Close to 17 years ago, Kurt Cobain died. Conspiracy theories about his death abound — as they tend to do with people of note — but most agree it was Cobain’s own decision to end his life. Since today would have been his 44th birthday, we bring you 44 facts about the man who struggled with drug addiction, being misunderstood, and those record industry types willing to defang the music from Cobain’s Pacific Northwest for the sake of money, power, and instant, yet fleeting success.
1. Before Nirvana, Cobain had auditioned to be in the Melvins, but was rejected.
2. While still a teenager, for eight months Cobain lived at a friend’s house and slept on the sofa.
3. When Nirvana was on the rise, Metallica sent them a fax that read: “We really dig Nirvana. Nevermind is the best album of the year. Let’s get together soon, Metallica. PS, Lars hates the band.”
4. For many years, Cobain enjoyed making Super-8 films. One of these movies contains a scene in which Cobain commits suicide.
5. In his free time, Cobain liked to buy big hunks of meat from the grocery store, and then go out into the woods and shoot at them with a variety of guns.
6. For a time, Cobain would often throw up before each show.
7. In June 1976, shortly after his parents divorced, a young Cobain scribbled onto his bedroom wall, “I hate Mom, I hate Dad, Dad hates Mom, Mom hates Dad, it simply makes you want to be sad.”
8. One of Cobain’s friends, Carrie Montgomery, once said that he “made women want to nurture and protect him. He was a paradox in that way, because he also could be brutally and intensely strong, yet at the same time, he could appear fragile and delicate.”
9. Cobain came close to joining the Navy, even meeting with a recruitment officer at one point to discuss enrolling.