LiveNIRVANA.com > Interview Archive > 1992 > June 22, 1992 - Belfast, UK

LIVE NIRVANA INTERVIEW ARCHIVE:
June 22, 1992 - Belfast, UK

Interviewer(s)

  • David Cavanagh

Interviewee(s)

  • Kurt Cobain

Sources:

Medium Publisher Date of Issue Title Transcript
Print Select 09/XX/1992 Court & Kurtney Yes

Transcript:

They're the Adam and Eve of the New World Order, the First Couple of the rock 'n' roll underclass. For Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love there is no escape from the frantic pace, the enormity, the crushing vastness of Nirvana

First it nibbles at the rice. The, gaining confidence, it picks at the vegetables. Outside in the King's Hall, Teenage Fanclub are sashaying stoically through a particularly molten 'God Knows It's True'. Around 12,000 feet send a rumbling tattoo reverberating through the backstage kitchen in 4/4 time. The happy eater perks its ears up.

Then it actually struggles out of Courtney's hands and starts to walk all over the plate, at which point she gives up trying to hold it and slaps her hands together theatrically like Lady Macbeth. Its minuscule paws leave little dabs in the white sauce as it pads around the plate.

Kurt watches it balefully. Go on the road with Nirvana and watch your wife feed the neighbourhood dogs. Yowsa. He isn't eating. Kurt has ulcers. He looks tired, a little ill, just generally shagged out. He's wearing a maroon mohair cardigan and sloppy pants. He looks like a cross between Cass of the Senseless Things and the guy who used to play guitar for the Cockney Rejects.

The dog has finished now. Now he wants another meal. He wants a whole new plate to walk all over. Sighing patiently, Courtney reaches over for another plate - this one's got some sort of curry concoction - one of the dozens that the caterers keep filling up and slamming in the microwave for the crews and the bands to pick at. The dog's stepping on it before she even puts it down. Courtney laughs at it. "Fuckin' stoopid dawg," she drawls. Out in the hall the Fannies skilfully engage third: "… and the devil knows it too."

The dog's owner is still trying to piece his smashed glasses into some sort of workable order. He's still a bit shaken. He looks a bit of a state, but then he might look like that normally. You have to wonder what kind of a bloke brings his nine-week-old puppy to a Nirvana gig.

Courtney's worried about him. Those security assholes certainly kicked eight shades of shit out of him. And for what? A little crowd-surfing. Crowd-surf to The Breeders, son, and experience real pain at the hands and boots of bouncers who look like Cliff out of Cheers. Then again, get rescued by Courtney Love and taken backstage for a cool period of convalescence. The boy chats excitedly to Kim Deal about his injuries as Breeders bassist Jo Wiggs glowers at the dog, who is now swimming in gravy. He's called Bunji. Jo isn't impressed.

Courtney wants the boy's red and black stripy mohair sweater for Kurt. She talks rhetorically and loudly of offering him "30 bucks" for it, and keeps telling Kurt he'll look great in it. "Go on, honey. You'll look just like Johnny Rotten."

Kurt sulks and shakes his head. He looks sapped, an ashen bleached bowed head. "Hey kid!" Courtney yells across to the battered crowd-surf boy. "I'll give you 30 dollars for your sweater! Honey, have we got 30 of these things?" She grabs at a bunch of notes strewn on the table. It's a deal. The boy divests himself of his sweater and chucks it over to her. She holds it up triumphantly - ta-daaa! - and presses it to Kurt's body. It's about three sizes too big. She squeals with delight.

"Look, honey! Johnny Rotten!" He sulks. It's an hour till he hits the stage to sing 'Lithium', 'In Bloom', 'Been A Son' and all the other stuff. She's dead right. He looks like Johnny Rotten. The puppy goes for another skid in his curry snow. "I can't really blame them," the boy is saying. "They were only doing their job. Like, I could have had a knife on me or anything. At least this way I get to meet Kim Deal."

