KURT COBAIN HEROIN
"TITTER YE NOT"
We live in the version of time where Kurt Cobain died and Courtney Love lived.
Lennon died and Yoko
Hall and Oates are still here?
Nirvana's bassist said
Kurt Cobain wouldn't
have killed himself if he
was sober, he also said
Cobain wouldn't have married Courtney Love when sober.
1994 was a bad year in music.
Kurt Cobain topped
himself and Justin
Bieber was born.
The key Syria-Turkey
border town of Kobane
may soon fall to Islamic
reports say, Kurdish fighters defending the
area are low on ammo.
I think we should all club together and buy some shotgun rounds for Kurd Kobane.
KURT'S MEMORIAL BENCH
Kurt Donald Cobain
April 5, 1994).
HEROIN is commonly known
by its street names of H,
smack, boy, horse, brown,
Kurt Donald Cobain (February the 20th, 1967 – April the 5th,
1994) was an American musician who was best known as the
lead singer, guitarist, and primary songwriter of the rock band
Nirvana. Cobain formed Nirvana with Krist Novoselic in
Aberdeen, Washington, in 1985 and established it as part of
the Seattle music scene, having its debut album Bleach
released on the independent record label Sub Pop in 1989.
Cobain was born on February the 20th, 1967, at Grays Harbor
Hospital in Aberdeen, Washington , to a waitress, Wendy
Elizabeth (née Fradenburg) (born 1948), and an automotive
mechanic, Donald Leland Cobain (born 1946). His parents
were married on July the 31st, 1965 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.
His ancestry included Irish, English, Scottish, and German.
Cobain's Irish ancestors migrated from Carrick more, County
Tyrone, in the north of Ireland in 1875. Researchers found
they were shoemakers, originally named "Cobane," who came
from Inishatieve , a town-land within Carrick more parish
As migrants, they first settled in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada, and then in Washington. Kurt
himself believed his family came from County Cork in southern Ireland. Cobain's younger
sister, Kimberly, was born on April the 24th, 1970.
Cobain's family had a musical background:
his maternal uncle, Chuck Fradenburg ,
played in a band called The Beachcombers; his aunt, Mari Earle, played guitar and
performed in bands throughout Grays Harbour County; and his great-uncle, Delbert, had a career as an Irish tenor, making an appearance in the 1930 film, King of Jazz. Kurt was described as being a happy and excitable child, who also exhibited sensitivity and care. His talent as an artist was evident from an early age, as he would draw his favourite characters from films and cartoons, such as the Creature from the Black Lagoon and Donald Duck, in his bedroom. This enthusiasm was encouraged by his grandmother, Iris Cobain, who was a professional artist herself.
Cobain began developing an interest in music early in life. According to Mari, he began singing at the age of two years. At age four, he started playing the piano and singing, writing a song about a trip to a local park. He listened to artists like the Ramones and Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), and, from a young age, would sing songs like Arlo Guthrie's " Motorcycle Song ," The Beatles' "Hey Jude", Terry Jacks' "Seasons in the Sun," and the theme song to the television show of the band The Monkees.
When Kurt was nine years old, his parents divorced. He later said that the divorce had a profound effect on his life, while his mother noted that his
personality changed dramatically — Cobain became defiant and withdrawn. In a 1993 interview, he elaborated:
"I remember feeling I was ashamed of my parents. I couldn't face some of my friends at school anymore, because I desperately wanted to have the classic, you know, typical family. Mother, father. I wanted that security, so I resented my parents for quite a few years because of that."
Cobain's parents both found new partners after the divorce. Although his father had promised not to remarry, after meeting Jenny Westeby, he did, to Kurt's dismay. Cobain, his father, Westeby, and her two children, Mindy and James, moved into a new household together. Cobain liked Westeby at first, who gave him the maternal attention he desired. In January 1979, Westeby gave birth to a boy, Chad Cobain .
NIRVANA NEVERMIND ALBUM
“Drugs are a waste of time.
They destroy your memory and
your self-respect and everything
that goes along with with your
self-esteem. They’re no good at all.” – Kurt Cobain
This new family, which Cobain insisted was not his real one, was in stark
contrast to the attention Cobain was used to receiving as an only boy, and
he soon began to express resentment toward his stepmother. Cobain's
mother began dating a man who was abusive. Cobain witnessed the
being hospitalized with a broken arm. Wendy steadfastly refused to press
charges, remaining completely committed to the relationship.
