It’s been a very strange couple of years…
…In February 2012 I read an advert seeking book proposals for one volume accounts of significant albums…Voice in my head said “you could do that,” the other voice sneered, “yeah right…Go on then! Prove it!” So I did. Whatever got in the way I just kept going and by that winter created a self-published work “Dark Slivers: Seeking Nirvana in the Shards of Incesticide” tackling the much-neglected Incesticide compilation.
The Nirvana Legacy site started up simply because I wanted a place to share leftover thoughts that never made it into the book…Now here we are in 2018 and it’s somehow still going 600 posts later. Back in March/April of 2013 I was preparing material for the blog and grew fascinated by all the unusual bands Nirvana shared the stage with over the years and it became for the basis for “I Found My Friends: the Oral History of Nirvana” (St Martin’s Press, 2015) built on the memories of 210 people from 170 bands who shared the stage at around three-quarters of the shows Nirvana ever performed. I was asked at that time to create “Cobain on Cobain: Interviews and Encounters” (Chicago Review Press, 2016), part of a series in which the best interviews by significant artists are compiled into single volumes for scholars, music studies, fans and those seeking to understand them.
Across 2016-2017, with the support and permission of Thurston Moore, I created the book “We Sing A New Language: The Oral Discography Of Thurston Moore” (Omnibus Press, 2017). The title is drawn from a lyric (written by poet Radieux Radio) from the album ‘The Best Day’. The book tells the story of Moore’s vast discography outside of Sonic Youth via the experiences of around 200 of the artists who played on them.
My latest endeavour was the book “SWANS: Sacrifice And Transcendence” (Jawbone Press, 2018) – the first volume ever to tackle the tale of Michael Gira’s legendary band. My personal feeling is that a lot of my experience over these past years came together on this book, the ability to make pages electric, to craft people’s voices and memories to make their voices sing, to draw a reader through a journey they can see in their mind’s eye.
In 2014 I helped Soul Jazz Records compile the “No Seattle: Forgotten Sounds of the North West Grunge Era” compilation (and wrote the band histories and inlay) and then, for Dekema Records, prepared the liner notes for the expanded reissue of the Fire Ants’ 1992 EP “Stripped”. Around that I’ve written for Words & Guitars and The Vinyl Factory. I’ve been featured in the Washington Times and done articles for a wide range of newspapers and websites. I’ve been a featured speaker at SMILEFest and Louder Than Words – and appeared on BBC Radio as well as a number of U.S. radio stations. It’s been fun!
…But it’s also been an odd few years. My grandfather died in the autumn of 2013 – we gathered round and watched him go – having had his girlfriend arrested for swindling his bank accounts only the week before. I arrived in Spain in April 2014 to share birthdays with my father and to hand in ‘Friends’ on deadline…Instead I finished the book at a Spanish hospital while sat on the tiled floors doing whatever I could alongside my family to make him comfortable, to keep his spirits up as he slipped away having been unexpectedly diagnosed with terminal cancer. Then, at the start of 2015, my godfather died – all gone in 14 months…It reminded me that writing of Kurt Cobain, Thurston Moore, Michael Gira, of anyone, they’re not just fodder for commerce. These are real people: someone’s friend, father, husband, son, comrade. Each person matters and should be treated accordingly. I hope I’ve shown the appropriate respect.
Oh! Forgot! My name is Nick Soulsby, hi, nice to meet you by the way (he says shaking off the maudlin vibe.) I did a History degree, then an MPhil independent research degree (also in History) at Cambridge University. Presently I work at the world’s largest IT advisory firm. Why is this relevant? Well, firstly, I’m not a journalist; I have a different focus and style of writing. Secondly, I’m interesting in the question ‘why’ and in giving you, the reader, the evidence to make your own decision. Thirdly, my work has led me to an enjoyment of using data and analysing it to explain events rather than just capturing feelings and impressions.