The Fannies swagger to a halt. The microwave pings, ready with another plate full of food for the dog to skid through. The blonde girl with the hoarse American accent presses the stripey mohair sweater closer to her rock star husband's skinny chest and lets her lips split in a crimson grin. Her little punk hero. The boy looks at Johnny, who looks back at him through bleary eyes.

BELFAST IS RAINY AND GRAINY AND SLUGGISH today, but things are looking up. The Nirvana gig the city was promised for December 9, which Kurt blew out due to a wrecked voice, is finally materialising tonight, and will you just stand back and take a look at that bill. Nirvana, Teenage Fanclub and The Breeders, all in one place, all in one evening. That is not a gig, hombre, that's a way of life.

As he strolls round the grounds of the King's Hall in the cool snap of the afternoon with Chris Novoselic and Dave Grohl, Kurt's relaxed now to the point where he can have his photo taken. The story from Nirvana's people earlier was that Kurt had radically butchered his hair in order to disguise himself, and was wearing glasses now, and was too protective of his new hairstyle to pose for any shots. It was just a rumour. There's a lot of rumours about Kurt right now.

Like… like… like…

Like The Heroin. Like The Pressure. Like is any of it really fun any more, or is being in Nirvana just one never-ending Beelzebub's countdown. Is the pressure driving them all crazy and was that comment in a US rock magazine about Kurt "slamdancing with Mr Brownstone" (taking heroin, as described by someone who has never taken heroin) and all the subsequent rumours true?

"No, they're not," says Kurt Cobain.

It's a brief vertical climb up some stairs into the Nirvana backstage area, where the first person you see, squeezed into a scandalous virginal white baby doll maternity smock and reclining on a pale elbow 'cross a makeshift divan, is a heavily pregnant Courtney.

She looks bored as hell. She's got a fag smouldering in the middle of her bright red lips, which only makes her pout that bit louder. She looks like a teenager doing an impression of Nancy Spungen, but not being ugly enough to carry it off. She actually looks rather sensational.

A couple of rooms away is Kurt, chatting idly to the promoter. He has a sandwich just down by his left ankle on a paper plate, which he's in big danger of stepping on. He says "hi" in a croaky voice.

This is them, then. Kurt and Courtney. Or, should you be inclined to get a little over-familiar, Kurt 'n' Courtney. Court. Kurtney. The happy couple. Rock's groovesome twosome. The neurotic explosion of mutual white sexual heat that has forced rumourmongers to take on extra staff to cope with all the demand. Sid and Nancy. McEnroe and Tatum. Burton and Taylor. Yin and his old mate Yang. In 1992, they all pale before this pair. The two wild children turned wild adults. Rock 'n' roll's premier couple.

They're currently, Kurt explains, shacked up together in a Los Angeles apartment, although they'll soon be upping anchor from Poodlehead City and heading back to Cobain country, Seattle, to live there. Not, as has been rather fancifully reported, on a "love ranch", just in a nice house. Kurt didn't like LA. He just stayed in the apartment, watching TV and reading and writing and painting "and all that other bohemian shit". 

Kurt's been painting all his life. He was even considering a career as an artist until music took over. He's been doing a lot of painting recently, mostly replicas of 18th century dolls from Eastern Europe - "really deformed and with long fingers and distorted heads, with different coloured backgrounds. They're kind of like Goya paintings without the realism".

Paintings of nightmares, then?

"I guess so."

He picks up the sandwich from the paper plate. It's a very strange colour, and not one you'd spend much time thinking up a pleasant name for. Possibly 'influenza'-coloured.

"What's in it? Peanut butter and grape jelly. It's like a staple diet for, you know, American kids…"

It looks disgusting.

"Oh yeah? Listen, this is as American as apple pie and the flag."

So bearing in mind the next 16 sentences are spoken through an open mouth queasily full of peanut butter and grape jelly, you might want to stand back a little. Anyway… moving gallantly back to the heroin rumours.

