Kurt Cobain Essay, Research Paper
Kurt Donald Cobain was born on February 20,1967 in the town of Aberdeen,
Washington. Aberdeen is on the west coast and is about 108 miles southwest of
Seattle. Aberdeen is a dreary place with about seven feet of rain a year. Kurt
was born to Mrs. Wendy Cobain and to Mr. Donald Cobain. Wendy was a homemaker.
She had a very tight bond with Kurt. He was her first born. She had another
child three years after she had Kurt. Her name was Kim. Donald was a mechanic.
He was very into sports. He often tried to push Kurt into sports but Kurt just
didn’t like them. Even though the Cobain’s didn’t have much they seemed to do
all right. Wendy dressed her children in the best clothes she could afford.
They always looked like the best dressed kids in Aberdeen.
Kurt was an extremely happy child. He would wake up everyday so happy. He was
always filled with joy and always had a smile on his face. Kurt once said his
upbringing could be decribed as “white trash posing as middle class”. His
mother told him to stay away from the poor kids. She said they were dirty. So
Kurt did and he also would beat the up. Then in 4th grade he realized he liked
them better. Around that time people started to notice that Kurt was very good
in art. Most of Kurt’s friends didn’t really like things like art and music.
He loved these things so much he stopped making friends because he was different.
Kurt was not such a health kid. His whole life he suffered chronic bronchitis.
At age of seven he was diagnosed hyperactive. He was put on Ritalin. This
seemed to make him stay up until four in the morning. They soon put him on
sedatives. This did not work either. They made him fall asleep in school.
Doctors told Wendy to try subtracting sugar and Red Dye #2 from his food. This
was the right prescription for Kurt. Sometime during the 8th grade Kurt was
diagnosed with scloiosis. In his later years the weight of his guitar made it
worse. Suicide also ran in his family. In 1979 a great uncle committed suicide
and in 1984 an uncle also committed suicide.
Kurt was in love with music since the age of two. He was brought up in a
musical family. One of Wendy’s uncle had some records out in the 40’s and 50’s.
Her brother was in a Rock and Roll Band. Her sister was in a country band and
played the guitar. Almost everyone had some sort of musical talent.
Kurt had always wanted to be a drummer in a rock and roll band. His first drum
set was a Mickey Mouse drum set. He played with it everyday until it was broken.
At the age of seven he got a bass drum along with some Beatles and Monkees
records. In 3rd grade Kurt started taking drum lessons. He also played the
drums in his grade school band. When Kurt was fourteen he got a guitar for his
birthday and decided not to play the drums anymore. He wrote his own songs and
wanted to start a punk rock band.
At the age of 8, Kurt’s parents got a divorce. Kurt was destroyed. He no
longer was happy and smiling. He became very inward and was always frowning.
About a year after the divorce Kurt went to live with his dad. He had many new
changes to cope with. Donald had remarried. His new wife had a son and a
daughter. Kurt did not get along with any of them. As a result he was moved
out of their home. Between 1975 and 1984 Kurt moved two times a year. He was
shuffled between three sets of aunts and uncles, grandparents and sometimes back
to his dad. To have somewhere to fit in Kurt started hanging around some older
kids. This is also when he started to become a little stoner kid. From 1984
to1985 Kurt lived with his mom. She soon kicked him out because he dropped out
of high school. He was a senior in high school and just weeks short of
graduation. For one year he lived in friend’s houses, cars and even under a
In the winter of 1985 Kurt formed his first band with Krist Novoselic and Aaron
Burkhard. They went through a series of names before finally deciding on
Nirvana. Some of them were Fecal Matter, Skid Row, Ted Ed Fred, Pen Cap Chew,
and Windowpane. Their first live performance took place in Olympia in the
summer of 1985. This same summer Kurt tries heroin for the first time. He loves
Olympia so much that he decides to move there in the fall of 1987. Also in 1987
Kurt feels a burning pain in his stomach for the first time. This pain haunts
him for the rest of his life.
In January of 1989 Sub Pop Records hears a 10 song demo of Nirvana. They offer
to put out a single. That summer Aaron Burkhard is replaced by Chad Channing.
Nirvana’s Sub Pop single is “Love Buzz” and “Big Cheese”. In October of 1988
1000 copies are distributed. Also that same month Kurt smashes his first guitar
which later becomes his trademark.
Sub Pop asks Nirvana to record an album. They add a 2nd guitarist around this
time. His name is Jason Everman. In June of 1989 Bleach is released. Nirvana
goes on a month long tour. At the end of the tour Everman is kicked out of the
band. In October of 1989 Nirvana goes on another tour. This one is in Europe
and is six weeks long. They are accompanied by the group Tad. They rest a few
months when they get back from this tour. Their next tour started in May of
1990 and lasted until April. At the end of this tour Channing is kicked out of
the group. Soon they meet a man named Dave Grohl. He replaces Channing. Once
again Nirvana goes on a tour. This time with Sonic Youth.
