Courtney Love – Kurt Cobain Might’ve Lived if Another Band Got Big First
Nirvana's iconic album Nevermind, which helped jumpstart the grunge movement in Seattle, turned 30 last week on Sept. 24. Rocker and widow of Kurt Cobain, Courtney Love, believes that if "In Bloom" had been the first single rather than "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and another band had blown up first, Cobain might have lived.
“Life would have turned out simpler and better had I been heard,” she told the L.A. Times [via Stereo Gum]. “I’m not really a fan of the idea that it all ‘could have’ been that different, but ‘In Bloom’ might have shifted things. He might have survived had somebody else [gone first]. Like Eddie Vedder, somebody who had good infrastructure.”
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" was released to radio stations in August of 1991, a few weeks prior to the release of Nevermind. In January of 1992, Nevermind peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, knocking Michael Jackson's Dangerous from the top. Cobain and Love were in Oregon when they received the news.
"[Cobain] cried. I cried. We were really scared,” Love remembered. "He loved what Nevermind was. He licked his lips and was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa.’ But he hid it really well, so he’s attributed these saintly qualities. He possessed modesty, and he put forth this public virtue persona, and he was good at that. But he worked it."
"In Bloom" was the album's fourth and final single, released in November of 1992.
Regarding Love's note on Vedder and Pearl Jam, their massively successful debut album Ten did climb all the way up to No. 2 on the albums chart, but not until August of 1992 after the success of Nevermind helped catapult Seattle bands into the mainstream. Alice in Chains' 1992 sophomore effort Dirt also landed in the Top 10 of the chart in October of that year.
Cobain was found dead in his home on April 8, 1994 due to an apparent gunshot wound. His death was ruled a suicide. Many have since speculated that the fame Nirvana experienced became overbearing for the 27-year-old rocker, which may have led to his demise. One person that seems to share that sentiment is Melvins' Buzz Osborne, who had a longstanding friendship with Cobain.
“Now, Nirvana. I always liked those guys, but I never liked when they got big,” Osborne explained to Guitar.com earlier this year. “I never liked the people around them. I never liked their management and never like any of the people that worked with them. And then you mix in the drugs, and the people that brought with it. And it’s a sordid tale. And it’s not a happy ending.”
“And it’s difficult for me to just get over that and just sit there and go, ‘Well, let’s just look at the good times,’" he continued. "I can’t, it’s not possible for me to do. I would much rather have somebody like Kurt Cobain be completely unsuccessful and alive than successful one day. We were friends first. So him being dead just puts a cap on that story that I’m not going to ever get over.”