"I'm a narcoleptic and I'm skinny and they have nothing better to talk about. It all started with one interview. I was…" he sighs. "I was really fucked up and tired and drunk, and the guy thought I was on heroin. And he started the whole thing. And now everyone thinks I'm a heroin addict." He sighs again.

"It really pisses me off, because there are no drugs backstage at a Nirvana gig. There never have been. We don't allow them."

Nobody close to Nirvana will talk on the record about Kurt Cobain and drugs. Nobody seems to know what's been happening. He has been taking heroin - absolutely no question - but he's supposed to be OK now. As someone who looks knackered and ill and in dire need of a kip purely as a matter of course, Kurt's demeanour is scarcely a clue. One or two people raise the subject of his obvious besottedness with the famously hard-living Courtney and express the hope that he knows what he's doing.

Kurt, for his part, goes on an anti-drug autopilot rant. "It really pisses me off because I'm kind of an example for people, and there are nine-year-old kids who are into our band, and if they think that I take drugs and I think it's cool, then they're going to do it too."

He gets a bit more animated: "You know, I do drugs every once in a while. But I don't like bands who promote drug use, because it influences people and it isn't cool."

If people are genuinely getting the wrong idea about Kurt's, whatever, "strung-outedness", and if it really is just the by-products of narcolepsy (for the record, he remains alert, witty and articulate throughout our chat), then how does this narcolepsy affect his life on a 24 hour rock star basis?

"Sometimes I just fall asleep. I was hyperactive as a child and they gave me speed to counteract that, and it supposedly brought on the narcolepsy, because I started getting it after that."

Is it a real problem?

"Not really. It comes and goes. I mean, if I'm lying in bed and it happens, "I'll just sleep for a few hours." He laughs. "It's only happened in the middle of a live show a couple of times."

You've fallen asleep onstage?

"Yeah, I just passed out. But I can wake up within a couple of seconds. I've fallen down a lot of' times. Especially when I was a little kid. I used to fall down all the time and break my head open."

Do you ever use it as a device to avoid difficult situations?

"Oh yeah. Well, you know, it is an internal defence thing that I've built up. So if I'm really bored with doing something or if I don't particularly like the people I'm around, I'll just fall asleep. GEDDOUTTAHERE!"

It's the mem-sahib. She stands in the door, sulking at him. For obvious reasons, these days Courtney's body enters a room a couple of seconds before her head. She has a plate in her hand with what looks suspiciously like another peanut butter and grape jelly sandwich. They glare at each other.

"Whatcha doin', huh-neee?" she says in a little girl voice.

He stares at her.

"I'm going out to… um… you know, get some T-shirts," she mewls slyly.

"Bootleggers?" he says, suddenly interested. "Take someone with you."

"Yeah, yeah," she yawns, disappearing.

"I'm serious, honey. They're thugs. Don't go out there alone."

She stops in the doorway.

"Yeah. Well, I might not go. I just went out there and all the little kids started pointing at me - Cawtney! Cawtney!"

The lady does a pretty cool Lancashire accent for a Yank.

ON A DAY TO DAY LEVEL, BEING IN NIRVANA would seem to be an outrageously cool way of living your life. Purely as a fan looking in. What - get to be famous and be a petulant rock star and scream your guts out and travel the world and go home in the same taxi as Courtney Love? Yes, that'll be fine. Just leave it there, thanks.

On a larger scale, though, doubts set in. You will just keep getting more monstrously huge. Your next album will be the essential global purchase of 1993, unless old Mick Hucknall rush-releases that crucial Simply Red album of Eldorado incidental music. You won't have room to think, or time to move. You will wish you were at home in bed in Seattle, and you will wake up, and you will be at home in bed in Seattle, and you will wake up, and you will be onstage in Dusseldorf.