In April of 1991, Nirvana is asked to sign with Greffen DGC Records. After long
battles between Sub pop and DGC Nirvana finally signs. That May and June
Nirvana goes into the recording studio with producer Butch Vig. They record the
album that makes them stars. It is Nevermind. This album is released in
September of 1991. The first day it is out it is #144 on the Billboard Charts.
On October 20,1991 Nevermind goes gold. Nirvana is sweeping the nation. MTV
plays the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video constantly. By November of 1991
Nevermind goes platinum. On January 11, 1992 Nevermind hits #1 on the Billboard
Charts. Then again it hits #1 on February 1, 1992
During this whole time that Nevermind is being listened to Nirvana is touring.
They have three U.S. tours and four European tours. They also have a tour
taking them to Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Hawaii. On one of the U.S
tours they get to play Saturday Night Live. They also play at the Reading
Festival on one of the European tours. During the tours they play with
different bands. Some of them were Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, Pearl Jam, and
Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Along the way of life, Kurt falls in love. He marries Courtney Love in Hawaii
on February 24,1992. He first met Courtney in 1989. They kept meeting up with
each other through the years on tours and other rock shows. So it seems they
were meant to be together. In November of 1991 Courtney Love becomes pregnant
with Kurt’s child. Sometime in August of 1992 Courtney does an interview for
Vanity Fair magazine. It is all about her life, Kurt Cobain, her music, and of
course the pregnancy. Vanity Fair prints that Courtney did heroin during her
pregnancy. Their child is born healthy on August 18, .1992. They name her
Frances Bean Cobain She becomes everything that Kurt lives for. She is the
light of Kurt’s life.
There were many rumors floating around that Frances Bean was born addicted to
heroin. None of those rumors were true. That same day that Frances was born
the Los Angeles County revokes custody of her. This was all a result of the
Vanity Fair article. They later give custody back and the Cobains then have to
be supervised while taking care of their daughter. Almost seven months later
the Cobains can finally take care of Frances Bean by themselves without
Life between Kurt and Courtney was hard. They always had rumors fling about
them. Things about drugs and arguments and how they were raising their daughter.
One story that was not just a rumor happened in June of 1993. Courtney called
the police after a huge argument with Kurt. The police came into their home and
took three guns. They then took Kurt to jail where he stayed for three hours.
In December of 1992 Nirvana put out a new album. It was entitled Incesticide.
This album was a collection of b-sides and rarities. Their next real album was
recorded in February of 1993. This time Nirvana goes into the recording studio
with Steve Albini in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. The art work on the covers of
Incesticide and In Utero are done by Kurt. The In Utero album is released in
September of 1993. Also in September of 1993 Nirvana wins an MTV Music Video
Award for Best Alternative Video.
One of the songs cut from In Utero was titled “I Hate Myself and I Want to Die”.
Kurt says that this was not to be taken literally. He says he wrote it to make
all the people in the world hear what they wanted to hear. Everyone was saying
that he was a moody, depressed man and that he always wanted to kill himself.
He was sick of people saying that about him and wanted to make fun of himself.
He decided to cut it from In Utero because everyone would take it the wrong way.
In Utero takes Nirvana on more tours. The first one is a U.S tour. They begin
their tour in October of 1993. This tour is their first U.S. tour in almost two
years. While on this tour the play MTV Unplugged. In February on 1994 they
start a European tour. On March 6, 1994 Nirvana is in Rome for a show. This
same day Kurt is rushed to the hospital. He had gone into a coma from
overdosing on Rohypnol and champagne. He had taken 50 doses of Rohypnol, which
is like the drug valium. The press goes wild and says it is all a suicide
attempt. Kurt wakes twenty hours later and denies it was an attempt. At this
time Nirvana decides to cancel the rest of the tour and take a rest. Through
all of the tours their are rumors that tensions are high between the group
members. The press says there is constant fighting. There is even a rumor that
the group is going to break up. To add to the cancellation of their tour they
also cancel all their involvement in Lollapalooza.
Then on March 18,1994 a startling thing happens. Kurt locks himself in a room
of his house. He will not come out and he has a 38 caliber revolver with him.
He threaten to kill himself. Courtney Love once again calls the police. The
police come and take control of the situation. They take the gun away.
Some time around March 30,1994 Courtney calls for an intervention to get Kurt
off of drugs. She realizes he really does need help. On March 31,1994 Kurt
checks in to the Exodus Recovery Center. It seems as though Kurt wants help.
This doesn’t last long. The day after he checks in he jumps a wall and it is
the last anyone sees of him. He is missing
On April 8th an electrician finds Kurt dead in home, from an apparent self-
-inflicted gun shot wound to the head.