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‘I Am Not A Junkie’

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Last night Dawn and I went to a Halloween party – she was Courtney Love and I was Kurt Cobain. No one recognized us – they just thought she was a whore and I was Jeff Spicoli. How soon they forget.

We are once again in tune with the zeitgeist: Newsweek has excerpts of the forthcoming Cobain Diaries book:

    The journals and writings of Kurt Cobain, the late lead singer of Nirvana, are raw and unsettling and reveal how he spiraled from an ambitious kid in a garage band to a disillusioned pop star with a deadly heroin addiction.

    Riverhead Books … is said to have paid the Cobain estate-his widow, Courtney Love, and his 10-year-old daughter, Frances-in the neighborhood of $4 million. The book is already controversial among some fans, who worry that it’s an invasion of Cobain’s privacy, his suicide in April 1994 being tragic, irrefutable evidence of his desire to be left alone.

    After his death, Cobain’s personal belongings started disappearing. Cobain’s grieving friend Eric Erlandson, who played guitar in Love’s band, Hole, saw what was happening and moved to safeguard valuables including his notebooks. “From day one I treated the whole situation the way I would have for any friend-keeping their stuff safe,” he says. “But from a historical perspective, I treated it like I would have treated John Lennon’s legacy. I guess I knew even then it was important.” An excerpt follows:

    ‘I Am Not A junkie’

    Cobain married Love in February 1992. The singer’s heroin addiction raged all summer. He entered a rehab facility in Marina del Rey, Calif., and wrote in his journal prodigiously. Among the entries was this open letter to Nirvana fans, which he never made public.

    I kind of feel like a dork writing about myself like this as if I were an American pop-rock icon-demi God, or a self-confessed product of corporate-packaged rebellion, but I’ve heard so many insanely exhaggerated stories or reports from my friends and Ive read so many pathetic second rate, freudian evaluations from interviews from my childhood up until the present state of my personality and how I’m a notoriously f—ed up heroine addict, alcoholic, self destructive, yet overtly sensitive, frail, fragile, soft spoken, narcoleptic, neurotic, little pissant who at any minute is going to O.D. jump off a roof wig out blow my head off or all 3 at once. Oh Pleez GAWD I can’t handle the success! The success! And I feel so incredibly guilty! For abandoning my true commrades who were the ones who are devoted who were into us a few years ago. And in 10 years when NIRVANA becomes as memorable as Kajagoogoo that same very small percent will come to see us at reunion gigs sponsored by Depends diapers, bald fat still trying to RAWK at amusement parks. Saturdays: puppet show, rollercoaster & Nirvana …

    Well for those of you who are concerned with my present physical and mental state. I am not a junkie. I am not gay, although I wish I were, just to piss off homophobes. Ive had a rather unconclusive and uncomfortable stomach condition for the past 3 years which by the way is not related to stress which also means it is not an ulcer. Because there is no pattern to the burning, nauseaus pain in my upper abdominal cavity, I never know when it will happen, I can be at home in the most relaxed atmosphere sipping natural spring water, no stress, no fuss and then WHAM! like a shotgun: stomach time. Then I can play 100 live performances in a row, guzzle boric acid & do a zillion television interviews and not even a burp. This has left doctors with no ideas except the usual: here Kurt, try another peptic ulcer pill and lets jam this fibre optic tube with a video camera in it down your throat for the 3rd time and see whats going on in there. Again. Yep your in pain alright. Your stomach is extremely inflamed and red. Try eating ice cream from now on. Please lord, f–k hit records, just let me have my very own unexplainable rare stomach disease named after me. And the title of our next double album, “Cobain’s disease.”

    So after protein drinks, becoming a vegetarian, exercise, stopping smoking, and doctor after doctor I decided to relieve my pain with small doses of heroine for a walloping 3 whole weeks. It served as a band-aid for a while but then the pain came back so I quit. It was a stupid thing to do and Ill never do it again and I feel real sorry for anyone who thinks they can use heroine as a medicine because um, duh, it don’t work. Drug withdrawal is everything you’ve ever heard. You puke, you falail around, you sweat, you s-t your bed just like that movie “Christiane F.” It’s evil. Leave it alone.

    I am the product of 7 months of screaming at the top of my lungs almost every night 7 months of jumping around like a retarded rheesus monkey 7 months of answering the same questions over and over … . I’m really bored with everyones concerned advice like: “man you have a really good thing going. Your band is great. You write great songs, but hey man you should get your personal s-t together. Don’t freak out, and get healthy.” Gee I wish it was as easy as that but, honestly I didn’t want all this attention but Im not freaked out which is something a lot of people would like to see. Its an entertaining thought to watch a rock figure whos public domain mentally self destruct. But I’m sorry friends Ill have to decline. Maybe Crispin Glover should join our band.

    Well I’ve spewed enough, probably too much but oh well, for every one opinionated, pissy, self appointed rock judge cermudgeon there’s a thousand kids … .

    Hope I die before I turn into Pete Townshend.

You did.

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About Eric Olsen

Career media professional and serial entrepreneur Eric Olsen flung himself into the paranormal world in 2012, creating the America's Most Haunted brand and co-authoring the award-winning America's Most Haunted book, published by Berkley/Penguin in Sept, 2014. Olsen is co-host of the nationally syndicated broadcast and Internet radio talk show After Hours AM; his entertaining and informative America's Most Haunted website and social media outlets are must-reads: Twitter@amhaunted, Facebook.com/amhaunted, Pinterest America's Most Haunted. Olsen is also guitarist/singer for popular and wildly eclectic Cleveland cover band The Props.

    i love nirvana…and ofc kurt cobain…kurt i love you…i love you…i love you…i love you…i love you…i love you…i love you…i love you…i love you…i love you…i love you…i love you…i love you…i love you…i love you…i love you…


    He is the best…. i

  • Maddy

    Kurt was a great artist and he did not kill himself because they went mainstream he did it because he lost the passion and could not write anymore songs that had his true feelings because he lost himself, he says that in his suicide note…R.I.P

  • I wish to my KURT COBAIN Merry Christmas!

  • i love kurt but nobody can understand me.if you can i love you and i hope that we will meet him one day

  • I think Kurt died by his own hand because of the same reason Hemingway and Van Gogh did. The creative person is that way (artist, musician, writer) for many reasons, among them a tortured inner self that manifests itself (when healthy) in the creativity.

