"It's Better to Burn Out Than Fade Away"-- the Kurt Cobain Story

Kurt Donald Cobain, February 20th1967- April 4/5 1994
Kurt Donald Cobain, February 20th1967- April 4/5 1994 | Source
Family photo. Unknown date
Family photo. Unknown date | Source
Kurt Cobain with his sister Kimberley
Kurt Cobain with his sister Kimberley | Source

"I had a really good childhood up until I was nine, then a classic case of divorce really affected me."

Kurt Donald Cobain was born to Donald and Wendy Cobain (nee Fradenburg) at Grays Harbor Hospital in Aberdeen, Washington on February 20, 1967. His sister, Kimberly, came along in April of 1970. His mother admits to being overbearing and protective of her son saying “I was totaled out on him.” He had a fairly normal childhood until his parents divorced when he was nine years old. He then began a transient life, being shuttled between his parents’ homes. Young Cobain developed a resentment towards his father that would persist through life until shortly before his death a mere eighteen years later.

He was diagnosed ADHD and put on Ritalin. Many now believe Cobain was actually bi-polar, and that the prescribed Ritalin actually exacerbated this condition and may have been a factor in his famously excessive drug use. He also suffered from terrible chronic stomach pains and often would inject heroin directly into his stomach in search of relief.

As a child, he developed an imaginary friend, Boddah, to whom his suicide note would be addressed, as a way to cope with his illnesses.

Cobain hated Aberdeen, a logging town in west central Washington and, in later life referred to its residents as “rednecks”, his schoolmates as “f*cking jocks” and the town itself as “Twin Peaks without the excitement.” In adulthood, he would escape to Seattle and travel the world. He would confide mournfully to those few that he trusted that Aberdeen never totally left him.

Source

Some of Cobain's Art

This painting became the cover for Nirvana's 1992 rarities and b-sides album, "Incesticide"
This painting became the cover for Nirvana's 1992 rarities and b-sides album, "Incesticide" | Source
a Cobain collage
a Cobain collage
a Cobain drawing
a Cobain drawing

"I've always had a problem with the average macho man - they've always been a threat to me. "

At age eleven, he discovered British punk rock, most notably, the Sex Pistols. He began to develop an almost obsessive love for music. He connected with the counter-cultural, rebellious and self-destructive lyrical content and lifestyles of these artists. He also had an affinity and aptitude for art and, while much of it was more traditionally and culturally acceptable, he would often earn beatings from the “jocks” in the area by spray painting “QUEER” on their pickup trucks.

He set out initially to learn the drums and neighbors recount stories of Kurt as a child walking up and down his street wearing a bass drum over his shoulders and pounding on it, singing at the top of his lungs. As a teenager he developed an interest in the guitar, and began taking private lessons. His initial goal was to learn to play AC/DC’s Back in Black . Accomplishing this quickly, he then moved to Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven and then songs by the Who and Jimi Hendrix before delving into punk rock, blues and blue grass—three genres that he would enjoy for the rest of his life.

Contrary to popular belief, Kurt Cobain was naturally right handed. However, a love of Jimi Hendrix and a desire to stand out from the crowd lead to him learning to play the instrument left handed, which was no small feat and a testament to his underrated prowess on the guitar.

He tried out for the Melvins as a drummer , but did not get the job and began to play guitar and sing in his own bands in and around Aberdeen. He met bassist Krist Novolselic (At well over six feet tall and dark featured, he provided a sharp contrast to the short and pale Cobain.) in 1985 and formed that band that would eventually become Nirvana.

"Oh, our last and final name is Nirvana"

The band went through several name changes before settling on Nirvana in the late 80's. They toured and played frequently and began to gain a large following, They caught the attention of Seattle indie label SubPop and recorded Bleach .

The record received fairly good critical reviews, but failed to chart in the US until it's 1992 re-release and is SubPop's best selling record to date. Largely regarded as negative and bleak, Cobain felt pressured by the label to record an album that sounded grunge. Most of the lyrics were written the day before recording by a "pissed off" Cobain and he never held them in high regard. Cobain famously always appreciated lyrics more for the sound and melody of the words, rather than the any meaning behind them.

The album did well in Europe, particularly in the UK and lead to the band touring Europe. Cobain and the band witnessed the falling of the Berlin wall in 1989.

