Domicile On Cobain St.
New Musical Express, July 24, 1993
PAGE: 3 | back
THE TAPE comes to a halt. Silence. It's Sam. Kurt speaks: "We were just on the news, on MTV. They were talking about the story in the Seattle Times and how Hole have just started their world tour in Seattle at The Off Ramp," he says with a smile and a hint of irony. "They even played some of the William Burroughs stuff, but the guitar just sounded like 'gurrrr'."
What's this? A sense of humour from the man who wanted to call the Nirvana album 'I Hate Myself And I Want To Die'? He walks into the kitchen and puts some bread into the toaster. I follow. As we wait for it to pop up, I ask how much of the album has been remixed.
"Just two; 'Penny Royal Tea' and 'All Apologies'. Both were remixed by Scott Litt."
He's buttering the toast now. Does he plan to continue living in Seattle?
"Yeah. There are just two places in the world where I'd live, Seattle or Scotland."
What part of Scotland, I enquire, thinking maybe Aberdeen.
Kurt looks at me as if it's one of the strangest questions he's ever been asked. "I don't know, probably Edinburgh."
Before he can take a bite of his toast, I ask about one of the pictures currently being considered for the cover of 'In Utero'- a woman with a pair of wings and her arms held out. You can clearly see the different organs of the body; the heart, rib-cage, veins, the works.
"It's not a picture, it's a model," Kurt corrects. "It's in some museum but there may be some legal hassles over it. I'm not really sure."
Later I find out the model was originally in the Smithsonian Museum Of Science, is known as Brunnhilde: The Transparent Woman and is used by children to learn about different parts of the female anatomy. If you want to see where the heart is, for example, you push a button and it lights up on the body. Kurt added the wings.
Time to leave. The birds are singing outside, and Courtney is almost asleep on the couch. But she's still alert enough to talk about the Seattle Times story - after all, it's partly why I'm here. "We were jamming in the garage, Kurt was on drums, and a neighbour called the cops. Six cops arrived and we started arguing when they asked us if we had any guns in the house. Kurt said no and I said yes, and we began to fight, so the cops arrested Kurt. I don't want guns in the house, maybe one but not three. We hardly ever fight - no-one could ask for a better husband. He went on the cover of The Advocate (a national US gay and lesbian magazine). He's a feminist."
Kurt is sitting at the dining room table with four slices of toast and a cup of hot chocolate. I thank him for the tea, the album... shit, the everything.
"No problem. Sorry about all the stuff at the beginning..."
No apologies are needed. When I leave, he's dipping his toast into the hot chocolate, looking out of the window as the sun rises over the lake. For someone who's been through so much shit in the past two years, whose name is being dragged through acrimony once again, who's about to release a record the whole rock world's desperate to hear and be faced with astonishing attention and pressure, Kurt Cobain's a remarkably contented man.
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