    Sometimes, maybe even eventually, all artists hit a place that’s similar; they just don’t always pull the trigger (as did Vincent, Ernest, and Kurt).

    Remember the words of the old song:

    “The world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.”
    -Don McLean


  • I AM the biggest fun of KURT COBAIN i can die for him.You? WHAT can you do for him? ANYTHING!Shut up now!!!

  • When i hear NIRVANA i feel very stange.I can’t think anything.When i see KURT i want to cry.He is my GOD!Sometimes i feel that he is with me.I wish that he will come and get me from here, from this fucking place, one day…KURT I LOVE YOU SO SO MUCH!!!

  • Alfon

    kurt was the best,it will never be someone like him..the only thing in this fucking world bigger than him is his music..”its better to the burn out,than fade away”

  • lindsey smith

    Well my name is Lindsey. And yeah i know it is a mystery about kurt. But kurt was my boyfriends role model and my boyfriend has always said he was going to die like Kurt. Well Septemeber 23, 2005 my boyfriend committed suicide and i honestly dont think he did it. It is a mystery also about him. CODY MICHAEL WINGLER WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. R.I.P I LOVE YOU

  • James

    I think reading a dead mans journal is vulgar and sick…you people should be ashamed of yourselves. One of the reasons he killed himself is because he couldnt get any privacy and he hated intruding bastards such as yourselves…and you call yourselves Nirvana fans.

    I also belive that Courtney should be shot for selling Kurts journal, like what the hell is going through this womans head? i very much doubt that she even loved kurt but just married him so she could get on the bandwagon of his fame and also become like one of you scumbags who keep invading people’s privacy.

  • Diego

    i dont know if wat’s published is worth judging, its done although I really appreciate being able to read all these things about the best man I’ve ever heard of. I wish I could only streach hands with him: would be an honor. he was unique, and is , and will be, cause he lives in people like us, and will never die.
    i really love the guy and if there is only one man i truly love its him. And I dont give a fuck being gay, if it where because of him—>’Love you so much it makes me sick’.
    For the ones that say cobain is NOWHERE I say Kurt Donald Cobain is NOW HERE.

    bye to you all…

  • nathalia

    I just have to say that kurt is the best…
    and he was like the symbol of a generation and he didn’t deserv to die…
    and just for the record: there are a lot of evidences that shows clearly that he couldn’t kill himself because he was to high even to lift a gun up…

    like I said: I just want everybody to know that he is the best and fuck everyone that wanted him dead…

    kisses kisses everyone

  • Marcel

    Kurt was and still being the best musician of this fucking world!
    When i hear his music i feel in other planet.Sometimes i can’t believe the feeling that Kurt had.
    Kurt i love you so much and i hope to see you soon!!!

  • Patricia Castle, Newfoundland, Canada

    Kurt Cobain deserves to be remembered, as a loving father, a wicked music punker rocker, who died at the hands of his wife, or a hitman hired by her. Laughing at me, eh? Read, Love and Death, by by Max Wallace, Ian Halperin.
    Request him or make a grunge radio station because no one plays it anymore…..

  • Psycho

    Kurt did not write any of this inane dribbled, it is FORGED FOR THE SAKE OF M$NEY.
    Kurt Cobain was murdered in 1990, later Courtney Love (whose real mother is actually “Wendy” who falsly claims to be Cobain’s mother) was paid-off to pretend to be married and have a child, all so that the Hollywood 3 could share in the reported 6 billion Nirvana has thus far grossed. Geffen was delighted by all of this, helping Courtney with her transgendering (She was once a male). The hundreds (no doubt thousands) that were and are involved in this horrid Sacrafice are paying-with their lives! Oh, how they shall pay for those crimes.
    We love you Kurt.
    It is just another Cult admission of guilt, a silly one at that (there is no G-d, and no jesus, but those are the cults false idols).
    Just a hyme, a crust of bread thrown on the trail of murderers…

  • Ashley

    yeah i agree kurt cobain is the best and to any body who thinks he is stupid because he commited suicide, let’s see how you turn out after Courtney love screws with your head for a few years.

  • Has anyone seen that Gus Van Sant “Last Days” movie loosely based on Cobain’s suicide?

    It had very limited art-house release and I think I missed it, but I really wanted to see that because it got great reviews.

    That is all.

  • Eric Olsen

    I wonder if ultimately what Kurt wanted was for us to feel sorry for him – that isn’t particularly noble

  • luke o’keeffe

    alone is not a bad way to be it clears your head and focuses you on the journey. cherish the time that you have with others but be prepared to walk alone

  • listen n e body who doesnt like Kurt or n e other member of nirvana can F*** off….. Kurt was an awesome artist and an awesome man…..its people that judge him bc of a drug that pushed him 2 the edge … he may b dead but he still lives in my heart “im worst @ what i do best and 4 this gift i feel blessed”

  • nirvana-girlie

    I love nirvana and i love kurt cobain!
    I hate courtney love fuck you bitch!

  • Cooper

    Although i am only a young teen, I am old enough to realise that Kurt influenced every type of person from around the world. Anyone who has listened to his music and knew about his journals would know that he was not thr role model for happiness. he has showed us all (i think) that there is a new low to unhappiness. No-one will ever b able to know exactly how he felt. Maybe no-one is surposed to feel that way, maybe he realised this. Although his music is beautiful, it is also very depressing… This is just my oppinion, everyone should try to realise that kurt was not insane or stupid, but he had a beautiful mind that had a hard part in life. Take care… Nirvana Inspires Us All

  • roXIe

    What the fuck is wrong with you people? Why have you helped to this emotionless selfish scam? Kurt Cobain was a real and decent man, you people are shallow how could you print this? This was his thought? His private emotions and feeling, you fucked up shallow pricks.

  • zaid

    je vais parler en francai alors .j sius un fanatik de nirvana je connait presque tou sur lui mais ce que j n sait pas c pourquoi il c suisider

  • Sephiroth

    i am only 14,and yet i consider nirvana to be one of the most influencial bands ever. i have always listened to them, ever since i was young,and rock lost an amazing artist and legend when Kurt died

  • Kurt is the star of the grunge musik he can make you cry with his voice. When you hear the song “WHERE DID YOU SLEEP LAST NIGHT” you are ready to do everything.He is the best musician and singer I have ever seen.When I saw his face I understand how sad he was.His childhood wasn’t so easy he had many problems with his health and with his wife Courtney.When I feel sad I saw his face and I am happy, when I am hapy and I see his face I feel VERY VERY VERY happy.Wnen I see his face I see EVERYTHING!!!


