Music History

Published on February 20th, 2014 | by Alan Cross

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From the Wayback Machine: Nirvana’s First Rolling Stone Cover

This has been floating around the Interwebs for a long time, but since today would have been Kurt’s 47th birthday, it’s a good time to post it.

Nirvana (Rolling Stone 04-1992)

For now, Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain and his new wife, Courtney Love, live in an apartment in Los Angeles’s modest Fairfax district. The living room holds little besides a Fender Twin Reverb amplifier, a stringless guitar, a makeshift Buddhist shrine and, on the mantel, the couple’s collection of naked plastic dolls.Scores of CDs and tapes are strewn around the stereo – obscurities such as Calamity Jane, Cosmic Psychos and Billy Childish, as well as Cheap Trick and the Beatles. “Norwegian Wood” drifts down the hall to the dimly lit bedroom, where Cobain lies flat on his back in striped pajamas, a red-painted big toenail peeking out the other end of the blanket and a couple of teddy bears lying beside him for company. The surprisingly fragrant Los Angeles night seeps through the window screen.

He’s been suffering from a long-standing and painful stomach condition – perhaps probably an ulcer – aggravated by stress and, apparently, his screaming singing style. Having eaten virtually nothing for over more than two weeks, Cobain is strikingly gaunt and frail, far from the stubbly doughboy who smirked out from a photo inside Nevermind. It’s hard to believe this is the same guy who smashes guitars and wails with such violence – until you notice his blazing blue eyes and the faded pink and purple streaks in his hair.

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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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