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” If you die you’re completely happy and your soul somewhere lives on. I’m not afraid of dying. Total peace after death, becoming someone else is the best hope I’ve got.” – Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain was born on Feb 20, 1967 in Aberdeen, Washington. In 1988, he started Nirvana, and in 1989, they released their debut album Bleach. The album wasn’t hugely successful, but it did signal the arrival of Cobain as major talent. In 1991, the band signed with Geffen Records, and they quickly shot to the top of the charts. On April 5, 1994, after struggling with drugs and turmoil in his personal life, Kobain chose to end his own life. His legacy lives on, and he continues to inspire his fans. Below are 45 facts about Kurt Cobain.


47. It Makes You Want to Be Sad

When Kurt Cobain was 9 years old, his parents divorced. In June of that year, he scribbled on his bedroom wall: “I hate Mom, I hate Dad, Dad hates Mom, Mom hates Dad, it simply makes you want to be sad.”

Kurt Cobain facts

46. Beautiful, Nice and Pretty

According to Kurt Cobain, they settled on the name Nirvana for their band because he wanted something that sounded beautiful, nice and pretty, and not mean, raunchy, or punk rock.

Kurt Cobain facts

Nirvana 

45. Early Rejection

Prior to forming Nirvana, Cobain auditioned for a band called the Melvins, but was rejected.

Kurt Cobain facts

The Melvins

 

44. Seaman recruit Cobain (Almost)

Cobain once toyed with joining the Navy. He even met with a recruitment officer to discuss joining up.

Kurt Cobain facts

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43. Silent and Moody

Kurt Cobain would occasionally get moody, and sit in a corner for 45 minutes without speaking a word.

Kurt Cobain facts

42. The Show Went On

Hours before he was due to perform on Saturday Night Live, and one week before Nevermind hit number one on the charts, Cobain overdosed on drugs. Courtney Love found him the next morning, and revived him by punching him in the stomach and splashing cold water on his face. In July, 1993, he overdosed  again but still managed to participate in a full day of press interviews and do a live show.

Kurt Cobain facts

41. Hyperactive

As a child, Kurt Cobain was temporarily put on Ritalin to control his hyperactivity.

Kurt Cobain facts

40. A Sofa with His Name on It

When he was a teenager, Cobain left his home and lived at friends houses for months at a time, sleeping on their couches.

Kurt Cobain facts

39. First Job

One of Cobain’s few jobs before entering the music business was teaching preschool swimming lessons at the YMCA in Aberdeen.

Kurt Cobain facts

38. An Interesting Costume Choice

One year, Kurt Cobain cut up a sex doll and wore it for Halloween.

Kurt Cobain facts

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37. Always a Feminine Person

Cobain once said that growing up, he was unaware of feminism, but that he was always a feminine person. He felt more inclined to hang out with girls, and preferred softer pop music until his teens.

Kurt Cobain facts

36. No Thanks

After Nirvana became famous, Cobain offered to play at the International Pop Underground festival in Olympia, but was turned down by the event coordinators. Cobain was hurt by their rejection, and felt alienated from a scene he really cared about.

Kurt Cobain facts

35. We Really Dig Nirvana

Early on in their rise to stardom, Metallica sent Nirvana a fax that said “We really dig Nirvana. Nevermind is the best album of the year. Let’s get together soon, Metallica. PS, Lars hates the band.”

Kurt Cobain facts

 Metallica

34. Just Like 16

In response to a question about what it was like to be number one on Billboard, Cobain replied “It’s just like being 16, only even more people kiss your ass”.

Kurt Cobain facts

25 years later 

33. Contempt for Them Both

Cobain once wrote in a letter to his father “I’ve never taken sides with you or my mother because while I was growing up, I had equal contempt for you both”.

Kurt Cobain facts

32. One of the Top

Rolling Stone Magazine and MTV voted the single ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit” as the 3rd best song of all time.

Kurt Cobain facts

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31. What He Left Behind

According to Courtney Love, Cobain left behind 109 unreleased, unrecorded songs when he died. Some are just fragments of songs, some ‘music collages’, and some are acoustic numbers that Love thinks are good enough to release.

Kurt Cobain facts

30. A Prophetic Scene

Cobain used to enjoy making Super 8 films, and a scene from one of those films portrayed his suicide.

Kurt Cobain facts

29. Based on a Book

The song ‘Scentless Apprentice’ is based on the book Perfume by Patrick Suskind.

Kurt Cobain facts

 

28. Choir Boy

At the age of four, Kurt Cobain sang in the choir of Baptist church his family attended.

Kurt Cobain facts

27. First Guitar

Kurt Cobain received his first guitar at the age of 14 as a birthday present from his uncle. While he couldn’t remember the exact model, he remembered “becoming so obsessed with it” as soon as he got it.

Kurt Cobain facts

26. Prized Possession

A signed first edition of William S. Burroughs’ novel The Naked Lunch was one of Cobain’s most prized possessions.

Kurt Cobain facts

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25. Target Practice

In his spare time, Cobain used to purchase large chunks of meat from the grocery store and then go out into the woods and use them for shooting practice.

Kurt Cobain facts

24. A Guitar, Bass, Spoons, and a Suitcase

In Dec 1982, Kurt Cobain recorded his first songs at his aunt Mari’s house. Instruments included a guitar, bass, and spoons banged against a suitcase. He called the recordings “Organized Confusion”.

