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Because nothing quite goes with tennis like grunge, watch John McEnroe cover Nirvana!
08.28.2015
06:39 am

Topics:
Music
Sports

Tags:
Kurt Cobain
Nirvana
John McEnroe


 
Very little information has been given on this video of famously furious tennis legend John McEnroe covering Nirvana’s “Territorial Pissings,” but it is a strange and wondrous (and oddly appropriate?) sports-music crossover. Basically we know that the footage is from six days ago, and was recorded at The Stephen Talkhouse, a bar in the Hamptons—not very grunge, but can you picture McEnroe in Seattle? We can all be judgmental and shitty about this performance, but it was clearly intended as a fun night out and not some foray into a music career, so let’s just try not to be disturbed that Nirvana is being covered by dads in the Hamptons and let McEnroe have his fun, ok?

The audience apparently featured celebs like Lorne Michaels and Harvey Weinstein, and McEnroe is being backed (quite well, in fact) by his daughter Ava, and his wife Patty Smyth of Scandal. Remember her?!? (Say what you will, “Goodbye to You” is a solid bit of pop brilliance.) I guess the family that plays together, stays together, or… something.
 

 
Via Stereogum

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘Illiteracy Will Prevail’: Demo tape from Kurt Cobain’s pre-Nirvana band Fecal Matter
08.05.2015
12:25 pm

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
Kurt Cobain
Nirvana
Fecal Matter


Photo Credit: Charles Peterson
 
When Kurt Cobain formed his band Fecal Matter in 1985 with drummer Greg Hokanson and future Melvins drummer Dale Crover, his blazing path to superstardom as the singer, guitarist, and primary songwriter of Nirvana was still several years away. Fecal Matter recorded a single demo on a four-track under the title, “Illiteracy Will Prevail.”

Now, for the first time ever, the entire demo, lasting slightly longer than 58 minutes, has surfaced online. Cobain’s uncanny ability to wrest tunefulness out of what is otherwise a gnarly punk mess is clearly in evidence all over this demo. You wouldn’t mistake it for the output of any other band.
 

The cassette cover for the 4-track demo
 
The demo has a dozen-plus “totally abrasive” tracks on it, the titles of which are not fully agreed-upon. The last full song (at the 45:08 mark) is an early version of “Downer,” which appeared as an extra track on some versions of Nirvana’s 1989 debut Bleach.

Fecal Matter broke up when the Melvins coalesced; future Nirvana bassist Krist (a/k/a Chris) Novoselic heard and dug the Fecal Matter demo, sought out Cobain, and the rest is rock history.
 

“Illiteracy Will Prevail,” approximate tracklist:
1. Sound of Dentage (00:00)
2. Bambi Slaughter (04:50)
3. Laminated Effect (08:24)
4. Blathers Log (10:42)
5. Class of ’86 (13:19)
6. Boatakk (17:15)
7. Love My Family (19:21)
8. Accusations (28:28)
9. Spank Thru (33:05)
10. Insurance (36:55)
11. Buffy’s Pregnant (38:24)
12. Vaseline (42:41)
13. Downer (45:08)
14. Instrumental version of Boatakk (48:09)
15. Riffs & “Turnaround” by Devo (49:48)

 
Listen to the entire “Illiteracy Will Prevail” demo below:
 

 
via Consequence of Sound
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Soaked in Bleach’: New documentary examines the theory that Kurt Cobain was murdered
07.22.2015
07:35 am

Topics:
Movies
Music

Tags:
Kurt Cobain
documentary

Soaked in Bleach
 
Nirvana fans worldwide were devastated, when on April 8th, 1994, Kurt Cobain was found dead. Adding to the distress, it was revealed he took his own life, dying from a self-inflicted shotgun wound. Over 20 years later, a new documentary, Soaked in Bleach, examines the possibility that Cobain’s shocking death wasn’t due to a suicide, but a homicide.