What feels most important to me is to only write about what I love and to do so in a way I love – to only write books that I want to see on my shelf and want to read. I have a normal job, a normal life – writing is what I do for pleasure and I hope I’ll always stand on the right side of the line as someone paying tribute to and drawing inspiration from the things I respect.
I hope you enjoy some of my ramblings.
42 thoughts on “About”
First time here, really impressed with your work and commitment. For some reason I’ve been on a serious Nirvana/Kurt kick lately after having “put them away” for over a decade. Bringing back so many memories and emotions from being a teenager at the time. Just wanted to show you a little appreciation to cancel out a troll or two!
Cheers Eric, that’s really wicked of you. Same vibe, every few years I have a ‘rediscovery’ moment…This one just lasted longer than the last one. 🙂
Yo Nick! Just FYI, your book was recently added to the collection at our public library here in Anchorage, Alaska and I was the first to check it out. Very nice. Sobering to hear about your compensation however. It’s amazing anyone even bothers to produce anything artistically anymore as the owners of capital will consider your passion payment enough.
Hey Erik! Y’know what makes it all SO good? It’s hearing stuff like this – it blows my mind learning something I wrote is sitting up in Anchorage, Alaska AND I love hearing that people have given it time too. Just hope it was a nice distraction for you. Thanks so much for taking the time to write! It’s quite funny sometimes, it’s not out here in the U.K. so I’ve never been in a shop and seen it or anything. 🙂
Hey, I just found stumbled upon site and have read a few posts. What a great find! I look forward to digging deeper and getting into the books. Thanks!
Glad you enjoyed. Stay good fella!
I surely will. Perhaps when you have a few minutes you’ll sample my Nirvana wares:
Would you permit me to share your pieces over my Twitter account? I like how you write. You have a brevity and clarity I fail at too often – plus you’ve taken a personal direction that I’ve usually avoided here so it’s refreshing to read. Combine that with the intensity of your own experiences, I couldn’t take my eyes from the screen, just kept reading…
I’d be honored. Thank you. And thank you for the compliment as well.
Hey Nick from Australia
Big respect for your thoughtful, intelligent writing and heart shaped inspiration
Your comment about the oral history book caught my attention
Here are a few links about the australian tour which occurred about exactly when nevermind hit a critical mass. A lot of very insightful personal stories you’d never find anywhere else. The Australian references won’t make sense- the venues referred to were the famous premier venues in respective cities for good authentic bands , the Big Day Out (BDO) is a famous huge music festival focusing on more inteteresting authentic music, a bit like Lollapalooza for one day, Nirvana played at the first one. Triple J is the national ‘youth’ radio station public broadcaster that was more open minded than the commercial stations. Jeff Buckley, Lemonheads yes, Bon Jovi Springsteen no.
Part 1 of tour compilation stories
Lost radio interview with Kurt amongst other goodies non Australians would never know about
Theres some more I have will get vack to you
Tumbleweed were the support act for Nirvana as a year or more before Mark Arm had said to them over a beer hey my housemate always wanted to tour Australia, how about you support them if they make it? Mark kept his promise even as everyone wanted to be the support.
There are many more stories by Tumbleweed about the australian tour if you dig , the drummer throwing up on Dave Grohls drums before Nirvanas set comes to mind, but a good chunk is in one big paragraph above about 3/4 of the way through
Try and find articles about the ANU canberra show. Thats where people were so desperate to get in they ripped the front doors off and smashed a solid wall of glass to get- everyone pounded on it at once with palms til it gave way
It was almost a riot; Krist reflected on that show 20years later on Triple j radio and apparently Kurt said it was his most memorable
Canberra nirvana university show
Nick, One needs to realise canberra is australias milton-keynes. This is what makes this event amazing
I interviewed Tumbleweed for the “I Found My Friends” book. They’re in the Aussie chapter. It was definitely one of my favourites – I found the Australians (and the New Zealanders – and the South Americans too) so happy to be chatting about their life and times. Plus a really fascinating moment in time. Cheers for the link!