Early on, Nirvana had a famously revolving door of drummers (Bleach actually credits two drummers, Dale Crover and Chad Channing) but finally settled on David Grohl in 1990. This lineup of Cobain, Grohl and Novoselic would be the last and most famous lineup of the band, and remained intact until Cobain's death in 1994.

In January of 1990, Cobain met future spouse Courtney Love at Portland, Oregon's infamous punk rock club, Satyricon. Cobain, who was notoriously introverted and shy-- especially around women-- rebuffed Courtney's advances and cancelled many of their planned outings together. By the end of 1991, however, the pair were seen together constantly and bonded over drug use.

Growing frustrated with the resources of a small indie label, Cobain began to shop the band to major labels. At the urging of Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, the group settled on Geffen records, which bought out their contract from SubPop. In early 1991, the band recorded Nevermind which featured their breakout single and anthem for a generation, Smells Like Teen Spirit . The album was released in September of 1991 and went on to sell thirty million copies and launched the trio into the stratosphere. Nirvana was everywhere and the fame and constant spotlight, along with accusations from the band's earliest fans of Nirvana "selling out", had a detrimental effect on the shy and reserved Cobain. his drug use began to escalate.

By this time, Cobain was injecting heroin directly into his stomach and is rumored to have had a $1000 a day habit. By the end of 1991, Kurt Cobain was a 24 year old multi-millionaire, rock star and hardcore junkie.

Cobain and Love at their Waikiki Beach wedding
Cobain and Love at their Waikiki Beach wedding | Source
Kurt and Frances during one of their supervised visits. The t shirt, while prophetic, is premature.
Kurt and Frances during one of their supervised visits. The t shirt, while prophetic, is premature. | Source

"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are."

In early 1992 Nirvana performed on Saturday Night Live . The producers of the show wanted the band to perform Teen Spirit . The band agreed but, ala the Doors and the famous lyric debacle on the Ed Sullivan Show, when the show went live, Teen Spirit was absent from the set list. Cobain grew to hate the song would often tease fans at Nirvana shows by playing the opening riff the song before jumping into something else. Their song, Rape Me , off of their 1993 release In Utero, which talks about media intrusion into his personal life, also begins with the opening riff of Teen Spirit, perhaps symbolizing how that song lead to the raping of Cobain’s private life.

Around the time of the SNL performance, Cobain learned that Love was pregnant and on February 24th, 1992, Love and Cobain were married on Waikiki Beach, Hawaii. For the ceremony, Love wore a satin dress once worn by the actress Frances Farmer (who would be their daughters’ namesake) and Cobain wore green pajamas because he was “too lazy to buy a tux.”

Rumors began to circulate around the couple regarding their use of drugs during Love's pregnancy. Love later admitted to using heroin before she knew she was pregnant but claimed to have stopped once she found out. Rumors about Cobain’s health also circulated, fueled by his increasingly gaunt appearance and skinnier than usual frame. The tabloids were filled with stories of rock star overindulgences and these are likely what prompted Cobain to write Rape Me .

Also in 1992, the band released Incesticide , which was a collection of rarities and b-sides. The fact that the album was composed of previously recorded material and not new recordings perpetuated the rumors of Cobain’s failing health and began rumors that the band would soon break up.

Frances Bean Cobain was born on August 18th, 1992 in Los Angeles. Her unfortunate middle name was a gift from her father who thought she “looked like a bean”. Upon her birth, the Los County Child Services took the child away, claiming the Cobain’s drug use made them unfit parents.

The court initially awarded custody to Love’s sister Jamie, but, after several months of legal wrangling, the couple granted full custody of their daughter.

On August 30th, Nirvana played the Reading Festival in Reading, England. Poking fun at the frequent rumors of his imminent demise, Cobain played the set dressed in a hospital smock. To begin the set he was wheeled out in a wheelchair and wearing a wig. He approached the microphone, slowly and gingerly stood up, screamed something unintelligible into the microphone, then fell back and lay still for an uncomfortable thirty seconds before beginning the set, which he dedicated to his “wife and twelve day old daughter.” Throughout the set, he lambasted the media for invading his privacy.

This time, the band performed Smells Like Teen Spirit .

