Kurt Cobain

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uppladdat: 2001-05-07
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Kurt Donald Cobain was the leader of the band Nirvana, the most famous of all grunge bands. And he and his band changed the sound of the nineties. The music they played was against macho men, violence, the commercial hard rock mostly from California, that means that they thought that just because you are playing music, you wont have to look good or wear expensive clothes. From pictures of the band you can see that they are not wearing expensive clothes, or anything else that’s making it look better.

The music is the only important part of all they were doing, and so the texts, Kurt just hated people that didn’t listened to the texts, even if they liked their music.

Kurt was born the 20th of February 1967, in a small town 140 kilometers southwest of Seattle, his mother was a cocktail waitress, and his father was an auto mechanic. In his childhood he had problems with different sicknesses, and it got worse when his parents divorced at a age of seven, and he said that he never felt loved or secure again.

And he showed a lot of that anguish in Nirvana’s music. The divorce made Kurt feel thrown back and forth between his relatives, and once he was homeless, and lived under a bridge, there is a very sad song about that happening, the text goes “Underneath the bridge the tarp has sprung a leak and the animals I´ve trapped have all become my pets and I´m living off of grass and the drippings from the ceiling but it´s okay to eat fish, ´cause they haven´t any feelings”.

In 1989 Nirvana recorded their first album “Bleach”
Nirvana was receiving a lot o attention in 1991, and Geffen bought them out, and signed to the mega-label, they were the first non-mainstream band to do so. And 2,5 years after their first album, they released “Nevermind”, a series of different, crunching, screaming songs that along with it´s first single “Smells Like Teen Spirit” would propel Nirvana to mainstream stardom.
The album “Nevermind” was sold in 10million copies, that is $550 million (US). Kurt was shocked, that people wanted to listen to his highly personal and passionate music, that was something none of the members of the band had never, ever expected.

Kurt fell into heroin in the early 90’s, he said he used it as a shield to all the toughness in the touring, and to stop the pain of stomach ulcers, and the irritated bowel. Through the touring and pressure he continued to write his very personal songs.

Kurt was distressed to find out that what he wrote and how it was interpreted could quite often be miles apart. He was appalled when he found out that Polly a heavily ironic anti-rape song had been used as background music in a real gang-rape. He later appealed to fans on the album “Incesticide” liner notes "If any of you dislike gays or women or blacks, please leave us the fuck alone." It was to no avail, Kurt found that as an overnight millionaire musician control was something he had very little of. He also worried that his band had sold-out, that it was attracting the wrong kind of fans for example the type that used to beat him up.

In February 1992 Kurt went to Hawaii to marry the already pregnant Courtney Love. Later that year Nirvana released the album “Incesticide”, and later the same year, in August Kurt had hospital treatment for heroin abuse. And shortly after Frances Bean Cobain was born. In the beginning of 1993 the album “In Utero” was released, and it was acclaimed to contain some of Kurt’s most passionate work.

In November the same year Nirvana recorded and filmed an “unplugged” (acoustic) performance for MTV, that was Nirvanas choice to honor the bands that had influenced them and Kurt’s passionate and intense vocal, especially on “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” silenced many of them who thought Kurt was talantless. Rumors said that this recording would be the last of the band, and that the band would split up later.

In the winter in 1993-94 Nirvana was doing a European tour. Twenty concerts, but in the tour Kurt got throat problems, and the schedule was interrupted while he was recovering. And while recovering he flew to Rome, to visit his wife, who was preparing her own tour with her band.
In March the 4th Kurt was rushed to hospital in a coma, after an unsuccessful suicide attempt. He had washed down about fifty prescription painkillers with champagne. The suicide attempt was called an accident, even to the closest friends and associates.

In April an electrician was visiting the house to install a security system, he went round the back of the house when no one answered the front door and peered through the window. He thought he saw a dummy on the floor until he noticed a splotch of blood by its ear. When police broke down the door they found Kurt dead on the floor, a shotgun still pointed at his chin and on a nearby counter a suicide note written in red ink addressed to his wife Courtney Love and the 19-month-old daughter Frances Bean.

Two days after his body was found about 5000 people gathered in Seattle for a candlelight vigil, and they filled the air with profane songs, burnt their flannel shirts and fought the police, the also listened to a tape that Courtney had recorded, where she read his suicide note. Several distressed teenagers in the U.S. and Australia killed themselves.

What Kurt’s mother thinks of the suicide
She says that she and Kurt were like twins, and never really got that umbilical cord cut. She loved his music and he played his drums for her (he was a drummer before he was a guitarist), and they used to goof around.
People uses to ask her if she isn’t angry at Kurt for taking such a easy way out, and leaving Frances and everyone, and she says no, not at all, People don´t understand what depression is. The way I explain it is, have you ever been hit in the stomach and lost your breath? It´s a horrible panicky situation. Can you imagine being in that state of mind, in that state of anxiety and fear for years? He was a wonderful person, but he just couldn´t stand the pain anymore. That´s why I´m not angry at Kurt, she says.

She taught Frances a part of the Nirvana song “Heart-Shaped Box”, it goes “Hey….Wait”, and Kurt cried the first time she sang it to him.
She tells about a big tapestry downstairs of Jesus, and when she and Frances go down there, Frances says “Daddy” when she sees the picture of Jesus, but she says “Well, he kind of looks like Daddy”, and Frances talks to it, and tells him all the things that has happened during the day.
Some interesting facts about Kurt Cobain.

Kurt got his first guitar by selling his stepfather´s collection of guns which he hired someone to fish out of a river after Kurt´s mum threw them in there.
He dropped out of high school two weeks before graduation.
He worked part time as a cleaner at his school, The Aberdeen High School.
On the back of "Bleach" his name was spelt Kurdt Kobain because he thought that if he ever gave up the music industry, he´d be able to have a normal life without anyone recognizing him.

The song "About a Girl" was written for his girlfriend at the time, Tracy Marander, who threatened to kick him out of her home...

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Inactive member [2001-05-07]   Kurt Cobain
Mimers Brunn [Online]. https://mimersbrunn.se/article?id=575 [2024-03-03]

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