Source Notes

The pagination of this electronic edition does not match the edition from which it was created. To locate a specific entry, please use the search feature of your e-book reader.

Writing this book entailed conducting more than 400 interviews over the course of four years. Most interview sessions were done in person and tape-recorded, though a few were conducted over the phone, or through e-mail, and a handful were even done through jailhouse protective glass. To avoid 50 pages of source notes reading “from an interview with the author,” each chapter begins with a list of my interview subjects in order of citation in the text for that particular section. Most of my subjects are quoted in the text: Many other sources provided background and their names do not appear in the manuscript, but their help and memories were nonetheless essential in piecing together this history. The first time a subject is listed, the year of my interview is noted. In addition to the numerous people listed here, many colleagues assisted by providing resources or support. I hope I have included them all in the Acknowledgments that follow.


Page 2 “I woke up at 7 a.m.”: An e-mail from Courtney Love to Charles R. Cross, 1999.

Page 4 “It wasn’t that he OD’d”: Ibid.

Chapter 1: Yelling Loudly at First

Author interviews with Don Cobain, 1999; Mari (Fradenburg) Earl, 1998, 1999, 2000; Rod and Dres Herling, 1999; Brandon Ford, 2000; Tony Hirschman, 1999; Leland Cobain, 1998, 1999, 2000; Shirley DeRenzo, 1999; Colleen Vekich, 1999; Dorothy Vekich, 1999; Michael Vilt, 1999; James Ultican, 1999; Norma Ultican, 1999; Kendall Williams, 1999; and Kim Cobain, 2000. Hilary Richrod of the Aberdeen Timberland Library and Leland Cobain provided essential background on the history of Grays Harbor County and I am grateful to them both for their extensive assistance.

Chapter 2: I Hate Mom, I Hate Dad

Author interviews with Don Cobain; Leland Cobain; Kim Cobain; Gary Cobain, 1999; Mari Earl; Stan Targus, 1999; Steve Shillinger, 1999; Jenny Cobain, 1999; Lisa Rock, 1999; Darrin Neathery, 1999; Courtney Love, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001; John Fields, 1999; Roni Toyra, 1998; John Briskow, 1999; Lois Stopsen, 2000; Rod Marsh, 2001; Miro Jungum, 1998; and James Westby, 2000.

Page 16 “I had a really good childhood”: “Family Values,” Jonathan Poneman, Spin, December 1992.

Page 23 Iris Cobain once described 1976: Christopher Sandford, Kurt Cobain (Carroll & Graf, 1996), page 30.

Chapter 3: Meatball of the Month

Author interviews with Don Cobain; Tim Nelson, 1999; Bill Burghardt, 1999; Leland Cobain; Rod Marsh; Roni Toyra; Jenny Cobain; Kim Cobain; John Fields; James Westby; Mike Bartlett, 1999; Scott Cokely, 1999; Teri Zillyett, 1999; Beverly Cobain, 1999; Trevor Briggs, 1999; Mari Earl; and Jim Cobain, 1998.

Page 30 The article ran under the heading: Puppy Press courtesy of Scott Cokely.

Page 31 Kurt’s artwork was “always very good”: Interview with Nikki Clark by Hilary Richrod, 1998.

Page 34 Fields was not the only friend of Kurt’s: Bill Burghardt, Mike Bartlett, Rod Marsh, Trevor Briggs, Darrin Neathery and others have similar stories.

Page 37 As Kurt later described it: Michael Azerrad, Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana (Doubleday, 1993), page 21.

Chapter 4: Prairie Belt Sausage Boy

Author interviews with Don Cobain; Leland Cobain; Jim Cobain; Warren Mason, 1999; Dan McKinstry, 1999; Rick Gates, 1999; Bob Hunter, 1999; Theresa Van Camp, 1999; Mike Medak, 1999; John Fields; Kathy Utter, 2000; Shayne Lester, 2000; Mike Bartlett; Trevor Briggs; Mari Earl; Darrin Neathery; Brendan McCarroll, 1999; Kevin Hottinger, 1999; Evan Archie, 2000; Buzz Osborne, 1999; Bill Burghardt; Steve Shillinger; Andrea Vance, 1999; Jackie Hagara, 1999; Jesse Reed, 1999, 2000; Kurt Vanderhoof, 1998; Greg Hokanson, 1999; and Kim Cobain.

