Kurt Cobain overcame many challenges in his youth before becoming a
musical standout. These challenges ranged from being brought up in town that
he did not fit into, to being rejected by his parents and as a result
becoming homeless. All Kurt ever wanted to was to be like everyone else, but
he wasn't like everyone else. He managed to over come these difficulties in
life, as well as many others and went on to be the most influential figures
in popular music during the early 90's.
Life in Aberdeen
Kurt Donald Cobain was born on February 20, 1967 to Wendy and Donald
Cobain, in Aberdeen Washington. Aberdeen is a small lumber town that is in
economic depression, thus many people are unemployed. Taverns fill up early
in Aberdeen because there is not much else to do but drink. The local
suicide rate is well beyond the national average. One of the biggest growth
industries in this county is the cultivation of marijuana and psychedelic
mushrooms, which people grow in addition to or in place of their meager
incomes. Most people who live in Aberdeen are highly involved in sports and
if you are not then you do not fit in. Kurt was not interested in sports,
consequently he did not fit in. Growing up in a town like this would prove
to be a tremendous obstacle that Kurt overcame after he formed a band.

Another Challenge
In 1975 Kurt's parents were divorced. This had a lasting and
devastating effect on him. He felt even more different now because he only
had one parent. As Wendy Cobain explained in Come As You Are, by Michael
Azzured, "This is not such a big deal in a large town, but everyone in this
town is watching and judging each other and this made Kurt feel very
He had lived with his father's new family after the divorce, and he had
felt miserably out of place. He didn't get along with his new family,
especially his step mom. Ultimately, Kurt's father couldn't deal with his
son, so Kurt was shuffled through the family, eventually living with three
different sets of aunts and uncles, as well as his grandparents on his
fathers side. He moved at least two times a year between Aberdeen and
Montesano, switching high schools as well. Once Kurt moved out, he and his
father became "strangers". Not having a dominant male role model hindered
Kurt's ability to be like everyone else even more.
After unsuccessful stays at relative's residences, Kurt's mother sent
him off to live with his friend, Jesse Reed, whose parents were born-again
Christians. Kurt wasn't an ideal house guest. After a brief stay, Jesse's
parents decided that Kurt was a bad influence on Jesse, and they thought that
he was uncorrectable. After coming to this conclusion, they asked Kurt to
move out immediately. Never being wanted by anyone played a huge role in
Kurt's lack of self confidence.
Kurt Discovers Music
For his fourteenth birthday his mom's new boyfriend gave Kurt the
choice between a new bike or an electric guitar. He chose the guitar.
Through that guitar Kurt found refuge from the hardship of his life. Kurt
spent hours alone in whatever bedroom he could lay claim to, chopping away at
his guitar. Later on, Kurt began hanging around the rehearsals of a local
band called the Melvins. The Melvins' lead singer and guitarist, Buzz
Osborne, saw that Kurt would benefit greatly from the introduction of punk
rock. Cobain listened repeatedly and intensely to some compilation tapes
Osborne gave him. It was a revolution for Kurt. He finally saw a way out of
his unhappiness and maybe even out of Aberdeen. He saw a place where he
would fit in. He wanted to join a band.
Another friend of Osborne was a tall awkward boy named Krist Novoselic
who, thanks to Osborne, underwent the same punk rock conversion that Kurt
had. After Kurt used his aunt's four track recorder to record his first
demo, he passed a tape along to Krist. Krist didn't listen to Kurt's demo
tape at first, but when he finally listened to it he was thoroughly impressed
by Cobain's talents as a singer and a song writer. Krist decided that the
two should form a band. This was the start of Kurt overcoming two of his
challenges, to make something of himself and to get out of Aberdeen. This
was the start of Nirvana.
Life at school
School proved to be no refuge for Kurt. He was an extremely poor
He began smoking pot in the ninth