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One of the most important moments of Kurt Cobain’s teenage years came in 1983 when he witnessed Sammy Hagar and Quarterflash – in his first-ever live concert.

Sammy Hagar initially gained recognition as the lead singer of the rock band Montrose during the early 1970s, but then Hagar’s musical journey took a remarkable turn when he joined Van Halen in 1985, succeeding David Lee Roth as the frontman. Quarterflash, was an American rock band formed in Portland, Oregon, in 1980, gained recognition for their hit single “Harden My Heart.”

Kurt Cobain had a particular fondness for Quarterflash’s “Harden My Heart.” Yet, Kurt Cobain would later recount a different story, claiming that, in reality, his first concert was the punk band Black Flag. In fact, the first punk concert Kurt Cobain attended was a Black Flag show during the My War tour and he listed the album with the same name on his list of 50 favorite albums of all time.

Despite this claim, what goes down in history are the accounts from Kurt Cobain’s schoolmates who vividly remember Kurt Cobain, the day after the concert, showing up at school wearing a Sammy Hagar t-shirt, declaring that the show had been one of the best things he had ever experienced.


Kurt Cobain’s Punk Revelation and Its Transformative Impact


It was in this very year of 1983 that Kurt Cobain would never wear the Sammy Hagar t-shirt again. The future leader of Nirvana was on the brink of discovering punk, a revelation that would forever alter his life. Months after Sammy Hagar’s concert experience, Kurt Cobain witnessed The Melvins for the first time, another moment that would change his life permanently. Founded in Montesano, Washington, in 1983, The Melvins is a rock band known for its unique and experimental approach, significantly influencing the development of grunge and alternative rock.

Kurt Cobain wrote in his diary about this event:

…They played faster than I ever imagined music could be played and with more energy than my Iron Maiden records could provide. This was what I was looking for. Ah, punk rock…

Despite the discovery of Punk Rock music, Kurt Cobain wasn’t ready to completely detach from heavy metal, as shortly after, he would attend a concert by Judas Priest. The British heavy metal band was at the peak of their powers and had just released a great album “Screaming for Vengeance.”


The Connection Between The Melvins and Nirvana


The relationship between Buzz Osborne and Kurt Cobain was notably close and influential. Buzz Osborne, the frontman of The Melvins, played a pivotal role in Kurt Cobain’s musical development and exposure to the underground punk scene. The Melvins were a significant influence on Nirvana’s sound, and Kurt Cobain often credited Osborne and The Melvins as shaping his early musical preferences.

Buzz Osborne and Kurt Cobain shared a friendship that extended beyond their musical collaborations. Osborne’s mentorship and support during Nirvana’s formative years helped pave the way for the band’s success. They bonded over a shared passion for alternative and experimental music, and Osborne’s influence can be heard in the raw, heavy, and unconventional elements present in Nirvana’s early work.

Despite Kurt Cobain’s later global fame with Nirvana, he maintained a genuine connection with Osborne and continued to appreciate their shared roots in the punk and alternative music scenes. The relationship between Buzz Osborne and Kurt Cobain is often cited as a crucial element in Kurt Cobain’s musical journey, highlighting the impact of mentorship and artistic camaraderie in the world of alternative rock.


Buzz Osborne Remembers Kurt Cobain

As the frontman of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain left an indelible mark on the landscape of popular music, introducing a transformative wave of grunge, punk, and alternative metal from the underground. This revolution unfolded through iconic albums such as “Nevermind” and “In Utero”, the latter commemorating its 30th-anniversary last year with an extensive reissue. In this poignant moment, Buzz Osborne, childhood classmate, occasional collaborator, and the frontman of The Melvins, reflects on the loss of his dear friend.

In an interview published in 2013 in revolvermag, we left you a passage that delves into the friendship that existed between both before the fame of the Melvins and, essentially, Nirvana:

I really can’t remember the first time I met Kurt. I had a bunch of classes in school with him. I remember him as having a really amazing, dark, black sense of humor. He would do stuff like draw pictures of the teachers having things happen to them, that looked just like the teachers, you know. I remember when we were in high school, one of them was a Pac Man game that included all the teachers we had being eaten by the Pac Man—but it was far more vicious.

We weren’t big socialites in the high-school scene, believe it or not. We grew up in a highly depressing, oppressive environment. And ultimately, that kind of thinking, that kind of upbringing led to his death. It’s like being in a straight jacket. It was hopeless and pointless. You know, I remember when I took him to his first punk-rock concert, which was Black Flag. It really put him over the edge. I mean, once you see something like that, an extraordinarily good show… I just remember him saying, ‘That’s exactly what I want to do. That’s it. This is me.‘”

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10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Kurt Cobain

1 – Before he was famous, Kurt used to teach kids how to swim at the YMCA in Aberdeen.
2 – As a child, Kurt had a Mickey Mouse drum kit.
3 – One of Kurt’s early bands was called Fecal Matter.
4 – AC/DC’s “Back In Black” was the first song Kurt learned to play on guitar.
5 – After dropping out of High School, Kurt took a part-time job there as a janitor.
6 – He was once in a Creedence Clearwater Revival cover band.
7 – His favorite album of all time was The Stooges Raw Power.
8 – Sometimes he spelled his name Kurdt Kobain.
9 – According to his parents, Kurt’s first concert was Sammy Hagar & Quarterflash.
10 – Kurt had several pets including a rat called Kitty.


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