Kurt Donald Cobain was the leader of Nirvana, the multi-platinum grunge band that redefined the sound of the nineties.
Cobain was born on the 20th of February 1967 in Hoquaim, a small town 140 kilometres south-west of Seattle. His mother was a cocktail waitress and his father was an auto mechanic. Cobain soon moved to nearby Aberdeen, a depressed and dying logging town.
Cobain was for most his childhood a sickly bronchitic child. Matters were made worse when Cobain's parent's divorced when he was seven and by his own account Cobain said he never felt loved or secure again. He became increasingly difficult, anti-social and withdrawn after his parent's divorce. Cobain also said that his parent's traumatic split fueled a lot of the anguish in Nirvana's music.
After his parent's divorce Cobain found himself shuttled back and forth between various relatives and at one stage homeless living under a bridge.
When Cobain was eleven he heard and was captivated by the Britain's Sex Pistols and after their self-destruction Cobain and friend Krist Novoselic continued to listen to the wave of British bands including Joy Division the nihilistic post-punk band that some say Nirvana are directly descended from in form of mood, melody and lyrical quality.
Cobain's artistry and iconoclastic attitude didn't win many friends in high school and sometimes earned him beatings from "jocks" Cobain got even by spray painting "QUEER" on their pick-up trucks. By 1985 Aberdeen was dead and Cobain's next stop was Olympia. Cobain formed and reformed a series of bands before Nirvana came to be in 1986. Nirvana was an uneasy alliance between Cobain, bassist Krist Novoselic and eventually drummer and multi-instrumentalist Dave Grohl
By 1988 Nirvana were doing shows and had demo tapes going around. In 1989 Nirvana recorded their rough-edged first album Bleach for local Seattle independent label Sub-Pop
In Britain Nirvana received a lot of recognition and in 1991 their contract was bought out by Geffen, they signed to the mega-label, the first non-mainstream band to do so. Two and a half years after Nirvana's first C.D. Bleach was released they released Nevermind, a series of different, crunching, screaming songs that along with it's first single Smells Like Teen Spirit would propel Nirvana to mainstream stardom.
Smells Like Teen Spirit became Nirvana's most highly acclaimed and instantly recognizable song. Not many people can decipher it's exact lyrics but Cobain used a seductive hookline to hook the listener. Nevermind went on to sell ten million copies and make a reported $550 million (US) leaving Nirvana overnight millionaires. Cobain was shocked at the reception of his highly personal and passionate music repeatedly telling reporters that none of the band ever, ever expected anything like this. It quickly became obvious that the obsessively sickly and sensitive 24yr old was not going to cope well with the rock'n...