Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

He hated his greatest hit and the way he looked. He became a legend of the 90s.

Aberdeen, Washington is famous for two things: it has a developed lumber industry and that’s where it came from Kurt Cobain. The musician’s father was a mechanic, and his mother worked as a waitress. Many people imagined that the artist had a sad childhood, which he later reacted to, but this is not entirely true. Kurt was a happy kid who loved riding his bike, playing baseball, drawing, and playing the piano and singing. The singer wrote his first song when he was only four years old.

Everything changed when the musician’s parents divorced. Cobain was nine years old then and felt as if his life had collapsed. It was then that the artist began to rebel, had problems with aggression, was depressed and neglected his studies. In the following years, the singer was arrested several times, including for walking drunk on the roof of an old warehouse. Music turned out to be an escape from problems, at least to some extent.

Teenage Kurt received a guitar as a gift from his uncle and began spending every free moment practicing. Cobain never learned to play professionally in the long run. The future star watched all TV programs with some performances, listened to records, and then tried to play the same way. He was doing really well, so it’s no wonder that a few years later the artist decided to take up music. The singer saw no point in further education, so he left school, but before he achieved success, he had to earn a living somehow. So the leader of Nirvana took a job as a maintenance man and cleaner… at his former school. Dancing man with a broom in the music video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is just such a tribute to those times, and at the same time a little joke by Cobain. The musician also had other jobs, including teaching children swimming and washing carpets.

An artist who doesn’t like his greatest hit – sound familiar? Many musicians can’t stand the songs that made them successful. Some people can simply get bored with a certain song, because after many years of playing it at every possible opportunity, they are simply fed up with it. Others don’t cope well with fame, which came from a big hit, so they do what they can to avoid it. Cobain actually hated it at one pointSmells Like Teen Spirit“The musician openly admitted that he wanted to copy the group’s sound Pixies and thus create a record bestseller. There was only one thing he didn’t predict: the scale of success.

Kurt quickly regretted his idea, because the single took over radio and TV stations and was literally everywhere. He brought a piece Nirvana huge popularity, which began to bother the singer greatly. What irritated the artist the most was that whatever the group created later, everything remained in the shadow of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. At some point, Cobain began to rebel and refused to play the hit at concerts, or he played it, but in such a terrible version that no one wanted to listen to it. All this just to make the song disgusting to people.

By the way, the origin of the title of this generation’s anthem also has an interesting story. One evening Kurt, Dave Grohl, Kathleen Hanna from Bikini Kill and Tobi Vail, the drummer, and the singer’s then girlfriend, met at a party. At one point, Hanna wrote “Kurt smells like Teen Spirit” on the wall. The musician thought it sounded like a slogan of some revolution, so he turned it into the title of the song. It was only later that he learned that Teen Spirit was the brand of deodorant Tobi used.

Rappers who record disses about themselves today are nothing compared to what some stars of the 90s could do. It’s no big secret that Kurt had a great musical enemy, and it was AxlRose. It’s hard to believe, because in the music video for “Don’t Cry” the musician wore a hat with the inscription Nirvana, and he also appeared in public in it. However, Cobain believed that Guns N’ Roses “they have absolutely nothing to say” and his colleague from the stage is a terrible macho type. So the artist did everything to avoid contact with Rose.

The leader of Nirvana didn’t want to meet Axl after one of the concerts, the Guns singer got offended, and then it only got worse. Concert promoters even tried to organize a joint tour in the 1990s Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses and Metallica, but it was difficult to establish anything because the musicians couldn’t get along at all. There was a lot of money at stake, Kurt liked Metallica and their crew, but the third piece of the puzzle, Gunsi, was unbearable for him. Axl called Cobain about it, but when he couldn’t get anything done, he lost his patience and during the concert called Kurt a piece of trash who was “too cool to play for Guns N’ Roses fans.”

The singer also said that the leader of Nirvana and Courtney Love are “junkies”, because the tabloids reported that Love was taking drugs during pregnancy. The conflict continued to escalate until the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards. The crew, including Courtney and Duff McKagan, she had already quarreled backstage, before the performance, and on stage Kurt decided to show what he thought about his colleague. There were two pianos on the side where Axl and I were going to play EltonJohn. Cobain spat on the keyboard of one of the instruments. Not much later, it turned out that the revenge had failed, because Elton sat at the spit on the piano.

Despite these fights Doug Goldstein, the former manager of Guns, recalled that Axl was shocked by Cobain’s death, with which he did not have time to come to terms. It’s worth mentioning that when Rose broke his leg in 2016, he saved him Dave Grohl, who lent the singer a special throne for concerts. Dave used the seat after falling off the stage in Sweden. Axl publicly thanked his colleague for the “incredible gesture”.