Cobain behaved insolently toward adults during this period of his youth,
and began bullying another boy at school. These behaviours eventually
caused his father and Westeby to take him to a therapist , who concluded
that he would benefit from a single family environment. Both sides of the
family attempted to bring his parents back together, but to no avail. On
June the 28th, 1979, Cobain's mother granted full custody to his father.
Kurt's teenage rebellion quickly became overwhelming for his father, who
placed his son in the care of family and friends. While living with the born-
again Christian family of his friend Jesse Reed, Cobain became a devout
Christian and regularly attended church services. Cobain later renounced
Christianity, engaging in what would be described as "anti-God" rants. The
song " Lithium " is about his experience while living with the Reed family. Religion would remain an important part of Cobain's personal life and beliefs. Although uninterested in sports, Cobain was enrolled in a junior high school wrestling team at the insistence of his father. Kurt was a skilled wrestler, yet despised the experience. Because of the ridicule he endured from his teammates and coach, he allowed himself to be pinned, in an attempt to sadden his father. Later, his father enlisted him in a Little League Baseball team, where Cobain would intentionally strike out to avoid playing on the team.
Cobain befriended a homosexual student at school and suffered bullying from heterosexual students who concluded that he was gay. In an interview, he said that he liked being associated with a gay identity because he did not like people, and when they thought he was gay they left him alone. He stated, "I started being really proud of the fact that I was gay even though I wasn't." His friend tried to kiss him and Cobain backed away, explaining to his friend that he was not gay, but would remain friends with him. In a 1993 interview with The Advocate, Cobain claimed that he was "gay in spirit" and "probably could be bisexual." He also stated that he used to spray paint "God Is Gay" on pickup trucks in the Aberdeen area. Aberdeen police records show that Cobain was arrested for spray painting the phrase "Ain't got no how watch a ma call it" on other vehicles. One of his personal journals states, "I am not gay, although I wish I were, just to piss off homophobes ."
As attested to by several of Cobain's classmates and family members, the first concert he attended was Sammy Hagar and
Quarter flash, held at the Seattle Center Coliseum in 1983. Kurt, however, claimed that the first concert he attended was the
Melvins, and he wrote prolifically in his journals of the experience. As a teenager living in Montesano, Cobain eventually found escape through the thriving Pacific Northwest punk scene, going to punk rock shows in Seattle. Cobain soon began frequenting the practice space of fellow Montesano musicians, the Melvins .
During his second year in high school, Cobain began living with his mother in Aberdeen. Two weeks prior to graduation, he dropped out of Aberdeen High School, upon realizing that he did not have enough credits to graduate. His mother gave him
find employment or leave. After one week, Kurt found his clothes and other belongings packed away in boxes. Feeling banished from his own mother's home, Cobain stayed with friends, occasionally sneaking back into his mother's basement. Cobain also claimed that, during periods of homelessness, he lived under a bridge over the Wishkah River, an experience that inspired the Nevermind song, " Something in the Way ". However, Nirvana bassist Novoselic
"He never lived under that bridge. He hung out there, but you couldn't live on those muddy banks, with the tides coming up and down. That was his revisionism."
In late 1986, Cobain moved into an apartment, paying his rent by working at "The Polynesian Resort," a Polynesian coastal resort approximately 20 miles (32 km) north of Aberdeen. During this period, he was traveling frequently to Olympia, Washington, to go to rock concerts. During his visits to Olympia, Cobain formed a relationship with Tracy Marander . The couple had a close relationship, but one that was often strained with financial difficulties and Cobain's absence when touring. Marander supported the couple by working at the cafeteria of the Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, often stealing food.
During his time with Marander, Cobain spent most of his time sleeping into the late evening, watching television, and concentrating on art projects. Her insistence that he get a job caused arguments that influenced Cobain to write "About a Girl", which was featured on the Nirvana album Bleach . Marander is credited with having taken the cover photo for the album. She did not become aware that "About a Girl" was written about her until years after Cobain's death.
Soon after his separation from Marander, Cobain began dating Tobi Vail, an influential punkzinester of the riot grrrl band Bikini Kill who embraced the DIY ethos. After meeting Vail, Cobain vomited, as he was so completely overwhelmed with anxiety caused by his infatuation with her. This event would inspire the l lyric:
"Love you so much it makes me sick," which appears in the song "Aneurysm". While Cobain would regard Vailas his female counterpart, his relationship with her eventually waned.