Pressure, pressure, pressure. Kurt reckons being asked about the pressure is the only pressure. Is being in Nirvana much fun at the moment?

"Yeah," he says quietly, as the little woman exits la-la-la-ing to herself. "I can't think of any other band I'd rather be in. The only reason I'm in this band is because I like my friends - Chris and Dave, they're my friends - and I like being around them and I like the music that we write. That's all that matters. Everything else is secondary, and I can't take some of it as seriously as everyone expects a rock star to take it."

He has written the next Nirvana album. They have about 14 songs, none of which they want to do live yet in case they get bootlegged. Most of them date from the 'Nevermind' songwriting sessions, Kurt explains, pronouncing 'Nevermind' on the first syllable, as in 'Nevermind The Bollocks'.

"They could be considered B-sides," he says with a smile. "So I guess the next album isn't going to be as good as everyone's expecting.

"I'm just too lazy to write new songs, so I guess people are just going to have to put up with year old B-sides."

He chuckles through a mouthful of peanut butter and grape jelly. Fffwwhuh-ffwwhuh-ffwwhuh. The food goes spin-drying around the inside of his mouth. Downstairs, you can hear The Breeders beginning their soundcheck.

If the next album's all ready to go, are things going fast enough for Nirvana? After all, Geffen have just released 'Lithium', yet another single off 'Nevermind', and have pledged to "work" the album till it goes double platinum (it's just gone single platinum).

"No, they're not going fast enough," Kurt says firmly. "We're tired of playing the songs off 'Nevermind'. We'd like to be able to put out another album before our November tour of the States so we can play some fresh new material so it seems exciting again,"

Is that realistic?

"Not really," he says, and shrugs. "But it can be done, If we demand it. If we just be assholes and tell our record company that's what we want to do, they really have no choice. I don't think they'd get that mad about it. But it will be out really soon. Chris and Dave are adamant about it."

Kurt's keen that it have a more grungified feel than 'Nevermind'. 'Curmudgeon' (on the B-side of 'Lithium') gives you a good idea what to expect: raw and ragged and heavy enough to sound like it could have come off 'Bleach'.

"We're evolving and reverting at the same time," he says. "Devolving and evolving. We'd like to put out a combination of 'Bleach' and 'Nevermind' on this next album. It was too much of a change, the 'Nevermind' album. It's too clean and too poppy." He slurs his words with distaste. Nirvana are so committed to raggedness and essence of garage that they're talking seriously of doing the next album on an eight-track, which should lead to some interesting meetings with Geffen, since that's about 56 tracks fewer than an album by a band as huge as Nirvana would ordinarily be made on. Perhaps they could do some of it in mono.

Another thing they want to do to counteract the coldness and hugeness of the places they have to play in now, is to have a kind of three-walled "house" built onstage for them to play in, to give them the illusion they're still in a grimy nightclub somewhere back in 1988. Wow.

And will they still smash things up onstage? Kurt smiles.

"Well, we don't break things as much as we used to. The main reason why I broke so many guitars a few years back was the guitars were so shifty that they wouldn't work. And so I'd break them in order to have the excuse to buy another one the next day. Now that I have enough money to buy good equipment I don't want to break it as much."

KURT FLIPS HIS GUITAR WAY INTO THE AIR SO HIGH that you lose it momentarily behind the lights. He's tossed it and spun it, so it twists and turns like an out-of-control rocket on its ascent. A great Spiral of chaos. As it descends he simply stands to one side and lets it hit the ground. Ka-boooiiiinnngggg!

Chris is doing the same with his bass. Every time it hits the ground it grumbles cavernously, like a jilted rhino. He stoops down and picks it up, flinging it way into the air in the same looped movement. Kurt has his guitar by the body and is jabbing the neck into the floor, swaying melodramatically as he does so, as if he were digging up soil. Then he stands up to his amp and holds the screeching guitar up against it, horizontally.