  • NIRVANA will live forever!!!

  • Alecto

    It seems that Kurt was so fucking aware of what was going on with him and happend around him and his success. Listening to his music is a kind of deeper going experience. In a way one can say: thanx god he’s not become a Pete Townshend. But it’s definately a big loss. I just love listening to Nirvana….

  • Angela

    There is so much about Kurt than can be said but there’s nothing like his own words to explain himself. He knows why he was fucked up and has such brilliant self-expression about it all. Kudos to you man, there’s a lot of stuff to try and live through in this world and you did it with such brutal honesty that most people can only dream of. Courtney was no sell-out, she knew how much Kurt was loved by the world and what better gift to give them that to better share him. He wasn’t someone who hid and exposing his secret writings were only doing something that a million songs could not do – replicate the thoughts of this amazing man within his short life.
    Kurt will live forever through the speakers, and so it will stay!

  • Sthephany

    Master to kurt cobain thanks to God my father I take to the opportunity to go to its concert in Brazil

  • we should be reallized that some one like Kurt Donald Cobain can cherrish people (minority) through his own music. and its magic.

    its not easy to do.

    he is like a radio, like an open channel, never freeze when play his jag fender and shouting like siberian wolf and egyptian eagle.

    his shouting and that voice..
    and his playin like punchin button in his guitar,

    & I say thats the best technic in playin guitar !!!

    Kurt is the first musician can make me cry.

    its like i understand the saddness, and feel it.

    but thats time is over. im al little bit grown up now.

    music is numero one, there is a secondary..

  • HeHe He He He

    HeHe He He He

  • eve

    well,i wont pretend dat im some1 i am not.only being 13 i had neva been intested in nirvarna ,until my dad lent me the unpluged in newyork album,wow!wat a beautiful album it is,and now im gripped i couldnt resist learin the man hu sold d world on my acoustic guitar an drawin charcoal sketches of kurt,readin his jounals prehaps he wouldnt of wanted dem published ,but they make us undertand him,uch a delicate senitive man hu’s legacy deerves 2 live on,thinkin about this has made me think about my life,how precouis every moment is…dont waste it

  • I haven’t read them in a while, but Ben also keeps an entertaining blog or two, with plenty of hardcore baseball talk and some interesting opinions on politics, culture, and music:


    That is all.

  • Oh, he can’t sing in pitch at all and readily admits that he can’t sing or play guitar worth crap at every opportunity. And his high-pitched nasal snarl (with occasional British accents a la comrade Billie Joe Armstrong) was a total punk affectation to fit the Ben Weasel persona.

    But he’s still one of the greatest punk characters ever and wrote some of punk’s best tunes (including some of the best 50s/60s throwback vocal melodies that strained his limited voice). His other writing’s really good too — I’m just not sure where you can find it anymore, other than that collection of essays (“Punk is a Four Letter Word”). He also wrote a novel called “Like Hell” that’s loosely based on his career, but I’m not interested in rock and roll fiction so I’ve never read it. But if any of you like that stuff, I’m sure it’s entertaining. Both books should be available on Amazon.

    That is all.

  • Eric Olsen

    interesting, if long

    Ben rocks for a guy who sings off-key

  • I’d never read Kurt’s writings before. I’m a little surprised at how articulate and good a writer he was. You can clearly tell that his sort of self-referential writing style was influenced by the punk zines he grew up reading as a kid — he’s basically writing these personal journal diaries to kids like him (or perhaps the 16 year old Kurt Cobain growing up in small town Washington) who, in his mind, were already accusing him of being a phony sell-out and a failed rock star.

    This is a great, funny piece written by Ben Weasel, former lead singer of Screeching Weasel and former punk zine columnist legend — a very good writer in his own right — on his own encounter with Cobain and Nirvana. This was written in the early 1990s and is hard to find online — it was written for a zine back then and is in Ben’s book “Punk is a Four Letter Word”:

    “The Nanny and the Rock Star” by Ben Weasel —

    The call came in sometime in the early morning hours. I do not answer my
    phone in the early morning hours. The machine does. The caller, chummy enough
    with me to know my home number, but yet not enough of a pal to leave his name,
    instead left the following message: “I just heard that Jawbreaker is doing a week in the southwest with Nirvana and Mudhoney, so I guess that shoots your theory to shit, doesn’t it, pal?”

    I got the message in the morning. An hour later I got a call from Pfahler.

    “You won’t believe what happened,” he said.

    “You’re doing a week with Nirvana and Mudhoney in the southwest,” I said,
    fairly pleased with myself.

    “Jesus,” he said. “we only found out yesterday ourselves…”

    It isn’t too surprising. Jawbreaker’s many detractors in the punk scene have
    been waiting for something like this and they were already jumping all over everyone in the band.

    The tour, however, wasn’t just in the southwest. Jawbreaker did six shows with Nirvana and two of them were in Chicago. I was provided with the opportunity to document the backstage goings on at a big time rock show, a chance I couldn’t pass up as a tenacious Panic button reporter.

    I don’t know if it was worth their time or all the shit they had to put up with from the hardline punks, but as for me, well, I’m a reporter damnit, and I go where the story is. Even if I have to dig one up.

    We arrive at the Aragon around 3:00 P.M. As we attempt to get into the parking lot reserved for band vehicles, we’re stopped by a stereotypical Chicago mook who asks the threatening yet polite sound question, “CAN I HELP YOU?” Chris spends a few minutes conversing with he guy and finally convinces him that we are indeed
    authorized to park in the lot. We pull up next to the big tour buses rent by Nirvana.

    They have been christened “Wave Dancer” and “Blue Mirage,” complete with
    cheeseball airbrush paintings on the back that have me wondering if Loretta Lynn might be making a guest appearance tonight. The people from the catering truck and the security pay no attention to us as we file into the building from the alley entrance.

    We head for the Jawbreaker dressing room, a drab little white-walled hole. There aren’t many people around, save for the occasional security thug and the caterers, who are busy preparing the meal for the night.