Largely told through information provided by private investigator Tom Grant, writer/producer/director Benjamin Statler takes another look at the case. Grant was hired by Cobain’s wife, Courtney Love, in April 1994, supposedly to find Kurt after he went missing following a stint in rehab. Almost immediately after taking the case, red flags started popping up, and Grant began recording all the conversations he had with Love and others. Statler airs selections from those audio recordings, along with interviews with Grant, various law enforcement experts, and friends of Cobain’s, taking the viewer down a path that is revelatory and often chilling. I was surprised to learn of all the myths we’ve taken as truth in regards to the crime scene, how much the media played a role in disseminating this misinformation, and just how badly the Seattle police department bungled the case. Statler also filmed several recreations, and while such a technique can often appear cheesy and cheap looking, here they are highly effective and stylistically pleasing.
 
Kurt Cobain, 1994
Kurt in 1994

So if Kurt Cobain was murdered, who did it and why? In Soaked in Bleach, all roads lead to Courtney Love. Kurt was planning to divorce her and was drafting a new will at that time of his death; the two had signed a prenuptial agreement and Courtney had a lot to lose financially if the couple divorced. She’s portrayed, often through recordings of her own voice, as being highly manipulative and contradictory. In the documentary, she’s all but accused of orchestrating Cobain’s murder, which will surely be a stretch for many, while others will find it impossible to deny the possibility after watching the film. It’s worth noting that Love has yet to file a defamation lawsuit against Statler, nor Grant, who’s been pursuing the case, publicizing his findings—and his interpretations of those findings—for decades. (including his appearance in Nick Broomfield’s Kurt & Courtney documentary of 1998). Her lawyers did send Statler cease and desist letters and recently threatened theatre owners set to screen Soaked in Bleach, but no further action was taken.
 
Kurt and Courtney
Kurt and Courtney

Though the documentary is one-sided, and Statler doesn’t offer conclusive proof of foul play, what’s presented does raise many questions. One indication that Kurt’s death may have been a homicide is the unusually large amount of heroin found in his bloodstream. In the below clip from Soaked in Bleach, the query is put forth that if Kurt did inject the quantity of heroin that’s been stated (the toxicology report is still sealed by law), how could have he possibly fired that shotgun?

Soaked in Bleach will be released on DVD on August 14th. Watch the trailer and pre-order the disc via MVD or Amazon.
 

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
Watch Nirvana sabotage Buenos Aires stadium show, opening with (still) unreleased song, 1992
01.28.2015
07:39 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Kurt Cobain
Nirvana

Nirvana
 
On October 30th, 1992, Nirvana were booked to play a major show in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They were so big at that point in time that they just about sold-out José Amalfitani Stadium, which can hold nearly fifty thousand people. Prior to their set, Kurt Cobain witnessed the negative reception their hand picked opening act received, and was so incensed that he considered canceling the gig. Nirvana ultimately did perform that night, but they were sloppy and their set-list was more than a little unusual, as they purposely incorporated rare songs from their catalogue that they knew most of the audience wouldn’t be familiar with, including a couple of unreleased numbers. It ended up being one of their oddest shows, and it was all captured on videotape by a professional film crew.

Kurt later shared his memories of the gig:

“When we played Buenos Aires, we brought this all-girl band over from Portland called Calamity Jane,” Kurt recalled. “During their entire set, the whole audience—it was a huge show with like sixty thousand people—was throwing money and everything out of their pockets, mud and rocks, just pelting them. Eventually the girls stormed off crying. It was terrible, one of the worst things I’ve ever seen, such a mass of sexism all at once. Krist, knowing my attitude about things like that, tried to talk me out of at least setting myself on fire or refusing to play. We ended up having fun, laughing at them (the audience). Before every song, I’d play the intro to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and then stop. They didn’t realize that we were protesting against what they’d done. We played for about forty minutes, and most of the songs were off Incesticide, so they didn’t recognize anything. We wound up playing the secret noise song (‘Endless, Nameless’) that’s at the end of Nevermind, and because we were so in a rage and were just so pissed off about this whole situation, that song and whole set were one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had.” (from Nirvana: The Chosen Rejects)

 
Kurt Cobain in Buenos Aires
Kurt in Buenos Aires

If you watch the show (which is embedded below), you’ll realize that Kurt was misremembering or embellishing a bit here and there. While they did unearth a handful of rarities from their odds-n-ends collection Incesticide (which hadn’t been released yet), as well as “All Apologies” (it later turned up on In Utero), they also played most of Nevermind (but not “Teen Spirit,” which they teased before two songs), and a few of the highlights from Bleach. One thing Kurt failed to mention that they most certainly did do to annoy the crowd, was open with a strange, jam-like number that those in attendance had definitely never heard before.