Chapter 5: The Will of Instinct

Author interviews with Jackie Hagara; Buzz Osborne; Krist Novoselic, 1997, 1998, 1999; Kim Cobain; Greg Hokanson; Paul White, 1999; Justine Howland, 1999; Jenny Cobain; James Westby; Beverly Cobain; Don Cobain; Jesse Reed; Dave Reed, 1999; Ethel Reed, 1999; Det. John Green, 2000; Det. Mike Haymon, 2000; Shee-la Wieland, 2000; Bob Hunter; Theresa Ziniewicz, 1999; Mike Poitras, 1999; Stan Forman, 1999; Kevin Shillinger, 1999; Det. Michael Bens, 2000; Trevor Briggs; Lamont Shillinger, 1999; Steve Shillinger; Mari Earl; Shelli Novoselic, 2000; and Hilary Richrod, 1998, 1999, 2000.

Chapter 6: Didn’t Love Him Enough

Author interviews with Kim Cobain; Matt Lukin, 1998; Jesse Reed; Shelli Novoselic; Tracy Marander, 1998, 1999, 2000; Steve Shillinger; Kurt Flansburg, 1999; Mark Eckert, 1999; Krist Novoselic;

Ryan Aigner, 1999; Aaron Burckhard, 1999; and Dylan Carlson, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000.

Chapter 7: Soupy Sales in My Fly

Author interviews with Kim Cobain; Krist Novoselic; Shelli Novoselic; Aaron Burckhard; Tracy Marander; Jeff Franks, 1999; Michelle Franks, 1999; Vail Stephens, 1999; Kim Maden, 1999; and Tony Poukkula, 1999. Special thanks to Jeff Franks for his research assistance.

Chapter 8: In High School Again

Author interviews with Tracy Marander; Steve Lemons, 2000; Slim Moon, 1998, 1999; Jim May, 1999; John Purkey, 1999; Krist Novoselic; Ryan Aigner; Krissy Proctor, 1999; Buzz Osborne; Jack Endino, 1997, 1999; Chris Hanszek, 1998; Dave Foster, 2000; Kim Cobain; Bob Whittaker, 1999; Bradley Sweek, 1999; Argon Steel, 1999; Win Vidor, 1998; Costos Delyanis, 1999; Dawn Anderson, 1999; Shirley Carlson, 1998; Veronika Kalmar, 1999; Greg Ginn, 1998; Jason Finn, 1998; Scott Giampino, 1998; Kurt Danielson, 1999; and Rich Hansen, 1999.

Page 97 “SERIOUS DRUMMER WANTED”: The Rocket, October 1987.

Page 103 “The Seattle Scene is gearing up”: Bruce Pavitt, The Rocket, December 1987.

Chapter 9: Too Many Humans

Author interviews with Tracy Marander; Steve Shillinger; Krist Novoselic; Dave Foster; Chad Channing, 1997; Gilly Hanner, 1998; Ryan Aigner; Jan Gregor, 2000; Debbie Letterman, 1997; Chris Knab, 1998; Jack Endino; Alice Wheeler, 1997, 1999, 2000; Dawn Anderson; King Coffey, 2000; Slim Moon; John Purkey; Daniel House, 1997; Tam Orhmund, 1999; Damon Romero, 1998; Hilary Richrod; and Kim Cobain.

Page 114 “I’ve seen hundreds of Melvins’ ”: “It May Be the Devil,” Dawn Anderson, Backlash, September 1988.

Page 119 “Nirvana sit sort of at the edge”: Grant Alden, The Rocket, December 1988.

Chapter 10: Illegal to Rock ’N’ Roll

Author interviews with Tracy Marander; Amy Moon, 1999; Krist Novoselic; Dylan Carlson; Joe Preston, 1999; Jason Everman, 1999; Rob Kader, 1998; Chad Channing; John Robinson, 1998; J. J. Gonson, 1998; Sluggo, 1999; Michelle Vlasimsky, 1999; Slim Moon; Steve Fisk, 1999; Mark Pickerel, 1999; and Kelly Canary, 1997.

Page 131 “the last wave of rock music”: “Hair Swinging Neanderthals,” Phil West, The Daily, May 5, 1989.

Page 133 “You’re talking about four guys”: “Sub Pop,” Everett True, Melody Maker, March 18, 1989.

Page 133 “Nirvana careens from one end”: Gillian Gaar, The Rocket, July 1989.

Page 135 “I kinda reach my end of things to do”: “Nirvana,” Al the Big Cheese, Flipside, June 1989.

Page 141 “Bob Dylan picked ‘Polly’ ”: Chuck Crisafulli, Teen Spirit (Fireside, 1996), page 45.