Kurt Cobain facts

23. Famous Last Quote

In his suicide note to his fans, Cobain reference one of Neil Young’s lyrics, writing: “Thank you all from the pit of my burning, nauseous stomach for your letters of concern over the past years. I don’t have the passion anymore and so remember, it’s better to burn out than fade away”.

Kurt Cobain facts

22. Changed it Up

Cobain frequently switched up the words of his songs or the order of his verses when performing live. He seldom sang them the same way from show to show.

Kurt Cobain facts

21. Not a Fan

Kurt Cobain stated multiple times that he didn’t like Pearl Jam, but he and Eddie Vedder got along extremely well. The two used to talk on the phone, and when Cobain’s body was found, Vedder paid tribute to him at a concert on the same day.

Kurt Cobain facts

Eddie Vedder 

20. Pre-Show Jitters

Kurt Cobain suffered from stage fright, and more often than not, he’d throw up before a show.

Kurt Cobain facts

19. Two Goals

Cobain admitted that his goal in writing Smells Like Teen Spirit was to rip off the Pixies and make a huge record. When the song blew up, he got sick of it and hated playing it.

Kurt Cobain facts

18. Self-Drawn Tattoo

In 1991, Kurt Cobain reportedly gave himself a small tattoo on his forearm. It was a small “K”, inside a shield. K records is an independent music label whose motto was “exploding the teenage underground into passionate revolt against the corporate ogre since 1982”.

Kurt Cobain facts

16. Buying Anatomy

Kurt Cobain was fascinated by anatomy, especially fetuses and vaginas, which were often represented in his music and art. In one interview, he talked about a medical supply store in the Mall of America where he bought a collection of model fetuses.

Kurt Cobain facts

15. Avid Animal Lover

Kurt Cobain was an animal lover, and even talked about opening a petting zoo. He also had a number of pets, including a rat called Kitty, a cat called Melvin, and turtles.

Kurt Cobain facts

13. The End of an Era

The Grunge era is said to have officially ended with Kurt Cobain’s death.

Kurt Cobain facts

12. A Dead Ringer

Cobain’s daughter Frances Bean Cobain looks just like her famous father, and has his distinct blue eyes and nose.

Kurt Cobain facts

11. A Posthumous Grammy

The only Grammy that Nirvana ever won was awarded for the album “Nirvana: MTV Unplugged”, which was released after Cobain’s death.

Kurt Cobain facts

10. Fragile & Delicate

Carrie Montgomery, a friend of Kurt Cobain’s, once said that he “made women want to protect and nurture him”. She also referred to him as a paradox, in that he was brutally and intensely strong, yet also fragile & delicate.

Kurt Cobain facts

9. Lefty and Righty

Cobain played his guitar left handed, but played the drums right-handed.

Kurt Cobain facts

8. Layers

According to one of Kurt Cobain’s ex-girlfriends, Cobain was made fun of for his size in high school, and started wearing layers to cover his frame. As he got older, he continued to wear layers of clothing- even in warm weather.

Kurt Cobain facts

7. We Don’t Want Your Money

Kurt Cobain was a supporter of social equality. He had no tolerance for homophobia, and in an interview, he emphatically stated that if someone was racist, homophobic or misogynistic, they could refrain from buying their albums or attending their concerts because he didn’t want their money or anything to do with them.

Kurt Cobain facts

6. It Was an Okay Word

Kurt Cobain had a difficult relationship with the media, and seldom went along with anything that was printed about him. The one label he didn’t seem to mind was grunge. When asked about it in 1994, he said: ““If someone wouldn’t have come up with grunge, it would have been called something else. I think it described what kind of guitar rock we were playing at the time pretty well, and it was an okay word.”

Kurt Cobain facts

5. Kurt’ or ‘Kurdt’?

An article written about Nirvana before the release of their debut album Bleach misspelled Kurt Cobain’s name as “Kurdt” Cobain. From that point on, Cobain often spelled his name Kurdt, and it was believed that he used the name to represent his alter-ego when he wasn’t feeling like himself.

Kurt Cobain facts

4. The 27 Club

With his suicide at age 27, Kurt Cobain joined what is known as the 27 club- a group of prominent musicians who died at age 27. Other members include Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, and Doors frontman Jim Morrison.

Kurt Cobain facts

3. A Final Goodbye

On April 10, 1994, roughly 5 days after his death, a public vigil was held in Cobain’s honor at a park in Seattle Center. Nearly 7000 people attended, and Courtney Love read Cobain’s suicide note.

Kurt Cobain facts

2. Dear Boddah

As a child, Kurt Cobain had an imaginary friend Boddah, whom he described as the evil part of his psyche. It was to Boddah whom he addressed his suicide note. Although many fans know about the famous suicide note, many don’t know that some investigators believe that the end of the note was doctored and it actually read differently.  The main body of the note is written about Kurt’s relationship to music, it’s only the very small part of the note, the last four lines, that talk about his relationship to his family, and specifically Courtney and their daughter Frances. This coupled with a handwriting practice sheet found in Courtney’s bag (which contained letters that were used in the suicide note) have led investigators and fans to believe that perhaps the last few lines were added after Cobain was already dead and the whole suicide was staged.

Kurt Cobain facts

1. My Hero

Dave Grohl, the former drummer for Nirvana formed the band The Foo Fighters after Cobain’s death, and the song ‘My Hero’, from their 1997 album The Color and the Shape, was about Cobain.

Kurt Cobain facts

Sources
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,

 

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