Dave throws his bass drum (ie the big one) into the crowd, who accept it like the hefty offering it is. Kurt and Chris are by now just flinging bits of stuff around, of things that used to be.

They leave the stage. That was 'Territorial Pissings', the final encore. The lights go up. Wow. Realistically, surrealistically, whatever way you want to look at it, these guys have some kind of genius for destruction.

"WHIIIII-I-I-I-AAAARRR-UNGGG-HHHHH-unimmhh…" Outside in the hall the lead singer of Hole is singing through a mouthful of food. Either that or she's gone into labour three months early. Kurt looks up distractedly, fixes the door with an unreadable stare and resumes the Cobain Guide to Aesthetic Coolness.

"I don't like things that are pretty and clean and nice," he's saying. "I can't buy new clothes, I have to wear my old clothes. I mean, these are the same pants that I've worn for the last three years. This is a mohair sweater. I buy mohair sweaters secondhand. I like to buy old things. I like old, dingy, dirty things because they have more character. There's more detail to weathered things. There's more detail to decay. I can't stand anything that's new. So even though I'm a really rich rock star I have to wear old dirty clothes because it's the only way I feel comfortable."

He delves into a pocket in his cardigan and takes out a battered old watch on a chain. "I've needed a watch for two years, but I hate the thought of buying a new watch. So I got this secondhand. It doesn't keep time very well, but I prefer it to a new watch. I just had one, honey…"

She's holding out the sandwich with a theatrical air of servitude. He brushes it away. "Did you hear they put mushrooms in the beef?" he asks her. She stares at him. He chuckles again. She backs out of the room, her faced contorted comically. "It's because they love you," she drawls, and disappears.

Her voice sails back into the room: "I'll make you some juice, how about?"

"No thanks."

"Go-waaaannn, I'll make some juice."

"I don't want any juice."

She goes momentarily quiet. Then, seconds later, strange, witchy oaths are heard outside the door. Kurt chuckles again.

What are the chances of him and the trouble and strife actually recording together? (Courtney starts coughing violently out in the hall.)

"I don't know," he says thoughtfully. "We like to play music together at home. It's a lot of fun. But there's nothing planned. It may happen some day."

Do you sing duets?

"Yeah. Just like Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty. We do a killer rendition of 'Stop Dragging My Heart Around',"

In saunters Courtney, cackling softly to herself. She's holding a plate. Now, either this is another peanut butter and jelly Sandwich, or it's the same one back again.

"You're not gonna eat this, right?" she says, lip curled.

"No," snaps Kurt.

She shoots him a look of quite disgraceful coquettishness, and breaks a piece of the sandwich off. Then she lifts it, very carefully, to his mouth. Their eyes meet. When he opens his mouth she opens hers too, just like a baby and its mother. They ogle each other. Wow. He pouts and in a kooky, helium-pitched baby Donald Duck voice quacks: "Feed me." She grins: "Good boy…" She turns to me.

"I'm Courtney, hi. I married someone more famous than me."

When's your baby due?

"September."

Will you be present, Kurt?

"Yeah," he says. "I'll be taping it. We're going to be playing 'Rubber Soul' by The Beatles as it comes out."

Do you have any names lined up?

Kurt: "She's going to be called Frances."

"Frances," says Courtney loudly.

"She is named Frances," says Kurt.

"Her name's gonna be Frances!" shouts Courtney.

Kurt: "We already call her Frances. She's already our baby. In fact, I drew a little cartoon caricature of her on her stomach." He points to The Stomach.

"We have ultra-sound in America," says Courtney helpfully. "Get me a cigarette."

"I don't have any," says Kurt. "You get me one."

She sighs loudly and exits. She turns back: "See, you've gotta make sure, when you go out with a guy in a band, his band should be smaller than your band…"

"Yeah!" snorts Kurt. "And you fucked up and went out with someone in The Beatles!"

"Yeah!" she shouts. "But there was a point where we were almost peers…"

"We were," he nods, "at one time. For about a month."