    I walk out onto the balcony of the dressing room and look down at the few
    Nirvana fans who are already camped out outside the club. The ÔL’ train rushes by about every ten minutes or so. Kinda boring. I am here to get a scoop. The boys have already warned me that my chances are slim, but I’m certain that my charm and determination will get me SOMETHING to write about. I vow to keep my scoop antennae up throughout the entire debacle.

    Bill (Jawbreaker’s roadie) suggest that we visit the tour coordinator to get a pass for yours truly and demand extra beer for the evening. We worm our way through a labyrinth of dark walkways back to the office of the man in charge of the tour, Jeff. Jeff
    is on the phone so we site down and wait, chatting with Karina, head caterer. Once we have Jeff’s attention, Bill and Chris mention my need for a pass (it would be taken care of later), turn in the guest list (which would go through fifty miles of red tape before
    reaching the front door; the people running the tour all have laptop computers and walkie talkies. Instead of simply walking the guest list downstairs, they have to put it
    into the computer and route it through Dante’s Inferno and back before it reaches the grubby hands of the will call people) and mention the fact that another 12 pack would be nice. giving a fatherly grin, Jeff asks, “Do you really need all that beer?” Apparently
    this is a reference to the fact that Chris has gotten severely blasted at several of the shows prior to today. Chris assures him that we do indeed need all that beer and Jeff, sighing heavily, says he’ll do his best.

    Now it’s time to explore and Bill, having been at the Aragon for the show two days prior, agrees to show me around. We inspect every corner of the building, constantly discovering neat little things that I’d never noticed in my previous visits to the Aragon.
    The stage left balcony for instance, is closed off for people with backstage passes. This is where the caterers prepare the meal and set up the dining table. Later, it will serve as seating for the privileged few with the all-important passes

    The stage is set up for Nirvana. Two cheesy mannequins that have been mutated into resembling the figure on the new Nirvana album cover flank the stage. Little bits of shrubbery and such are glued around here and there. The band’s amps are covered over with red velvet cloth; set up in front of them are itsy bitsy Marshall practice amps.

    What a bunch of funny guys. Bill remarks that so far, not a single audience member has seemed to understand Nirvana’s wacky sight gag.

    Bill and I head to the floor, where we quickly discover that it has recently been waxed, making it a perfect little skating rink. We skate around for a while (and of course,
    nobody bugs us; when you BELONG in a joint like this, you can get away with just about anything).

    As I glide toward the stage, I hear Blake yell my name from the balcony and at the same time, a small rectangular box hits the floor next to me. A-ha! It’s my Kools. One of
    the perks, you see, of being on a big tour like this is that before the show, a gopher will run and get the bands and crew certain necessities, like aspirin, moist towelettes or butts. For me it’s free Kools. It’s already been worth my while to show up. Our ears are suddenly assaulted by a deafening blast of white noise from the stage monitors.

    Apparently this is how professional sound people test their gear. It’s horrifying, but nowhere near as bas as the gigantic Scot with a mohawk and three square miles of tattoos who then proceeds to test Cobain’s amp by playing the riff from godzilla (read:
    Smells Like Teen Spirit) complete with very metal solos. I wonder if the massive mohican knows all the solos from Purple Rain; practically the entire crew (90% Scottish) worked on the last Prince tour…

    I go back to my skating competition with Bill and literally just about run into a kid who has come in from the side entrance. He introduces himself as the guy who used to be in the Lonely Trojans, a college pop punk band from downstate. He snuck in to get an
    interview with Mudhoney. Mudhoney, unfortunately, is not around. He follows us around for a while and then loses interest and goes back outside, asking us to make sure to try to get him in when the fabled Mudhoney shows up. Hearing the tail end of his plea, Adam remarks, “Fuck that.” Um, ok.

    Back in the dressing room, I am handed my pass. It’s a laminated doohinkey with a photo of a man dressed in lingerie lying in a bathtub, the word “PRINCESS” scrawled across his belly. At the bottom, it says “”VIP”. I am told that this pass is second only to the all-access passes that the bands and crew get and one or two steps above the passes that friends and relatives get. Theoretically, I can go anywhere backstage except for Nirvana’s dressing room. I place the pass around my neck, determined to exploit my first and probably last backstage pass for as long as I can.

    We are told that dinner is ready. We sit down at the end of the long table on the balcony and are given a variety of choices for a main course,including, according to Johnny (one of the caterers), “Eggplant, artichoke hearts, red onions and parmesan, lamb chops with baby onions, mushrooms and mint pesto, roast turkey with mustard
    sauce, salmon with roast pepper salsa and a pumpkin herb Swiss cheese goulet.” I don’t know what that last one is and neither does Johnny. In addition to all this, there are salads, cheese and crackers, various breads, pastries and cookies and a variety of
    sodas, bottled waters and Gatorade. I ask Karina if the salmon has bones.

    “I already told you it’s a filet,” she exclaims in her thick Scottish accent.

    “A what??”

    “A filet!”

    She looks at me as if I may be a bit retarded. I’m utterly confused. Blake jumps in.

    “Ben, she means Ôfillay’,” he says, pronouncing it correctly instead of phonetically. Now I get it. I ask from whence the fish came. Karina is getting frustrated.

    “I don’t know,” she says between clenched teeth. “Would you like to know which waters it swam in?”

    Johnny tells me it’s Alaskan. Karina peers at me as if deciding whether or not to clobber me over the head.

    The meal is excellent of course, mispronunciations and thinly veiled hostility notwithstanding.

    Mudhoney finally shows up and Bill tells them that there’s someone outside who wants to interview them. One of them looks out the dressing room window and says, laughing. “I don’t know him”. He walks away. But not far enough away. The band member and his tour manager have staked out the Jawbreaker dressing room, talking loudly about stupid shit. Tape recorder in hand, I approach them.

    “You guys are from Seattle, huh,” I say brightly.

    Mr. Mudhoney gets all serious like I’m doing some sort of important interview.

    “Yeah,” he answers.

    “What did you think of the Mariners this year?”

    Mr. M ponders this one for a moment.

    “Y’know, the Mariners, baseball…Are you a fan?”

    “Uh, no, not really. I saw Gayford Perry’s 300th win. And I saw one game this year. Griffey hit a home run but I missed it ’cause I was walking around.”

    “What about the Seahawks?” I ask, grinning like an escaped lunatic.

    “I don’t follow football too much. I heard they’re doing ok this year.”

