Reflections from the Past of Kurt Cobain


April 5, 1994—the day that changed music forever as the news of Kurt Cobain’s passing filled the tabloid headlines. Today we’re remembering the king of grunge with a few “Quirky Kurt” flashbacks. 

The rock and roll kids of the ’80s merged with the punks of the age and all fell in love with a little thing called grunge. In this day and age, the name “Kurt Cobain” and “Nirvana” were household staples, but how much do you remember of the long-haired, baggy sweater wearing innovator of the grunge movement? We’ve compiled a few fun heart-shaped tips to jog that memory of yours! See what we did there?

  1. Kurt Cobain loved animals so much that he wanted to open a petting zoo. According to Bruce Pavitt, the founder of Nirvana’s longtime label Subpop, “he talked about maybe opening a petting zoo. He was just kind of musing. The energy I was getting was kind of magical: I can pretty much do whatever I want. I’d like to start a petting zoo.” We’re positive that had Kurt opened a petting zoo that it wouldn’t have had the typical goats and pigs, but some other interesting furry friends…and a release form to sign. Some quirky Kurt things, we’re sure of it.
  2. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was inspired by deodorant. We’re still rolling laughing about this one. This was Cobain’s brain for you, full of wit and an alarming sense of humor. At a raging party going into the early hours of the morning, Bikini Kill singer Kathleen Hanna began spray painting, gracing the wall with “KURT SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT”, a reference to his girlfriend’s deodorant. Hey, at least we can be sure that the grunge boys were clean!


  3. Lastly, MTV Unplugged almost didn’t come to fruition. That’s right, the legendary, stripped down acoustic performance from Nirvana on November 18, 1993, was close to being called off due to rising tension between Kurt Cobain and Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl. Cobain advocated for the drums to be excessively light so the songs wouldn’t be overpowered. A compromise was agreed upon for Grohl to use silencers on his drum sticks paired with him barely hitting his kit. MTV executives also had a dog in this fight as they were angered that the Nirvana staple “Smells Like Teen Spirit” wasn’t on the set list. Instead, a set of B-Sides (for all you digital kids, a B-Side is the reverse side of a vinyl) and covers were played. MTV Unplugged in New York is still one of the highest played Nirvana albums to date.

Next time you click on Nirvana on Spotify or spin one of their vinyls, let us know how you were affected by the one and only Kurt Cobain.