Kurt Cobain has somewhat of a cult following, despite the fact that he died years ago. The ex-Nirvana frontman led a tumultuous life, especially in the months approaching his death. Though much of his life has since been publicized, there are still some things about this legendary rock star that very few people know. Here, we present fifteen facts you probably didn’t know about Kurt Cobain. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!
Number Fifteen: Kurt Cobain Dropped Out of High School
And that’s not the most surprising part! After Cobain dropped out of high school, he continued to work there… as a janitor. Ironically, Cobain was well-known to be a slob.
Number Fourteen: The Inspiration for the Title to “About a Girl” Was Quite Fortuitous. “About a Girl” was named after Cobain had a conversation with then-drummer Chad Channing. Channing asked Cobain what the song was about, and Cobain responded, “About a girl.” Channing then suggested that Cobain keep the song title simple and name it “About a girl.” Well, how about that?
Number Thirteen: Before There Was Dave Grohl
At least five drummers were in Nirvana before Dave Grohl appeared. Before Grohl, there was Aaron Burckhard, then Dale Crover, then Dave Foster, and then Chad Channing. Crover performed with Nirvana on tour in 1990 before Cobain was introduced to Grohl.
Number Twelve: “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Was Inspired by His Girlfriend’s Deodorant
After one night of heavy drinking, Cobain, Dave Grohl, and some others decided to continue the party. Bikini Kill singer Kathleen Hanna eventually spray painted “Kurt smells like teen spirit” on Cobain’s wall, which was a reference to the deodorant Cobain’s girlfriend, Tobi Vail, wore.
Number Eleven: He Called His Mom When He Saw Himself on the TV for the First Time
Cobain saw himself on the television for the first time in his music video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” He watched it from a hotel room, and he called his mom to tell her “There’s me.”
Number Ten: He Wrote a Song About Rape
Cobain wrote the song “Polly” in 1987, and he wrote it after he read an article about a 14-year-old girl getting tortured and raped. He wrote the song from the perspective of the girl.
Number Nine: He Was Thrown Out of His Own Record Release Party
Along with the rest of the Nirvana members, Cobain was thrown out of his own record release party! Cobain started a food fight, which eventually led to him and the rest of the band being thrown out.
Number Eight: The Sign Entering His Hometown Says “Come As You Are”
Cobain was born and raised in Aberdeen, Washington. In 2005, the phrase “come as you are” was added to the welcome sign in the town. It was created by the Kurt Cobain Memorial Committee.
Number Seven: He Was Almost in the Navy
Cobain was notorious for doing poorly in school. In an effort to convince him to get his stuff together, Cobain’s dad had him meet with a recruitment officer. Cobain completed the recruitment process in 1984, but when the officer came to complete the process, Cobain decided to get stoned and walked out instead.
Number Six: He Recorded While Homeless
Cobain was able to successfully record Nevermind while he was homeless. He was forced to sleep in his car; meanwhile, Nevermind went on to sell two million copies.
Number Five: He Liked Al Yankovic’s Parody
Though Cobain was notorious for having a disdain for just about everything, he was a big fan of Weird Al Yankovic. When the parody artist called him to see if he could do a parody of “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Cobain agreed. Cobain apparently said that he thought Yankovic was a “musical genius.” He saw “Smells like Nirvana” as a sign that the band had officially made it in the big time.
Number Four: He Was Not a Fan of Stragglers
Rather then get excited about all of the attention he was getting, Cobain was not a fan of his fans who only liked him because his band was really popular. He said, “Most of the fans are people who don’t really know very much about underground music at all.”
Number Three: He Did Not Like Spending Money, But He Did Not Mind Earning It, Either
Though Cobain notoriously shunned a decadent lifestyle, he didn’t mind making money. by the time “Smells Like Teen Spirit” skyrocketed to popularity, Cobain argued with his band members that since he wrote the music and lyrics, he should get a 75/25 split of the money. His band members agreed after he threatened to disband Nirvana.
Number Two: He Had a Passion for R.E.M.
Kurt Cobain liked the band R.E.M. so much that it’s rumored he was listening to them when he died. Just before his death, he was working on a project with Michael Stripe. It is rumored that R.E.M.’s album Automatic For The People was playing on a loop when Cobain’s body was found.
Number One: His Final Letter Was Written to His Imaginary Childhood Friend
The final letter Cobain wrote was addressed “Dear Boddah,” who was Cobain’s imaginary friend from childhood. Whenever Cobain got in trouble as a child, he would blame it on Boddah.