Kurt (about high school) The cheerleaders thought I was cute. The jocks would try to befriend me because they knew the jock-girls thought I was cute. I just choose not to hang around with them. It was really fun to fuck with people all the time. Kurt I felt alienated, I started feeling confused. I couldnít understand why I didnít want to hang out with the kids at school. Years later, I realized why Ė I didnít relate to them because they didnít appreciate anything artistic or cultural. Kurt I was a seriously depressed kid. Every night at one point, Iíd go to bed bawling my head off. I used to try to make my head explode by holding my breath, thinking if I blew up my head, theyíd be sorryÖ. I wanted to die. I wanted to kill. I wanted to smash things. Kurt I never wanted to sing. I wanted to play rhythm guitar Ė hide in the back and just play. But during those high school years when I was just playing guitar in my bedroom, I at least had the intuition to write my own songs Krist (1992) We wanted to do as good as Sonic Youth. We totally respect those people and what theyíve done. We thought weíd sell a couple thousand records at the most, and that would be fine. Next thing you know, we go to the Top 10. I wish we could have a time machine and go back to two months ago. Iíd tell people to get lost Kurt (about REM) If I could write just a couple songs as good as what they have writtenÖ. I donít know how that band does what they do. God, theyíre the greatest. Theyíve dealt with their success like saints, and they keep delivering good music. Kurt (1989) When I write a song, the lyrics are the least important thing. I can go through two or three different subjects in a song, and the title can mean absolutely nothing at all. Kurt (1991) Our songs are about changing yourself, frustration. There was this anthem skate-rock kids were claiming for their own, "Donít Resist," to not resist against repression. "No Recess," one of our new songs, was just some surreal idea I had about being in school and being in social cliques all the time, and then you grow up, having to deal with exactly the same things with your friends at parties and in clubs as you did in high school. Kurt (1992) Most of the music is really personal as far as the emotion and the experiences that Iíve had in my life, but most of the themes in our songs arenít that personal. Theyíre more just stories from TV or books or movies or friends. But definitely the emotion and feeling is from me. Kurt The same thing happened in the punk movement when it happened in the late Seventies. Major record labels were signing punk bands shortly after most punk bandsí first gig. They would be starting their first gig and would be signing to major record labels right away, just because itís a trend right now and that just proves that there are a lot of old school dinosaurs in the music industry that need to be weeded out. Kurt (about Frances Farmer) I just simply wanted to remind people of tragedies like that. Itís very real and it can happen. People can be driven insane, they can be given lobotomies and can be committed and put in jails for no reason. I mean, from being this glamorous, talented, well respected movie star, she ended up being given a lobotomy and working in a Four Season restaurant. Kurt (1993) Almost all my lyrics have been cut-ups, pieces of poetry and stuff. And the pieces of poetry are taken from poems that donít usually have meaning in the first place. They were cut-ups themselves. And often Iíll have to obscure the pieces I take to make them fit in the song, so theyíre not even true pieces of poem. Kurt (1994) "Teen Spirit" was such a cliched riff. It was so close to a Boston riff or "Louie, Louie." When I came up with the guitar part, Krist looked at me and said, "That is so ridiculous." I made the band play it for an hour and a half. Kurt Punk rock should mean freedom, liking and accepting everything you like and playing everything that you like as sloppy as you like, as long as its good and has passion. Kurt Most of the lyrics are just contradictions. Iíll write a few sincere lines and then I will have to make fun of it with another line. Kurt I donít like things too obvious because if it is obvious it gets really staleÖ. We donít mean to be cryptic or mysterious, I just think that lyrics that are different, weird and spacey paint a nice picture, and itís just the way I like art. Kurt (1994) I just hope I donít become so blissful I become boring. I think Iíll always be neurotic enough to do something weird. Courtney (reflecting on the sad irony in the choice of title of hole album Live Through This, in the wake of Kurtís suicide) Howís that for sick Kurt (about Courtney) Iím just happier than Iíve ever been. I finally found someone that Iím compatible with. It doesnít matter whether sheís a male, female or hermaphrodite or a donkey. Weíre compatible. Courtney I am just the classic person who wants to learn stuff. I want good tutors, and with Kurt I had the best. Courtney (1995) Kurt looked upon marriage as an aphrodisiac. He looked upon stability as arousing. And he really cured me of my former cheating problem because my cheating problem had always been based on power. You know, like, "Fuck you" power. And Kurt never played those games at all. Krist (1991) See Kurt had this tape, right. And weíre living in Aberdeen and he made it with Dale, the drummer of the Melvins. That was in í86 maybe. I heard it and I though it was really cool, so I said to start this band, so we started a band and we went through three drummers and weíre here today, talking to you. Dave (1992) When I joined the band I lived with Kurt for eight months. When I first got there, he had just broken up with a girl and was completely heartbroken. We would sit in his tiny shoebox apartment for eight hours at a time without saying a word. For weeks