Kurt Cobain Major life events

show route and directions
A markeraberdeen, washington -
Aberdeen, WA, USA
[get directions]

Where Kurt Cobain was born

B markerOlympia, Washington -
Olympia, WA, USA
[get directions]

the state capital

C markerseattle, washington -
Seattle, WA, USA
[get directions]

where Kurt Cobain spent his adulthood

D markerPortland, Oregon -
Portland, OR, USA
[get directions]

Where Kurt Cobain met future wife Courtney Love

E markerHawaii -
Hawaii, USA
[get directions]

Where Cobain married Courtney Love

F markerLos Angeles -
Los Angeles, CA, USA
[get directions]

Where the rehab facility Cobain escaped from,a few days prior to his death, was located.

G markerLake Washington Boulevard, Seattle -
Lake Washington Blvd, Seattle, WA, USA
[get directions]

Where Kurt Cobain's body was found, at his home, on April 8th, 1994

Cobain's Suicide Note

My poetry collection

"Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self-respect and everything that goes along with your self-esteem. They're no good at all."

The final two years of Cobain's life were a blur of concerts, tours, heavy drug use and pressure. In 1993, the band released In Utero (the cover art consisted of a collage Cobain had created) which took on a much more polished edge than the much rawer Nevermind and the cries of "sellout" became stronger.

Kurt's musical tastes began to change and he became less and less enamored with the rock n roll lifestyle and with the types of records he was putting out. He claimed that life had grown boring and he was disinterested in it. In November of 1993-- just six months before his death, Nirvana did a performance for MTV's Unplugged series. In hindsight, the concert was a glorious and prophetic swan song. The set list featured many covers and lesser known Nirvana songs and a strong theme of death permeated the lyrics and the stage was decorated with lilies an orchids, common funeral flowers.

The concert is considered a masterpiece by most and Cobain is seen smiling throughout the performance and offering playful banter with the intimate crowd. He appeared to be in good health and not as tired and gaunt looking as he had been in recent appearances. Rumors of his imminent demise began to subside.

In March of 1994, while touring Europe, Cobain was rushed to the hospital, suffering from an overdose. He remained in a coma for several days. Many in the press inquired as to whether or not the overdose was a suicide attempt but Nirvana's publicist insisted it was accidental.

An intervention was posed on Cobain's behalf shortly after this and it was decided that he would go to rehab in Los Angeles. The day after he checked in, after a visit with his daughter, he went out for a cigarette and never returned. He hopped a cab and took a flight back to Seattle. A missing persons report was filed on April 3rd and the mansion he and Courtney shared on Lake Washington Boulevard was searched by a private investigator, Tom Grant, whom Love hired. There was no sign of Cobain.

On the morning of April 8th, 1994, an electrician peered into the window of a room above the garage and observed what he thought was a mannequin lying on the floor. On closer inspection, he saw the mannequin had a shotgun across it's chest and a pool of blood behind it. Kurt Cobain was dead of an apparent self inflicted gun shot wound at the age of 27. The coroner estimated he had been dead 2-4 days.

Murder theories persist.

Love and Cobain had been talking about divorce and Cobain was in line to keep most of his vast fortune. At the time of his death, however, his will stipulated that Love would be the sole beneficiary of his wealth and future royalties. Many of the details regarding the time line of his death and the amount of heroin in his system when he died call the official version of suicide into question. As with many conspiracies, the major players in the case have either died or changed their stories and it's likely the truth will never be known.

Courtney Love's band Hole released the ironically titled "Live Through This " on April 12th, 1994. At Cobain's memorial, Love read Cobain's suicide note out loud over a loudspeaker. The reading was dramatic with bouts of anger and sadness spattered though out. To many, the note read more like a retirement note then a suicide note, further fueling the murder theories.

Cobain's legacy lives on and, while the investigation into his death is officially closed, many, including journalist Ian Halperin, continue to insist that he was murdered by Love and are lobbying for her to be investigated and brought to justice.

Gus Van Sant's film, Last Days, is a fictionalized account of Cobain's final days. It follows the official version, concluding with the protagonists suicide.

All rights reserved. Copyright Justin W. Price, February 20th, 2012.



This was originally published on Hubpages under the name "PDXKARAOKEGUY" on the above date. He owns the copyright. If you are viewing this elsewhere, then you are reading stolen content. Please notify the author and the thief immediately and vacate the page.