This particular interview and transcript I share in response to the evil manipulation of kurt portrayed in MOH. fuck you MOH
What happened to your Kim Gordon book review Nick
I also note you didnt approve my friends comment that had two links of stories of the australian tour plus a recently discovered radio interview with the national radio that the station deleted
Does this mean you plan to use that material at a later date
I thought I had accepted the links? All comments are automatically accepted and I don’t ‘un-accept’ any unless they simply consist of a swearword. 🙂
Hey Nick. The 2 comments were ‘awaiting moderation’ and then the latter one appeared and the first one with the interviews etc disappeared. Hence thinking you’d decided to keep those links for private use for a future post or book update. Here they are again in case you missed them anyway.
Theres a bit of overlap with the content triple J radio links, you’ll work it out..
By the way your dedication, articulation, insight and passion and humour rock in every which way
one thing I REALLY wished was in MOH – was more home video of the In Utero recording session. We know it was documented. There’s just one tiny little grab of Steve Albini as this little bundle of tyranny and potency, declaring Kurt has to play the solo a certain way ‘because he’s not on stage he’s making a record’ I guess there isn’t much hope of that footage being public any time soon 😦 witnessing the recording of that time would be so precious and emotive, the band in its rawest and intimate element.
Responding to a few posts in abstract form: re: pj harvey doing reunion, well John Lydon ( not Johnny Rotten for decades) didnt play sex pustols songs for so long owing to being screwed by record companies
RE Aberdeen not remembering Kurt and his legacy for town: you said no one was really hurt but I’ve read in a few places many tens and tens of copycat suicides occurred related to Kurt
RE The murder thing.
All Tom Grant and others are saying, is ‘re open the case’ . Thats it. Put aside all the speculation that has weight only inside a court room- not in media.
A lawyer has put together cobain-evidence.com which says homicide cold cases have been re opened on a FRACTION of the real, factual evidence that exists with Cobains death. Lets just talk about law and evidence and allegations – meat and potatoes or bricks and mortar stuff. Not gossip. The case should be reopened.
Nick you have such maturity and restraint in your considerations. Rare to find in online writing
This is a unique literary compilation, this site
By the way sorry but with so many articles i cant comment individually and then not learn if you or someone replied so i post it all here
Greetings from Melbourne Australia
Hello Melbourne! Hope all is well in the world’s most livable city! Your comments are appreciated! As you say, I’m never saying the murder case is IMPOSSIBLE…But it’s riddled with an absence of evidence and I believe Cobain-Evidence.com is incorrect in its statements. That point around ‘suicides’ provoked by Cobain was used by a Conservative writer who wanted to show Cobain was a bad influence – then picked up in the murder books. It’s never been proven Cobain was a reason for suicide.
That was cobain-evidence.com
Thanks for your response Nick I appreciate it. Alrhough the worlds most liveable city thing is nonsense ;-).everything else you said was reasonable 😉
So hows this. No one knew where Kurt was between 1st April and 8 April although he apparently met with Michael Dewitt at home briefly-last known meeting. Where did Kurt go?
And. He bought two tickets with delta airlines for travel after he was dead. He had also arranged to meet his grandad for a fishing trip-for after he was dead.
But what i’m really interested in and what you may like to write about:
The suspucious nature of Kristen Pfaffs death. Her Mum thinks it was murder. Journal was found near her body, the pages from her journal dating around the time of kurts death were torn out and never found
It was rumoured she and kurt may have had something going on? Was the extra delta ticket for her?
PS was it you- who was it writing about Wendy Cobain in MOH. The story about Kurt coming home with the Nevermind masters and playing it to her- and her portent of doom at the time regarding his fame. Such a load of Essex for so many reasons. Kurt hated her. Never gave her a cent of his money. And neither Butch Vig, Krist, Dave or Kurt had any insight into the commercial prospects of Nevermind. Lets just rephrase that. Not even BUTCH VIG had any insight…but Wendy did, off one listen?
