The Reason Kurt Cobain Was Jealous Of Dave Grohl, Nirvana Biographer Explains
Ahead of the upcoming 30th-anniversary deluxe edition of ‘Come As You Are: The Story Of Nirvana’ on October 24, Michael Azerrad joined a chat on Rolling Stone’s Music Now podcast with Brian Hiatt. He talked about his time with Nirvana, touching on the relationship between Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl.
The writer referred to a part in the original biography quoting Cobain as calling the drummer’s guitar riff in ‘Scentless Apprentice’ ‘boneheaded’ by saying:
“I thought that was a little condescending, frankly.”
When Hiatt mentioned another example, where the late vocalist referred to his bandmate as ‘the most well-adjusted boy in the whole world,’ he commented:
“I think Kurt partly was mocking Dave for being fairly together and normal. He’s a popular, well-adjusted guy; he really is. And I think partly Kurt was making fun of that because he wasn’t a freak, like Kurt. And he also was jealous. I think Kurt was a little bit jealous of Dave because Dave did have his act together.”
According to Azerrad, Cobain even planned to fire Grohl at some point. In his personal history, ‘My Time With Kurt Cobain,’ the writer wrote that the singer yelled his wish to part ways with the drummer in a hotel room they stayed in while touring.
The former Nirvana member recalled the memory with a few differences, as he told Vulture in 2021:
“We were on our way to Los Angeles to start production rehearsals for the In Utero tour, and I was sitting a few rows ahead of Kurt and Krist. I could hear Kurt saying, ‘I think we need a drummer that’s more rudimental, along the lines of Dan Peters,’ who was the guy they almost hired when I joined the band.”
Sharing his reaction to Cobain’s words, he added:
“I was really upset because I thought things were okay. I talked to Krist, and I said, ‘Is that really what you guys want to do? Because if that’s what you want, maybe just let me know, and we can call it a day.’ I eventually talked to Kurt about it, and he said, ‘No. That’s not what we want to do.’ I just felt like, ‘It’s up to you guys what kind of drummer you really want,’ and they decided I should stay.”
Despite the tensions, Grohl ended up being Nirvana’s only long-term drummer after six different drummers in the early years. His time with the band ended with its disbandment following the vocalist’s death in 1994.