Kurt Cobain

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Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain



Kurt Cobain was an american singer & guitarist who became famous with his grunge band Nirvana, which sold over fifty million albums worldwide and changed the music scene of the nineties along with other grunge formations such as Soundgarden & Pearl Jam.

Early days

Kurt Donald Cobain was born on the 20th of February 1967 in Hoquaim, near Seattle but his family soon moved to Aberdeen, Washington. His parent's divorce at the early age of seven had a severe influence over his life, making him feel angry and anti-social, which later reflected in some of his best songs.

His uncle gave him a guitar for his 14th birthday, and he started to learn songs & make his own.

After moving between several locations & relatives his high school life didn't get any better, he didn't graduate and eventually had to leave home to get a life. At this point he had already got interested and attended several punk rock concerts around the area.

During these years he met bassist Krist Novoselic, who was also interested in punk. Cobain eventually shared with him some of his own tracks, and they started to play together. That should become the beginning of Nirvana.


Cobain & Novoselic went through different drummers before settling on Chad Channing and releasing their first album "Bleach" as Nirvana with the independent label Sub Pop in 1989, which became famous in the college radio stations around the US.

The band wasn't happy with Chad though, so they changed to drummer Dave Grohl, with whom they released their best known album, "Nevermind" (1991), this time signing with a major label, DGC Records, and Butch Vig as producer.

The album became a huge success, thanks to tracks such as "Smells like teen spirit" which was aired on the MTV and became top 6 on the "Billboard". The band toured in the US, Australia & Japan, and Cobain got married to Courtney Love.

The album was a major breakthrough for the band, and other grunge & alternative rock bands began to appear on the scene.

In 1992 Nirvana released their third album, a B sides & rarities compilation called "Incesticide", featuring tracks such as "Sliver", "Dive" & "Aneurysm plus some covers from "The Vaselines".

Their fourth album "In Utero" led Nirvana to a more obscure & experimental sound, and also created some polemic due to the album art & tracks such as "Rape Me", which were considered innadecuate by some commercial chains & radio stations. The band went on tour through the USA and the album sold well, but wasn't as successful as "Nevermind".

Come 1993 the band performed an MTV Unplugged, filming the entire show on a single take. They featured their own tracks along with some covers from David Bowie and Meat Puppets. This unplugged was to become a huge success one year later, after the dramatic event that would mark the end of Cobain's life.

Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain's Death

During 1994 the band went on a European tour, but Cobain's health was slowly deteriorating to the point that he got diagnosed with severe bronchitis & laryngitis.

He was found unconscious by his wife Courtney Love on the 4th of March, due to a mixture of alcohol and medicines. The tour was cancelled.

Cobain also suffered heroin addiction and eventually agreed to enter a rehab program. Just one week later he scaped the facility & flew back to Seattle, only to be found death along with a suicide note the 8th of April of 1994 at his Lake Washington home.


Kurt Cobain's early influences were punk & alternative rock bands such as Sex Pistols, Joy Division, Black Flag & Flipper, and other bands such as Butthole Surfers, The Vaselines, The Melvins, The Meat Puppets, Young Marble Giants.

He also stated the influence of The Pixies, Iggy Pop & Aerosmith as "Nevermind" influences, and was interested in The Beatles, specially Lennon.

Nirvana also helped indie bands become known, such as "The Jesus Lizard".


Kurt Cobain liked playing left handed Fender guitars such as a 1965 Fender Jaguar with DiMarzio pickups, a 70s Fender Mustang and various Japanese Fender Stratocasters, which he usually destroyed at the end of his concerts.

He used Mesa-Boogie pre-amps along Crown power amps, through 4x12 Marshall cabs equipped with Celestion 12" G12M Greenback Speakers & Celestion 12" Vintage 30 Speakers.

He liked the classic BOSS DS-1 stomp for effects.


Originally by Fran