Kurt Donald Cobain, jokingly known as Kurdt Kobain in Bleach's personnel credits (Born February 20, 1967), he is the lead singer, lead guitarist, and primary songwriter for Nirvana. Cobain was born in Aberdeen, Washington, and helped establish the Seattle music scene, as well as the style known as Grunge. He was married to the lead singer of the band Hole, Courtney Love. In 1992, the couple had a daughter named Frances Bean Cobain.
In 2014, Cobain along with his band mates Krist and Dave were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during the first year they were eligible.
Early Life[edit | edit source]
Kurt Cobain was born on February 20, 1967 in Grays Harbor County Hospital in Aberdeen, Washington. His parents were Wendy Fradenburg (born 1948), a waitress, and Donald Leland Cobain (born 1946), a mechanic. The family lived in Hoquiam, Washington. On April 24, 1970 his sister Kimberley was born. In 1976 his parents divorced after 11 years of marriage. Kurt lived with his dad in Montesano, Washington. Both of his parents got remarried and Kurt had step-siblings. In 1979, he went to live with his mom in Aberdeen.
On his fourteenth birthday, Kurt's uncle took him out to buy his present. He offered Kurt either an old bicycle or a used acoustic guitar-- he obviously chose the guitar. Kurt began teaching himself how to play his favorite songs, such as "My Best Friend's Girl" by The Cars, "Louie Louie", AC/DC's "Back in Black", and a few Led Zeppelin songs. He later became more involved with Punk Rock bands, such as the Sex Pistols, Black Flag and the Stooges.
During this period, Kurt being very enamored with, and highly influenced by punk rock where he would make drastic changes to his appearance to mirror the bands he loved much to Aberdeen's public dismay. It was striking that such a clean and bright-looking boy could become so dark and "grungy". This dichotomy was prevalent in Kurt's personal journals.
Kurt attended Aberdeen High School and befriended a gay student there. From his change of heart due to his personal life issues and newfound punk rock, Kurt was now an outcast that he wasn't was as a child. He later stated he was gay, just to "piss off homophobes". He dropped out when he realized he didn't have enough credits to graduate.
Later in 1985, Cobain formed his first band "Fecal Matter", with Dale Crover, Greg Hokanson, Buzz Osborne, and Mike Dillard. The band lasted for a year. The group's sole recording was issued as the Illiteracy Will Prevail demo tape, which remains unreleased officially with exception of the song "Spank Thru".
Kurt and Krist Novoselic had a Creedence Clearwater Revival cover band that was not successful. They later founded Nirvana in 1987.
Nirvana Years[edit | edit source]
During the early days of the band, Kurt was very unhappy with the band's inability to draw in large crowds that lead the band to rotate drummers on almost a regular basis. After some time, the band settled on Chad Channing, whom they recorded their first album with Sub Pop Records in 1989, titled Bleach. However after the recording of this album, Cobain became unhappy with Channing's drumming style which eventually lead them to let him go and hire Dave Grohl in his place. The band didn't return to the studio to record again until April of 1990 where they recorded the song "Polly" that would later appear on their next studio album, Nevermind.napisal pisoenke dobre pomarańczowe oraz zoo Zwierzęta ratowac wózek 1991, the band would return to the studio once again to record the album that would change the Seattle music scene forever. Nevermind was then released later in the year, featuring the single "Smells like Teen Spirit" that became a hit song upon its release. It was this album that pushed Michael Jackson's Dangerous album off the number one spot on the Billboard 200 chart. Along with the lead single "Smells like Teen Spirit" the album also produced three other top hit singles "Come As You Are", "Lithium", and "In Bloom". Upon the release of the album on September 24, 1991, the album launched the grunge scene into the mainstream, opening the pathway for bands such as Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden. During this period, Nirvana was considered the "Flagship Band of Generation X" and Cobain found himself reluctantly anointed by the media as the generation's "spokesman." Cobain's discomfort with the media attention prompted him to focus on the band's music and, believing their message and artistic vision to have been misinterpreted by the public, challenged the band's audience with its third studio album "In Utero". It should be noted that throughout all this Cobain started using hard drugs such as heroin and pills which affected his social behavior as well as his equally drug-addicted wife “Courtney Love“ from another punk band ”Hole”.
Political Views[edit | edit source]
Cobain struggled to reconcile the massive success of Nirvana to his underground roots. He also felt persecuted by the media, comparing himself to Frances Farmer. He began to harbor resentments for 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 and homophobia, he was publicly proud that Nirvana had played at a gay rights benefit supporting No-on-Nine in Oregon in 1992, in opposition to Ballot Measure Nine, a ballot measure, that if passed, would have prohibited schools in the state from acknowledging or positively accepting LGBT rights and welfare.
Cobain was a vocal supporter of the pro-choice movement, and had been involved in Rock for Choice from the campaign inception by L7. He received death threats from a small number of anti-abortion activists for doing so, with one activist threatening Cobain that he would be shot as soon as he stepped on stage.
Personal Life[edit | edit source]
In 1991, Cobain met Courtney Love in a club where the two found a shared sense of punk rock romance, tussling on the floor. Courtney was considerably stronger than Kurt and Kurt admitted to finding her attractive as she was like "a Nancy Spungen". After this, Kurt was heavily in love with the tall, booming confident rocker sending her letters, calling her often at nights, and writing poems for her. A year later, Cobain and Love got married after learning that Love was pregnant with their only child, Frances Bean Cobain. The couple remained married until Cobain was sent to prison in 1994.
Legal Issues[edit | edit source]
In 1985, Cobain was arrested for spray painting the words "God is gay" on the alley side of a bank building in his hometown of Aberdeen, WA.
A year later, Cobain was arrested again for spray painting. Instead of spraying words, he painted Shaggy and Scooby-Doo in a sexually explicit situation.
In 1993, Cobain was arrested for assaulting his then-wife, Courtney Love, at their Seattle house. Police reports said that they found guns at the time of the arrest. Courtney Love denied Cobain ever assaulted her.
Quotes[edit | edit source]
"I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not." -Not from Kurt Cobain, True source unknown
"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are." -Not from Kurt Cobain, True source unknown
"It's better to burn out than fade away." -On Suicide Note, but from the song "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)" by Neil Young.
"Nobody dies a virgin, life fucks us all" -Not from Kurt Cobain, True source unknown
"I'm a much happier guy than a lot of people think I am." -From Kurt
"It's all in the music man! It's all in the meat!" - Kurt in a 1991 Toronto interview
Trivia[edit | edit source]
Did you know in 1995 on the one hot minute Red Hot Chili Peppers album the 9th track (tearjerker) is a song written and sung by Antony Keidis which was a tribute song to Kurt Cobain’s legacy and art, after hearing the news a year prior. Nirvana also went on tour with Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers in December 1991.