Welcome to my Music Diary – today for the 20th February!
Happy birthday to Kurt Donald Cobain, who was born on the 20th February 1967 in Aberdeen, Washington (USA)!
Kurt already started playing the piano and singing when he was two years old. At the age of seven, his parents divorced – and this was very defining, as he said in an interview:
„I remember feeling ashamed, for some reason. I was ashamed of my parents. I couldn’t face some of my friends at school anymore, because I desperately wanted to have the classic, you know, typical family. Mother, father. I wanted that security, so I resented my parents for quite a few years because of that.“
On his 14th birthday, Kurt received from his uncle a guitar – and the young boy started to play over and over again. And he also crossed paths with bassist Krist Novoselic and the duo rehearsed together and formed the band Fecal Matter – which became very soon Nirvana.
During his second year at Aberdeen High School, Kurt was dropped out. And as he had no job, he was also kicked out of his mother’s home. In 1986, Cobain worked at „The Polynesian Resort“ and lived in an apartment. He spent his money mainly for travelling to Olympia (Washington) attending several Rock concerts. At the end of 1987, Cobain and Novoselic recruited drummer Aaron Burckhard. Due to the fact, that Kurt and Krist moved to Olympia, they lost contact to Aaron and so they had to look for a replacement. Finally Chad Channing became the new drummer in the band, which was now called Nirvana. In May 1988, the first concert took place and in November the single debut „Love Buzz“ was released, followed by the debut album „Bleach„, which hit the stores in June 1989. The LP had initial sales of 40,000 copies.
During the recording sessions for the follow-up „Nevermind„, Channing left the band and Dave Grohl completed the new line up. And they also changed the label and left Sub Pop for signing the major record company DGC Records in 1990. And with producer Butch Vig (who was also a member of Garbage), they put twelve songs togehter for the new release. DGC was hoping to sell 250,000 copies, but it was not like that. The single outtake „Smells Like Teen Spirit“ (released two weeks before the album on 10th September 1991) became a huge hit and so in the first week of the release, 400,000 copies of „Nevermind“ were sold in the US. Until today, over 30 million copies have been sold worldwide. The other singles „Come as you are„, „Lithium“ and „In Bloom“ ensured, that „Nevermind“ was still a megaseller in 1992.
In December 1992, the compilation album (with some rarities from the Sub Pop era) „Incesticide“ hit the market. The long anticipated follow up „In Utero“ was finally released in September 1993. Christopher John Farley from „Time Magazine“ wrote in his review:
„Despite the fears of some alternative-music fans, Nirvana hasn’t gone mainstream, though this potent new album may once again force the mainstream to go Nirvana.“ And two months later, on the 18th November 1993, the legendary MTV Unplugged Session happened in New York.
On 1st March 1994, Nirvana played their last concert in Munich. Three days later, Kurt’s wife Courtney Love, found Cobain unconscious in their hotel suite. The singer and guitarist had reacted to a combination of Rohynol and alcohol and so the rest of the tour has to be canceled. And also Cobain’s heroin addiction resurfaced during that period. Kurt started a rehab, but he broke off. He climbed over the wall of the rehabilitation facility and flew to his home in Seattle. One week later, on the 8th April 1994, Kurt Cobain was found dead. He comitted suicide by shooting himself. The body had been lying there for days – the coroner’s report said, that Kurt’s died on 5th April 1994. He was only 27 years old.
Get your Nirvana stuff here (for Austrian customer):