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11 Facts We Just Learned About '90s Grunge Stars

Updated October 11, 2021 2.5k votes 572 voters 37k views11 items

List RulesVote up the most intriguing, eye-opening details about the lives of '90s grunge gods.

The Seattle grunge scene was one of those moments in cultural history where everything just came together - the place, the time, the personalities. Decades on, we're still listening to those songs. You may think you already know everything there is to know about your favorite '90s grunge stars, but there's always more to learn about the musicians that make up bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and Stone Temple Pilots.

Here are some lesser-known facts about '90s grunge stars that may help explain how they managed to create one of the most distinctive (albeit gloomy) sounds in rock 'n' roll. Vote up the ones that pique your interest the most. 

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    Eddie Vedder Was Almost Washed Out To Sea In Hawaii

    Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder has the somewhat morbid distinction of being the only frontman from the wave of Seattle grunge bands (including Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, and Mother Love Bone) that is still alive and kicking. However, Vedder almost perished in 2005 when his canoe overturned in Hawaii and he was nearly lost at sea.

    Luckily, Vedder and his companions were saved by a local family who happened to be on a boat nearby.

    Vedder repaid the debt years later by donating more than $70,000 for the family's medical expenses after the father was involved in an accident. 

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    • Photo: Montesano High School / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

      Kurt Cobain’s Whole Personality Changed At 9 When His Parents Divorced

      It's hard to imagine that Kurt Cobain wasn't always Kurt Cobain, the dark, enigmatic grunge frontman who took his own life at the height of his fame, but Cobain had a pretty normal childhood up until he was 9 years old. Apparently, Cobain was an ebullient kid who listened to the Beatles and the Monkees, and liked to draw Disney characters.

      "He was this little human being who was so bubbly. He had charisma even as a baby. He was funny, and he was bright," recalled his aunt Mari.

      Then his parents divorced and everything went downhill. After his mother left, Cobain started to see the world from a darker point of view, which may have contributed both to his artistic perspective and his later substance use.

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      • Ever seen that Fresh Pots video? The one of Dave Grohl running around the studio while wired on coffee, screaming "FRESH POTS!" while recording a Them Crooked Vultures album? 

        It turns out that Grohl, who has quite an aversion to drugs (understandably, given the fate of his former colleague Kurt Cobain), was drinking so much coffee while trying to keep up with his Foo Fighters and Them Crooked Vultures work that he literally had to be hospitalized.

        • Age: 52
        • Birthplace: Warren, Ohio, USA
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      • Photo: Rex Aran Emrick / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 3.0

        Jerry Cantrell can probably rest easy now with his estimated $35 million net worth, but he wasn't always so flush. In fact, back in the early '90s, he found himself homeless. Before Alice In Chains really took off, Cantrell was couch hopping for a few years, eventually moving in with Soundgarden's Chris Cornell and Chris's then-wife Susan Silver (who also managed Alice in Chains) at their house in Seattle.

        It was there that he wrote that he wrote the Alice In Chains megahit "Rooster," a song about his Vietnam War veteran father, before getting back on his feet to record Dirt.

        • Age: 55
        • Birthplace: Tacoma, Washington, United States of America
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