    Now I’m wondering why the hell the poor guy downstairs even wanted to interview these chumps. I sit back down as the manager starts blabbering about his father who was a mountain climber or some stupid shit. I am not impressed. What the fuck kind of
    sport is mountain climbing? Seeing that I’ve turned off the recorder, the two imbeciles resume their inane conversation, talking way too loud as they’ve already consumed a few beers. Why the hell they don’t go next door to their own dressing room is a mystery
    to me, until I peek down the hallway and see that every scumbag leech in the history of the Chicago music inside is already next door hobnobbing with the other knobs that comprise Mudhoney.

    Sitting back down in the chair, I ponder the fact that Jawbreaker doesn’t seem too keen on these geeks being in their dressing room. In fact, they’d told me earlier that the other night they walked into their room to find Mudhoney huffing away on pot. What
    a wonderful sight that must’ve been.

    I lean forward in my chair about and say loudly, “I’M FROM CALIFORNIA!”

    The conversation stops for a second and they look at me blankly.




    They leave the room. Mission accomplished.

    The crowd is filing in. I go over to the balcony and glance down at them. Not a pretty sight. I start to get slightly queasy thinking about the fact that there will soon be over five thousand people packed inside this venue. I go back to the dressing room and being a game of cribbage with Chris (always thinking ahead, I’d brought my board along). After giving him a sound thrashing, I retire to the toilet where I take dump whilst pursuing the cheesy cowboy outlaw book that Blake picked up somewhere out west. I also chew down a Xanax; there’s only about 30 minutes until Jawbreaker hits the stage and what started out (I thought) as a joke has turned into a reality–I am to
    introduce Jawbreaker tonight.

    To get myself up for it, I pull out my little tape recorder and begin to make idiotic notes to myself, occasionally interviewing anyone who comes my way. I walk out onto the
    side balcony and look at the people waiting for the ‘L’. Another crew member stands out there alone. I approach him, tape running.

    “How does the crowd look tonight?” I ask, thrusting the recorder in his face. “Ugly?”

    “Oh yea, very,” he says. “They haven’t improved.

    “Do they frighten you as they frighten me?”

    He gives a nervous laugh. “They terrify me.”

    I’m out of questions, but I’ve never let that stop me before.

    “Do you ever worry that England will declare war on you?”

    “No,” he says thoughtfully. “They know what most of the income in the U.K. comes from Scotland. They’d never do that.”

    I’m a bit dejected. No dirt, no scoops, no nothing.

    I head downstairs to the stage, where Bill is putting out the set lists. The crowd is cheering him. I walk onstage to ask him if I have time to hand out some Panic Buttons.

    He tells me I have fifteen minutes. I go back upstairs (after flashing my nifty pass at the security guards), grab the fanzines and go back out to the crowd. I have 100 copies with me. They’re gone in about three minutes. One girl doesn’t seem to want to take a

    “What is it?” she asks suspiciously.

    “It’s a fanzine.”


    “Punk rock.”

    Plenty of vacancies in this motel.

    “IT’S FREE!”

    “Awesome!” she says, grabbing for it.

    Looking around, it hits me that the room is almost filled to capacity. I finish handing out the fanzines as little waves of dizziness hit me every few seconds. I start to head for the
    stairs and the safety of the dressing room when I run into Vapid and Mary who are standing around sipping beers, unable to get upstairs due to the status of their passes.

    The security squad has informed them that they’ll be allowed behind the lines IF accompanied by someone with a higher level pass and only AFTER the dinner table has been cleared. Wouldn’t want ’em eating that dumpster-bound food would we?

    I’m having a nice little chat with them when a security guard lumbers over; he’s spotted my tape recorder.

    “Can I help you?” he asks.

    “No,” I say, smiling like crazy.

    “I’ll need to take that,” he replies, smiling back. “I’ll put it in the office and you can get it after the show.”

    I go into a long explanation about the recorder, lying my ass off about being a member of the press and having special permission from Jeff to carry the thing around. I know these mooks. They don’t have the balls to go to Jeff with such petty shit. The mook goes over to the bottom of the stairs and consults a female security guard. They both walk back toward me, determination etched in their previously blank faces. Just as I’m about to receive a tongue lashing, I get bumped by a passer by. My jacked slides open a little further, revealing my VIP pass. Their expressions immediately change.

    “You’re ok, I didn’t see that,” says my friend the security guard, pointing at my pass.

    “I’m just doing my job y’know.”

    Yeah, I know.

    I amble back toward the stairs, flash my pass and am halfway up when I spot a snotty looking collegiate-hippie type. I flip the recorder on.

    “Excuse me,” I say, making sure my pass is showing. “I’m doing aninterview for Rolling Stone. Why are you here?”

    The college boy looks at me blankly. I grab the pass and waggle it around furiously.

    “Whattya think this is, buddy? Ya think they just GIVE these out??? WHO ARE YOU HERE TO SEE???”

    My mock indignation has fanned whatever small flame of wit flickers inside his puny brain.

    “I’m here to see both Mudhoney AND Nirvana.”

    “What about Jawbreaker?”

    “I’ve never heard of them.”

    “Oh,” I say, successfully concealing my disgust.

    “You’re in for a treat.”

    Hippie boy moves on, but a gaggle of teenaged boys who look like they just smoked their first joint has overheard. One of them asks how much I had to pay for my pass.

    “I DID NOT PAY FOR THIS!” I say into the recorder. “I AM PAID TO DO THIS!!!”

    “Oh,” he says.

    “I’m with Hit Parader magazine,” I say, calming down a bit.

    Seeing that the recorder is going, he uses this chance to express his individuality.

    “My name is Chris and, uh, therefore I am.”


    His buddy jumps in. “Hi, I’m Justin and all your music’s great, ’cause….I’m one of your
    biggest fans.”

    “What music is that?”

    “Uh, Nirvana…”


    “If there wasn’t us,” he continues, “There would be no you.”

    Hoo boy.

    “That’s true,” I say agreeably. “You know, I think you boys have a lot of potential.”

    Their third pal, who’s been standing back, suddenly grows balls.


    Good god! How to respond?

    “Oh yeah,” I say firmly. “Censorship does suck.”

    “Fuck censorship,” he says, this time more quietly, as if pouting over the unfair fact that mom’s just grounded him for a week.

    “Damn right. FUCK CENSORSHIP!!!”

    The boys cheer and I move on, impressed with the possibilities for our nation’s future.

