The Moment I Met Kurt Cobain, I Knew

Writer Michael Azerrad remembers their friendship, his sense the singer would die young
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2021 5:00 PM CDT

There's no shortage of adjectives that could be used to describe Michael Azerrad's deep dive into his friendship with Kurt Cobain for the New Yorker: insightful, tender, moving, painful, eye-opening, honest. Azerrad met the singer and Courtney Love in 1992 while on assignment for Rolling Stone, and he opens his lengthy article with a recollection of what he first encountered—Cobain lounging in a bed with his back against the wall—and one of the very first thoughts that entered his mind. "I sensed that he was one of those rock musicians who dies young. I’d never met someone like that before or even known many people who had died at all. I just sensed it." The two bonded over some shared childhood threads. Cobain liked the cover story Azerrad produced and asked him to write a book (what turned out to be Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana).

His piece is peppered with recollections: Of how Love would occasionally call him and mention so many pharmaceuticals in their conversations that he bought a copy of the Physicians' Desk Reference so he could keep up; of the three nights he and Cobain spent in a Seattle hotel room so Cobain could read the manuscript, which he deemed "the best rock book I’ve ever read"; the executive-filled dinner Cobain took him to and got high on heroin during; and Cobain's overdose later that night while Azerrad partied with the band down the hall. He writes that Love found Cobain blue in the bathroom. "Terrified, she sent word out to the band’s crew: pack up the equipment—there will be no show tomorrow, because Kurt is dead. I’m not sure who resuscitated him, or how, but he played a great concert at Roseland the following night." Azerrad also writes of the last time he saw Cobain, and the shape his grief took after his suicide—and, yes, it was definitely a suicide, he writes. (Read the incredible full story.)

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