Kurt Cobain

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Kurt Donald Cobain (1967-02-20 – ca. 1994-04-05) was the lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist of the Seattle grunge band, Nirvana.


Nirvana: Live! Tonight! Sold Out! (DVD, 1994, 2006)

Krist Novoselic: Take a band like Extreme. We toured with them once, I don't know why. They're a total schlock-rock pop band that's totally into a different reality than us, this commercial rock n roll reality that is a totally different reality--

Kurt Cobain: They surround themselves with these professional dickhead commercial rock n roll guys, who like, when they show up at an airport, their manager runs ahead of them and yells at the people greeting them, 'No video! We want a path straight to the van! We don't want any pictures taken!' Y'know, I'm like, so what.

Krist Novoselic: I don't think they are aware that things can operate on a different level--

Dave Grohl: I don't think they are aware of how much they suck!

  • Same thing happened in the Punk Movement in the late 70's. It's like, major labels were signing punk bands right after the band's first gig, y'know, a punk band would start, play one gig, and get signed to a major label right away, 'cause it's a trend. That just shows there are a lot of old school dinosaurs in the record industry who need to be weeded out.
  • We're waiting for the dinosaurs to die out. They will die. And then we'll move into their homes.
  • I would like to think there's some purity in us, yeah, naive, y'know, purposely naive.
  • Music comes first. Lyrics are secondary... Most of my lyrics are contradictions. I'll write a few sincere lines and then I'll have to make fun of it. I don't like to make it too obvious because if it is too obvious it gets really stale. You shouldn't be in people's faces 100% all the time. We don't mean to be really cryptic or mysterious but I just think that lyrics that are different and weird and spacey paint a nice picture. It's just the way I like art.

Touch N' Go Demo (1988)

The songs included If You Must as its first song. In Kurt Cobain's Journal, he wrote, "The first song on the demo is no longer played. It is sickening and dumb. It is evil. In the likes of Whitesnake and Bon Jovi."

Bleach (1989)

  • I need an easy friend
    I do, with an ear to lend
  • She loves him more than he will ever know
    He loves her more than he will ever show.
I'm so happy...

Nevermind (1991)

  • With the lights out, it's less dangerous
    Here we are now, entertain us
    I feel stupid, and contagious
    Here we are now, entertain us.
  • Load up on guns, and bring your friends,
    it's fun to lose and to pretend,
    she's over-bored and self-assured,
    I know I know, a dirty word.
  • He's the one
    Who likes all the pretty songs
    And he likes to sing along
    And he likes to shoot his gun
    But he knows not what it means.
  • Come as you are, as you were
    As I want you to be
    As a Trend, as a friend, as a known enemy
    Take your time, hurry up
    The choice is yours, don't be late.
  • I'm so happy
    'Cause today I found my friends
    They're in my head.
    I'm so ugly, but that's okay
    'Cause so are you.
  • Polly wants a cracker
    Think I should get off her first,
    Think she wants some water
    To put out the blow torch.
  • Polly says her back hurts
    And she's just as bored as me
    She caught me off my guard
    Amazes me, the will of instinct.
  • One baby to another says
    I'm lucky to have met you
  • The finest day that I ever had
    Was when I learned to cry on demand

In Utero (1993)

  • I've been drawn into your magnet tar pit trap
    I wish I could eat your cancer when you turn black.
  • It's so relieving to know that you're leaving as soon as you get paid
    It's so relaxing to hear you're asking wherever you get your way.
    It's so soothing to know that you'll sue me,
    This is starting to sound the same.
    I miss the comfort in being sad.
  • Hate me
    Do it and do it again
    Waste me
    Rape me, my friend.
  • The sun is gone, but I have a light.
  • My heart is broke, but I have some glue
    Help me inhale and mend it with you
    We'll float around, hang out on clouds
    then we'll come down and have a hangover
  • I take pride as the king of illiterature.

Unplugged In New York

Krist: Remember the little bird?
Cobain: The little what?
Krist: The little black bird on Davey and Goliath?
Cobain: No, I don't remember the little bird. Remember that really evil episode where, where he was really mad at this kid, and he had all these visions of how he was going to... "First, I'm going to take him up to a hill and tie him to a tree and tar and feather him!" It was evil! That not Christian at all!
Cobain: (Whilst the Meat Puppets are setting up) Are there any requests?
Female Audience Member: Rape Me!!
Cobain: ...I don't think MTV would let us play that.
Audience Member: Do Free Bird!!
Cobain: ...I was waiting for someone to say that.

B-sides and compilation tracks (1989-1993)

  • And the flowers sing in D minor
    And the birds fly happily.
  • And if you save yourself
    You will make him happy.

