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Kurt Cobain :: Blog

Kurt Cobain Talks Guns, Religion, Fame in 1991 Interview

Friday, February 19: 4:20 a.m.
Posted by Ivan Sheehan

Nirvana AP Magazine 1992 January February Cover

Not even Nirvana's most ardent early advocates could've predicted the near-immediate – much less lasting – impact Nevermind had following its September 1991 release. By the following January, it was already topping charts and the "Smells Like Teen Spirit" music video was part of MTV's regular rotation. Yet less than a month after their major label debut, the band members – most adamantly frontman Kurt Cobain – were struggling to adapt to attention and adulation. 

Meeting a hungover and young group in a New York City hotel on September 29, 1991, journalist Susan Rees interviewed Cobain, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl in what became Nirvana's first national magazine cover feature, for the Jan/Feb 1992 issue of Alternative Press magazine.

"Just getting through this interview proved too much for the press-weary band," wrote Rees. "Spread out about as far as three people can spread out in one small New York City hotel room, they tried to be responsive, but Sunday afternoon weighed heavily on them. Novoselic, who did offer a Beck's and some Pepperidge Farm cookies, showed more interest in watching television, drummer David Grohl was polite but didn't have much to say and vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Kurt ...


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Interview with Curt and Cris Kirkwood of The Meat Puppets: Influences, Live, Playing with Nirvana, 20th anniversary of In Utero

Friday, October 4: 3:30 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Meat Puppets / Photo by Jaime Butler

For more than three decades, brothers Cris and Curt Kirkwood have been at the helm of the Meat Puppets. They got their start as a punk act in the Eighties, signing with Greg Ginn of Black Flag's SST Records and releasing a series of albums that quickly distinguished them from their punk and hardcore peers. While those and subsequent recordings – such as Meat Puppets II and Up On the Sun – delivered on the Puppets' knack for brash punk blasts, they also found the group cultivating a singular sound that embraced folk, country, psychedelia and blues-rock elements without skipping a beat. By the close of the Eighties, the Meat Puppets had found a cult following, thanks in part to popularity on college radio and the American underground scene.

After moving to major label London in the Nineties, the Meat Puppets were named as the opening act on Nirvana's In Utero tour beginning in 1993. That November, at the request of Kurt Cobain, Cris and Curt Kirkwood appeared on the taping of Nirvana's MTV Unplugged, performing three Meat Puppets' songs. By the summer of 1994, the Meat Puppets single "Backwater" (from Too High to Die) had become a hit ...


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On Exhibit: Nirvana

Wednesday, February 20: 5 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
1992 Nirvana concert poster, on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Born on February 20, 1967, today would've been Kurt Cobain's 46th birthday. Emerging from the burgeoning grunge movement of the early 80s – an alternative sub genre that incorporated elements of indie, punk, hardcore and heavy metal – the Cobain-fronted Nirvana came together in 1987, releasing their debut Bleach in 1989, with bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Chad Channing.

In April 1990, Nirvana began work on its second album. With drummer Chad Channing leaving the band, Cobain and Novoselic recorded tracks with Mudhoney drummer Dan Peters and later Dale Crover of the Melvins, both friends from the Seattle music scene. Eight songs were recorded for the group's demo: "Immodium" (later renamed "Breed"), "Dive" (later released as the B-side to "Sliver"), "In Bloom," "Pay to Play" (eventually renamed "Stay Away" and given a new set of lyrics), "Sappy," "Lithium," "Here She Comes Now" (released on Velvet Underground Tribute Album: Heaven and Hell Volume 1) and "Polly." The band added two tracks from Bleach to the tape and used the recording to shop for a new label. Within a few months, the demo tape was circulating among major labels, creating a buzz around the group. The band would eventually sign ...


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10 Essential Nirvana Songs

Monday, February 20: 5:30 p.m.
Posted by Ivan Sheehan

Kurt Cobain was born on February 20, 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. The songwriter/guitarist emerged from the nascent grunge movement of the early 80s – an alternative sub genre that incorporated elements of indie, punk, hardcore and heavy metal – to become the reluctant "voice of a generation."

Nirvana Pier 48 1993 Live and Loud MTV concert

As the frontman for Nirvana, Cobain's esoteric lyrics and ability to craft indelible hooks with a uniquely metallic resonance fueled the band. Backed by the core of Krist Novoselic's steady bass and the thundering percussion of Dave Grohl, Cobain's songs almost single-handedly changed not only the musical landscape of the 1990s, but also the cultural landscape.

Nirvana led a charge that unseated the hedonistic values, flamboyant acts and slick production of hair metal at the top of the rock throne and replaced it with less scripted, more dynamic arrangements, introspective lyrics and more universally identifiable, laid-back style – including a flannel-clad fashion prerogative that was soon adopted from coast to coast, seen everywhere from dive bars to haute couture. Riding on the strength of the anthemic "Smells Like Teen Spirit," Nevermind ousted Michael Jackson's Dangerous at the top of the charts. One studio album, In Utero, followed before Cobain was found ...


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Twenty years after 'Nevermind:' Memories of Nirvana's hits

Friday, September 23: 4:59 p.m.
Posted by Kathryn Metz
Nirvana's album 'Nevermind' was released on September 24, 1991.

Tomorrow, September 24th, marks the 20th anniversary of rock band Nirvana’s release of Nevermind. Widely credited for bringing the Seattle grunge and music scene to the mainstream masses, the album has since sold nearly 30 million copies worldwide. Kathryn Metz, education instructor at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, recounts hearing songs from Nevermind for the first time and shares how the album continues to influence two decades later.

Let’s be clear: I was a band geek for a long time. In some senses, I’m still that gangly kid who is all too familiar with Sousa repertoire and Mozart sonatas; I played the flute for 20-plus years. Raised on “oldies” and musicals, my parents always had a Rolling Stones, Supremes or West Side Story song on the record player. I learned how to play “As Long as He Needs Me” and “When I’m 64” with equal fluency as a Hindemith or Telemann sonata. On my own time, I religiously listened to Casey Kasem’s Top 40 every Saturday morning, memorizing Janet Jackson and Kriss Kross songs. Occasionally, however, something else would bubble to the surface and pique my curiosity, tugging at another part ...


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