Thanks for Reading.

A FREELANCE WRITER, HONORS STUDENT AND GOVER PRIZE FINALIST, JUSTIN W. PRICE (AKA, PDXKARAOKEGUY)IS A POET, SHORT STORY, BIOGRAPHY AND HUMOR WRITER. HIS POETRY COLLECTION,DIGGING TO CHINA, WAS RELEASED FEBRUARY 2ND, 2013 BY SWEATSHOPPE PUBLICATIONS AND IS AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND THROUGH YOUR LOCAL BOOKSELLER.

HIS WORK is also FEATURED IN BEST NEW FICTION (2014 EDITION), AND HAS APPEARED PREVIOUSLY IN THE RUSTY NAIL, EFICTION, THE CRISIS CHRONICLES, THE HELLROARING REVIEW, BURNINGWORD, SEE SPOT RUN AND THE BELLWETHER REVIEW. HE previouslySERVEd AS MANAGING EDITOR OF EPOETRY MAGAZINE AND THE BRIDGE ONLINE NEWSPAPER.

HE WORKS AS A FREELANCE WRITER, EDITOR, AND GHOSTWRITER, AND IS WORKING TOWARDS HIS PH.D. HE LIVES IN A SUBURB OF PORTLAND, OREGON WITH HIS WIFE, ANDREA, THEIR LABRADOODLE, BELLA, SCHNOODLE, SAUVEE AND BLACK MOOR GOLDFISH, HOWARD WOLOWITZ.

PLEASE VISIT HIS PROFILE PAGE FOR MORE INFORMATION. THANKS!

hear Love's dramatic reading here (contains lots of profanity)

More by this Author


Comments 83 comments

PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 2 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks for reading, Jolina


jolinabetts profile image

jolinabetts 2 years ago from The Philippine Islands

He is an icon of our times! thank you so much for writing an article about him


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 3 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Elias you're welcome. He ha an impact on a lot of folks on this generation. He was probly the biggest loss for people in my age bracket. Probly similar to the losses of Joplin and Hendrix in our parents generation.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 3 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Über geek you're welcome. I'm honored you read this all the way through!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 3 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Rasta, I'm pleased that this helped answer some questions for you after all , that's the point of hubpages right?


Elias Zanetti profile image

Elias Zanetti 3 years ago from Athens, Greece

Excellent post and very informative! I also grew up with Nirvana and other bands from Seattle of course... Your hub brought me memories, thanks for this tribute..


UberGeekGirl profile image

UberGeekGirl 3 years ago from Calgary

He was a huge loss to the music industry. Thanks for this article. It's not very often I actually read the whole thing. This time I did. Well done.


rasta1 profile image

rasta1 3 years ago from Jamaica

I was wondering who was Kurt. Kept seeing the name everywhere. This article answered all my queries.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 3 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

I appreciate your insights. He was certainly a troubled young man. I wish he could have received the help he needed. Whether or not he was murdered of the victim of suicide, he could have still been with us today.


Lady Guinevere profile image

Lady Guinevere 3 years ago from West Virginia

What a sad, sad, sad story of a great person who had lots of problems. It all boils down to mis communication from the parent when they were thinking about divorcing. We don't talk to our children. We don't explain to them because we think that it will hurt them. That doesn't seem the case in all divorces with young impressionable children. Being misdiagnosed too was another thing that I think helped in the path that he took on the drug trips. I can see that he had choices but his choices were stemming from something gone wrong. He was hiding the pain and it came out in his voice, in his music and in his excessive drug use. It doesn't seem like anyone asked him how he felt about things. Just sad, sad, sad.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

J.S., apparently the act on stage is not an act at all. It's how they really are. Disgusting people. Let me know what you think of the book.


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Hey PDX!

That's pretty cool that you're in law knew El Duce! I heard he was a real jerk too! I did some online research of him and the band and they were repulsive to say the least! Thanks for providing the links to the book and your blog!

JSMatthew~


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

JS

I've actually seen Kurt and Courtney... it was pretty good and I was rather intrigued by the interview with El Duce. My brother in law actually knew those guys (El Duce and his band) and said they were complete assholes and probably not a reliable source of info. The documentary is interesting, but a lot of facts in the film have since been refuted.