    I hop onto the stage to ask how much time I have before my introduction.

    Bill informs me that I have to do it NOW. Oh shit. I have no idea what I’m going to say. I have to say something besides, “Here’s Jawbreaker.” I am not a spoken word artist. I am not much
    of an ad libber. I wish that my bowels didn’t feel like they’d just crumbled into a wet mush.

    Jawbreaker is ready to go. They look at me.

    I walk over to the center stage mike and am immediately greeted by the room-shaking roar of an impatient five thousand headed monster. I’m aware of a vague nagging feeling that the recorder is running inside my zipped jacket pocket.

    “Good evening.”


    “You don’t even know who I am!”


    “Let me introduce to you a fine young trio from San Francisco.”


    “They’ve worked hard for years and years…”


    “Didn’t your mother ever teach you any manners?” I say, looking straight at him. He laughs. The massive beast rears its ugly head yet again.

    “These young men play punk rock, a concept most of you are unfamiliar with.”


    “They’ve slept with dogs. They’ve slogged through shit. They’ve gone through hell just to come here and entertain you at eighteen dollars a head.”


    “All I can say is…”


    I speak the first three words that pop into my befuddled head.

    “Christ, you’re stupid.”

    Jawbreaker kicks in and I hide behind Blake’s amp with Bill. I’m actually trembling.

    Back in the dressing room I ask Vapid to rate my introduction on a scale of 1 to 10.

    Before he can answer, Chris pipes up.

    “You called them stupid punks.”

    “No I didn’t. I said THIS is punk and I told ’em they were stupid for paying eighteen bucks a head.”

    “You said punk is stupid,” says Bill.

    “I thought it was great,” says Vapid. “I give it an eight.”

    “Well,” Adam says dryly, “if you had said the band’s name you might’ve gained a couple more points…”

    A young long haired guy wearing a mutation of a Black Flag t-shirt walks in carrying The Baby, the infamous product of Cobain’s loins. He’s the nanny. Wait! It’s the guy on the VIP pass! I sense a potential scoop. He’s quite friendly and I discover that he’s
    familiar with my band and my writing.

    He seems comfortably enough. I ask him how he got the job.

    “I got the offer and turned it down,” he says. “Then three months later I still didn’t have any money so I just called ’em back and said ok.”

    “What qualified you for this position?”

    “I’m trusted…,” he stops for a moment while the baby lets out a particularly piercing scream. “I’m trusted in that camp. I have no baby experience. I turned twenty the day I
    started doing this.”

    “How old are you??”


    Pat Smear, ex-Germ and current Nirvana rhythm guitarist, has entered with a Heineken in his hand. He makes himself at home, joking with everyone in the room.

    He’s an instant hit–a zany punker with a knack for the snappy comeback. I think I may be onto something here. I approach the matter delicately.

    “How did Pat get on the tour?” I ask the Nanny.

    “I was playing the Australian bootleg, what is that on, Ghost of Darb Records? And he shouted it out. PAT I’ll call Pat!”

    “Come on. Did you get him on the tour?”

    The nanny answers very quietly.


    I’ve realized that things aren’t going to get any better for me than they are at this point. I have my scoop .THE NANNY IS RUNNING THE SHOW. The nanny leaves the baby with Pat while he goes out to the balcony to catch up on old times and Bay Area
    happenings with Blake. Pat and I banter back and forth as he attempts to hang onto both a baby and his Heineken. He’s an unpretentious sorta guy, quick witted and very out of place on this tour. He jokingly complains that there are no M&M’s in the Nirvana dressing room. Bill and I quietly hatch a quick plan to give him all the fucking M&M’s
    he wants at an appropriate time.

    “Are you a permanent member of the band?” I ask politely.

    “I don’t know,” he says. “It’s never been discussed.”

    I can’t tell if he’s kidding or not. I mean, he is living with the Cobain family in Seattle.

    It never came up??? Whatever. He undoubtedly brings a punk rock credibility to the tour. He insists that no one in the crowd knows who he is. They probably don’t, but the
    critics sure do.

    When the nanny comes back I inform him of my angle. He seems to get a kick out of it.

    Pat remarks that the nanny is the sole reason Jawbreaker’s on the tour. I ask if this is true. He hesitates for a few moments. Finally he speaks.


    More punk rock credibility, and it’s all engineered quite innocently by a punk rock kid who’s not even old enough to legally drink a beer.

    My theory confirmed, I’m basically satisfied, though I’d sure like to get a peek into Nirvana’s dressing room. The nanny is more than happy to help me out, and a large crowd follows him through the corridors to the dressing room. I head over to Smear, who’s sitting on a window ledge. While we politely insult each other, unbeknownst to me, those members of our group with the less-important passes are asked by a security guard, “Can I help you?” and quickly ushered out.

    There isn’t too much happening in the Nirvana dressing room. A huge bowl of fruit and a nice selection of sodas and bottled waters sit on the bar. The proprietors of Shangri-La in my old neighborhood, Roscoe Village, sit alone on one of the white leather couches that looks to have been jacked from Graceland. They must know somebody
    or they would have been kicked out by now.

    I head into the bathroom to take a whizz. It’s big, and unlike the communal public-style bathroom that Jawbreaker, Mudhoney and the crew share, it has a fairly clean, modern
    shower. But the toilet is lopsided and cracked and it looks like the room hasn’t been cleaned in a year. I realize that despite the enormity of this even, it still ain’t Poplar

    When I come back into the room, I catch a glimpse of Nirvana’s drummer heading out the door. The Nirvana bassist, Chris, is talking with Smear. I approach them with a copy of Panic Button, which Smear has already refused to look at, citing an aversion to
    “corporate bullshit.” Smear, apparently, is always on.

    Chris leafs through my mag and comments on the nice layout.

    “I’m sick of photocopied zines,” he says. “Everybody’s doing it.”

    He asks for a copy to read and introduces himself. At the same moment, Cobain enters the room and stares me down for a second. I get the distinct feeling that he knows who I am and a slight shudder passes through me as I envision myself being beaten in an
    alley by members of the JAM security staff.

    I break eye contact and concentrate on Chris, pointing out the fact that although he’s only three years older than me, he makes about 75 times as much money. I may have hit a slight sore spot.

    “Can we have a big discussion on materialism and the accumulation of wealth?” he says sarcastically. “It’s all part of this consumer society…”

    I hand him the recorder so he can continue his diatribe.