and weeks this happened. Finally one night we were driving back in the van, and Kurt said, "You know, Iím not always like this." And I just went, "whewwww." Dave (Nevermindís creation) It starts with Kurt, who might have a riff, and heíll bring it into the studio and start playing it. Chris and I will just start following along. Weíll jam on it until verses and choruses pop up out of it. Itís usually just jamming, there is no actual composing or writing. Kurt (1994) When I was doing drugs, it [band relations] were pretty bad. There was no communication. Krist and Dave, they didnít understand the drugs problem. Theyíd never been around drugs. They thought of heroin in the same way that I thought of heroin before I started doing it. It was just really sad. We didnít speak very often. They were thinking the worst, like most people would, and I donít blame them for that. But nothing is ever as bad as it seems. Since Iíve been clean, itís gone back to pretty much normal. Kurt (1992) I choose to do drugs, but I have nothing good to say about them. They are a total waste of time. We have a lot of young fans, and I donít want anything to do with inciting drug use. People who use drugs are fucked Kurt (1992) I knew that when I had a child, Iíd be overwhelmed, and itís true. I canít tell you how much my attitude has changed since weíve got Frances. Holding my baby is the best drug in the world. I donít want my daughter to grow up with people telling her that her parents were junkies. Krist (about Kurt) He looked like a ghoul. I just figured that itís his fucking trip, itís his life, he can do whatever he wants. You canít change anybody or preach some kind of morals or anything. What am I going to do? Nothing. So I just do my own thing. Kurt (1993) I have a responsibility not to promote a negative lifestyle. If I choose to live a negative way which may influence kids to do what I do, then I have no problem telling kids how lame it is to act this way. I never went out of my way to say anything about my drug use. I tried to hide it as long as I could. The main reason was that I didnít want some 15-year old kid who likes our band to think itís cool to do heroin, you know? I think people who glamorize drugs are fucking assholes and, if thereís a hell, theyíll go there. Kurt (1994) For five years during the time I had my stomach problem, yeah. I wanted to kill myself everyday. I came close many times. Iím sorry to be so blunt about it. It was to the point where I was on tour, lying on the floor, vomiting air because I couldnít hold down water. And I had to play a show in 20 minutes. Iíd sing and cough up blood. This is no way to live a life. I love to play music, but something was not right. So I decided to medicate myself. Courtney (1995) Kurt was a gobbler. If you had acid, heíd take acid. If you had mushrooms, heíd take mushrooms. When it came to drugs, he was abusive in a very intense way. If there were 40 pills, heíd take 40 pills, instead of taking two pills and making it last a month. He took eight once, and he got furiously sick. And he refused to take Prozacs ever again because quote, "They make my stomach hurt," unquote. And I was like "Kurt, thatís because you took eight of them at one fucking time." Courtney (1995, about the March 3rd suicide attempt) I just held him. I felt like I really needed to show him that I loved him, and you know, "Please stop this." I may seem quite flip and everything now, but I was not flip then. I was catatonic. I was really over the edge. And there was a third person involved here. It wasnít just between me and Kurt. It was me and Kurt and Frances. Krist (about destroying the equipment at the end of the show) Itís a nice feeling, It needs to be done at least twice a week. It seems to be becoming more common at our gigs. The more people are screaming at you, the more you are into smashing everything up. Itís definitely not a contrived thing. We donít smash up the gear on purpose, weíre not trying to impress or anything. Kurt (1992: about destroying stuff onstage) I donít do it as often as everyone thinks I do. I just wait for a good time to do it Ė like when Iím pissed off, or if I want to show off in front of Courtney. Kurt (1992) I donít see how people can get the idea that Iím stupid, because I know my musicís semi-intelligent. I know it takes a bit of creativity to write the kind of music I do, itís not just a wall of noise. I know thereís a formula to it, and Iíve worked really hard at it. Iíve always been the kind of person that is I think someone thinks of me a certain way Ė like Iím stupid Ė then Iíll act stupid in front of them. Iíve never felt the need to prove my self. If someone already has a preconception of me, then fine, let them have it all the more. Iíll be happy to massage that. Kurt (1992) I was looking for something a lot heavier, yet melodic at the same time. Something different from heavy metal, a different attitude. Kurt (1993) I think of myself as a success because I still havenít compromised my music, but thatís just speaking at the artistic level. Obviously, all the other parts that belong with success are just driving me insane. What I really canít stand about being successful is when people confront me and say, "Oh, you should just mellow out and enjoy it." I donít know how many times I have to fucking say this. I never wanted it in the first place. Kurt (1993) I do enjoy the money. Itís at least a sense of security. I know that my childís going to grow up and be able to eat. Thatís a nice feeling. Courtney (1993) I got Axl Rose so furious he tried to punch me. I mean, to me, that was it. It wasnít much but I did my part. When we were leaving the MTV awards, Kurt said, "We have Axl, Madonna and Micheal Jackson mad at us. We should hide, thatís worse than the FBI!" Kurt (1994) Even if Courtney and I were to get divorced, I