Cobain desired the maternal comfort of a traditional relation regarded as sexist within a counter cultural punk rock community. Those who dated Vail would be described by her friend Alice Wheeler as "fashion accessories." Cobain and Vail spent most of their time together as a couple discussing political and philosophical issues. In 1990 they collaborated on a musical project called "Bathtub Is Real", in which they both sang and played guitar and drums. They recorded their songs on a four track tape machine that belonged to Vail's father. In Everett True's 2009 book, Nirvana The Biography, Vail is quoted as saying:
would play the songs he was writing, I would play the songs I was writing and we'd record them on my dad's four-track. Sometimes I'd sing on the songs he was writing and play drums on them ... He was really into the fact that It was creative and into music. I don't think he'd ever played music with a girl before. He was super - inspiring and fun to play with.
Slim Moon described their sound as "... like the minimal quiet pop songs that Olympia is known for. Both of them sang; it was reallygood." Cobain's relationship with Vail would inspire the lyrical content of many of the songs on Nevermind. Once, while
discussing anarchism and punk rock with friend Kathleen Hanna, who was also in a band with Vail, Hanna spray painted
"Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit" on Cobain's apartment wall. Teen Spirit was the name of a deodorant Vail wore. Cobain, unaware of the deodorant, interpreted the slogan as having a revolutionary meaning, and it inspired the title of the Nirvana song, " Smells Like Teen Spirit ".
On his 14th birthday on February the 20th, 1981, Cobain's uncle offered him either a bike or a used guitar—he chose the guitar. Soon, he was mastering Led Zeppelin's power ballad, "Stairway to Heaven". "Louie Louie" and The Cars' "My Best Friend's Girl" were other cover versions learnt by Cobain before he began working on his own songs. During high school, Cobain rarely found anyone with whom he could play music. While hanging out at the Melvins' practice space, he met Novoselic, a fellow devotee of punk rock . Novoselic's mother owned a hair salon, and the pair would occasionally practice in the upstairs room of the salon.
A few years later, Cobain tried to convince Novoselic to form a band with him by lending him a copy of a home demo recorded by Cobain's earlier band, FecalMatter . After months of asking, Novoselic finally agreed to join Cobain, forming the
beginnings of Nirvana. Religion appeared to remain significant to Cobain during this time, as he often used Christian imagery in his work, and maintained a constant interest in Jainism and Buddhist philosophy. The
band name "Nirvana" was taken from the Buddhist concept, which Cobain described as
"freedom from pain, suffering and the external world," a concept that he aligned with the
punk rock ethos and ideology. Cobain would regard himself as both a Buddhist and a Jain
during different points of his life.
Cobain was disenchanted after early touring, due to the band's inability to draw substantial
crowds and the difficulty of sustaining themselves. During their first few years playing
together, Novoselic and Cobain were hosts to a rotating list of drummers. Eventually, the
band settled on Chad Channing , with whom Nirvana recorded the album Bleach, released
on Sub Pop Records in 1989. Cobain, however, became dissatisfied with Channing's style,
leading the band to find a new drummer, and they eventually settled on Grohl. With Grohl,
the band found their greatest success through their 1991 major-label debut, Nevermind.
With Nevermind's lead single, "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Nirvana entered the mainstream,
popularising a subgenre of alternative rock called "grunge." Since their debut, Nirvana has sold over 25 million albums in the United States (U.S.) alone, and over 75 million worldwide. The success of Nevermind provided numerous Seattle bands, such as Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden, access to wider audiences. As a result, alternative rock became a dominant genre on radio and music television in the U.S. during the early-to-middle 1990s. Nirvana was considered the "flagship band of Generation X ", and frontman Cobain found himself reluctantly anointed by the media as the generation's "spokesman."
Cobain struggled to reconcile the massive success of Nirvana with his underground roots. He also felt persecuted by the media, comparing himself to Frances Farmer . He began to harbor resentment against 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. The show was held 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 Nirvana was involved in L7's Rock for Choice campaign. He
received death threats from a small number of anti-abortion activists for participating in the pro-choice campaign, with one activist threatening to shoot Cobain as soon as he stepped on stage.
