Kurt Cobain’s Ultimatum To Disband Nirvana

Nirvana achieved unexpected mainstream success with the 1991 album ‘Nevermind,’ especially with the opening track ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.’ It became the biggest hit by being a chart-topper in various countries like France and Spain. Kurt Cobain primarily contributed to the band’s commercial success as a songwriter in this album. The record peaked at number 1 on the US chart the following year and became a breakthrough.

Besides his successful music career at that period, Cobain was also on the agenda with his relationship with Courtney Love. The couple was expecting a baby and was about to start a family. Frances Bean Cobain was born on August 18, 1992; however, they had to deal with the reactions from the media before they could enjoy the happiness of their newborn. It all started with the article about him and Courtney Love published by Vanity Fair. So much so that this article almost caused the disbandment of Nirvana.

Kurt Cobain Nearly Disbanded Nirvana After The Article About Him And Courtney Love

On September 1, 1992, Vanity Fair published an article named ‘Strange Love’ by Lynn Hirschberg. Especially the parts that touched on Courtney Love’s drug use received great reaction then. According to the article, Love continued consuming substances after learning about her pregnancy, stating a business associate revealed this issue. Moreover, this big claim would Frances Bean’s removed by the child welfare services from her parents when she was only two weeks old until the dismissal of the investigation.

During that period, Kurt Cobain wrote a letter to the Geffen Records boss, denying these allegations, as reported by Ultimate Guitar. In the letter, he revealed that Love stopped using drugs after finding out about her pregnancy and started to visit the pediatrician. According to the doctor’s report, there was nothing to worry about their child’s health. Cobain wanted something to be done about the article’s writer and stated that if serious action were not taken, he would disband Nirvana because his family was precious to him.

Kurt Cobain wrote the following in his letter:

“Something so severely defamatory towards my family has come up in an article in Vanity Fair that has forced me to decide on breaking up my band. The article suggests Courtney and I have been taking heroin constantly throughout her pregnancy, which is not true. Courtney found out she was first pregnant within the first month of our drug binge; she has stopped using and has since been visiting Danny Goldberg’s pediatrician on a regular basis.

The doctor’s prognosis is that our child is in excellent health, and there is no need to worry about anything. But this article has outright accused my wife of all kinds of hideously vile things to the point where I have never seen such a crucifixion in a magazine. The woman’s entire objective was to harm Courtney, and now you have read the article, I hope something can be done about it. The person who wrote this article, Lynn Hirschberg, must have her karma broken someway. It’s either her or me. I am now in rehab going on 18 days, and I’m really looking forward to having a family; at this point, f*ck Nirvana.”

Geffen Records conveyed that people would forget about this article as they always did as a reply to Cobain. Also, Julien’s Auctions’ executive director highlighted the importance Cobain attached to his parenthood and his love for Frances Bean. In 1993, Nirvana met its audience again with the third album ‘In Utero.’ The band achieved significant critical and commercial success with its sound and Cobain’s shift in his lyrics.