During Nirvana’s heyday, there was not a more coveted couple on the music scene than Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love. With Nirvana’s groundbreaking success and Courtney’s lipstick-smeared rants and rampages, they were the king and queen of alternative rock. Unfortunately, there was trouble in punk rock paradise from the beginning and the couple never found their happy ending. After Cobain’s passing, many argued that his death was not a suicide. Some even claimed that Love may have had a role in it.
Seattle police recently released a note that they say was hand-written by Cobain, found in his wallet at the scene of his death. The note rips on the couple’s wedding vows and has stirred the rumor mill back up again. Here is the timeline of their love affair to sort fact from fiction.
January 12, 1990
Cobain and Love met in a Portland nightclub. Love obsessively pursued Cobain, but he admitted to being a little intimidated by her, saying, “She seemed like a poison.”
Cobain and Love met for the second time at an L7 concert in Los Angeles. Love says he later called her at 3 o’clock in the morning and that the two talked for an hour on a manic variety of topics, including the music industry, other bands, critics and their albums. Cobain confided in his friend Ian Dickson that he had met the “coolest girl in the world.”
The couple became inseparable, but people that were close to the couple saw that Love had a very strong effect on Cobain. Many have alleged that Love is how got Cobain hooked on heroin. Love admitted in an interview with Vanity Fair that Cobain didn’t do more than drink when she met him. “He tried to be an alcoholic for a long time,” she said. “But it didn’t sit right with him.”
September 23, 1991
Nirvana’s sophomore album, Nevermind was released with low expectations. But within months, Nevermind had sky rocketed to the top of the charts, replacing Michael Jackson’s Dangerous as the number one album in the country. This brought Cobain into stardom, but he never fully embraced it. Love, on the other hand, was instantly much more comfortable with life in the spotlight.
During an interview with Sassy magazine editor, Christina Kelly, Cobain and Love both revealed that they wanted to have a child. Love told Kelly, “I want to have a baby really bad, but I want to be able to afford it myself. I want my own money. I couldn’t imagine marrying somebody with money and then living off them.” Cobain commented saying, “I just want to be situated and secure. I want to make sure we have a house and make sure we have money in the bank.”
Love soon discovered that she was pregnant with the couple’s child. They began referring to the baby as, ‘The Bean’ because they thought that’s what the sonogram picture resembled.
On a Nirvana tour stop in Hawaii, Cobain and Love got hitched on the beach of Waikiki. Love wore a dress that belonged to Frances Farmer in a film and Cobain wore pajamas because, as he said, he was “too lazy to put on a tux.”
The couple signed a pre-nuptial agreement, which Love said was her idea, and didn’t take a honeymoon. Love told Vanity Fair, “Life is like a perennial honeymoon right now. I get to go to the bank machine every day.”
The Sassy cover article that even Rolling Stone tried, yet, couldn’t get their hands on was published, solidifying the couple around the country as the king and queen of alt rock.
On his relationship with Love, Cobain said, “My songs have always been frustrating themes, relationships that I’ve had,” he said. “And now that I’m in love, I expect it to be happy. Or, at least, there won’t be half as much anger as there was.” Cobain added, “I’m just so overwhelmed that I’m in love on this scale. I don’t know how my music is going to change.”
18. Aug 1992
A healthy Frances Bean Cobain was born. Legend has it that Love went into labor while Cobain was in the same hospital trying to detox off of drugs. She walked her IV into his room where she drug him out and made him come back into the delivery room with her through the birth where Cobain reportedly passed out.
Authorities launch an investigation on Cobain and Love, based on a Vanity Fair interview in which Love admitted to using drugs while knowingly pregnant with Frances Bean. The article said that Love confessed to going on a “heroin binge” in NYC with Cobain, in early 1992, which overlapped with the time-span of her first trimester.
Cobain and Love lost custody of their daughter, Frances Bean Cobain after the investigation found them to be unfit parents. Cobain was forced back into rehab for 30 days and after $240,000 in fines, the couple got custody back.
Police respond to a domestic disturbance call at the couple’s house. Reportedly, the couple got into a fight because Love chased away Cobain’s drug dealer. Love’s phone call to the police claimed that he was pushing, grabbing and choking her. But when the police arrived, Love changed her story and said that nothing happened.
During this visit, cops confiscated three guns of Cobain’s. They were reportedly tipped off by Love, who didn’t think Cobain was stable enough to have them.
Love reportedly had enough of her drug habits. She began attending Narcotics Anonymous and bought a juicer, which she used to help detoxify her system. She hoped that Cobain would follow suit, but instead, his drug habits grew increasingly worse. By the end of 1993, Cobain’s drug use was reported to have topped a $500 a day habit.
Love took her daughter to meet up with Cobain in Europe, where he had been touring for months. After what was reported to be a lavish and happy visit, Love awoke to find Cobain unconscious on the floor of the hotel with blood coming out of his nose and an eight-page suicide note. A press release said that the overdose was caused by mixing alcohol with painkillers.
Love called the police after Cobain locked himself in a room, threatening suicide. Cobain didn’t hurt himself, but cops did confiscate more guns and ammunition from his property.
Love reportedly staged multiple interventions for him throughout March, trying to get him to get control of his life. Cobain agreed to check himself into the Betty Ford Clinic.
After only two days in Betty Ford, Cobain checked himself out of rehab and reportedly called Love to say, “No matter what happens, remember that I love you.” Cobain then disappeared. Love hired a private investigator to find him and tried to track him down herself by calling around to his known drug dealers, but had no luck. She was in L.A. at the time and wanted to go back home to their home in Washington, assuming that he would go back there, but she said that her interventionists told her to stay put, so she did.
April 5-8, 1994
Kurt Cobain died of a gunshot wound to the head, in his house on Lake Washington.
An electrician found Cobain’s body along with his suicide notes – one addressed to Courtney and Frances, the other to his imaginary childhood friend, Boddah. The autopsy listed the cause of death as lethal overdose of heroin, followed by a gunshot to the head.
April 8, 1994
The same day Cobain’s body was found, Love’s band Hole’s album, Live Through This, was released.
Courtney told Kurt Loder about the coincidence, “I’m not psychic. But my lyrics are.”
The Kurt and Courtney documentary was released, insinuating that Courtney Love may have played a role in the death of Kurt Cobain, in order to advance her own career. Love fought its release and denied all claims.
April 30, 2014
Seattle police released a note hand-written by Cobain, mocking his wedding vows to Love.
“Do you Kurt take Courtney Michelle to be your lawful shredded wife…” the letter reads, “even when she’s a b*** with zits and siphoning all (your) money for doping and w**ring.
Coincidentally, yet again, the letter was handed over the same day Love released her new song, Wedding Day.
Talks of a memoir from Love that will chronicle the couple’s twisted relationship are in the works.