The Beatles were an early and lasting influence on Cobain; his aunt Mari remembers him singing "Hey Jude" at the age of two. "My aunts would give me Beatles records," Cobain told Jon Savage in 1993, "so for the most part I listened to the Beatles as a child, and if I was lucky, I'd be able to buy a single." Cobain expressed a particular fondness for John Lennon, whom he called his "idol" in his posthumously-released journals, and he admitted that he wrote the song "About a Girl," from Nirvana 1989 debut album Bleach, after spending three hours listening to Meet the Beatles!. Cobain was also a fan of 1970s hard rock and heavy metal bands, including Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Queen, and Kiss. Nirvana occasionally played cover songs by these bands, including Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker," "Moby Dick" and "Immigrant Song," Black Sabbath's "Hand of Doom," and Kiss' "Do You Love Me?", and wrote the Incesticide song " Aero Zeppelin " as a tribute to Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith.
Punk rock proved to be a profound influence on a teenaged Cobain's attitude and artistic style. His first punk rock album was
Sandinista! by The Clash, but he became a bigger fan of a fellow 1970s British punk band the Sex Pistols, describing them as "one million times more important than the Clash" in his journals. He was introduced to 1980s American hardcore bands like Black Flag, Bad Brains, Millions of Dead Cops and Flipper by Buzz Osborne, lead singer and guitarist of the Melvins and fellow Aberdeen, Washington, native. Osborne taught Cobain about Punk by loaning him records and old copies of the Detroit based magazine Creem. The Melvins themselves were an important early musical influence on Cobain, with their heavy, grungey sound mimicked by Nirvana on many songs from Bleach.
KURT COBAIN ONE DOLLAR BILL
FOR SNORTING COKE
Cobain was also a fan of protopunk acts like the
Stooges, whose 1973 album Raw Power he listed
as his favourite of all time in his journals, and The
Velvet Underground, whose 1968 song "Here She Comes Now" the band covered both live and in the studio. The 1980s American alternative rock band Pixies were instrumental in helping an adult Cobain develop his own song writing style. In a 1992 interview with Melody Maker, Cobain said that hearing their 1988 debut album, Surfer Rosa , convinced him to abandon his more Black Flag-influenced song writing in favour of the Iggy Pop/Aerosmith–type song writing that appeared on Nevermind. In a 1993 interview with Rolling Stone, he said that "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was his attempt at "trying to rip off the Pixies. I have to admit it. When I heard the Pixies for the first time, I connected with that band so heavily that I should have been in that band—or at least a Pixies cover band. We used their sense of dynamics, being soft and quiet and then loud and hard".
Cobain's appreciation of early alternative rock bands also extended to Sonic Youth and R.E.M. , both of which the members of Nirvana befriended and looked up to for advice. It was under recommendation from Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon that Nirvana signed to DGC in 1990, and both bands did a two-week tour of Europe in the summer of 1991, as documented in the 1992 documentary, 1991:
The Year Punk Broke. In 1993, Cobain said of R.E.M.:
"If I could write just a couple of songs as good as what they've written ... I don't know how that band does what they do. God, they're the greatest. They've dealt with their success like saints, and they keep delivering great music."
After attaining mainstream success, Cobain became a devoted champion of lesser known indie bands, covering songs by The Vaselines, Meat Puppets, Wipers and Fang on stage and or in the studio, wearing Daniel Johnston Tee shirts during photo shoots, having the K Records logo tattooed on his forearm, and enlisting bands like Butthole Surfers, Shonen Knife,
Chokebore and Half Japanese along for the In Utero tour in late 1993 and early 1994. Cobain even invited his favourite musicians to perform with him:
ex-Germs guitarist Pat Smear joined the band in 1993, and the Meat Puppets appeared onstage during Nirvana's 1993 MTV Unplugged appearance, to perform three songs from their second album, Meat Puppets II.
Nirvana's Unplugged set also included renditions of "The Man Who Sold the World," by British rock musician David Bowie, and the American folk song, "Where Did You Sleep Last Night," as adapted by the American folk musician, Lead Belly. Cobain introduced the latter by calling Lead Belly his favourite performer, and in a 1993 interview revealed he had been introduced to him from reading the American author, William S. Burroughs. "I remember Burroughs saying in an interview, "These new rock 'n 'roll kids should just throw away their guitars and listen to something with real soul, like Lead belly,' " Cobain said. "I'd never heard about Lead belly before so I bought a couple of records, and now he turns out to be my absolute favourite of all time in music. I absolutely love it more than any rock 'n' roll I ever heard."