Chapter 11: Candy, Puppies, Love

Author interviews with Tracy Marander; Kurt Danielson; Chad Channing; Alex MacLeod, 1999; Nikki McClure, 1999; Garth Reeves, 1998; Mark Arm, 1998; Carrie Montgomery, 2000; Steve Turner, 1998; Matt Lukin; Krist Novoselic; Pleasant Gehman, 1997; Jennifer Finch, 1999; Jesse Reed; Slim Moon; Damon Romero; Stuart Hallerman, 2000; Jon Snyder, 1998; Alex Kostelnik, 1998; Maria Braganza, 1998; Greg Babior, 1998; Sluggo; and J. J. Gonson.

Page 146 “I feel like we’ve been tagged”: “Berlin Is Just a State of Mind,” Nils Bernstein, The Rocket, December 1989.

Page 151 “had even come up with the term ‘grunge’ ”: Mark Arm, Desperate Times.

Page 154 “they cut eight songs”: Charles R. Cross and Jim Berkenstadt, Nevermind: Nirvana (Schirmer Books, 1998), page 32.

Chapter 12: Love You So Much

Author interviews with Tracy Marander; Dylan Carlson; Slim Moon; Alice Wheeler; John Goodmanson, 1998; Tam Orhmund; George Smith, 1999; Krist Novoselic; Susan Silver, 2000; Don Muller, 1998; Alan Mintz, 2000; Brett Hartman, 1998; Kim Cobain; Sally Barry, 1999; Paul Atkinson, 1998; Kevin Kennedy, 2000; Bettina Richards, 1999; Alex Kostelnik; Gordon Raphael, 1999; Ken Goes, 1998; Angee Jenkins, 1999; Nikki McClure; Jennifer Finch; Ian Dickson, 1999; and Mikey Nelson, 1998.

Page 162 “It’s probably the most straightforward”: “Heaven Can’t Wait,” Everett True, Melody Maker, December 15, 1990.

Page 169 “some of my personal experiences”: “The Year’s Hottest New Band Can’t Stand Still,” Chris Morris, Musician, January 1992.

Chapter 13: The Richard Nixon Library

Author interviews with Jesse Reed; Krist Novoselic; Dylan Carlson; Tracy Marander; Kaz Utsunomiya, 1999; Mikey Nelson; Joe Preston; Nikki McClure; Lisa Fancher, 1997; Damon Stewart, 1997; Susan Silver; Kim Thayil, 1997; Jeff Fenster, 1997; Alan Mintz; Dave Downey, 1999; John Purkey; Kathy Hughes, 1999; Craig Montgomery, 1999; Don Cobain; Michael Vilt; Lou Ziniewicz-Fisher, 2000; Susie Tennant, 1997; Bob Whittaker; Shivaun O’Brien, 1996; and Barrett Jones, 2000.

Page 181 “There was graffiti”: Cross and Berkenstadt, Nevermind: Nirvana, page 58.

Chapter 14: Burn American Flags

Author interviews with Krist Novoselic; Ian Dickson; Danny Goldberg, 2000; Michael Lavine, 1997; Carrie Montgomery; Courtney Love; Dylan Carlson; Slim Moon; John Troutman, 1997; John Rosenfelder, 2000; Mark Kates, 1999; John Gannon, 1999; Dave Markey, 1999; and Alex MacLeod.

Page 186 “I thought she looked like Nancy Spungen”: Azerrad, Come As You Are, page 169.

Page 189 “Uniformly,” Wallace recalled: Cross and Berkenstadt, Nevermind: Nirvana, page 97.

Page 196 “The most exciting time for a band”: Azerrad, Come As You Are, page 187.

Chapter 15: Every Time I Swallowed

Author interviews with Krist Novoselic; Lisa Glatfelter-Bell, 1997; Patrick MacDonald, 1997; Susie Tennant; Jeff Ross, 1997; Bill Reid, 1997; Robert Roth, 1998; Jeff Gilbert, 1998; Kim Warnick, 1998; Jamie Brown, 1997; Scott Cokely; Mary Lou Lord, 1998; Mark Kates; Courtney Love; Marco Collins, 1997; Amy Finnerty, 1999; Peter Davis, 1999; Lori Weinstein, 1998; Rai Sandow, 1998; Tim Devon, 1998; Ashleigh Rafflower, 1999; Craig Montgomery; Carrie Montgomery; Danny Goldberg; Alison Hamamura, 1999; Jim Fouratt, 2000; Jeff Liles, 1999; Gigi Lee, 2000; Darrell West-moreland, 1997; Kim Cobain; and Steve Shillinger.