would never allow us to be in a situation where there were bad vibes between us in front of her. That kind of stuff can screw up a kid, but the reason that those things happen is because the parents are not very bright. Kurt (1992: about feminism) It means women controlling their lives, and me not standing in their way by being a male. Itís not so much an ideal as a sense. It doesnít seem like thereís such thing as a recognizable feminist movement like there was during the Seventies, more a collective awareness. Itís in the way you live your life. Kurt I definitely have a problem with the average macho-man, the strong-oxen working class type, because they have always been a threat to me. Iíve had to deal with them most of my life being beaten up by them in school, just having to be around them and be expected to be that kind of person when you grow up. I definitely feel closer to the feminine side of the human being than I do the male Ė or the American idea of what a male is supposed to be. Just watch a beer commercial and youíll see what I mean. Kurt (1992: interviews) I usually just take the J. Mascis fifth amendment and say nothing. I personally donít care what my favorite bandís music is about or what their personal interests are. It usually just affects me musically. I mean, they could be speaking in tonues and it wouldnít matter to me as long as it sounds good. Kurt (1994) I still see stuff, descriptions of rock-stars in some magazine Ė "Sting, the environmental guy," and "Kurt Cobain, the whiny, complaining, neurotic, bitchy guy who hates everything, hates rock-stardom, hates his life." And Iíve never been happier in my life. Iím a much happier guy than most people think Courtney (1994) I had this theory that the persona people project onstage is the exact opposite of who they are. In Kurtís case, it was "Fuck you!í And ultimately his largest problem in life was not being able to say "Fuck you." In real life, real real life, Iím supersensitive. But people tend to think Iím not vunerable because I donít act vunerable. Kurt (1994: about guns) Itís protection. I donít have body guards. There are people way less famous than I am or Courtney who have been stalked and murdered. It could be someone by chance looking for a house to break into. We have a security system. I actually have one gun that is loaded but I keep it safe, in a cabinet high up on a shelf where Frances can never get to it. And I have an M16 which is fun to shoot. Itís the only sport I have ever liked. Itís not something Iím obsessed with or even condone. I donít really think much of it. Look, Iím not a very physical person. I wouldnít be able to stop an intruder who had a gun or a knife. But Iím not going to stand by and watch my family stabbed to death or raped in front of me. I wouldnít think twice of blowing someoneís head off if they did that. Itís for protection reasons. And sometimes itís fun to go out and shoot. At targets. I want to make that clear. Courtney (1994) The reason I flipped out on March 18th was because it had been six days since we got back from Rome, and I couldnít take it anymore. When he came back from Rome high, I flipped out. If thereís one thing in my whole life I could take back, it would be that. Getting mad at him for coming home high. I wish to God I hadnít. I wish Iíd just been the same way I always was, just tolerant of it. It made him feel so worthless when I got mad at him. Kurt (1994) Itís impossible to look to the future and say Iím going to be able to play Nirvana songs in 10 years. Thereís no way. I donít want to resort to doing the Eric Clapton thing. Not to put him down whatsoever; I have immense respect for him. But I donít want to have to change the songs to fit my age. Kurt I canít say Iíve hear a band who sounds like theyíve ripped us off. I hope they have just been influenced by the sincerity we try to pull off. Matt Lukin, Mudhoney Kurt was terrified of jocks and moron dudes Krist (1992) The most anti-authority guy I know is Kurt. Heíll be the one to walk up to people and scream, "Why? Why? Why?" A lot of times Iíll understand the reason behind things, even if I donít agree with it. Kurtís the guy out there yelling at the top of his lungs Eddie Vedder (to the audience on the night after Kurtís body was found) I donít think any of us would be in this room if it werenít for Kurt Cobain Butch Vig Kurt could be very outgoing and funny and charming, and a half-hour later he would just go and sit in the corner and be totally moody and uncommunicative. And, I would ask Krist, "Is he ok?" and Krist would say, "Heís alrightÖ sometimes heís just quiet." And then heíd be fine again. Dave (1995) I think about Kurt everyday and I miss him, and I realize that I miss him. But at the same time things keep going and Iíve got to make sure that things keep moving for me. I donít know if this band [Foo Fighters] makes anyone else feel better, I just know I have to do it for myself. I have to feel like Iím moving forward. Michael Stipe, REM (1994) In the last few weeks, I was talking to Kurt a lotÖ We had a musical project in the works, but nothing was recorded. He loved Courtney and Frances Bean, and he loved Krist and Dave and Nirvana. He really loved those guys. His death is a profound loss, and I really donít think I can say anything else right now. David Bowie I was simply blown away when I found out Kurt Cobain liked my work, and I always wanted to talk to him about his reasons for covering "Man Who Sold The World." It was a straightforward rendition and sounded somehow very honest. It would have been nice to work with him, but just talking would have been really cool. Chris Robbins, The Black Crowes Everyone was so fascinated by Nirvana because they sold so many records, why canít they be fascinated by them because that guy writes really good lyrics and, they rock.