    “I think the system here, this transaction-based, capitalist type market economy…”

    I break in.

    “You gonna be playing the hits tonight, like Jeremy?”

    He gives me back the recorder and Smear fields the question.

    “Oh yeah,” he says, “all the hits. Jeremy, Even Flow…”

    The baby has been waddling around the dressing room and now Cobain picks her up and takes her toward the window, about three stories up. He pretends to toss her out the window while singing loudly, “Would you knowow my na-a-ame…”

    I interrupt.

    “Hi, I’m Ben.”

    “Hi Ben.”

    “I’m just looking for a scoop.”

    “A scoo-oop.”

    Smear intervenes again. “You’re barking up the wrong tree,” he says.

    I’m fully aware that there’s a slightly paranoid attitude toward the press in the Nirvana camp these days. Earlier in the week, someone from USA Today had written something nasty about the band and was flatly denied entrance to the show. Tonight it was rumored that absolutely no press people were to be allowed backstage.

    Obviously, no one was taking me very seriously as a press man because I wasn’t once questioned by the Nirvana entourage about my recorder, which by this point I was directing at people like a machine gun.

    The baby reaches out for the recorder and Cobain encourages her.

    “Throw it out the window,” he says in his best talking-to-baby voice.

    Cobain looks and speaks as if he’s wacked out on smack. Having been in the
    presence of at least a few junkies in my life, I try to size up the situation and come up blank. I can’t figure out if it’s an act or not. The greasy hair, the 9 day growth, the putrid sweater he’s wearing, the Jeff Spicoli vocal inflections…

    He puts the baby down and gives me his full attention.

    “Ben,” he says. “Ben Weasel.” He sounds as if he’s greeting a long lost friend.

    I’m kinda sweating now.

    “Mmmmm, no,” I say. “Well, yeah, yes.”

    “Katie Smellie. Katy Odell.”

    “Are you an avid reader of Maximum Rock-N-Roll?” I ask.

    “Avid,” he answers. “The word avid.”

    “Do you read it a lot?”

    “I used to.” Now it appears he’s gonna take me somewhat seriously. “Y’know, I kinda
    forgot it existed for a long time but every once in a while, yeah, I look through it.”

    “Do you like it?”

    “I think…ummmm…I’m really happy about the fact that it will decompose within about ten years.”

    “I make some comment about that very scenario being Yohannan’s apparent goal, seeing as ho he doesn’t ever save the originals for any of the issues.
    Cobain is now getting a little worked up.

    “I can’t have a comment on Maximum-Rock-N-Roll, fuck that. I mean, those people hate our guts. I would hate our guts too if I was a fifteen year old kid who only listened to…or who only read Maximum Rock-N-Roll and only listened to punk rock bands.”

    “Were you ever that?”


    “And you felt that way?”

    “Exactly. I was just as closed minded as those people.”

    I consider enlightening him about the fact that almost half of the staff at MRR was writing about how great Nirvana was when “Nevermind” came out, but I realize that like so many other stars, this guy only reads the bad press. And I’m kinda shocked that he has such an obvious dislike for a magazine which in his world, doesn’t mean shit.

    Somehow, someway, MRR’s validation of his efforts (or lack thereof) matters. This amazes me.

    The bass player interrupts our little session by informing the band that they have to go onstage.

    We leave the dressing room and I reflect on Cobain’s statements. The whole thing strikes me as being a little odd.

    I’ve been told that the smack problems that he and his wife have had were made public knowledge by one of his own publicity people (in fact, supposedly by the same guy who used to work with Yohannana on MRR radio back in the old days). I ponder his appearance and style of speaking, and still have trouble deciding whether he’s a perpetually stoned, developmentally arrested rock star or a fuck up like the rest of us
    who’s scared to death of all the hype and publicity surrounding his band.

    It’s obviously all thrown the guy into another world. His bandmates appear to be comfortable and at peace with their situation; Cobain is still begging the teacher for another five minutes
    to finish the test. He seems insecure as hell.

    Just before Bill and I enter at stage right, we witness a shirtless kid, obviously fucked up out of his mind, being tossed out by the bouncers. Nirvana is still in the middle of
    their first song. The kid’s pleading with them to let him stay. He pulls out a wad of bills and starts counting, “20, 40, 60, 80, 100.” The security guys are chuckling. They take
    his money and he’s allowed back in.

    When Bill and I hit the stage, we immediately grab the M&M’s from our pockets and begin whipping them at Smear, who plays along by attempting to catch them in his mouth while at the same time cranking out the hit single from the new Nirvana album.

    Kurt Cobain is in another world. The rest of the band is jamming, occasionally smiling, having a good time. Not once during my observations from the side of the stage do I
    see Cobain make eye contact with his bandmates, let alone acknowledge their
    presence. The band is tight, but there are long, uncomfortable spaces between songs.

    Cobain is taking his sweet time, often heading over to the rack of over a dozen custom made left-handed guitars to change instruments. The bassist tries to make some wisecracks to the crowd and Kurt is not pleased. The crowd is oblivious; the band could do Dead Milkmen covers at this point and no one would notice.

    Bill and I decide to bail out from our stage right position after a few songs; nothing’s happening here and very time they start a new tune I could swear it was the one they just played. As we turn to leave the stage, two kids run up the ramp and barrel past us,
    diving into the crowd from the stage just like they’ve seen on MTV. When Bill and I open the backstage doors, we see that the offending stagedivers are in the clutches of two huge JAM security men who are quite close to beating the living shit out of them;
    one of the kids landed on a fellow security man’s head.

    When the JAM guys see us, they turn, prepared to boot us as well. Once they see the passes, they attempt to bring us into their nasty little circle. They’re both shouting a lecture-style denouncement of stage diving at the kids, pointing out the possible
    damage they could cause to people. They occasionally look at us as if we’re supposed to nod in agreement. We’re both silent, simply watching out to make sure the kids don’t end up in the hospital. Finally, the offended security guard walks in and is asked if he wants to press charges.

    “Goddamn right,” he answers.

    The kids, enjoying the effects of some type of drug or another, seem to have little idea of what’s going on, and as they’re lead back through the crowd to be handed over to the cops, I get the feeling that they think they’re being let back into the show.

    At the end of Nirvana’s set, the crowd is pissed off. Their heroes have refused to play “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Cobain reacts by diving off the stage into the crowd and promptly loses his shoes. No security guards threaten to have him arrested.