Posthumously-released (post-1994)

  • I need you around
    To remind me what not to become.
  • If I may, and if I might
    Lay me down, weeping.

From Journals

  • I use bits and pieces of others personalities to form my own.
  • I just feel bad for all the kids who are forced to buy their music from big chain stores and have to have the edited music
  • John Lennon has been my idol all my life but he's dead wrong about revolution... find a representative of gluttony or oppression and blow the motherfucker's head off.
  • Maybe someday I'll turn into Helen Keller by puncturing my ears with a knife, then cutting my voicebox out.
  • Why in the hell do journalists insist on coming up with a second rate freudian evaluation on my lyrics when 90% of the time they've transcribed the lyrics incorrectly?
  • I am not gay, although I wish I were, just to piss off homophobes.
  • Birds... scream at the top of their lungs in horrified hellish rage every morning at daybreak to warn us all of the truth... but sadly we don't speak bird.
  • I only remember a few things about Jimmy Carter. He had big lips and liked peanuts. I now know that Jimmy Carter was and is a good man.
  • I mean I like to be passionate and sincere but I also like to have fun and act like a dork. Geeks unite.
  • I like Dan Hanrahan's taste in women and so does he.
  • To be positive at all times is to ignore all that is important, sacred or valuable. To be negative at all times is to be threatened by ridiculousness and instant discredibility.
  • Assassinate the greater and lesser of two evils.
  • Thank you for the tragedy. I need it for my art.
  • Expression and the right to express is vital, anyone can be artistic.
  • Say anything just to have an opinion.
  • I have absolutely no right to express my opinions until I know all of the answers.
  • Humans are dumb. Ashamed to be human


  • I hate Mom. I hate Dad. Dad hates Mom. Mom hates Dad. It just makes you want to be so sad.(Kurt scratched this into the wall of his bedroom in 1976 after his parents had a fight.)
  • I won't eat anything green. (Unknown)
  • Like Hamlet, I have to choose between life and death. (1994)
  • We're so trendy, we can't even escape ourselves. (Unknown)
  • Holding Frances in my arms is the best drug in the world.
  • I hate having people feed me fine French meals when all I want is macaroni and cheese
  • I started being really proud of the fact that I was gay even though I wasn't.
  • If it's illegal to rock and roll, throw my ass in jail!
  • No amount of effort can save you from oblivion. (Journals)

From interviews

  • Kurt Cobain often ridiculed rival Pearl Jam, arguing that it lacked the underground purity of Nirvana - that it was simply an old-line commercial rock band in grunge clothing. But Cobain, who was 27 when he died, liked Vedder personally, and that made him feel guilty about the put-downs. "I'm not going to do that anymore," he said in a 1992 interview. "It hurts Eddie and he's a good guy"; L.A. Times 5/1/94, "He Didn't Ask for All This" (Cobain about Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam)
  • In Aberdeen, I hated my best friends with a passion, because they were idiots. (1989)
  • I'd like to live off the band, but if not, I'll just retire to Mexico or Yugoslavia with a few hundred dollars, grow potatoes, and learn the history of rock through back issues of Creem magazine. (1989)
  • It's really not hard to keep your dignity and sign to a major label...Most people don't have any dignity in the first place. (1990)
  • Rap music is the only vital form of music introduced since punk rock. (1990)
  • I knew I was different. I thought that I might be gay or something because I couldn't identify with any of the guys at all. None of them liked art or music, they just wanted to fight and get laid. It was many years ago but it gave me this real hatred for the average American macho male. (1991)
  • Rape is one of the most terrible crimes on earth. And it happens every few minutes. (1991)
  • If I went to jail, at least I wouldn't have to sign autographs. (1991)
  • I would like to get rid of the homophobes, sexists, and racists in our audience. I know they're out there and it really bothers me. (1992)
  • Guns N' Roses are a shitty band that makes shitty music. (1992)
  • I just can’t believe anyone would start a band just to make the scene and be cool and have chicks. I just can’t believe it. (1992)
  • Zits are beauty marks. (1992)
  • All 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. But I’m not going to go around preaching against [them]. (1992)
  • I wouldn’t wear a tie-dyed tee-shirt unless it was dyed with the urine of Phil Collins and the blood of Jerry Garcia. (1992)
  • Yeah, I was run out of town. They chased me up to the castle of Aberdeen with torches. Just like the Frankenstein monster. And I got away in a hot air balloon. And I came here to Seattle. (1992)
  • If you're a really mean person you're going to come back as a fly and eat crap. (1992)
  • Jocks have completely taken over music... And just to get back at them, I’m going to start playing basketball. (1993)
  • I wouldn't have been surprised if they had voted me Most Likely To Kill Everyone At A High School Dance. (1993)
  • If I could get that girl to publish her poetry, the world would change. (On Courtney Love) (1993)
  • I'm a much happier guy than a lot of people think I am. (1993)
  • The thrill and embarrassment of becoming international pop stars was too much, so we opened our mouths and put our foot in sometimes. (1993)
  • I can't play [guitar] like Segovia. The flip side of that is that Segovia could probably never have played like me. (1994)
  • I just think there's a breed of people who honestly like music. And there aren't very many of 'em, really. Those are the people who usually become musicians. It doesn't really matter what environment you grow up in. It's just some environments are more restrictive than others. (1994)

