Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain Biography
Bill Donald Bailey [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Kurt Cobain Biography

Kurt Donald Cobain (February 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994) He was born in Aberdeen, Washington, United States. American singer-songwriter, founder and principal member of the band Nirvana, an outstanding group that is deeply linked to the birth of the grunge subgenre in the early 1990s. After learning to play the piano and guitar in a self-taught way he began his career moving in the underground scene of his hometown. In the mid-1980s, he formed his first band called Fecal Matter with Krist Novoselic and Aaron Burckhard. In 1987, he changed the name of the band to Nirvana, making himself known with the debut single Love Buzz (1988). He rose to fame in 1991 with the release of Smells Like Teen Spirit, the first single from the iconic album Nevermind (1991).



Son of mechanic Donald Leland Cobain and his wife Wendy Elizabeth Fradenburg; Cobain had a sister: Kimberly, who was born in 1970. Raised in a Christian family, Cobain spent his first months in Hoquiam (Washington), until his family decided to settle again in Aberdeen. From an early age, he became interested in art and music, showing great artistic skills in the field of drawing. As a child, he learned to play the piano by ear and enjoyed rehearsing in a small drummer for children. However, not everything was going well in the family, his parents fought constantly, which led to their divorce in 1976 when little Cobain was only nine years old.

After the divorce, he lived with his father, who a short time later married a young mother of two children, which seriously affected Cobain’s life, since his father tended to defend his new wife and children more than the teenager. This complicated family situation led to the teenager Cobain taking refuge in drugs and music. It was then that he received his first guitar, as a gift from his uncle Chuck. Tired of the situation at home, he left the paternal home to live for a few months in different places. He finally settled in his mother’s home, but at that time he had a new partner and a disorganized lifestyle marked by alcoholism, so he did not stay long with her.



Surrounded by a flawed family environment, the young artist studied at the Aberdeen Institute, where he began to show his inclination for music and art. The institute met Buzz Osbourne, a member of the local rock band Melvins, with whom he began to develop his musical skills by being part of the city’s underground music scene and interacting with various amateur artists, among which were the first members of his band. Immersed in the music scene of the time, the young Cobain began to mix more and more with the world of drugs and alcoholism, vices that would be part of his lifestyle until his death in 1994.

After living on the street and with some of his friends in the mid-1980s, Cobain formed his first band, Fecal Matter (1985-1986), along with Krist Novoselic (bassist) and Aaron Burckhard (drums). As a band, they made some presentations in local bars and as opening actresses for Melvins, they also recorded Illiteracy Will Prevail (1986), the only album of the band that only published the song Spank Thru, as part of the compilation album, Sliver: The Best of the Box (2005). In 1986, the band disappeared after facing several losses of members and other difficulties of the rock scene. With the few members that remained, Cobain founded Nirvana (1987-1994), a group with which he consolidated as one of the most representative artists of the 1990s.


NIRVANA (1987-1994)

Initially formed by Novoselic (bass), Burckhard (drums) and Cobain (guitar, vocals, lyrics), Nirvana debuted in 1988 with the single Love Buzz, under the label Sub Pop Records. Over the years they joined the band Chad Channing, Dave Grohl, Jason Everman, and Dan Peters, being formally made up of Grohl, Novoselic, and Cobain.

A year after the release of their debut single, the band presented their first album, Bleach (1989), this included the songs About a Girl, Floyd the Barber, Negative Creep and the single Love Buzz. Although the album did not have much impact on the music scene, it allowed them to make known what the sound of Nirvana would be, which had a bit of punk, some heavy and a particular sound that would be known as grunge, an alternative subgenre that consolidated in the scene of the nineties.

After performing with the Sonic Youth band, Nirvana signed with the Geffen Records label, under which they published their successful second album, Nevermind (1991). This successful record work consisted of twelve songs, among which stand out: Smells Like Teen Spirit, Come as You Are, Something in the Way and Lithium. Smells Like Teen Spirit became one of the most listened to songs of the time and one of the most representative songs of the grunge music scene. The subject was so successful that it uncovered in popularity the song of Michael Jackson, Dangerous. In a short time, the aesthetics of the band became the fashion reference of the young generation, so many of the young people of the time wore ripped jeans and lumberjack shirts.

A year after the success of Nevermind (1991), Cobain married the singer and guitarist Courtney Love, with whom she had her daughter Frances Bean and a complicated relationship, marked by the use of drugs, alcohol, and antidepressants. That same year he released Incesticide (1992), an album in which the songs that had only been presented at the band’s concerts were assembled. He then published In Utero (1993), a disc of twelve songs in which the songs were included: Scentless Apprentice, Heart-Shaped Box, Very Ape, Radio Friendly Unit Shifter and All Apologies, among others. Shortly after its release, the album was positioned in the top places of the Top Sales in the United States, Norway, Canada, Sweden, Australia, and Germany.

At this time Cobain began to distance himself from the group and suffer depressive episodes, which led him to attempt against his life twice before his suicide. Fifteen days after his first suicide attempt in March 1994, Cobain had another incident, which was saved thanks to the surveillance of his wife, who forced him into a rehabilitation center. However, shortly after I leave, threatening his life again a few days later. This prominent artist ended his life on April 5, 1994, in Seattle, by shooting himself with a Remington carbine.


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