The book in question is for sale on amazon and e bay. I've provided links to it in the body of this article. it's well worth the read.

I did hear about MCA. I actually wrote a brief blog about it: http://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=6278120162.../target=post;postID=3925572900114926272

Thanks for reading and commenting!


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

And 2 other random things...

"Love that's love will not fade away..." Jerry Garcia

(Reminded me of your Hub Title a little)

On another note...

Did you hear about the death of the "Beasty Boys" Adam "MCA" Yauch? Very sad to say the least. He was a great Buddhist that was dedicated to the freedom of the people of Tibet. He will also be missed...

JSMatthew~


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Hey PDX! The documentary is from 1998 and was created by Nick Broomfield. The title is: "Kurt and Courtney". Here is a link to a short excerpt from the film (the film is a lot longer): http://current.com/entertainment/music/89553789_ku...

I don't know if you get the "Current" TV Channel where you are (it is a liberal/progressive news and information channel owned by Al Gore) but if you can find it, they have a lot of great and unbiased documentaries on a lot of different topics. Here is the main site: http://current.com/

I have not (yet) read your "My JFK Moment" Hub, nor the other title you listed.

In the documentary Broomfield interviews those close to Kurt and others and he did a really good job. He discusses in detail the rumor of Courtney's involvement and he interviews a guy who claims that Courtney offered him a lot of $ to kill Kurt; ironically, he is murdered shortly after he went public...

I hope you can find a good source for the documentary. It really is a good one. He also did one on Biggie and Tupac. You should check him out if you haven't already.

JSMatthew~


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks so much, Raci! He certainly was


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

JS, I'm glad you enjoyed this. He meant a lot to me... did you read my my hub "MY JFK MOment"? what's the name of that documentary?

also, have you read "Love and death: the Murder of Kurt Cobain"? It's a good, quick read.


raciniwa profile image

raciniwa 4 years ago from Naga City, Cebu

wow...this is a marvelous hub...Kurt Cobain is awesome...


J.S.Matthew profile image

J.S.Matthew 4 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Wow PDX! Wow! I am a child of the Grunge Era and Nirvana was one of my favorites along with Pearl Jam. This is so well put together. I always enjoy reading your publications especially when you write about something that I am connected to. This Hub is one of them. The documentary on Current TV about the life and death of Kurt Cobain and the mysteries surrounding his death was really interesting. I enjoyed reading this and will vote up and across. Thanks for this tribute. Shared.

JSMatthew~


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Interesting analysis, Stessily. I hadn't considered that before, but it makes sense. Thanks for sharing. I'm glad I was able to share with you the suicide note. I like it when people learn something from my work! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!


stessily 4 years ago

PDX, Interesting, very interesting. This is the first time I've read Kurt Cobain's suicide note. I have always appreciated his learning to play the guitar left-handed, especially since I am left-handed, have tried to play the guitar right-handed but felt at cross purposes with myself in those attempts, and thus stumbled along as a left-handed guitar player. The left side of the body connects with the right side of the brain, where creativity resides. I've sometimes wondered that a Kurt as a super sensitive artist received almost an overdose of sensitivity by going against the grain in playing the guitar --- albeit amazingly --- in a way which was not natural for him.

A thought-provoking tribute which surely would be appreciated by Kurt, wherever he is now.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Dorothy!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thaks Till. I'm glad I could help educate you on him!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Brian. Interesting story. Thank you. If I understand correctly, Nirvana;'s success overseas preceded their success here in the states, and did prompt some sort of a bidding war. The Satyricon (now defunct) here in portland, was one of their early stomping grounds. I played there any times before it closed and I could always feel the ghost of Kurt in that building, and it was an honor to share a stage with him, even posthumously


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

thanks so much, Ana. Sharing is caring. I very much appreciate you stopping by and sharing this!


buckleupdorothy profile image

buckleupdorothy 4 years ago from Istanbul, Turkey

Loved this: Nothing else to say that hasn't already made it into others' comments. Voted UP.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

I have to agree with billybuc..."tragedy and the music industry go hand in hand." How many famous singers die, one way or another by their own hand, at an early age. This hub was really interesting. Curt was after my time so I didn't know much about him but you certainly filled in the blanks with this very comprehensive hub. Voted up and interesting.