I interviewed Dale Crover last weekend and he made clear Kurt and Wendy were getting on a lot better and Kurt was visiting semi-regularly…But totally agree it’s an embellishment, or something she told him after it had started exploding. 🙂
Alas, people do say things then do others – check the fate of Nick Wasicsko, or the fact Ian Curtis of Joy Division had plans – I don’t believe suicide has to be some massively planned out choice. Doesn’t mean you’re not right, but doesn’t mean suicide is wrong either.
Kristen Pfaff, I don’t have any insight except my former boss’ wife died in the bathtub while he was at work – it isn’t unheard of. Death is even less unheard of when it comes to drug addiction and I can understand people clinging to the belief that someone wasn’t so unhappy that they didn’t share it – a close friend of mine has forever damaged use of his hand having sat on a bench and sliced through the tendons during a suicide attempt.
As for where Kurt went, from 5th April he’s dead in the greenhouse. Given he drifts around drug sources and anonymous motels for most of the previous year and a half when he’s back in Seattle spending 3-4 nights in one isn’t a crazy time to be elusive.
And come on! A Melbourne pal of mine loves to show me the annual survey each year showing me Melbourne’s in the top ten yet again! 😉
Hey Nick love your response 😉 The liveable city thing – oh I just roll my eyes because Melbournians already think they’re a little bit extra special 😉 Studying the cornerstones of the genome project will reveal the enhanced meta cultural, ethical and spiritual genotype of a Melbournian native. And something about continuation of an ancient bloodline? There’s a lot of wonderful cities in the world;)
The suicide vs murder debate, okay excellent point that suicidal people don’t always make that known to the world and it can be a genuine surprise. But on the other hand it’s a severe cognitive bias https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_bias to say ‘ they weren’t suicidal externally but we can’t rely on that testimony: therefore it must be suicide” when according to law/forensics protocol a death is not considered suicide until other causes are ruled out. Therefore the unbiased approach is, they weren’t suicidal in manner – therefore they weren’t suicidal
BTW with Kristen Pfaff I don’t even think it was considered suicde at all just accidental OD.
Theres a new Kathleen Hanna doco!!!!!!!!! Looking forward to reading your take on it !!!!
Melbournians! I’d never heard that. 🙂
RE heck filma. Why lie Courtney? What for, you? You say Kurta he had a numero, when he go to the 3 million then becoming junkie?? Silly no? Reports of addiction / withdrawal back to nevermind early tours before biggest fame. No millions there then. Nick you smart would know exact when junk signs on kurts early calendar. Why lie Courtney? And glug from water bottle and other telling motions, we all saw it. Tell real stories , tell us good. No lie
Hey Nick- I really enjoyed your, “I Found My Friends” book. Much of it was very funny and informative. It must have been quite interesting tracking down all of the characters you interviewed. I’ve researched my family residences much like you have of Kurt Cobain. Do you have any more information on Nirvana’s Colorado visits? I was planning on photographing these sites when time allows.
Nirvana in Colorado-
10/11/89 (Wednesday) – The Garage, Denver, CO 2301 Blake Street, Denver, CO 80205 (The Fluid)
10/12/89 (Thursday) – Edgewater Pawn Shop and Sheridan Jewelry, 2551 Sheridan Blvd, Edgewater, CO 80214 Kurt buys Stella Harmony acoustic guitar possibly used on “Polly” and “Something in the Way.”
Nirvana stayed in John Robinson’s of house of Fluid in Englewood (address?).
10/13/89 (Friday) – Penny Lane Coffeehouse, 1730 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302 (Dog Bite)
05/14/90 (Monday) – The Garage, Denver, CO 2301 Blake Street (Jux County)
06/10/91 (Monday) – Gothic Theatre, Englewood, CO 3263 S Broadway 80113 (Dinosaur Jr., Jesus Lizard)
12/18/93 (Saturday) – Denver Coliseum, Denver, CO 4600 Humboldt St, Denver, CO 80216 (The Breeders, Melvins)
Woah! That is an AWESOME plan! I confess at one point I did think that a ‘Nirvana tour guide’ circling the globe would be wicked fun…But it costs a LOT of money, that’s why it doesn’t work. Music publishing has suffered even more than publishing in general (which has been destroyed) so I just don’t have the cash to do even a fraction of the sites. Even the Seattle trip I still haven’t paid back.