Unavailable on any of Nirvana’s archival releases and believed to have been performed at just this show, the track has come to be known by the most-excellent of titles, “Nobody Knows I’m New Wave”—though there is no documentation available to confirm its validity. The go-to source for Nirvana bootleg info, Live Nirvana, believes it is just a jam, largely due to official biographer Michael Azerrad’s assessment in his book, Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana:

“The first thing they played was an improvised jam, which deteriorated into a fifteen minute fest from Kurt, with breaks when he would stop to glare at the crowd.”

The circulating video of the show begins with “Nobody Knows I’m New Wave,” but lasts less than three minutes, so it’s difficult to know what Azerrad is referring to. Does the tape begin twelve-plus minutes after their set started? Or has Azerrad himself embellished or misremembered the event?

Though the majority of the lyrics were probably made up on the spot (including “I promise to shit on your head”; “I’m new wave/I’m old school”) and the racket they’re generating collapses after just a couple of minutes, structurally it does have a chorus, which makes me think it was somewhat worked out beforehand. Either way, this isn’t the sort of track most groups would start a stadium concert with.

In Come As You Are, Azerrad also notes that the band “had hardly practiced, their enthusiasm was low, and they played badly.” Regardless, there are some great moments, like the especially heavy version of “In Bloom” (though Kurt messes up a lot); when Dave Grohl brings a toy drum kit to the front of the stage for “Polly” (and Kurt cracks a smile); the aforementioned catharsis that is “Endless, Nameless”; and the intriguing opener. Is it a song or just a jam to piss-off the Argentineans? You decide.
 

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
Kurt Cobain’s suicide note printed on tacky tee shirts
01.13.2015
12:29 pm

Topics:
Fashion
Music
Stupid or Evil?

Tags:
Kurt Cobain
Nirvana


 
I’m probably not alone in this opinion… but making money from a person’s death in the form of a tee shirt seems pretty low to me. Even if that person was a world famous rockstar… it’s still incredibly tacky, IMO.

But someone—based out of Thailand with the name “Nuchyk”—is doing just that by selling tee shirts on eBay with Kurt Cobain’s suicide note in its entirety printed on the front. Apparently this has been done before on Etsy with Cobain’s letter on shirts and baseball caps. Etsy quickly pulled the items from their site due to overwhelming complaints.

You can click here to read Cobain’s final letter.

Via AV Club

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Kurt Cobain and Mark Lanegan’s short-lived Leadbelly tribute band


 
Before either of their bands achieved major national prominence, Screaming Trees’ Mark Lanegan and Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain were briefly members of a tribute band honoring the great blues artist Leadbelly. The band, called “The Jury,” was ill-documented, but it’s been mentioned in passing in numerous articles, like this one in the old Seattle music mag The Rocket.

That’s also how he [Lanegan] describes the events that led to his two highly-acclaimed solo albums on Sub Pop. He says the solo records came out of some work he was doing with his close friend Kurt Cobain, and that he felt it was pretentious to release a solo album. “It happened because Kurt and I were going to do this thing—with Krist Novoselic and Mark Pickerel—of Leadbelly covers. And that just kind of fell apart. But Pickerel and Jonathan Poneman kind of dreamt up the idea of doing the solo thing. I had some demos that I’d been working on and a bunch of demos I’d done with Kurt, that I never really gave him credit for.”

Those demos were recorded with Skin Yard guitarist Jack Endino, then and still the go-to producer in Seattle for heavy rock, during two sessions in August of 1989.
 

 
Easily the best-known expression of Lanegan and Cobain’s Leadbelly fandom was Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged version of “Where Did You Sleep Last Night,” a/k/a “In the Pines.” If you were breathing, sentient, and reasonably conscious in 1994, you saw the footage of that performance about twelve million times in the months following Cobain’s suicide, but Cobain had previously recorded that song with the Jury, and it was released on Mark Lanegan’s 1990 solo debut, The Winding Sheet. Cobain appears here on guitar, and shares vocals with Lanegan, though it’s Lanegan’s voice that dominates. It’s much more stylized and menacing than Nirvana’s more organic Unplugged take on the song—and one of the doomiest versions of that much-recorded old song there is.
 

