Paperback of ‘Cobain on Cobain’ is out…


The paperback edition of ‘Cobain on Cobain’ is out on Omnibus Press now too. Different cover, same content (yes, I still pretend to be American throughout the entire introductory essay – I’m so used to spelling American English by now, drives my friends up the wall when I write dates as March XX, 2016 rather than keeping things English…)

As a diversion, I also wrote a piece about Nurse With Wound for the Vinyl Factory recently:

An introduction to Nurse With Wound in 10 records


The main connection between the Nurse With Wound piece and ‘Cobain on Cobain’ would simply be the value of immersion. For the NWW piece I submerged in the music for a full month – it’s amazing how things start to tie together, connections get made, the brain gets used to one sound or another simply through lengthy exposure… For ‘Cobain on Cobain’, imagine pulling that process out to a full year (to be fair, I drowned in Nirvana from Feb 2012 until early 2015). Listening to interviews, transcribing material, reviewing translations, viewing the videos, reading the printed works, heading back to the existing interview volumes or to a few of the magazines I have here, going back to the biographies to check and re-check my timeline, hunting down the copyright holders, discussing the interviewers’ introductions with them… Finishing ‘Cobain on Cobain’, having done ‘I Found My Friends’ and ‘Dark Slivers’, did feel like coming up for air.

The main drive through those three years has remained pretty constant; I wrote ‘Dark Slivers’ because I felt I could say things that hadn’t been said in the existing bibliography – I felt there were quite a few books I could ‘beat’. As a fan I’d collected 40-odd volumes already and I was so sick of the posthumous ‘sainthood’ articles and their overloaded cliches – if I could just create something more original than that, something that added something, then I was happy. ‘I Found My Friends’ and ‘Cobain on Cobain’ then became two sides of a coin; hunting down all these people who have never spoken about performing with Nirvana – getting their testimonies down on the page, shared with the fans; then getting a good chunk of rarer interviews with Cobain and Nirvana, his own words, down on the page, into the libraries and shared with the fans. In each case I knew what had come before and wanted to beat a few of them…

Anyways, there it is. ‘Cobain on Cobain’ for what it’s worth. Hope it’s a fun read if you take a shot on it.



3 thoughts on “Paperback of ‘Cobain on Cobain’ is out…”

  1. Hey Nick
    EXCELLENT work. Something so magnetic about that new cover – the particular photo of Kurt that is, for some reason. Despite his real or imagined surly look. It’s charismatic
    A bit more straightforward than the original so I can see why yankee marketing types got nervous and went for the safe option. The original one is more candid and natural of course.
    I love the original cover image and for some reason it was really familiar to me, I am not sure why.
    It’s possibly because I saw the real video footage the still was taken from in the Sound City doco by Dave ‘Rock and Roll Grohl ? which leads me to believe the photo dated around the time of the nirvana recording. I like the way Kurt placed the crucifix for effect in the foreground 😉
    I am inspired to comment also because I CAN’T WAIT to read your book, and CAN’T WAIT to read about your writing on Nurse With Wound because you timing is impeccable, only very very recently I have been interested in them via learning of Stereolab colloborating with them/him and Tim Gane of Stereolabs long term fascination with Nurse With Wound
    As a name I also love it – so evocative and original !
    Your fan


    ps shame on your yankee spelling habit!!! the indocrination of US spelling and language happens in this country also, a lot of people work hard to fight it every step…
    so I’ll just return to my PAVEMENT with my COLOURS and…et cetera

    of course, we love you, north american readers 🙂 🙂

    well, not much discussion of nevermind recording in Sound City doco, the discussion of the imposition of digital recording I found the most interesting component most of the rest became fairly boring fairly quickly – but there’s a blog post idea for you – listing and discussing all the non official films that include nirvana or kurt in some shape or version

    1. Evening Matt, the original photo was by JJ Gonson, she’s a really talented photographer who followed a lot of bands around the underground scene in the late Eighties. It felt really good to use her work, and to get something that moved away from the usual “sad eyed” Cobain shots – I liked how equivocal the image was, and yes, the odd things like the cross, the melvins sticker, people outside the van window… I didn’t have any say in the U.K. cover but I enjoyed the variety – seeing it in different forms!

  2. Hi Nick,

    This site is excellent. I’ve spent a while reading through just about everything here. My favourite entry was your “Even In His Youth” analysis. For a B-side it’s certainly rife with meaning. By coincidence I saw ‘I Found My Friends’ in a library only a few days after discovering this site. (Pretty sure I was the first one to borrow it, it was so new.)

    Great design and colour scheme on the book cover.

    Why would anyone get annoyed when you write the date with the month first? I do it too, though it’s less common in Australia as well. Keep doing it, I say. Of course, writing the YEAR first would be the most logical option!

    All the best. Pete

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