You’re right by the way, I didn’t start interviewing people in order to write a book – I interviewed people and gradually felt I owed them something more lasting than blog entries. The book is in the library of congress. In a hundred years when we’re all dead their voices will still be part of the story. Wicked. 🙂
Drop me an email any time – I’d love to hear how your travels go and what’s driving you!
You amaze me. Your capacity to employ ( deploy?) critical thinking, lack of bias and restraint makes you unique amongst fans of Kurt Cobain. Haha just joking. But only kind of 🙂 your wriring is so mature and thoughtful. The way you brought down to earth king buzzos comments about MoH was very unusual. You didn’t get emotional. You simply broke down the foundations of the claims Buzz made and pointed out the reasons why it wasn’t necessarily such a big deal. But , you reserve judgement. You are happy to be open to things even when you may say you disagree. Nice classic English pedigree old chap 🙂 keep calm and carry on, theres a good fellow, etc etc.
So. In your ( fantastic) Dale and Buzz interview you refer to Melvins offerring Kurt his first roadie experience. In one of your very first blog posts I’ve just found, No Melvins No Nirvana or something like that you say it again. Well a few months ago I tried an internet search ‘Buzz Osbourne on Kurt Cobain’ ( try it with different people, interesting comments. Couldnt find Thom Yorke commenting on Kurt, Fat Mike of NOFX regrets they never met, Jello Biafra referred to the (very good!!) Advocate interview Incesticide era and takes a dig at Kurt. And Perry Farrell thinks he and Kurt were ‘the same’) which made me nauseous.) I digress. In my search I found Buzz said something like ‘ theres so much shit about Kurt, one persistent idea was that he auditioned for us and was a roadie. Well, one we’ve never had auditions in our life. And 2. Roadie? Have you had a look at the guy? He couldn’t lift himself out of bed. He was NEVER a roadie for us’
PS Nick I know London is a tough place to live- if thats where you live- but just read your post about not being motivated by profit for your book. You commute+ work 12-16hrs then spend 4-5hrs a night on nirvana? Are you a cyborg?
Love your Tacoma sleeper cell story so beautiful! The photos held so much emotion they really spoke to me. Reminded me of something that will sound strange, but here goes:
I knew about Seattle being an insular scene, off the map for touring bands, but bands would say the audience + shows there were more intense there than anywhere else. ( i just read a european band make this remark the other week about their first show in seattle this month in fact-decades after the pre nirvana days) . So. I knew Seattle ( at least HAD) a dark heavy vibe, maybe even a bit scary at least for a newcomer to the punk and drugs scene there, and was famous for so so many homeless people 😦
Well a few years agoI watched the first Twilight movie just because I could and to see what the zeigeist was up to. There was one fleeting, brief flash of the overcast gloomy seattle sky amongst the trees. And itspoke to me. Itwas thehighlight of the film. (Haha. But seriously) It was like i got what the spirit of seattle was in those few seconds. I remembered this seeing your tacoma landscapes. An autumnal haunting moodiness
Very, very very enjoyable and interesting reading the Bob ‘I’m the first drummer’ interview. Something that really intrigued me was his comments about peoples dark feelings of envy. I for some reason feel really fascinated by this idea. It runs several layers deep , too, for exploration. Theres the basic tall poppy syndrome. Theres the sheer jealousy aspect. And greed. Theres the small town syndrome. Theres the independent scene betrayal. Theres the ‘we didnt like you before as a person now we really dont like you’ and more
The thig that amazes me so much. Id that its just one guy. KC. that influenced the world and history. And that compared to other influential people his psyche was SO rich and his life and art so well documented, he was astoundingly prolific for so few years. Theres justso MUCH and he affected SO much and SO many. And just a fairly unremarkeable guy by external and social presentations
