He was the Jim Morrison of Generation X, a hard-edged rocker with a sensitive heart and the soul of a poet. And like Morrison, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, and many more since he was also troubled. As you'll see from this detailed look into how Kurt Cobain grew up, many of those issues stemmed from an unhappy childhood and dysfunctional family life. He turned to illicit substances as a way to both cope with reality and escape it, and the result was a spiral he didn't survive.
While the information accumulated here isn't exactly a list of fun facts from Kurt Cobain's childhood years, it is a list of sobering facts that shed more light on the man behind the myth - and the issues that plagued the vulnerable, openhearted little boy who lived inside one of the most iconic figures of the twentieth century. "There’s good in all of us, and I think I simply love people too much, so much that it makes me feel too f*cking sad," he wrote in a note before his passing.
Substance Dependence Ran In His Family
Cobain's mental health and substance issues weren't just situational. There was a genetic component that undoubtedly played a role, as well. His aunt, Bev Cobain, who is a mental health nurse, acknowledged that the family had a significant history of alcoholism and marital dysfunction.
"I don’t think there was much functional stuff going on in the whole family," she told People after Kurt's passing.
He Filled Piles Of Notebooks With His Artwork
Like many sensitive kids, Cobain turned to art early in life. He filled notebook after notebook with his original artwork. At the age of 8, he received an easel from his grandparents. Some of his favorite early subjects included comic book characters and Disney figures.
In 2017, more than 20 years after he perished, Cobain's artwork was shown at a gallery in Seattle. And a touring exhibition is said to be in the works. His daughter, Frances Bean, is also an avid artist.
He Was On The Wrestling Team To Please His Father
Cobain hated sports of all kinds, but he signed up for wrestling in junior high school to appease his father. During one match, Kurt stood on the mat and let himself be pinned, offering up no defense or resistance.
His father, Don, was in the stands watching and walked out in frustration and embarrassment. Shortly thereafter, Don sent Kurt to live with various relatives.
He Grew Up In Aberdeen, WA
Kurt Donald Cobain was born in the logging town of Aberdeen, WA, in 1967, and he spent his formative years there. During the 1970s, when Cobain was growing up, most of the city's logging resources had been exhausted, the mills were closing down, and it wasn't exactly a happening place for an inquisitive kid.
After his passing, Aberdeen erected several Cobain-themed attractions - something Cobain himself would more than likely have despised. "In Aberdeen, I hated my best friends with a passion, because they were idiots," he once said. "A lot of that hatred is still leaking through."