"FUCK YOU!!!!" She storms out.

It's just a thought, but does Kurt ever regret calling this woman "the greatest fuck in the world" live on national TV?

"No," he says, laughing. "No, she found that really flattering."

She comes back in and addresses me conspiratorially: "You know, I really liked him. It seemed like such a good idea at the time."

Kurt: "He's just asked me about when I called you the best fuck."

Courtney: "Yeah, that was cute."

"We're vulgar," explains Kurt.

Once you say something like that live on TV, there's no going back, is there? Kurt grins.

"No. I guess not. Hunh hunh. I guess you'd better mean it, hub?"

God, those TV appearances. They say Nirvana brought anarchy back to the UK.

"Actually," Kurt remembers, "I got a reel of all those television shows that we played on. It's pretty amusing. My favourite was Top Of The Pops."

What exactly was going on there? You sang the song an octave lower, changed all the words around…

"I was trying to sound like Morrissey," he smiles. "But it turned out pretty gothic. Yeah. Wow. Well, gee, what can we do to top that this year? I'll have to set myself on fire. Or eat Chris' dung."

OVER IN CROATIA LIVES MR NOVOSELIC, CHRIS' old man. Young Chris' band may be the biggest rock 'n' roll band on the planet, but Mr Novoselic's dial is understandably tuned to more local, more distressing news.

Chris' original name is Krist Novoselic - you hit the surname on the second syllable. No-vaw-selitch. It means "new settler". His family came to LA, where Krist was born, but his father has moved back now. They're in a relatively safe part compared to somewhere like Sarajevo, but not safe enough for the bass player's liking; he keeps an ear open for media updates on the war over there.

Outside of Nirvana Chris purports to lead the life of "a very normal pseudo-intellectual layman philosopher" in Seattle, where he writes essays and poems and lives in his splendid Tudor house. He thinks deeper than his onstage persona - the happy beanpole pogo-er - would have you believe. He's changed; word has it he used to be a chronic pisshead. Reckoning that Nirvana would never become successful, his philosophy was simply "live for the moment, rouse some rabble, play my bass, drink a lot of beer, go on tour and have a lot of fun". Nowadays he worries about whether the deodorant Teen Spirit is tested on animals. If you ask him a question, he asks it back to you before he answers it. "Where do I live? I live in Seattle." He's a gentleman. Nirvana is the only band he's ever been in.

"I don't think any of me warrants to be elevated in stature, so I find the cult of celebrity pretty weird. Like, who am I? Maybe I just have a lot of humility. I never used to approach famous people. Never wanted to. Never had anything to say."

THEY LEAP ONSTAGE TO THE DULCET WHIMPERS OF Tori Amos' version of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' blared out over the PA. They are laughing their heads off. A girl in a nice dress singing their scruffy revolution classic. Dave calls it "an abomination". He doesn't know which is funnier, the Weird AI Jankovic pisstake of 'Teen Spirit', or Tori Amos' serious version.

They dance, waving and posing, across the stage like hairy ballerinas as the audience convulses in deafening cheers, laughter and roars saved up from last December. In a few moments they call a halt to the pasa doble, and pick up their instruments. The Fannies line up to watch them. There's a great atmosphere backstage between the three bands. It's Kurt's bill. He wanted to see The Breeders play so much that he hired them as support band, so he didn't have to leave the building to see them. The Fanclub connection, of course, is already well documented.

"These people are some of the nicest I've ever met," he raved earlier today. "But it's hard to talk to them cos they have such thick accents. I really like, them a lot, but it's so hard to understand them that I get flustered and confused. So I've never really had a deep conversation with them."