BRIAN SLATER profile image

BRIAN SLATER 4 years ago from Nottingham Uk

This is a great tribute aarticle Justin, I remember being a fan of his and Nirvana in the early mid 80's I didn't know too much about them back then except they burst onto the UK scene in fairly dramatic fashion. I was a collector of records then and I loved their earlier stuff. There was one specific club that used to play a lot of his music and I loved it. Great to bring back all those memories again. I think he may have been destined to die young, talented people around that time sought solace in drugs, it such a shame, but his time was right for the music industry.


Ana Teixeira profile image

Ana Teixeira 4 years ago from Oporto, Porto, Portugal

Jus to say.. R.I.P... 18 years ago today, Kurt Cobain left this world... And we all miss him!

Great hub.. I' a big fan so I really enjoyed every bit of it... Congrats! voting up.. and SHARING on Fb if you don't mind!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Jon, thanks for much for stopping by and leaving an impact with your comment. Much appreciated, my friend.


Jon Kohan profile image

Jon Kohan 4 years ago from Pittsburgh Pa

Nirvana's music was great back then but is still great today. They’re probably the best band to ever grace the stage in my mind.

We all think what could have been if Kurt was still alive but what makes the music so special is that there's only so much of it, that we cherish each song.

People change as they grow and so do bands. If Nirvana would have kept going who knows what they'd sound like today. they might have totally changed their sound and lost a lot of their fans. (which seems like most band down the line do)

Not only was Nirvana a great band but they arrived when music needed them the most. A few years earlier and they would probably never get out of the local scene. If they were around now they wouldn’t have such an impact.

Good article.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Marcy... I've read a lot about that list... I believe Brian Jones and Jim Morrison are on the list as well, but I'm not positive. Something about that age, I suppose. Thanks for reading and commenting!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks for reading, Ardie. I'm glad you found it informative. let me know how your hubby liked it...


Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

It's so sad to see bright stars burn out too soon. Cobain is one of a long list of famous artists who died at 27. It's uncanny the number who lived only to that age and then died under difficult circumstances. I don't recall the full list, but two early members on it are Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendricks, I believe. We can't help but wonder what brilliant contributions they may have made has they lived more years.

Excellent and well-researched hub - thanks for this look into his childhood and fame.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

Wow Justin. I can really tell you put a ton of time and effort into this Hub. You laid out facts without coloring my opinion and you revealed many things about Kurt Cobain that I never knew...for instance I never knew he painted. Thank you for putting this together. I can't wait to show it to my husband tonight. (He is a die hard KC fan.)


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

sometimes it seems if you're handed money and fame, you don't know how to process it. when you add in the fact that Cobain was already unstable and was perhaps mentally ill, it's a recipe for disaster. Thanks for reading. I'm glad you enjoyed this!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Now you are in my neck of the woods; great hub about a very talented individual. Tragedy seems to go hand in hand in the music business but oh the talent we get to witness while they are alive.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

kiki... so pleased you enjoyed this. he was certainly my first musical idol. Thanks so much for reading and commenting!


KikiCobain profile image

KikiCobain 4 years ago from Lancaster, Lancashire

I thoroughly enjoyed this hub! I love reading other people's reviews and articles on Kurt. He was a great man and will always be my hero. His music inspires me and gets me through anything. Thanks for this.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

well, I certainly allow for my comment section to be a free speech zone. Everyone's entitled to an opinion. Thanks for stopping by!


brandonvand profile image

brandonvand 4 years ago

nirvana had one good song, heart shaped box. and that's if it's on an acoustic guitar. good riddance


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

rebekah,

I read that book in about two days. It was fascinating. From the beginning I thought hsi suicide reaked of foul play... that book bascially confirmed that. Unplugged is my favorite also... I own the alnum and the DVD. You should also get their live at Reading DVD. He was a true talent and, as a teenager in the 90's, he was a true sopkesperson for my generation.

Thanks for reading. I'm glad you enjoyed this!


rebekahELLE profile image

rebekahELLE 4 years ago from Tampa Bay

This is a great article about Kurt Cobain. I read this late last night before I turned off the light and wanted to comment today. I read Love & Death by Max Wallace and Ian Halperin. It was possibly one of the very saddest books I've ever read. But I couldn't put it down and found it stunning.