A rolling stone woman interviewed Kurt at the Seattle house when Courtney was away in England with Francis and stayed the night and recently discussed her experience of the event. And how shocked she was by the contradiction- that such a major icon could be so lacking in charisma, star quality and self aggrandisement. Something like that. It just shocks and overwhelms me- in history, this one guy with such a full rich palette, such a short life and SO SO much impact. I mean, we’ll never ever forget his name. What a legacy. Wht must he have thought! What must he think, after death, to see that level of scrutiny! Why are we so fascinated, why does he speak to us like this? Whats that depth he carried that didnt belong to him but was of God, of Heaven, in order to touch us all? I mean- he was just a down and out guy. And look what happened! Doesnt it just silence you, Nick! I cant process it, intellectually
Just read your closing para about No Melvins No Nirvana and Kurt wruting off his old idols etc. What must be understood – which I’m sure you do because you are perceptive but is overlooked by most. Put aside the fame and the bitch wife and the depression and blah and blah blah. Its the drug. That drug kills your heart. It is anti life. It makes you cold. It makes you hate. You are not you any longer you are owned emotional by darkness. One cannot rationalise anything about a person when that drug is involved to that degree. One must really scrape deep to find the truth submerged beneath the crust of filth atop the heart and soul
Huge appreciation for the articulate commentary! Very cool indeed. I don’t think I have anything to add – you’re coherent, concise, you’ve sprayed a lot of thoughts in here that I think stand on their own. Thank you!
…And I’ve seen all the Twilight movies. There’s not TOoOooo much shame in that. 😉
Intriguing…And good find! Cheers for sharing Matt! 🙂 My suspicion would be that ‘roadie’ is probably too big a word for it. That more likely Cobain just helped out shifting the odd amp back in the early days and that’s it. I can understand Buzz taking issue with the word. What’s your feeling on it? I admit I’m indecisive on this one.
As for being nice and reserving judgment…I have no more right to dictate than anyone else – the only right I possess comes from this being my blog which I pay for. Plus I learn SOOoooo much from people taking the time to comment! It’s so awesome. And I’m wrong very regularly.
…Then again, I’m not sure some people have much patience with my feeling that the ‘murder theory’ is so much nonsense. One lady offered to put a voodoo curse on me, another guy simply said “die” (oh how articulate and intelligent…) It’s never boring though!
Hi Nick. I’m coherent? Oh my, that’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me 😉 Whats my feeling on the roadie thing? I don’t really care, it’s fairly trivial but seeing as you asked I could respond it’s an indication of how public image constructed by media or at least lazy journaslim, which is virtually all of it – and reality as known by friends and colleagues in private – are two distinct things. Also I’m reminded (tangentially) of Krist saying he called Kurt ”The Windmill’ because apparently 5 minutes after he said something he’d say the opposite. This was also in context of Krist stating how Kurt could put two contrary things together, the example he gave was meat and flowers. Gave me an insight into lyrics of Kurts, Dumb and You Know You’re Right stand out in this regard : lots of couplets offering opposing or alternate views
Steve Albini by the way has an wonderfully succint and terse style of communicating with the written word. I understand he is a journalist by training. He’s been fairly scathing about the sloppy nature of journalism. I recall you commenting upon this RE Kurts anniversary and your quest to find quality copy.
I just LOVE reading what he has to say, so articulate and well defined in his arguments. And even thow he swings so extremely hard to one end of the spectrum – DIY in essence, making him controverisal and liable to be disagreed with – that extremity tempers the other more mediocre arguments and mediocre ends of the spectrum. Albini has had a quite a bit to say about Nirvana if you hunt for it, it’s buried here and there – quite a lot of great comments about a lot of stuff is in a poker forum, or is a sound engineering forum – I believe it’s the former. Albini saying he still occasionally listens to In Utero is astounding feedback considering his tastes are more toward the ”painful ear bleed noise feedback epilepsy” end of the spectrum.