Nirvana's acoustic Unplugged set, which was released posthumously as an album in 1994, may have provided a hint of Cobain's future musical direction. The record has drawn comparisons to R.E.M.'s 1992 release, Automatic for the People, and in 1993, Cobain himself predicted that the next Nirvana album would be "pretty ethereal, acoustic, like R.E.M.'s last album." "Yeah, he talked a lot about what direction he was heading in," Cobain's friend, R.E.M.'s lead singer Michael Stipe , told Newsweek in 1994. "I mean, I know what the next Nirvana recording was going to sound like. It was going to be very quiet and acoustic, with lots of stringed instruments. It was going to be an amazing fucking record, and I'm a little bit angry at him for killing himself. He and I were going to record a trial run of the album, a demo tape. It was all set up. He had a plane ticket. He had a car picking him up. And at the last minute he called and said, 'I can't come.'" Stipe was chosen as the godfather of Cobain and Courtney Love's daughter, Frances Bean Cobain.
Dave Grohl stated that Cobain believed that music comes first and lyrics, second. Cobain focused, foremost, on the melodies of his songs. Cobain complained when fans and rock journalists attempted to decipher his singing and extract meaning from his lyrics, writing "Why in the hell do journalists insist on coming up with a second-rate, Freudian evaluation of my lyrics, when 90 percent of the time they've transcribed them incorrectly?" While Cobain would insist on the subjectivity and unimportance of his lyrics, he was known to labour and procrastinate in writing them, often changing the content and order of lyrics during performances. Cobain would describe his lyrics himself as "a big pile of contradictions. They're split down the middle between very sincere opinions that I have and sarcastic opinions and feelings that I have and sarcastic and hopeful, humorous rebuttals toward cliché bohemian ideals that have been exhausted for years."
Cobain originally wanted Nevermind to be divided into two sides:
a "Boy" side, for the songs written about the experiences of his early life and childhood, and a "Girl" side, for the songs written about his dysfunctional relationship with Vail. Charles R. Cross would write "In the four months following their break-up, Kurt would write a half dozen of his most memorable songs, all of them about Tobi Vail". Though "Lithium" had been written before Cobain knew Vail, the lyrics of the song were changed to reference her. Cobain would say in an interview with Musician that "some of my very personal experiences, like breaking up with girlfriends and having bad relationships, feeling that death void that the person in the song is feeling. Very lonely, and sick." While Cobain would regard In Utero "for the most part very impersonal", on the album he dealt with the childhood divorce of his parents, his newfound fame and the public image and perception of himself and Courtney Love on "Serve the Servants", with his enamoured relationship with Love conveyed through lyrical themes of pregnancy and the female anatomy on " Heart-Shaped Box ". Cobain wrote "Rape Me" not only as an objective discussion of rape, but a metaphorical protest against his treatment by the media. He wrote about fame, drug addiction and abortion on "Pennyroyal Tea", as well as women's rights and the life of Seattle-born Farmer on "Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge on Seattle".
Cobain was affected enough to write the song "Polly" from
Nevermind, after reading a newspaper story of an incident in
1987, where a 14-year-old girl was kidnapped after attending a
punk rock show then raped and tortured with a blow torch. She
managed to escape after gaining the trust of her captor,
Gerald Friend through flirting with him. After seeing Nirvana
perform, Bob Dylan would cite "Polly" as the best of Nirvana's
songs, and was quoted as saying about Cobain, "the kid has
heart". Patrick Süskind's novel Perfume:
The Story of a Murderer
inspired Cobain to write the song "Scentless Apprentice" from
In Utero. The book is an historical horror novel about a
perfumer's apprentice born with no body odor of his own but
with a highly developed sense of smell, and who attempts to
create the "ultimate perfume" by killing virginal women and
taking their scent.
Cobain immersed himself in artistic projects throughout his life, as much so as he did in song writing. The sentiments of his art work followed the same subjects of his lyrics, often expressed through a dark and macabre sense of humour. Noted was his fascination with physiology, his own rare medical conditions, and the human anatomy.
Often unable to afford artistic resources, Cobain would improvise with materials, painting on board games and album sleeves, and painting with an array of substances, including his own bodily fluids. The artwork seen in his Journals would later draw acclaim as being of a high artistic standard. Many of Cobain's paintings, collages, and sculptures would appear in the artwork of Nirvana's albums. His artistic concepts would feature notably in Nirvana's music videos; the production and direction of which were acrimonious due to the artistic perfectionism of his visions. Cobain would contribute backing guitar for a spoken word recording of beat poet William S. Burroughs ' entitled "The "Priest" They Called Him". Cobain regarded Burroughs as a hero. During Nirvana's European tour Cobain kept a copy of Burroughs' Naked Lunch, purchased in a London bookstall.
