurt Cobain Documentary Archived February 5, 2020, at the Wayback Machine hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved December 5, 2014
  146. ^ "Director Brett Morgen reveals first details of Kurt Cobain documentary". Factmag.com. January 4, 2013. Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
  147. ^ Harvey, Dennis (June 24, 2015). "Film Review: 'Soaked in Bleach'". Variety. Archived from the original on June 28, 2018. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
  148. ^ "Courtney Love Sends Cease & Desist Against Kurt Cobain Movie 'Soaked In Bleach'". Deadline. June 16, 2015. Archived from the original on August 23, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  149. ^ Earles, Andrew; Cross, Charles; Gaar, Gillian G.; Gendron, Bob; Martens, Todd; Yarm, Mark (2016). "Ch6 – Sigh Eternally". Kurt Cobain and Nirvana – Updated Edition: The Complete Illustrated History. Voyaguer Press. p. 187. ISBN 978-0760351789.
  150. ^ "The Batman: Robert Pattinson's Bruce Wayne Is Inspired By Kurt Cobain, Says Matt Reeves – Exclusive Images". Empire. Archived from the original on December 18, 2021. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  151. ^ "The Batman – Movie Trailers – iTunes". trailers.apple.com. Archived from the original on November 1, 2021. Retrieved December 18, 2021.
  152. ^ Moran, Sarah (March 4, 2022). "What Is The Nirvana Song In The Batman? Soundtrack Explained". Screen Rant. Retrieved March 5, 2022.
  153. ^ "Danny Dyer Plays Vicious in Kurt & Sid Premiere". Whatsonstage.com. Whatsonstage. July 13, 2009. Archived from the original on June 16, 2011. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  154. ^ Swash, Rosie (September 11, 2009). "Kurt Cobain video game Guitar Hero gives Love a bad name". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on September 7, 2013. Retrieved April 6, 2012.
  155. ^ "Kurt Cobain Chart History". Billboard. Archived from the original on February 14, 2020. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  156. ^ "Kurt Cobain – Montage Of Heck – The Home Recordings". ultratop.be. Archived from the original on November 29, 2020. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  157. ^ "Kurt Cobain – Montage Of Heck – The Home Recordings". ultratop.be. Archived from the original on December 12, 2020. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  158. ^ "spanishcharts.com – Kurt Cobain – Montage Of Heck – The Home Recordings". spanishcharts.com. Archived from the original on February 4, 2020. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  159. ^ "lescharts.com – Kurt Cobain – Montage Of Heck – The Home Recordings". lescharts.com. Archived from the original on November 17, 2020. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  160. ^ "italiancharts.com – Kurt Cobain – Montage Of Heck – The Home Recordings". italiancharts.com. Archived from the original on February 7, 2020. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  161. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Kurt Cobain – Montage Of Heck – The Home Recordings". hitparade.ch. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  162. ^ "Kurt Cobain - Montage Of Heck - The Home Recordings - swisscharts.com". swisscharts.com. Archived from the original on February 3, 2020. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  163. ^ "KURT COBAIN | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". www.officialcharts.com. Archived from the original on July 15, 2019. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  164. ^ "Chart History – Kurt Cobain". Billboard. Archived from the original on July 17, 2020. Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  165. ^ "Official Physical Singles Chart Top 100 – 11 December 2015 – 17 December 2015". officialcharts.com. Archived from the original on May 5, 2021. Retrieved August 1, 2021.
  166. ^ a b "The Jury: the story of the Cobain/Lanegan collaboration that could have been | Northwest Passage". www.revolutioncomeandgone.com. Archived from the original on February 5, 2020. Retrieved February 3, 2020.
  167. ^ "Divine And Bright". www.livenirvana.com. Archived from the original on July 29, 2017. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  168. ^ "A Bureaucratic Desire For Revenge". www.livenirvana.com. Archived from the original on July 29, 2017. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  169. ^ "Private Affair". www.livenirvana.com. Archived from the original on July 29, 2017. Retrieved July 25, 2017.



Template:Nirvana (band) Template:Courtney Love Template:2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame