“Courtney’s late, as usual,” Kurt Cobain said, admitting me into his Seattle home for an interview with his wife. Cobain resumed his place on the couch and chuckled along with Beavis and Butthead on the large screeen TV in the living room of the expansive house he shared with Love, baby Frances and full-time nanny.
Wearing a pajama top and jeans, Cobain looked more like the beatnik Dud waiting behind a door of the 60’s board game Mystery Date than the voice of a generation. But selling 4 million records had turned him into the King of Slackers, a mantle he wasn’t sure he wanted.
Waiting for Love to return from her Narcotics Anonymous meeting, Cobain ate cookies and smoked cigarettes as the two popular cretins prepared to critique Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
“I know Beavis and Butt-head,” Cobain said as he watched the show. “I grew up with people like that. I recognize them.” On the screen, the cartoon sociopaths tossed a poodle into a washing machine.
Cobain was relaxed as he leaned back in the sofa and watched. He was pleasant, friendly, not quite animated but not nearly as passive as the press tended to portray him. When Cobain was happy, he was remarkably charming. After spending an hour with him, it was not uncommon for reporters to leave with the feeling that they were his best friends on the planet. In truth, he loathed the press, and when depressed, he would become literally unfindable, turning the logistics of publicity interviews into excruciating military maneuvers.
These months, however, had been happy ones, and now he was watching TV with his baby, named after the couple’s idol, the ill fated ’30s movie star Frances Farmer. Over the previous year, the couple had spent $240,000 in legal fees to ensure that the child wasn’t taken away from them in the wake of a September 1992 Vanity Fair article that charged Love with shooting heroin while pregnant. It was untrue, Love had always contended, her quotes were fabricated – a claim denied by writer Lynn Hirschberg.
“All right,” Cobain said softly, leaning forward and laughing as “Smells Like Teen Spirit” came up for inspection by Beavis and Butt-head. “Let’s see what these guys think of us.”
But how could those guys not love Kurt Cobain and the couch-potato anthem that has made Nirvana rich and famous? “All right,” Cobain said again when the video was over, its content hailed by the cartoon critics as if it were the Magna Carta, “they like us.”
Cobain then asked what time it was. “You know Courtney,” he said “Always late.” The key turned in the door. “Hi, honey, I’m home,” Love called out like Lucille Ball coming back to hearth and Ricky Ricardo. She kissed Cobain, then went over to hold Frances. “Ah, the perfect family,” Love said with a laugh. “Just like a Norman Rockwell picture, huh?”
Source: People Magazine, Seattle, June 1993