 
Other recordings of the Jury that have surfaced are an instrumental version of “Grey Goose,” a solo acoustic Cobain performance of “They Hung Him on a Cross,” and a full band version of “Ain’t It a Shame to Go Fishin’ on a Sunday.” They turned up on the completist’s goldmine 2004 Nirvana boxed set With The Lights Out, the last one’s title truncated to “Ain’t it a Shame.” Cobain is out in front on that one. Some Internet sources have it that Lanegan played guitar on this, but as far as I can tell that credit is absent from the release, and I’m unaware of Lanegan playing any instrument. When you have a singing voice like his, who needs to?
 

 
Happy 50th birthday to Mark Lanegan! Also, happy birthday and bottomless gratitude to Beth Piwkowski, whose idea this post was.

Previously on Dangerous Minds
Cheer up with your very own Mark Lanegan bobblehead
Absolute Nirvana: new Steve Albini mixes push ‘In Utero’ anniversary set into essential territory

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Listen to ‘Montage of Heck,’ Kurt Cobain’s mind-blowing music montage—made years before his fame
10.31.2014
11:04 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Kurt Cobain
Nirvana


 
Nobody better represented the young, angry, art school punk better than Kurt Cobain—a glance at his Journals is enough to convince that his desire to fuck shit up was bone-deep. Fortunately, his tastes for fuckuppery in music were broad and wide—as he put it after Nirvana broke big in 1991/1992,  “All in all, we sound like the Knack and the Bay City Rollers being molested by Black Flag and Black Sabbath.” The key there is that Kurt liked all four of the acts he mentioned, on some level—his fondness for ABBA, for instance, is well documented.

It comes as no surprise, then, that Kurt was enamored of putting together diverse mix tapes but, more to the point, unbelievably wacked-out sound collages that went way beyond anything as mundane as a mix tape. If mix tapes get off on juxtaposition, then sound collages are mix tapes on mescaline, with the juxtapositions colliding with each other every which way.
 

Photo: Krist Novoselić
 
Kurt assembled “Montage of Heck” around 1988 using a 4-track cassette recorder. It features sounds from Kurt’s wide-ranging collection of LPs, manipulated recordings of the radio, elements of Nirvana demos, and sounds created or recorded by Cobain. The list of artists that Kurt appropriated for “Montage of Heck,” reproduced at the end of this post, is fairly mind-blowing for a 21-year-old punker with (remember) no access to Napster, Spotify, Discogs, or Allmusic.com. In short, Kurt was the real deal—as if we didn’t already know.

Kurt actually made two versions of “Montage of Heck,” which are quite different, even though they share some audio material. There’s the short mono version, which clocks in at 8 minutes, and the long stereo version, which eats up about 36 minutes. For more technical information on the tracks, definitely check out this informative post over at United Mutilations.

True to Kurt’s insatiable appetite for music, “Montage of Heck” includes snippets (and more) from Frank Zappa, Shocking Blue, Queensrÿche, the Barbarians, William Shatner, and Daniel Johnston, alongside more tried and true classic rock acts like Simon & Garfunkel, the Beatles, the Velvet Underground, Led Zeppelin, Iron Butterfly, and Van Halen. But even there, while they’re popular acts, most punks weren’t talking about Cher, Sammy Davis Jr., or the Monkees in 1988.

Just click “play” and let the weirdness take you over......
 

 
After the jump, a fascinating list of the source material Kurt used in making “Montage of Heck”.....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Kurt Cobain asks William Burroughs to appear in a Nirvana video
04.14.2014
09:37 am

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
William Burroughs
Kurt Cobain

coburainough.jpg
 
In August 1993, Kurt Cobain wrote William Burroughs to ask if he would appear alongside his band Nirvana in the first video release from their album In Utero. Though Cobain had been in touch with Burroughs before, the pair had not yet met. Cobain had previously supplied music for Burroughs’ spoken word disc The “Priest They Called Him.