I don't believe it was suicide. It just didn't look like it from the evidence. It's a sad story. I truly wish more young people and young adults would listen to the message these artist's lives shout, loud and clear. I love the Nevermind cd, but my favorite is the MTV Unplugged.

Such an excellent, well-researched, informative hub. It will be shared and tweeted.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Phoebe. I'm glad you enjoyed this. He was a major part of my childhood. I also recently wrote a bio on Freddie Mercury that might interest you!


Phoebe Pike 4 years ago

This was definitely one of the better history of the musician that I have seen. It's truly tragic that such a talented young man died... his music was inspiring and definitely worth turning up the radio for.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

First of all, Tammy, thanks for calling him beautiful. My wife thinks I look like him (especially in the 90's when I wore flannel and had long blonde hair). Also, thanks for reading I'm glad you enjoyed this. The photos are always the funnest part of these biographies to put together :-)


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

What a beautiful man and a sad tradgedy. I was a big Nirvana fan. I watched the documentaries and it really made me consider Love had something to do with his death. Even if she didn't pull the trigger, she didn't step in for some reason. Well done and I love the photos.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

subron... you could name a song or two by checking out the videos in this hub :-) Thanks for reading. I hope it held your interest. He's someone I;'m very interested in reading and writing about.


SubRon7 profile image

SubRon7 4 years ago from eastern North Dakota

Excellent hub, KaraokieGuy. I wasn't a big Cobain fan, but I did like the "sound" of his music. I also can not name even one song. So many of those stars seem to lead such a...?...life, and we continue to hear about Courtney too.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

hoteltravel, thank you. I was coming of age around the same time he was a rising star. His life and story have always fascinated me... And I was thinkinng yesterday how devastated a parent or sibling would be to know that a loved one hated life so much that they would self destruct.


hoteltravel profile image

hoteltravel 4 years ago from Thailand

Such a waste of great talent. You have done an excellent job of chronicling the life of Cobain. Voted up and shared.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

alexander, i can see your point about his negative influence, which is probably why my parents didn't like me listening to his music... but, i can't listen to him now without thinking about my junior high and high school years. Nothing but fond memories.

Thanks for contributing!


Alexander Mark profile image

Alexander Mark 4 years ago from beautiful, rainy, green Portland, Oregon

Oof, what a heavy subject - which you covered well. The way you described him and his life, made him into a person in my mind rather than an icon. A very sad person. It is interesting to see the choices that were made by his parents and himself that drove him to his end, murder or suicide.

Despite his great talent, I think we are better off without his negative influence, but even I have to struggle to turn the dial when I hear "Teen Spirit."


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Flash... I'm glad I was able to introduce to to someone that such a huge impact on my life and my generation. I' hope you'll take the time to check out some of the music and reading materials I've provided to learn more about him, his life and his art. Thanks for reading and commenting!


flashmakeit profile image

flashmakeit 4 years ago from usa

This is the first time I have ever read or heard about Kurt Cobain. After hearing him play I know now that he was a great musician and a star. The art work that became a cover of one of his album was like a surreal distortion of his life because of the poppy flower pulling his hands like a dead puppet.

Sad story of a talented young man.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks, Christopher. Those are very kind words. I very much appreciate your read and comment!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks IM. I'm so pleased you enjoyed this. Knowing you read every word makes all my hard work in putting it together worth it!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Jen... I strongly advise you, if you haven't, to read the books I link to in this article. The hub I attached is also a good jumping off point..

Now, when you say "us" is that the royal "us" or do you actually mean you?


Christopher Dapo profile image

Christopher Dapo 4 years ago from Havelock, NC

Hi PDX,

Kurt was a genius, and so were you for writing this. He is one of my all-time favorite artists, his death being one of the biggest tragedies in history. I too like to sing and he continues to inspire me to this day, and I know he will continue to inspire others 'til the end of time.

Thank you. - S. and Christopher


ImKarn23 profile image

ImKarn23 4 years ago

And it was all Nirvana from there..or not..This was amazing! Simply Amazing. I read every word and learned a few things I didn't know! Thank you for this! voting&tweeting!


jenubouka 4 years ago

Wonderful story of a great singer who battled with inner demons, yet still prevailed to his music. Living in Seattle, Kurt Cobain, is a very touchy subject, there is still much speculation in regards to his death. To some it will never be resolved until his former wife is convicted. He was the beginning of an era of when finding your inner voice was a difficult task in fear of judgement. Although, we found strength in his lyrics and began to consider the thought of being off from the norm.

