Kurt Cobain: The Greatest Networker of All Time?
It’s been almost 10 years since he died, but new stories come out every couple weeks about who he hung out with, gave advice to, tried to work for, chance encountered. Let’s take a look:
Friend: A Gay Kid
Cobain was friends with a gay student at art school, which caused his classmates to think he was gay, as well. “I started being really proud of the fact that I was gay even though I wasn’t”, he later told The Advocate.
Key phrase here is “art school.” Wouldn’t it be hard not to have a gay friend at art school? I rate this story as 200% believable, because 200% of the people at this school probably told this exact story to their friends, except in their stories, they tell people they were friends with Kurt Cobain.
Kurt said, ‘you should join my band,'” Mascis recalls. “I think he was sick of the guy Jason [Everman] who was in the band at the time, and thought I should play guitar. I didn’t think much about it.”
80% true. But 0% on the ‘I didn’t think much about it’ link. Mascis thinks about this 24-7-2,500, or however many days it’s been since Dinosaur Jr. reunited: “Morning Lou, I could have been in Nirvana. Can you grab that cord for me? I could have been in Nirvana.” Etc.
Friend: Ren and Stimpy (Bob Camp)
One day, this scraggly kid came in and said he wanted to write a song for Ren & Stimpy, and it was Kurt Cobain … They [TV bosses] said, “Yeah, that’s great,” and they threw it in the wastebasket.
50% chance of truth. Threw what in the wastebasket? A demo? Sheet music? R&S debuted Aug 1991, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” came out a month later. So the track came in from an unknown, and made it up to the ‘TV bosses’ and they threw it away. How often does your boss open his/her own mail? I haven’t opened my own mail in years, and I’m nobody’s boss. I might have an unreleased Nirvana track in there. (That’s also why I don’t throw it away and just stack it up and sleep on it, just in case.)
Friend: Duff McKagan
On the flight, he sat next to Duff McKagan of Guns N’ Roses. Despite Cobain’s own personal animosity towards Guns N’ Roses and specifically Axl Rose, Cobain “seemed happy” to see McKagan. McKagan later stated he knew from “all of my instincts that something was wrong.”
Okay, I rate this 90%. McKagen’s from Seattle. He was flying from L.A. to Seattle first class, totally believable. I’m into it. Part of me thinks that maybe Cobain wasn’t flying first class, and that maybe McKagen said “Hey man! How are you feeling?” as he strode past him to go to the bathroom in the back or something. But then again, first class passengers never walk past coach. Also Duff claims to be the last person Cobain ever talked to, ever. OK!
Friend: Billy Ray Cyrus
“He was one of those guys that became a friend to me that I never expected. We met at a venue one night, some big coliseum somewhere—his rig was pulling out and mine was pulling in—and I was standing in the shadows, 1 a.m. in the morning, and he’s ‘Hey man, congratulations—you pissed the whole world off.’ We shook hands, and I said, ‘Thanks, man… I love what you all do.'” After that, Cobain congratulated him at an awards ceremony when most of his peers did not. ‘We crossed paths a couple more times,’ says Cyrus.”
Uh, how can you rate the truth of this? Cyrus also tells stories about encounters with Michael Jackson and reaching out to Anna Nicole Smith in this GQ story. Either Billy Ray Cyrus is the most intuitive, empathetic man in the world or he kills everything he touches.