    As the crowd piles onto the street, Bill and Blake stand in front of the club hawking t-shirts and CD’s; to sell them inside the club would’ve meant that everything would’ve been priced at an obscene level. A cop attempts to harass Blake about selling the shirts. Blake waves him off and tells him he’s in the band.

    “Ok,” says the cop. “But don’t be a smart ass with me. I can still haul you in to jail.”

    The t-shirts are going like crazy. I get the feeling that these cretins would buy fresh dogshit if there was a nice sign on it. From deep in the crowd, I hear a loud scream. I can’t make out the words. I hear it again, this time closer and clear as a bell.


    I hope he’s talking about murder.

    Before we head back home, Bill and Vapid plaster a couple of Screeching Weasel stickers on the back of the Wave Dancer and the Blue Mirage. The evening has been a success.

    A few days later, Jim DeRogatis from the Sun-Times informs me that Cobain’s junkie appearance that night was probably due to the fact that he had taken a sleeping pill earlier in the day. Still, I’m not surprised when, two months later, I see him on MTV Unplugged wearing the same ratty sweater, sporting the same greasy hair and 9 days growth and looking slightly spacey. Smear is still with the band, quiet and unobtrusive off to the left of the stage.

    That Friday, my band plays Janesville, Wisconsin. The promoter had attended the Milwaukee Nirvana show that took place the night after their Chicago gig. He met up with Blake, who gave him a present to pass on to me. The promoter hands me a pack of Kools. Written on them in black marker is a message from Blake: SMOKE ‘EM IF YOU GOT ‘EM. Yes.

    -Ben Weasel

  • Jessy

    Kurt cobain should have never gone and died, i love kurt cobain and his band nirvana to pieces! he was the best he didnt care wat other people said about him, and i hope in 50 yrs time he is still rememberd as a legand!

  • Jay

    Kurt was the greatest , henever gave a damn what others thought , he just kept going with his music … but you never know what you want until its gone.

  • lalo

    ponganla en español

  • lala

    how is it possible to love lyrics you don’t understand? crave music that brings out the addict and depressant in you? i don’t know, but that’s how i feel about nirvana…

  • Eric Olsen

    someone stole abbie’s punctuation – very mean and worth very little on the black market

  • Are you high?

  • abbie

    well i love nirvava dont get me wrong and there one of my favourite bands but we will never understand why kurt killed himself(or did he?!) and if it was because they went mainstream then i dont really understand that because lots of bands have gone mainstream and it didnt effect them it seems it only affected kurt in the band as dave grohl is pretty happy in his band foo fighters who are also mainstream so i guess it was just kurt who was fucked up not what was going on in his life but i guess we already knew that didnt we and im just chatting shit

  • adriano

    COUTNEY you beat

  • Michael P.

    You’re welcome, Eric.
    That’s just my opinion.

  • His diaries are eerie and affecting. Shows the torture of a sensitive person alive in this world. I don’t know how he would have felt about all of his journals being made public but this excerpt seems like it would have been o.k. Whether he was in private or in public, he was still in pain.

  • Dr. Tristan, M.D.

    It’s extremely hard for anyone that has or is undergoing the pain & discomfort Cobain was undergoing, to try and describe that in all it’s splendor to a person who has never been there ……….

    The fact of being in such distress that you would attempt to belay it by using heroin or crack or whatever, is beyond the ken of anyone who hasn’t been there …….

    for anyone to even ATTEMPT to describe or explain or rationalize it, or criticize it— is NOT within their ability.

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks for clarifying that Michael

  • Michael P.

    I don’t think that anyone in this world would have understood him, Cobain was an artist and artists experience things in another way we do.
    That’s one of the reasons why so many artists use drugs (also smoking, alcohol, …), they want to ease the “pain” and chaos inside their troubled mind. Drugs in combination with depressions and a hell of a childhood make people commit suicide, however I don’t think it’s a good idea. Let’s say I understand it.

  • Kurt is amazing, even if he is dead. He’s a great talented vocalist and songwriter. I don’t beleive he created more unhappiness then joy, because everytime I listen to his records I feel good and understood and even though I think it sucks that he killed himself, I don’t blame him because sometimes people honestly feel that is all they have left in the world. KURT ROCKS! NIRVANA ROCKS!

  • ninutschka

    kurt cobain was a great person.and nirvana was a very good band.never boring…good wishes to the hell
    by ninutschka

  • kathy hernandez

    even though kurt was know as a man of mystery, he will always be remember. by all his fans and family.dead or alive people still listen to kurts music

  • Eric Olsen

    I’m not sure I would come to that conclusion: if anything he greatly increased the amount of unhappiness in the world, especially among those he supposedly loved most

  • Michael P.

    Dead, yes, but happy in the end, I think. Sometimes suicide is like the only option for people like him. He was too sensitive, he liked people too much, so much that it made him sad. Dead. Whatever. Nevermind.

  • isabel

    Great but dead… I wonder if there or where .. would be someone like him

  • Dr.Nenix (Nishad)

    curt is ….hmmm…..he is not limited in these few words but sayin in few words he is ….chill…grunge….n one of the great singer of this earth

  • Mingmar

    kurt cobain was a great person.
    and he have his image in the whole world.
    he is only one in the world and no one can be like him

  • Eric Olsen

    by my own hand, I might add

  • Eric Olsen

    were I Kurt, I would be torn between wanting to provide for my family and resentment at the impositions Marigold rightly mentions. But I would also be dead

  • Marigold

    Beautiful and simple all in one. Not a higher lifeform and Kurt never wanted to be but think about this! Because a person is dead it doesn’t entitle the wife to go sell their journal to society for 4 million bucks. If Kurt was alive he’d probably call this rape and he’s righr. Would you like you your journal printed into thousands of copies and then sold for $30 all over the world when you died? Why do we look at Kurt like a celebrity instead of an all-emotion-feeling human being?

  • cristian

    esta muy piola la pagina loco.
    Aguanye nirvana siempre

  • I was just about to write something up on this.

    Lorraine Ali has a cover story on Nirvana.

    There are links from it to the You Know You’re Right video and images of Cobain’s diary pages in his handwriting including this description of the band asking for a loan of $2,000 to make a record and writing Smells Like Teen Spirit.

    And there is more text excerpts.