Love and Cobain met on January the 12th, 1990, in Portland's Satyricon nightclub , when they both still led ardent underground rock bands. Love made advances, but Cobain was evasive. Early in their interactions, Cobain broke off dates and ignored Love's advances because he was unsure if he wanted a relationship. Cobain noted, "I was determined to be a bachelor for a few months. But I knew that I liked Courtney so much right away that it was a really hard struggle to stay away from her for so many months." Love first saw Cobain perform in 1989 at a show in Portland, Oregon. They talked briefly after the show and Love developed a crush on him. Cobain was already aware of Love through her role in the 1987 film Straight to Hell. According to True, the pair were formally introduced at an
L7 and Butthole Surfers concert in Los Angeles, U.S., in May
1991. In the weeks that followed, after learning from Grohl that
Cobain shared mutual interests with her, Love began pursuing
Cobain. In late 1991 the two were often together and bonded
through drug use.
On February the 24th, 1992, a few days after the conclusion of
Nirvana's "Pacific Rim" tour, Cobain and Love were married on
Waikiki Beach in Hawaii . Love wore a satin and lace dress once
owned by Farmer, and Cobain donned a Guatemalan purse and
wore green pyjamas, because he had been "too lazy to put on a
tux". Eight people were in attendance at the ceremony, including
Grohl. In an interview with The Guardian, Love revealed the
opposition to their marriage from various people:
Kim Gordon of
Sonic Youth sits me down and says, "If you marry him your life is
not going to happen, it will destroy your life." But I said,
"Whatever! I love him, and I want to be with him!" ... It wasn't his fault. He wasn't trying to do that.
Love discovered that she was pregnant with her and Cobain's child around 1992. On August the 18th, 1992, the couple's daughter Frances Bean Cobain was born. A sonogram of the couple's as yet unborn baby was included in the artwork of Nirvana's "Lithium" single. In a 1992 article in Vanity Fair, Love admitted to using heroin, not knowing that she was pregnant; however, Love claimed that Vanity Fair had misquoted her, but the event created a media controversy for the couple. While Cobain and Love's romance had always been a media attraction, they found themselves hounded by tabloid reporters after the article was published, many wanting to know if Frances was addicted to drugs at birth.
The Los Angeles County Department of Children's Services took the Cobains to court, claiming that the couple's drug usage made them unfit parents. Due to the claims made in the Vanity Fair article, Seattle child-welfare agents removed the couple's baby daughter for around four weeks. The couple eventually obtained custody in an exchange agreement, whereby they agreed to provide urine tests and receive regular visits from a social worker. After months of legal negotiations, the couple were eventually granted full custody of their daughter. Love later said that she ceased heroin use after she was notified
about her pregnancy.
Throughout most of his life, Cobain suffered from chronic bronchitis and intense physical pain due to an un-diagnosed chronic stomach condition. His first drug experience was with marijuana in 1980, at the age of 13. He regularly used the drug during adulthood. Cobain also had a period of consuming "notable" amounts of LSD, as observed by Marander, and was "really into getting fucked up:
drugs, acid, any kind of drug", observed Krist Novoselic; Cobain was also prone to alcoholism and solvent abuse. Cobain's cousin Beverly, a nurse, claimed Cobain was diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder as a child, and bipolar disorder as an adult. She also brought attention to the history of suicide, mental illness and alcoholism in the Cobain family, noting two of her uncles who had committed suicide with guns.
Cobain's first experience with heroin occurred sometime in 1986, administered to him by a local drug dealer in Tacoma, Washington who had previously supplied him with Percodan. He used heroin sporadically for several years, but, by the end of 1990, his use developed into a full-fledged addiction. Cobain claimed that he was "determined to get a habit" as a way to self-medicate his stomach condition. "It started with three days in a row of doing heroin and I don't have a stomach pain.
That was such a relief," he related.