Stage banter

  • Hello, we're major label corporate rock sell outs. (04/17/91 at the O.K. Hotel, Seattle, Washington)
  • There is plenty of Hühnerfleisch in the Kühlschrank. (There is plenty of chicken in the fridge) (08/27/91 at Bremen, Germany)
  • Hi, my name is Kurt Cobain, I'm homosexual, I'm a pagan, I'm a drug abuser, and I like to fuck pot-bellied pigs! (12/02/91 at Newcastle, UK)
  • What's the matter with all you people at the back, did you come here to see Gloria Estefan? (11/27/93 at AT&T Bayfront Park Amphitheater, Miami, Florida)
  • OK, you trained monkeys, everybody jump up and down. Let's bring back the good old pogo! (12/31/93 at Oakland Coliseum Arena, Oakland, California)
  • I spent all of my life trying to stay away from sports and here I am in a sporting arena. (12/30/93 at the Great Western Forum, Inglewood, California)


  • Wanting to be somebody else is a waste of the person you are. (True source unknown)
  • Nobody dies a virgin... Life fucks us all.
  • I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.

About Kurt Cobain

  • I remember Kurt for what he was, caring, generous and sweet.
  • I still dream about Kurt. Every time I see him in a dream, I’ll be amazed and I get this feeling that everyone else thinks he’s dead. It always feels totally real, probably because I’m a very vivid dreamer. But, in my dreams, Kurt’s usually been hiding - we’ll get together and I’ll end up asking him, ‘God, where have you been?’
  • He really didn't care about a lot of things that you're supposed to care about in the public arena. He really just didn't care.
  • In his way, he was the closest equivalent this decade and this generation of rock fans had to a John Lennon, and I don't make that comparison easily or impulsively.
  • I think one of the reasons so many people connected to him is they could tell his music was really pure and instinctual.
  • He said, 'Man, I just escaped from Exodus' [a treatment facility]. I didn't have any foresight that the guy was going to do what he did. I could tell he was bummed out, and I'd been that way before. We were at baggage claim, and I thought I'd ask him to come stay at my house. I turned around and he was gone... What if. Only if. A lot of my friends have died. If only he'd...
  • Lyrically I thought Kurt's writing was sort of cynical and that his words meant more than even he realized.
  • I cried, I don’t know why….I don’t like his music or anything….you know it’s awful about his baby I just……I don’t want to talk about that…..I just don’t think he has very many guts……I just don’t see why he wouldn’t want to see his daughter grow up…you know…that he wouldn’t be excited enough about that to not think of himself……people just start thinking of themselves too much. I don’t think it’s so much that they become conscious of the world of video and the world of this and that and a world of fame, they just think of themselves and no matter who you are and whether you’re a rock star or a garbage man, if you’re thinking of yourself all the time you’re not gonna be very good at what you do. With a baby you can tell them funny jokes when they’re two and they’ll love it, you can teach them about how everyone’s an idiot and they’ll love it…..but you know…..it doesn’t occur to a lot of people how intense that is…..how beautiful it is.
    • John Frusciante (Years later, the clean John, turned in something like a Nirvana fan, playing nirvana covers in his shows)
  • I remember watching Kurt come through and thinking, ‘God, this music is nuclear’, This is really splitting the atom. They raised the temperature for everybody. Manufactured pop never looked so cold as when that heat was around. Nirvana made everything else look silly.
  • In 1991 there was a kind of shift in rock music in America - it was shifting away from all the hair bands in LA. And with Kurt Cobain you felt you were connecting to the real person, not to a perception of who he was - you were not connecting to an image or a manufactured cut-out. You felt that between you and him there was nothing; it was heart-to-heart. There are very few people who have that ability. I never met him but our guitarist Kirk Hammett had a relationship with him. We were doing this tour with Guns N' Roses in the US in 1992 and we wanted Nirvana to come out and join us. Kirk asked Kurt, but while Cobain said he would play with Metallica anywhere in the world, at any time, on any stage, he would not step up on the same stage as Guns N' Roses - obviously he felt that Axl was the antithesis to what he was. As I said, I never met Kurt, and he's probably the only guy in rock'n'roll that I have never met that I really wanted to - other than Bon Scott maybe. What a sad thing we can't hear the fourth Nirvana album. It would have been so great to be able to see how that would have evolved.
  • Most kings get driven so insane that they try to hit the same vein Kurt Cobain did
  • I remember the first time I saw him. I was 14 years old. I saw the 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' video and instantly fell in love with him, even though I couldn’t see his face. I just wanted to see his face so much. After weeks of finding out anything I could about Nirvana, I saw his face — and he had a face like an angel. I loved him. He was my platonic love.