Interviewer: How did you get on with William Burroughs when you recorded together recently?

Cobain: That was a long distance recording session. [Laughs] We didn’t actually meet.

Interviewer: Did he show a genuine awareness of your music?

Cobain: No, we’ve written to one another and we were supposed to talk the other day on the phone, but I fell asleep — they couldn’t wake me up. I don’t know if he respects my music or anything; maybe he’s been through my lyrics and seen some kind of influence from him or something, I don’t know. I hope he likes my lyrics, but I can’t expect someone from a completely different generation to like rock’n’roll — I don’t think he’s ever claimed to be a rock’n’roll lover, y’know. But he’s taught me a lot of things through his books and interviews that I’m really grateful for. I remember him saying in an interview, “These new rock’n’roll kids should just throw away their guitars and listen to something with real soul, like Leadbelly.” I’d never heard about Leadbelly before so I bought a couple of records, and now he turns out to be my absolute favorite of all time in music. I absolutely love it more than any rock’n’roll I ever heard.

Burroughs was one of Cobain’s idols, and he hoped he could convince the writer to appear in the video for the song “Heart-Shaped Box” as an old man on a cross who is pecked by crows. In his journal, Cobain explained that birds are “reincarnated old men with tourrets syndrome.”

“. . . their true mission. To scream at the top of their lungs in horrified hellish rage every morning at daybreak to warn us all of the truth . . . screaming bloody murder all over the world in our ears but sadly we don’t speak bird.”

Burroughs knocked back the offer to appear with Cobain in the promo, though he would later make his final appearance in a piece of shit video by U2.

August 2, 1993

Mr. William Burroughs
WILLIAM BURROUGHS COMMUNICATIONS

Dear William:

It’s a bit odd writing someone whom I’ve never met but with whom I’ve already recorded a record.  I really enjoyed the opportunity to do the record—it’s a great honor to be pictured alongside you on the back cover.  I am writing you now regarding the possibility of your appearing alongside my band (Nirvana) in the first video from our new album, “In Utero.”

While I know Michael Meisel from Gold Mountain Entertainment (my management company) has been speaking to James Grauerholz, I wanted the opportunity to personally let you know why I wanted you to appear in the video.

Most importantly, I wanted you to know that this request is not based on a desire to exploit you in any way.  I realize that stories in the press regarding my drug use may make you think that this request comes from a desire to parallel our lives.  Let me assure you that this is not the case.  As a fan and student of your work, I would cherish the opportunity to work directly with you.  To the extent that you may want to avoid any direct use of your image (thus avoiding the aforementioned link for the press to devour), I would be happy to have my director look into make-up techniques that could conceal your identity.  While I would be proud to have William Burroughs appear as himself in my video, I am more concerned with getting the opportunity to work with you than I am with letting the public know (should that be your wish).

Having said that, let me reiterate how much I would like to make this happen.  While I am comfortable letting Michael and James discuss this further.  I am available to discuss this with you at your convenience.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Best regards,

Kurt Cobain

 
222burrocoba.jpg
 
While on tour with Nirvana in October 1993, Cobain visited Burroughs at his home in Lawrence, Kansas. In Nirvana: The Day-By-Day Chronicle, Burroughs recalled the meeting:

“I waited and Kurt got out with another man. Cobain was very shy, very polite, and obviously enjoyed the fact that I wasn’t awestruck at meeting him. There was something about him, fragile and engagingly lost. He smoked cigarettes but didn’t drink. There were no drugs. I never showed him my gun collection.”

Along with his family and his child, Cobain counted meeting William Burroughs as one of the high points of his life.
 
11cobaburro.jpg
 
Below, Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box” video. Imagine how extra amazing this video would have been with WSB hanging from that cross!
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds
When Kurt Cobain met William Burroughs
 
Via FuckYeahBeatniks!

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Stupid Club’: Thousands gather to grieve for Kurt Cobain in Seattle park, 1994
04.03.2014
12:24 pm

Topics:
History
Music
Pop Culture
R.I.P.

