Kurt Donald Cobain (Born February 20, 1967) known playfully as Kurdt Kobain was the frontman, guitarist, and primary songwriter for Nirvana. He was born in Aberdeen, Washington to Donald and Wendy Cobain (nee Fradenburg). On April 24, 1970, Kurt would gain a sister, Kimberley Cobain. In 1976, after 11 years of being married, Donald and Wendy got a divorce. Kurt lived with his dad in Montesano, Washington. Both of his parents remarried and he got step siblings. A stepbrother, Chad Cobain (Born January 1979), and a stepsister, Brianne O'Connor (Date of birth unknown, presumably younger than Chad). In 1979, however, Kurt moved out of his dad's house and into his mom's in Aberdeen.
When Kurt turned 14, his uncle took him out to get a birthday present. He offered Kurt the choice of 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".
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 (1991).
From May to June 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"
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.
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, daughter Frances Bean Cobain. The couple remained married until Cobain passed in 1994.
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 denied Cobain ever assaulted her.
Did Kurt Cobain fake his death?[edit | edit source]
On April 5, 1994, a homeless man may have shot himself inside Kurt Cobain’s greenhouse above the garage. The body remained in his home for three days before it was discovered by an electrician called Gary Smith. The truth of the man’s death remains unknown. Many people speculate that Cobain had committed suicide and is dead. Many people also believe that Kurt didn’t commit suicide. However, rumors surrounding the homeless man’s death strongly point to his depressed state. In a note found in his wallet, he talks about how he hates his wife and insults her. He died from a shotgun wound, but it is disputed if he shot himself in the head or somebody else killed him. Some people call shotguns "Kurt Cobain's Microphone".
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Growing up, Kurt had an imaginary friend called "Boddah".
- Kurt once toyed with the idea of joining the Navy and even met with a recruitment officer to discuss enlisting.
- Sometimes whenever Kurt would get moody, he would sit in a corner for 45 minutes without saying anything.
- Although Kurt didn't like Pearl Jam, he got along with their frontman Eddie Vedder.
- Kurt suffered from stage fright and would often throw up before shows.
- Kurt worked at his High School as a janitor, that he had dropped out of.
- Prior to entering the music industry, Kurt worked at the YMCA in Aberdeen, teaching preschool swimming lessons.
- In one of his journals, Kurt said that the Sex Pistols were "one million times more important than the Clash".
- Kurt sometimes called himself "Kurdt Kobain".
- Kurt and Courtney originally wanted Guns N Roses frontman Axl Rose to be the godfather of their daughter Frances. After Axl rudely declined the offer, Kurt and Courtney settled on actress Drew Berrymore and R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe to be Frances' godparents.