The allocation of blame is a way of pretending that life is subject to human will rather than an unpredictable gut reaction to the clash of nature, circumstance, frailty and unforeseen consequence. But, if we were to play it, then the person with primary responsibility for halting Nirvana as an active and creative unit was Kurt Cobain.
The first piece on this blog a few weeks back was Trending Kurt Cobain’s Creativity which simply pointed out that between September 1991 and the end of his life Kurt wrote barely a dozen new songs. There are other ways of looking at Nirvana’s last two and a half years:
1992-1994 were Nirvana’s least productive years as live performers since 1988 when they were barely more than a part-time effort. In fact between the end of the Asia/Pacific tour in February 1992 to the commencement of the In Utero tour in October 1993 there were 21 shows in total.
Let’s try it again, with the stats for Nirvana’s studio visits:
In summary, by the end of the Nevermind sessions Nirvana had spent 58 days in studios despite the budgetary limitations in the early days. After that date, even though they increasingly used the studio to substitute for practice sessions, they only spent 21 days in studio. And that 21 doesn’t include Kurt Cobain not showing up to day one of the October 1992 session and being distracted on day two. It doesn’t show that he wasn’t present for the whole three days in January 1993. It doesn’t show that he only turned up to one day of the January 1994 session. It also doesn’t show that the 12 days of the In Utero session in February 1993 included overdubbing and mixing with only around half the days consisting of the band actually playing. Kurt Cobain’s personal statistics would have shown barely 18 days in studio after June 1991.
We’ll continue later today…