The Narcolepsy Kid is doing a passable imitation of a hyperactive manic impressive wired to the International Grid as he stalks the stage. All these songs that they've been doing for the last year solid (even longer in the case of 'Love Buzz', 'School', 'Scoff, 'About A Girl', 'Swap Meet' and 'Negative Creep') sound like Kurt just came up with the chords on the coach on the way up from Dublin this morning. Fresh, vital, unbelievable rock 'n' roll. To follow The Breeders and the Fannies you have to be totally awe-inspiring, and Nirvana are. They are some cool rockin' chaos.

GROHL IS THE DRUMMER. IF YOU JUST SAW him in the street, garbed in his goofy skate-punk clothes and looking like he just fell backwards out of Bill And Ted's Bogus Journey, you might be tempted to write Dave off as a typical wacky American drummer with a lexicon that stops at D for "dude". Couldn't be more wrong. He's a sharp, intelligent soul who, if you tell him how good a drummer he is, simply points you in the direction of Dale Crover of The Melvins.

The Melvins are Dave's favourite band. The genealogies of the two bands are all tendrilled up Crover did a few things with Nirvana in their drummer-less days and singer/guitarist Buzz Osborne actually introduced Kurt to Chris Novoselic. Osborne did a one-off show with Kurt, Dave and Chris last year; they played as Melvana.

Kurt is now talking of maybe getting Osborne in as second guitarist for live shows to take the pressure off him, an idea Dave thinks would be "so-o-o awesome". In a perfect world, Dave would favour an actual merger between the two bands.

He lives with his mother and sister just outside Washington State, where they take frequent trips to the ocean. He admits that large parts of his existence are spent "trying to stay sane". He's still reeling from the craziness of tonight's gig. Two hours ago he and Kurt were swamped by autograph hunters just outside the venue, just sucked into a babbling vortex of pens and bodies and T-shirts and bits of paper. Pretty soon they were invisible. It was alarming to watch. Courtney freaked out and kept shouting: "Don't hurt him! Don't hurt him!" Kurt emerged ten minutes later; drained, puny, the colour of a fridge.

"Tonight was in-sane," says Dave. "All these people thrusting little pieces of paper in our face. For what? To prove that they stuck a piece of paper in our face and we had a pen at the time? I don't understand that. We are not the resurrection of Christ. We are another fuckin' band." He sips at his Guinness.

"It's no big deal," he says. "Nirvana is not a big deal."

You're the biggest no-big-deal band in the world, though.

"Well," he shrugs, his high-pitched voice getting higher, "then we'll just have to say, It's no big deal, louder than anyone else."

AS THE AMBULANCE FERRIES Kurt off to Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital, the Nirvana people can just see the headlines. Rearrange the following words: NIRVANA, SINGER, HEROIN, SCARE. Er, 'Nirvana Singer Heroin Scare'? Yep, that's a good one. The official line is that Kurt's ulcer started "weeping" and he was simply patched up and discharged after half an hour. Pretty soon the rumours will die down, until the next time.

"You know, things are gonna be a lot better," the man himself had reflected the previous evening, 75 minutes before hitting the stage. He was in optimistic mood, not just for himself and his wife and their future baby, but for music and society as a whole.

"There are so many people who are so supportive to this kind of music," he'd started off, "getting jobs at radio stations and in record companies that pretty soon the old dinosaurs will be weeded out and the public will have no choice but to take this music in the ass. There'll just be nothing they can do about it. Things are gonna be a lot better once we kick out the old guard. Up until a couple of years ago I was the most nihilistic cocksucking motherfucker I knew. I couldn't see how anyone would be so selfish to bring a child into this world. But people who are going to be good parents should have children, so that we can have better people in the world." He paused. "Besides. People like Courtney and I don't breed very often."

And, why, surely that would mean Kurt and Courtney would be installed as the First Couple of this New Rockin' Order Kurt's talking about?

"Yeah!" he laughed. "The King And Queen Of The Underground!"

Can you handle it?

He looked up. Paused. Grinned. Crazy fucked-up little bleached rock star.

"Sure."

© David Cavanagh, 1992