  • He had a touch most guitarists would kill for.
  • I only met Kurt once...I was touched by him. He seemed a little shell shocked as though he felt yet another show might drop at any time.
  • You know, I always thought I'd go first. I don't know why I thought that, it just seemed like I would. I mean, I didn't know him on a daily basis - far from it. But, in a way, I don't even feel right being here without him. It's so difficult to really believe he's gone. I still talk about him like he's still here, you know. I can't figure it out. It doesn't make any sense.
  • I meet him a few times. He was an pretty cool guy.
  • In twenty years from now, when people will look back at the 90's, they wont remember the commercial giants like Ace of Base or Backstreet Boys, they will remember the artistic bands and artists like Kurt Cobain and Nirvana.
  • I think one of Kurt's strengths was his simplicity. He knew how to write really catchy songs that said a lot without doing too much.
  • The only person I have any respect for as a songwriter over the last 10 years is Kurt Cobain. He was the perfect cross between Lennon and McCartney...but he was a miserable fuck at the same time.
  • He had a wonderful balance of raw, dangerous anger, but also he was this delicate, fun person...He was brilliant, but he played dumb. And you know, Kurt was funny as shit.
  • Kurt Cobain was one of the best of our time
  • I dont think there's any better expression for that era (the 90s) then Kurt Cobain and Nirvana.
  • Rage and aggression were elements for Kurt to play with as an artist, but he was profoundly gentle and intelligent.
  • He had life figured out really young. He knew life wasn’t always fair.
    • Wendy O'Connor (mother)
  • [He] was very talented, but he was passive-aggressive, kind of a whiny white guy, basically.
  • [If he] applied the same brain to his music that he applied to his drug-infested life, its reasonable to think that his music may not have made much sense either.
  • I think Kurt was one of the deepest thinkers we've had in popular music over the last 20 years and if anyone deserves to have his songs dwelled upon it's him.
  • Kurt and I weren't the closest of friends, but I knew him well enough to be devastated by his death. For such a quiet person, he was so excited about having a child.
  • He really, really inspired me. He was so great. Wonderful. One of the best, but more than that. Kurt was one of the absolute best of all time for me.
  • I don't know why everyone on earth felt so close to that guy; he was beloved and endearing and inoffensive in some weird way. For all his screaming and all of his darkness, he was just lovable.

Songs about Kurt Cobain

  • It's a shame about your future
    It's a crime about your past.
    • The Fall (Kurt's Blues) by Cher
  • Blown away by fame
    We could all feel the shotgun hit the floor.
    • The Day Seattle Died by Cold
  • Help me please
    Burn the sorrow from your eyes
    Oh come on, be alive again
    Don't lay down and die
  • You can hear them crying down the lane
    From Portland to Maryland
    From Greece to Spain
  • They all stand straight and swing to the side
    No heads, but they feet still glide
    Take a step back, twist and dive
    I even seen Kurt Cobain get live
  • The whole world was crying when Kurt's gun went bang
    When Eazy-E died though, it wasn't no thang
    Rapper dies of A.I.D.S. but you hardly mention
    Rocker blows his face off and becomes a legend
    Heroin and a shotgun, a hero is made
    Maybe I should do that shit so J can get paid
  • Don't feel like home. He's a little out
    And all this words elope. There's nothing like your poem
    A scratching voice all alone. There's nothing like your baritone
    It's nothing as it seems. The little that he needs. It's home
    The little that he sees is nothing he concedes. It's home
  • A truant finds home...and I wish to hold on...
    But theres a trapdoor in the sun...immortality...
  • There was this boy who played in a rock n' roll band
    And he wasn't half bad at saving the world
    She said he could do no right, so he took his life
    The story is true
  • First time I saw you,
    You were sitting backstage in a dress
    A perfect mess.
  • He gathered up his loved ones
    And he brought them all around
    To say, "Goodbye, nice try."
  • He lies in an empty room
    With his hair burnt to the back
    It sure sounds funny
    When you say his name like that.
  • Toward another, he has gone
    To breathe an air beyond his own.
  • He rocked the United States by flying all over the country and playing that rock and roll
    He is a good singer
    He is my rock star
  • Too late,
    He sleeps with angels
    Too soon,
    He's always on someone's mind.
  • He needs a quiet room
    With a lock to keep him in
    It's just a quiet room
    And he's there
    He plays an old guitar
    With a coin found by the phone
    It was his friends guitar
    That he played
    He's never been in love
    But he knows just what love is
    He says nevermind
    And no-one speaks