Tags:
Kurt Cobain


 
As we near the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death—the Nirvana leader killed himself on April 5, 1994—this morning the Seattle Police Department released two new crime scene photographs that give gruesome glimpses at his final moments.  His body was found on the morning of April 8, 1994 by an electrician named Gary Smith who had been hired to do some maintenance work at Cobain’s Lake Washington home. One photo shows Cobain’s wrist with a hospital ID bracelet, while the other shows his lifeless Converse-clad foot beside a box of bullets:
 

 

 
If you are of a certain age, it’s likely you’ll recall where you were when you heard the news. Thousands of grieving young fans in Seattle felt the need to be together to try to make sense of what had occurred. In “Stupid Club,” this fascinating short documentary from 1994, we meet several of them and it’s pretty interesting stuff, historically, sociologically speaking, whatever. Some of it’s sad, some of it is just goofy.

Worth noting is that the title “Stupid Club” refers to something that Cobain’s mother said in the wake of his suicide:

“Now he’s gone and joined that stupid club, I told him not to join that stupid club.”

Conspiracy theorists at the time—well, at least the ones not claiming that he had been murdered by Courtney Love—speculated that the “stupid club” his mother Wendy was alluding to is the “27 Club” of dead rock stars who never made it to to the age of 28 (Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Canned Heat’s Alan Wilson) but she was most likely referring to two of Kurt’s uncles, and a great uncle, who had killed themselves.
 

 
Thank you kindly, Reginald Harkema!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Rock stars with their cats and dogs

555keefdo.jpg
 
Cool pictures of musicians with their pet dogs and cats, which show how even the most self-obsessed, narcissistic Rock god has a smidgen of humanity to care about someone other than themselves. Though admittedly, Iggy Pop looks like he’s about to eat his pet dog.
 
2626patca.jpg
Patti Smith and stylist.
 
333igdo.jpg
This is not a doggy bag, Iggy.
 
1818ramca.jpg
There’s a cat in there somewhere with Joey Ramone.
 
222tudo.jpg
Tupac Shakur and a future internet meme.
 
2222bjoca.jpg
Bjork and a kissing cousin.
 
111laudo.jpg
O Superdog: Laurie Anderson and friend.
 
More cats and dogs and musicians, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Nirvana nightmare: Apparently Kurt Cobain is alive and well selling beer in the Netherlands
03.25.2014
08:04 am

Topics:
Advertising
Food
Television

Tags:
Kurt Cobain
Nirvana
Beer


 
Here’s a commercial for Bavaria Radler beer where it shows the likes of Kurt Cobain, Tupac Shakur, John Lennon, Bruce Lee, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis chilling on a tropical island drinking some cold brewskies.

I’m sure Mr. Cobain—who famously feared being a sell-out—would have just loved this concept. Doubtful that it’ll cause Yoko Ono to yuck it up much either. I smell a lawsuit!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Yearbook photos of Rock and Heavy Metal icons

rocknerds.jpg
 
The high school portrait is more for the benefit of the parents than the sitter. It presents an image of the little darlings as bright-eyed and winsome—beacons of success to parental concern. They rarely reveal much about who these young people are, or how they might end-up. The photos mislead, in the same way that manners and politeness are often misread as a sign of weakness, when in fact the opposite is true.

Take a look at these yearbook portraits of Rock and Heavy Metal icons, there’s hardly a hint of rock ‘n’ roll rebellion, or future excess, just the appearance of wannabe Wal-Mart employees of the month.

Top row: Chester Bennington (Linkin Park), Tom Morello (RATM), Tom Araya (Slayer), Alice Cooper, Axl Rose (Guns ‘n’ Roses), Corey Taylor (Slipknot).

Middle row: Daron Malakian (SOAD), Dimebag Darrell (Pantera), Eddie Van Halen (Van Halen), Gene Simmons (Kiss), James Hetfield (Metallica), Jonathan Davis (Korn).

Bottom row: Kirk Hammett (Metallica), Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), Marilyn Manson, Slash (Guns ‘n’ Roses), Steve Tyler (Aerosmith), Zakk Wylde (BLS).
 
H/T Jonny Geller, via History in Pictures
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Kurt Cobain on high school: ‘I always felt so different and so crazy’
10.22.2013
01:41 pm

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
Kurt Cobain
Nirvana


A young Kurt Cobain.