His heroin use began to affect the band's Nevermind supporting tour. One such example came the day of the band's 1992 performance on Saturday Night Live, where Nirvana had a photographic session with Michael Levine . Having taken heroin beforehand, Cobain fell asleep several times during the shoot. Cobain divulged to biographer Michael Azerrad, "I mean, what are they supposed to do? They're not going to be able to tell me to stop. So I really didn't care. Obviously to them it was like practicing witchcraft or something. They didn't know anything about it so they thought that any second, I was going to die."
Slowly, Cobain's heroin addiction worsened. His first attempt at rehab was made in early 1992, not long after he and Love
discovered they were going to become parents. Immediately after leaving rehab, Nirvana embarked on their Australian tour, with Cobain appearing pale and gaunt while suffering withdrawal. Not long after returning home, Cobain's heroin use resumed. Prior to a performance at the New Music Seminar in New York City in July 1993, Cobain suffered a heroin overdose. Rather than calling for an ambulance, Love injected Cobain with Narcan to bring him out of his unconscious state. Cobain proceeded to perform with Nirvana, giving the public no indication that anything out of the ordinary had taken place.
Following a tour stop at Terminal Eins in Munich, Germany, on
March the 1st, 1994, Cobain was diagnosed with bronchitis and
severe laryngitis. He flew to Rome the next day for medical
treatment, and was joined there by his wife, Courtney Love, on
March the 3rd, 1994. The next morning, Love awoke to find that
Cobain had overdosed on a combination of champagne and
Rohypnol . Cobain was immediately rushed to the hospital, and
spent the rest of the day unconscious. After five days in the
hospital, Cobain was released and returned to Seattle.
Love later stated that the incident was Cobain's first suicide
attempt. On March the 18th, 1994, Love phoned the Seattle
police informing them that Cobain was suicidal and had locked
himself in a room with a gun. Police arrived and confiscated
several guns and a bottle of pills from Cobain, who insisted that
he was not suicidal and had locked himself in the room to hide
from Love. When questioned by police, Love said that Cobain
had never mentioned that he was suicidal and that she had not
seen him with a gun.
Love arranged an intervention regarding Cobain's drug use on
March the 25th, 1994. The ten people involved included
musician friends, record company executives, and one of
Cobain's closest friends, Dylan Carlson. The intervention was
initially unsuccessful, with an angry Cobain insulting and
heaping scorn on its participants and eventually locking himself
in the upstairs bedroom. However, by the end of the day, Cobain
had agreed to undergo a detox program. Cobain arrived at the
Exodus Recovery Center in Los Angeles , California on March
the 30th, 1994. The staff at the facility were unaware of Cobain's
history of depression and prior attempts at suicide. When visited
by friends, there was no indication to them that Cobain was in any negative or suicidal state of mind. He spent the day talking to counsellors about his drug abuse and personal problems, happily playing with his daughter Frances. These interactions were the last time Cobain saw his daughter.
The following night, Cobain walked outside to have a cigarette, and climbed over a six-foot-high fence to leave the facility (which he had joked earlier in the day would be a stupid feat to attempt). He took a taxi to Los Angeles Airport and flew back to Seattle. On the flight, he sat next to Duff McKagan of Guns N' Roses. Despite Cobain's own personal animosity towards Guns N' Roses, and specifically Axl Rose, Cobain "seemed happy" to see McKagan. McKagan later stated he knew from
"all of my instincts that something was wrong." Most of his close friends and family were unaware of his whereabouts. On April the 2nd and 3rd, of 1994, Cobain was spotted in numerous locations around Seattle. On April the 3rd, 1994, Love contacted private investigator Tom Grant, and hired him to find Cobain. Cobain was not seen on April the 4th, 1994. On April the 7th, 1994, amid rumors of Nirvana breaking up, the band pulled out of that year's Lollapalooza music festival .
On April the 8th, 1994, Cobain's body was discovered at his Lake Washington Blvd home by an electrician named Gary Smith who had arrived to install a security system. Apart from a minor amount of blood coming out of Cobain's ear, the electrician reported seeing no visible signs of trauma, and initially believed that Cobain was asleep until he saw the shotgun pointing at his chin.
A note was found, addressed to Cobain's childhood imaginary friend "Boddah", that stated that Cobain had not "felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music, along with really writing ... for too many years now". A high concentration of heroin and traces of diazepam were also found in his body. Cobain's body had been lying there for days; the coroner's report estimated Cobain to have died on April the 5th, 1994.