Countney Love she was able to add her two cents during the row with Ros, but that wasn’t why she was controversial. The artist, like her husband, loved the rock and roll lifestyle and stimulants, and some fans are still convinced that “it was she who destroyed Kurt”, although the musician probably did not need any help in self-destruction. The couple met at a club in Portland in 1990. At first, the singer was not convinced by the idea of ​​a serious relationship, but two years later the artists got married in Hawaii. At a very intimate wedding, for just a few people, they took important guests. Bass Krist Novoselic and his wife did not show up because they thought she was the leader Hole is a bad influence on their friend.

Cobain and Love’s marriage was sometimes stormy. The couple shared a passion for stimulants, and the musicians did not always agree on everyday matters, although Courtney had a different opinion. The leader of Nirvana was even once arrested for an argument with his wife. The singers were supposed to argue about keeping certain things at home, then they argued loudly, and finally they turned on the music at full blast. The neighbors couldn’t stand it, they called the police and several police cars quickly appeared in front of the artists’ house. Officers said there was a scuffle between the pair and Kurt eventually grabbed Courtney by the neck. The musician was arrested and released on bail. Love later testified that her husband had nothing to do with domestic violence, nor was he the aggressor, it was just an argument, but things had gone too far. Cobain himself once described his marriage as “a mixture of fine mineral water and battery acid.”

Cobain liked to read, as probably many songwriters who find the authors’ stories or style inspiring. The musician even had one favorite reading: “Perfume” by Patrick Süskind. In 1993, the singer revealed in one interview: “I have read this book about 10 times and I can’t stop. In fact, I always have it with me. I never part with this book and every time I get bored, for example on a plane, I read it again. I’m a hypochondriac, so this story just gets to me, it makes me want to cut off my nose.”

The book even directly inspired one song on the album “In Utero”. “Scentless Apprentice” this is the result of reading “Perfume”. When it comes to music, Kurt also had his favorite work. The singer loved the album “Raw Power” The Stogges. In fact, he co-produced the album David Bowiebut it didn’t soften the sound Iggy Pop and companies, on the contrary. Cobain was so in love with this album that he even called Pop to propose cooperation. Iggy was supposed to call back, but ultimately the artists couldn’t get in touch. The Nirvana leader also liked to listen: Pixies, REM, Sonic Youth, Public Enemy, Sex Pistols, PJ Harvey and John Lennon. The latter, even after his death, had a great influence on the sound of the famous album “Nevermind” When Kurt didn’t want to record backing vocals on the choruses because he thought it was too pop, producer Butch Vig said, “John Lennon did that.” Vig recalled that this argument settled the matter in a flash.

What was supposed to help him fight his problems turned out to be the biggest of them. At some point, it was no longer possible to hide the fact that Cobain was addicted. The singer started taking it because he couldn’t cope with popularity, stress, he also suffered from depression and he thought that this way he would feel a little better. Kurt also tried to “cure” chronic stomach pain that the artist had suffered since he was a teenager, and for which doctors could not find the cause.

The musician tried to quit stimulants several times, but it always ended the same – he returned to taking drugs. Addictions began to have a disastrous effect on the musician’s work and performances, which only made matters worse. Anton Brookes, Nirvana’s former PR representative, recalled a certain concert from mid-1993. The group was scheduled to play in New York at the time. A few hours earlier, it turned out that Kurt had overdosed. It was very bad and he needed professional help. Nirvana, however, took its obligations seriously, so in the evening Cobain, as if nothing had happened, went on stage and showed up for the scheduled photo session for the press.

Kurt’s dressing style wasn’t just a fashion choice. The musician had huge complexes about his appearance. Krist Novoselic he recalled that the singer often repeated how ugly he was, avoided looking at himself in the mirror and was not satisfied with the way he looked in photos. Cobain was thin throughout his adult life and, no matter how hard he tried, he was unable to gain weight. The artist put on many layers of clothes to disguise his slim figure. Cobain wore a combination of a T-shirt with a shirt and a thick sweater even when it was warm outside.

Colleagues mentioned that the musician had rather low self-esteem. When asked how he was doing, the singer often replied: “I hate myself and I want to leave.” Of course, it was treated as a joke, because Kurt liked sarcasm, but after the artist’s death, his colleagues wondered whether there was a hidden meaning to the joke. The musician never hid that popularity had a terrible impact on his mental health, and there were already cases of depression in the singer’s family, among other things.

Two of the artist’s uncles took their own lives, in the same way as the musician later did. Cobain died in April 1994. The addressee of the musician’s farewell letter was Boddah, the singer’s childhood imaginary friend. There is another peculiar throwback to the past in this case. It so happened that he was performing the autopsy on Kurt’s body Dr. Nikolas Hartshorne. The doctor was a concert promoter in the 1980s and organized one of the first performances in Nirvana’s career.

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