Frank Micelotta, Getty Images The 'Come as You Are' sign will remain as it is, and…
Kurt Cobain Wanted to Start a Petting Zoo Like Michael Jackson's -- Exclusive Excerpt From New Oral History of Grunge
- Posted on Sep 6th 2011 2:00PM by Cameron Matthews
Terry McGinnis, WireImage
CHAPTER 27: ON THE CORNER OF DOPEY AND GOOFY
MARCO COLLINS (KNDD DJ) One of the landmark moments for me was going over to [Sub Pop Records publicist] Nils Bernstein's house for a party when Nirvana first played 'Saturday Night Live.' There were 15 or 20 people over there; I think [Flop's] Rusty Willoughby, [Fastbacks's] Kurt Bloch, and maybe Dan Peters from Mudhoney were there. Everybody is drinking a s---load of beer, and there's just an obnoxious, fun attitude in the room.
When Nirvana launched into their song, the room just got quiet, and when they were done and 'Saturday Night Live' cut away to commercials, the room was still dead silent. It was like everybody in that roomful of drunk people realized at that moment how big it actually was. I'm getting chills even talking about it right now.
He talked about maybe starting a petting zoo. He was just kind of musing. The energy I was getting was kind of magical: I can pretty much do anything I want. I'd like to start a petting zoo.
That week, Nirvana had knocked Michael Jackson off the charts. In a lot of ways, Kurt reminded me of Michael Jackson. Think about it: Neverland ... having a passion for kids and animals. I found it somewhat ironic. If I'd heard those same words coming out of Michael Jackson, I wouldn't have been surprised at all.
Later, I read that Kurt OD'd that night.
DANNY GOLDBERG (Gold Mountain Entertainment founder/president; Nirvana/Hole manager) That time when they were in New York, it was clear that Kurt and Courtney [Love] were doing drugs and probably heroin. They looked so stoned, and she wanted thousands of dollars in cash to quote-unquote go shopping. Kurt is so amazing that on camera he was fine, but afterwards he just looked really wasted and you had to really be blind or totally inexperienced with seeing people on drugs to not see that.
Right after that, there was an article published in Bay Area Music; this guy had been with them a couple of weeks earlier and said that Kurt was on drugs. That's probably true, but it wasn't yet in my head until 'Saturday Night Live.' But with the combination of 'Saturday Night Live' and the article coming out, we just knew we had a huge problem on our hands and that we had to do something.
JANET BILLIG (Hole manager via Gold Mountain Entertainment) Right when it started coming out that Kurt was doing drugs, I remember [Aerosmith's] Steven Tyler called and wanted to help. I told Kurt, "Holy s---, Steven Tyler called my office and he wants to help you. Can I give him your number?" And he was like, "Steven Tyler got to be a junkie for 18 f---in' years. I've only been doing drugs for an hour." Lots of stars called. Kirstie Alley called a lot for Courtney to try and make her become a Scientologist.
DANNY GOLDBERG So within a day or two of them getting back to Los Angeles, which is where they were now living, we did an intervention. I'd never done an intervention before, and I think I called David Geffen and he put me in touch with somebody that had been involved with Aerosmith. And that also was around the time that Courtney found out she was pregnant. The two of them, for the rest of their lives -- certainly for the rest of Kurt's life -- were in and out of rehab, in and out of treatment.
Excerpted from EVERYBODY LOVES OUR TOWN: An Oral History Of Grunge. Copyright © 2011 by Mark Yarm. Reprinted by Permission of Crown Archetype, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York