It's already been 17 years since the passing of Nirvana frontman, Kurt Cobain. He was only 27 years old when his body was found dead by an apparent suicide on April 8th, 1994. An investigation determined that his death occurred three days prior to his body being discovered. Today, we're taking a look at seven interesting facts that you may not know about the grunge legend.
Suicide Tendencies In The Cobain Family
While the question of whether or not Kurt committed suicide will forever be under debate, what is certain is that two of Kurt's uncles had actually killed themselves. The cause of both deaths: a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. When Kurt was younger, he would often record movies on a Super-8 camera. One of his films included a scene where he commits suicide. His daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, had a suicide-themed party for her sweet 16.
Kurt Cobain once ODed Yet Still Performed the Same night
In July 1993, Kurt was scheduled to perform at the New Music Seminar in New York City. Prior to the show, Kurt shot up too much heroin which resulted in an accidental overdose. Courtney Love injected him with Narcan and then punched him in the chest. This resuscitated Kurt who went on to perform later that night as if nothing had happened.
Smells Like Teen Spirit Is Named After A Body Deodorant
One night, Kurt got into an argument with Kathleen Hanna (from Bikini Kill). When he woke up the next morning, he found that Tobi had written "Kurt Smells Like Teen Spirit" on the wall of his hotel room. Tobi was actually referring to the deodorant brand that she wore (Teen Spirit). Unaware of the deodorant, Kurt loved the term so much that he decided to name his Pixies-influenced song, Smells Like Teen Spirit, after the phrase. While he probably had to pay a fine for the vandalism on the hotel's wall, we're pretty sure the song more than paid for the damages.
Kurt Suffered From Intense Debilitating Stomach Problems
In his journals, Kurt often mentioned that he was suffering from chronic stomach pain. He went to several doctors but they were unable to determine the cause. His condition worsened as time progressed which prompted Cobain to shoot up more and more heroin to alleviate the pain. In his suicide note, Kurt references his stomach problems:
"Thank you all from the pit of my burning, nauseous stomach for your letters and concern during the past years."
Cobain's Suicide Note Was Addressed To His Imaginary Friend
While growing up, Kurt had an imaginary friend named Boddah. He would often claim that Boddah was the person responsible for any of his wrong doings. Kurt's suicide note is addressed to Boddah:
Speaking from the tongue of an experienced simpleton who obviously would rather be an emasculated, infantile complainee, this note should be pretty easy to understand [..]"
One of Nirvana's First Gigs Was Offered By Kurt's Medical Examiner
In the eighties, Dr. Nikolas Hartshorne was a punk rock promoter. He was responsible for booking Nirvana's third gig which was held at the Central Tavern in Seattle. Six years later, Dr. Hartshorne served as the medical examiner for Kurt Cobain following his death.
Nirvana's Fourth Album Would Have Been More Acoustic, Less Grungy
Following the highly successful performance at MTV Unplugged, Kurt mentioned that his next album would be more ethereal and acoustic. He had recently discovered Lead Belly (See Kurt's cover of Where Did You Sleep Last Night) and wanted to move away from grunge for Nirvana's fourth studio record. He had even spoken to R.E.M's lead singer, Michael Stipe, about it:
"It was going to be very quiet and acoustic, with lots of stringed instruments. It was going to be an amazing fucking record, and I’m a little bit angry at him for killing himself. He and I were going to record a trial run of the album, a demo tape. It was all set up. He had a plane ticket. He had a car picking him up. And at the last minute he called and said, 'I can't come."