A public vigil was held for Cobain on April the 10th, 1994, at a park at Seattle Center drawing approximately seven thousand mourners. Pre recorded messages by Novoselic and Love were played at the memorial. Love read portions of Cobain's suicide note to the crowd, crying and chastising Cobain. Near the end of the vigil, Love arrived at the park and distributed some of Cobain's clothing to those who still remained. Grohl would say that the news of Cobain's death was:
probably the worst thing that has happened to me in my life. I remember the day after that I woke up and I was heartbroken that he was gone. I just felt like, "Okay, so I get to wake up today and have another day and he doesn't."
He also believed that he knew Cobain would die at an early age, saying that "sometimes you just can't save someone from
themselves," and "in some ways, you kind of prepare yourself emotionally for that to be a reality." Dave Reed , who for a short time was Cobain's foster father, said that "he had the desperation, not the courage, to be himself. Once you do that,
you can't go wrong, because you can't make any mistakes when people love you for being yourself. But for Kurt, it didn't matter that other people loved him; he simply didn't love himself enough."
A final ceremony was arranged for Cobain, by his mother, on May the 31st, 1999, and was attended by both Love and Tracy Marander. As a Buddhist monk chanted, daughter Frances Bean scattered Cobain's ashes into McLane Creek in Olympia , the city where he "had found his true artistic muse."
`KURT COBAIN WITH GUN
Cobain's artistic endeavours' and struggles with heroin addiction, illness and
depression, as well as the circumstances of his death have become a
frequent topic of fascination, debate, and controversy throughout the world.
According to a Seattle Police Department spokeswoman, the department
receives at least one weekly request, mostly through Twitter, to reopen the
investigation, resulting in the maintenance of the basic incident report on file.
Cobain is one of the well known members of the 27 Club. In March 2014, the
Seattle police developed four rolls of film that had been left in an evidence
vault—a reason was not provided for why the rolls were not developed
earlier. According to the Seattle police, the 35mm film photographs show the
scene of Cobain's dead body more clearly than previous Polaroid images
taken by the police. Detective Mike Ciesynski, a cold case investigator, was
instructed to look at the film because "it is 20 years later and it’s a high
Detective Mike Ciesynski stated that Cobain's death remains a suicide and
that the images will not be released publicly. The photos in question were later released, one by one, weeks before the 20th anniversary of Cobain's death. One photo shows Cobain's arm, still wearing the hospital bracelet from the drug rehab facility he checked out of just a few days prior to returning to Seattle. Another photo shows Cobain's foot resting next to a bag of shotgun shells, one of which was used in his death.
Cobain has been remembered as one of the most iconic rock musicians in the history of alternative music. In 2003, David Fricke of Rolling Stone ranked him the 12th greatest guitarist of all time. He was later ranked the 73rd greatest guitarist and 45th greatest singer of all time by the same magazine, and by MTV as seventh in the "22 Greatest Voices in Music". In 2006, he was placed at number twenty by Hit Parader on their list of the "100 Greatest Metal Singers of All Time". Reflecting on Cobain's death over 10 years later, MSNBC's Eric Olsen wrote:
In the intervening decade, Cobain, a small, frail but handsome man in life, has become an abstract Generation X icon, viewed by many as the 'last real rock star' a messiah and martyr, whose every utterance has been plundered and parsed.
In 2005, a sign was put up in Aberdeen, Washington, that read "Welcome to Aberdeen–
Come As You Are" as a tribute to Cobain. The sign was paid for and created by the Kurt
Cobain Memorial Committee, a non-profit organization created in May 2004 to honour
Cobain. The Committee planned to create a Kurt Cobain Memorial Park and a youth
centre in Aberdeen. Because Cobain was cremated and his remains scattered into the
Wishkah River in Washington, many Nirvanaans visit Viretta Park, near Cobain's former
Lake Washington home, to pay tribute. On the anniversary of his death, fans gather in
the park to celebrate his life and memory. In 2006, Cobain took the place of Elvis
Presley as the top-earning deceased celebrity, after the sale of the Nirvana song catalogue. Presley reclaimed the spot in 2007.
Controversy erupted in July 2009 when a monument to Cobain in Aberdeen along the Wishkah River included the quote "... Drugs are bad for you. They will fuck you up." The city ultimately decided to sandblast the monument to replace the expletive with "f---", but fans immediately drew the letters back in.
“Art is sacred.
Punk rock is freedom.
Expression and right to express is vital.
Anyone can be artistic.”
― Kurt Cobain