“I always felt that they would vote me most likely to kill everyone at a high school dance.”

I know there’s been way too much Nirvana and Kurt Cobain overload going on the Internets lately due to the recent In Utero reissue. But I’m going to post this interview anyway because, well, it’s… special

Jon Savage interviewed Kurt Cobain back in 1993 and a lot of the discussion focused on Cobain’s childhood and teenage years. It’s actually quite a revealing and totally honest interview. Cobain talks about his parents’ divorce, having a homophobic mother, dealing with painful scoliosis, discovering punk rock, why he only had female friends in high school, anger and being a loner. 
 

 
With thanks to David Gerlach!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’: Kathleen Hanna tells the story behind the song
08.29.2013
08:56 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Kurt Cobain
Nirvana
Kathleen Hanna

Smells Like Teen Spirit
 
This one doesn’t need a whole lot of setup. See, there was this band in the 1990s called Nirvana, and they had this song “Smells Like Teen Spirit” that everybody liked and….

Oh, for Chrissake, just watch this thing, it’s great.
 


Shot at Joe’s Pub, New York, December 15, 2010

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Hello Kitty is a punk rocker: Kurt Cobain’s (other) favorite band, Shonen Knife

nirvanaandknife
 
Kurt Cobain was loud and proud expressing his admiration for The Raincoats when asked about his favorite music. Another all-girl band he championed was Shonen Knife. [Honestly, the guy seemed to have a lot of favorite bands]

Shonen Knife is a much-loved Japanese punk-pop trio that formed in Osaka in 1981. The original lineup was guitarist and vocalist Naoko Yamano, drummer Atsuko Yamano, and bassist Michie Nakatani. There have been several line-up changes over thirty-two years and Naoko is the only remaining original member.

Singing in English and Japanese, they write songs influenced by The Ramones and other early punk bands, surf music and garage bands, with catchy, sometimes silly, frivolous lyrics. They’ve written about cats, catnip, brown mushrooms, candy, sushi bars, mango juice, bison, banana chips and Barbie dolls. Their song “One Day of the Factory” appeared on a Sub Pop compilation in 1986. Early fans included Thurston Moore, legendary English DJ John Peel, and Redd Kross. Twenty alt-rock bands recorded a Shonen Knife tribute album (Every Band Has A Shonen Knife Who Loves Them) in 1989, but their American fame grew exponentially two years later.

Kurt Cobain saw Shonen Knife play in L.A. in 1991 and immediately became an enthusiastic fan. He told Melody Maker in September of that year:

We saw Shonen Knife and they were so cool. I turned into a nine-year old girl at a Beatles concert. I was crying and jumping up and down and tearing my hair out - it was amazing. I’ve never been so thrilled in my whole life. They play pop music - pop, pop, pop music.

He asked them to open for Nirvana on their nine-date 1991 UK tour shortly before the release of Nevermind. Not many people had heard of Nirvana at that point, but Shonen Knife agreed. Naoko Yamano described Cobain as being very quiet but friendly.

Naoko told Metroactive:

We toured with him twice in U.K. and U.S. One day when we were touring, he asked to me how to play the guitar chords of our song ‘Twist Barbie.’ So I told the chords to him. Then I heard that he played the song at Nirvana’s secret gig. I’m very proud of it, because he is a great rock artist.

Grohl endeared himself to Naoko’s sister Atsuko by acting as unofficial drum roadie and helping them to set up each night. While in the UK they recorded their first John Peel Session on BBC Radio

Shonen Knife signed to Capitol Records in 1992 and released Let’s Knife, their sixth album. They played the Reading Festival with Mudhoney and Nirvana that year. In December 1992 they joined Nirvana on their midwestern American tour.

In early 1993 Dave Grohl and Cobain enthused about Shonen Knife on MTV:

Dave Grohl: They went into their first song and everyone seemed sort of baffled…They won over the audience by the end of the night. Every show, people were like almost in tears.

Kurt Cobain: I was an emotional sap the whole time. I cried every night.

Dave Grohl: You couldn’t help it!


Shonen Knife performed on the Lollapalooza side stage in 1994, the year Nirvana had been scheduled to headline.

The original Shonen Knife line-up onstage in 1992:

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