Songs which mention Kurt Cobain

  • Or take me away like a bullet from Kurt Cobain


  • Thanks to Elvis and Kurt Cobain
    the world will never be the same
  • My sister, she says she knows Elvis
    She knows Jesus, John Lennon, and Kurt Cobain personally
  • I remember doing nothing on the night Sinatra died
    And the night Jeff Buckley died
    And the night Kurt Cobain died
    And the night John Lennon died.
  • What of Kurt Cobain, will his presence still remain?
  • A whole generation of kids blowin' out their fuckin' brains to this Kurt Cobain music
    • Devils's Night by D12
  • And going for the clincher, a girl cries out in vain
    How Jesus lived 6 years longer than Kurt Cobain
    And Jesus' hair was longer, and Jesus' arms were stonger
    And Jesus's eyes were bluer, and Jesus' thoughts were truer
    • Jesus Lived 6 Years Longer Than Kurt Cobain by The Floors
  • And a memory that can ease your pain
    Like a melody from Kurt Cobain.
  • Way out in Seattle
    Young Kurt Cobain
    Snuck out to the greenhouse
    Put a bullet in his brain.
  • Keep them high like Kurt Cobain.
  • Johnny wishes he was famous
    Spends his time alone in the basement
    With Lennon and Cobain
    And a guitar and a stereo.
  • Having conversations with Kurt Cobain
    I'm drowning my fears in the acid rain.
  • And so I parallel the brains of Cobain.
  • Yeah the whole byrd gangs in here like Kurt Cobain was here.
  • Kurt Cobain, he never had a chance, you know.
    Incurable romantics never do.
    • Heart by Stars (alternate lyric)
  • Disturbed by the fame
    Just like Kurt Cobain.
  • Kurt Cobain reincarnated
    Sighs and licks his face.
  • I'll spend my days with J.F.K., Marvin Gaye, Martha Raye, and Lawrence Welk,
    And Kurt Cobain, Kojak, Mark Twain and Jimi Hendrix's poltergeist.
  • I'll finish with a bang, like in Cobain's biography
  • A daily dose of eMpTyV
    Will flush your mind right down the drain
    Shannon Hoon and Kurt Cobain,
    Make yourself a household name
  • Maybe if I put a bullet in my brain
    They'd remember me like Kurt Cobain
    And the parasites on MTV
    Would wipe their eyes and act like they knew me
  • My favorite color is red, like the blood shed
    from Kurt Cobain's head, when he shot himself dead
  • Ne me parle pas de travail à la chaîne
    Je veux pas finir comme Kurt Cobain
    (Don't talk to me about working on the assembly line/I don't wanna end like Kurt Cobain)
  • Kurt Cobain was so young
    Sad to see this poet's gone.
  • Sometimes I wonder what goes on inside her mind

When she said she thought Dave Grohl had died, and Kurt Cobain was still alive.

  • And they told me
    The times have changed
    Cause' our parents had Hendrix, Janis and Jim
    But what about River Phoenix and Kurt Cobain.
  • Y hoy me encuentro tan solo y triste
    cual hoja al viento
    quisiera llorar, quisiera morir,
    como Kurt Cobain, de sentimiento.
    (And today I am so alone and sad
    like a leaf in the wind
    I wish to cry, I wish to die
    like Kurt Cobain, of feeling)
    • Decadencia(en vivo) - Heroes del Silencio
  • Любой, имеющий в доме ружье приравнивается к Курту Кобэйну,

Любой, умеющий читать между строк обречен иметь в доме ружье...
(Anyone with a shotgun at home equates to Kurt Cobain,
Anyone able to read between the lines is destined to have a shotgun at home)

    • Пой мне еще - Сплин
  • So I watched pay per view and polished my shoes and my gun

Was diggin' on Kurt Cobain sing about lithium

    • "Me and My Moneky" - Robbie Williams
  • I hang with John and Kurt and Jimi too

With Sandy, Jannie, Albert, Charlie, the whole departed crew

External links

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