The evil feedback you get from people upset about you not supporting the murder theory. It doesn’t mean there is something wrong with your stance. It doesn’t mean the murder theory is wrong, or right. It quite simply means there is something wrong with those people 😉
Lets just take a moment here. Lets say Courtney is charged with murder and prosecuted.
Until that happens, nothing changes. And then, if that happens – what does it mean? It won’t change anything. Not much. It would scarcely alter public perception of Kurtand his music.
Very little of significance would change apart from the temporary media shock wave that would be a bit interesting for a while
PS Nick I can´t remember why I thought of this, what the context was. But if you think the murder conspiracy is wierd try considering that Michael Jackson faked his own death. Now, it´s possible to waste a LOT of time reading about this! I am absolutely convinced MJ did not, amongst other things, did not waste all his money, did not have a drug addiction, did not get seriously sick, and did spend about 7 years ever since the 2nd court setup humiliation, planning how to do it. It´s extremely intricate, no, it´s beyond that, it´s highly complicated. Watch out, this rabbit hole is deeeeeeeeep. and utterly engrossing and enthralling! Wow yes you don´t recover from learning about that mystery for a while. And proves once and for all the absolute genius of Michael Jackson
There’s an article for you. You could call it You Know You’re Right. It’s about the insignificance of whether kurt was murdered or suicided. How it doesn’t change anything, really. You could go into all kinds of parallel reality hypothesis and indicate how those outcomes (Courtney going to jail etc) don’t alter Kurt
Or it could be fictional. Mock up what happens in that future hypothesis. That would be fun! And may go some way toward dispelling the voudou
Posted by Kurt Asa on Soaked in Bleach facebook October 6 at 4:04pm
A little “catch-up” on Hopper. I’m leaving a lot out, but this should help for people that don’t know her relevance to the situation.
During the week of Kurt Cobain’s death, Live-in nanny, Michael “Cali” DeWitt had one of his girlfriends, a young boarding school student with ties to the Riot Girrl scene, Jessica Hopper, in his room at Cobain’s house spending the week with him during her spring break.
The morning after Kurt left Exodus, according to Hopper, she supposedly woke up to find Cobain sitting at the foot of the bed watching tv. They had a short conversation about her haircut (shaved) and MTV. Cobain then supposedly disappeared.
On the early morning of April 5, 1994 (the official date of Cobain’s death) she awoke and Cali wasn’t in bed with her. She claims she heard footsteps in the hall,”walking with purpose” and allegedly called out but got no answer. A couple hours later, Cali came to bed. A day later, on the morning of April 6,1994, Jessica felt so ill that she called a taxi to take her to the airport. Then, in the driveway, with Kurt’s body less than 20 yards away, she looked back and vomited.
SPD never sought a statement from Hopper in their “investigation” after Cobain’s body was found.
*for more on Jessica Hopper check out Everett True’s biography of Nirvana.
There’s also a lot more to her if you didn’t know already. Hopper went on to have a lucrative career as a rock journalist despite not attending college or having any formal training beyond involvement in a fanzine as a teen.
So basically she was there when whatever happened, happened….
Hi, just writing to be able to receive new posts via email ^_^
(didn’t find another way to do that – sorry if I missed it and sorry for the noise)
By the way, I really loved “I found my friends” and “Cobain on Cobain”, and am looking forward to read the book about Incesticide. Those are great ways to add something different to the already pretty well documented “official” Nirvana history
Long story made short, kudos for the great work you’ve done!
Hi Nick, excellent site sir thank you for all of this work. Long story short, my sister dated and was good friends with Chad Cobain, Kurt’s half brother, in high school. He gave my sister a recording of a garage session which she describes as “very long..at least a full album worth”. She thinks it was probably recorded in 1992. I have been imploring her to track down the tape which she has in storage somewhere. If/when she tracks it down it seems like you would be the guy to shed some light on what is actually going on with it. Anyways, thanks again, Ive been enjoying the site.