Today I wanted to share a piece by one of the contributors to ‘Cobain on Cobain’ – and someone I’m delighted to count a friend – Jessica Adams.
Jessica’s interview with Cobain came out in Select in 1992 from an interview that took place on January 23. She kindly permitted me to include the transcript of her phone conversation with Cobain in the book. I’ll let her take up the story:
“Talking to Kurt Cobain on the phone was a complete fluke. I was supposed to be interviewing Dave Grohl, but at the last minute I heard Kurt’s rather croaky voice in my ear. It is a total joy to be able to share the interview after all these years. I always wanted to give the cassette tape to his daughter, Frances, to prove to her that he had a dry sense of humor and a good heart and that he wasn’t a tormented creature as shown in the media. Kurt was very kind to me in the interview, and I feel bad about the photograph they used on the front cover of Select and the way the piece was written up. Writers can’t control editors or art directors. The piece sensationalized his illness, and to this day I feel guilty about the fact that he trusted me enough to share his memories of recording Nevermind, only to have those memories misrepresented in the published piece, which bore my name in the byline. Just another small letdown in what must have been a sea of letdowns for him, at a time when he was so vulnerable. I was very lucky to see Nirvana in Sydney, and the band was so powerful and so affecting, I have to admit I have not been able to listen to
Nevermind since. I literally have not heard it since that year. Wherever you are now, Kurt,
know how loved you are and how important you are—especially to women, for whom you
always took a stand.”
Jessica worked as a freelance writer at Select and other music magazines before turning to novels, including the bestselling Cool For Cats based on her time writing for rock newspapers. She works as an astrologer for Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar and also works as a medium. Jessica is also the editor of AMMP, the Australian Music
Museum Project, where you can hear her original Kurt Cobain interview online.
I’m a huge fan of the work Jessica has put into the Australian Music Museum Project – Australia has had a remarkably active, and very original, music scene for decades yet this is the first time there’s been a concerted attempt to document it. Even better, the work is being conducted in cooperation with the bands and artists concerned, not as an official deification, entirely as an attempt to capture the lives and works of the people who made it happen. Definitely a project worth a lot of respect.
All the best Jessica, and all the best to the AMMP!