In his early days, he used to perform in local garages, playing for us, little did we know at the time he would reach the world.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

aurelio, certainly not fading away is the better option... but it;s not usually available to us. Thanks for reading and commenting!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Brandt... I loved hearing them your thoughts. Thanks for sharing them. I agree. i wish he would have stuck around, but, I also think Nirvana was done anyway. I'll bookmark your link and comment shortly!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

you're welcome, singernurse!


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thank you Alecia. I appreciate that. i love educating people. I think the Bobby Brown. Whitney Houston comparison is a good one


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Oh, I'm so please dyou enjoyed this, Alisha. Thanks so much for stopping by


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I'd say it's better never to fade away at all. It's interesting to think what would have happened to him had he lived. The videos are a great reminder of his talent. Voting this Up and Interesting.


Brandt Hardin 4 years ago

Kurt changed my life with his insightful and surreal music and lyrics. I only wished he could have stuck around to make more to listen to for future generations. I was compelled to compose a portrait of him In Memoriam recently on the anniversary of his death on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/04/in-memo... Drop in and tell me your memories of his music and how it’s affected you.


thesingernurse profile image

thesingernurse 4 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

Kurt Cobain is one of my music heroes... It's so sad he left this world at a very young and fruitful age. Thank you for sharing this hub. As always, I learned a lot. :D


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

I didn't know he taught himself to play left-handed. That' very interesting. And I also didn't know that he and CL were going to split. I don't know if this is a completely accurate comparison but they seemed like the Bobby and Whitney of Rock except that Kurt had the massive popularity and appeal like Whitney and Courtney was more like Bobby. I don't know since I never really listened to Nirvana but only what I have gleamed from interviews and articles. Very cool tribute hub, Justin!


alisha4u profile image

alisha4u 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

This is Simply awesome.... Brought tears to me.....


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Cindy. A lot of the great artists are introverted. It's what allows them to create such good art.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks for reading and commenting, Rhala. He was and it is...


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

LABrashear... you should google image her (and read my poem The Junky's Daughter). She looks just like him. She just recently got engaged and seems to have overcome the loss of her dad and an on again off again mother. Yous hould check out "Love and Death the Murder of Kurt Cobain". I linked it here. It's a quick and fascinating read.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thank you, Maria for reading and commenting. His death was my JFK moment.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Linda, I've found conflicting reports about that, but most say he was naturally right handed. I believe that as well, thus, I included it :-) Thanks for reading


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon Author

Thanks Jeanine. If you don't think that, and you want to continue thinking that, don't read the books I linked here. I recently found the original newspaper clippings from his death. I saved them all these years. They will forever taint you against her! Thanks for reading, sharing and commenting.


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

What a journey Cobain had. I had no idea he was introverted. I also think that the pain of not being able to keep his daughter only fueled his pain. You did a great job putting this hub together.


rlaha profile image

rlaha 4 years ago from Spartanburg, SC

He was a wonderful lyricist, and it is so sad that he left this world so early. Great hub! Voted up and shared!


LABrashear profile image

LABrashear 4 years ago from My Perfect Place, USA

Wow. I have never heard the murder theory. Either way, his death was such a loss of an amazing amount of talent. I remember feeling so sorry for his little girl. Once in a while I hear about Love, but have never heard anything about his daughter...have you? Voted up and sharing. Great job!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Justin,

What a well done tribute to one artist who displayed an uteerly amazing talent despite an array of life obstacles. Truly one of a kind sound, classic!

Voted UP and Awesome and Interesting! Hugs, Maria


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I thought I knew a lot about Kurt, but obviously I missed a few facts. Thanks for filling in the missing pieces. That's cool how he taught himself to play leftie even though he was a rightie. He had quite a talent. Excellent tribute!


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

This is an excellent hub about Kurt Cobain. Even after all these years, I still absolutely love him. I have all the books, magazines, etc. from that time about Nirvana and Hole. For the record, I don't think Courtney had anything to do with his death. Great hub! Voted up and shared with followers!

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working