Page 212 The Rocket review noted: Charles R. Cross, The Rocket, November 1991.

Chapter 16: Brush Your Teeth

Author interviews with Courtney Love; Krist Novoselic; Mary Lou Lord; Alex MacLeod; Carolyn Rue, 1988; Carrie Montgomery; Ian Dickson; Nikki McClure; Jerry McCully, 1997; Bill Holdship, 1997; Jeremy Wilson, 1998; Rob Kader; Amy Finnerty; Danny Goldberg; Bob Zimmerman, 1998; Michael Lavine; Mark Kates; and Kurt St. Thomas, 1999.

Page 214 “That’s when we started really”: Azerrad, Come As You Are, page 205.

Page 219 “This letter is directed more”: Aberdeen Daily World, November 11, 1991.

Page 221 “They were like clones, glued”: “The Power of Love,” Dana Kennedy, Entertainment Weekly, August 12, 1994.

Page 222 “nodding off occasionally in mid-sentence”: “Spontaneous Combustion,” Jerry McCully, BAM, January 10, 1992.

Page 222 “I’m getting married”: Ibid.

Page 228 “My attitude has changed drastically”: “Ain’t Love Grand,” Christina Kelly, Sassy, April 1992.

Page 229 “I just want to be situated and secure”: Ibid.

Chapter 17: Little Monster Inside

Author interviews with Rosemary Carroll, 2000; Courtney Love; Danny Goldberg; John Gannon; Kim Cobain; Kaz Utsunomiya; Naoko Yamano, 1998; Michie Nakatani, 1998; Atsuko Yamano, 1998; Dylan Carlson; Krist Novoselic; Shelli Novoselic; Barrett Jones; Craig Montgomery; Jennifer Finch; Carolyn Rue; Bob Timmins, 2000; Buddy Arnold, 2000; Sean Tessier, 1998; Tim Appelo, 1998; Mari Earl; Michael Azerrad, 2000; Jackie Farry, 2001; Robert Cruger, 2000; Alan Mintz; Jesse Reed; Alex MacLeod; and Anton Brookes, 2000.

Page 231 “We knew it really wasn’t the best”: Azerrad, Come As You Are, page 245.

Page 233 “My fame. Ha ha. It’s a weapon”: Poppy Z. Brite, Courtney Love, the Real Story (Simon & Schuster, 1997), page 131.

Page 234 “wasn’t very high. I just did a little”: Azerrad, Come As You Are, page 251.

Page 235 “if I quit then, I’d end up doing it again”: Ibid., page 255.

Page 240 “I don’t even drink anymore”: “Inside the Heart and Mind of Kurt Cobain,” Michael Azerrad, Rolling Stone, April 16, 1992.

Page 241 “[Nirvana’s] low profile has renewed”: Steve Hochman, Los Angeles Times, May 17, 1992.

Page 244 “from nobodies to superstars to fuck-ups”: “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” Keith Cameron, NME, August 29, 1992.

Chapter 18: Rosewater, Diaper Smell

Author interviews with Rosemary Carroll; Courtney Love; Danny Goldberg; Kim Cobain; Neal Hersh, 2000; Anton Brookes; J. J. Gonson; Jackie Farry; Krist Novoselic; Alex MacLeod; Craig Montgomery; Buddy Arnold; Marc Fremont; Amy Finnerty; and Duff McKagan, 2000.

Page 246 “You get out of this bed”: Azerrad, Come As You Are, page 269.

Page 247 “I’m having the baby”: Ibid.

Page 247 “I was so fucking scared”: Ibid.

Page 247 “I held this thing in my hand”: “Life After Death,” David Fricke, Rolling Stone, December 15, 1994.

Page 247 “He almost died”: Ibid.

Page 260 “I don’t want my daughter”: “Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain,” Robert Hilburn, Los Angeles Times, September 21, 1992.

Page 260 “We might not go on any more long tours”: Ibid.

Chapter 19: That Legendary Divorce

Author interviews with Alex MacLeod; Kim Cobain; Anthony Rhodes, 1999; Mikey Nelson; Don Cobain; Courtney Love; Jeff Mason, 2000; Krist Novoselic; Jim Crotty, 1998; Michael Lane, 1998; Victoria Clarke, 1998; Jackie Farry; Danny Goldberg; Mari Earl; Neal Hersh; Rosemary Carroll; Jesse Reed; Karen

Mason-Blair, 1998; Inger Lorre, 1999; Buddy Arnold; Jack Endino; Michael Azerrad; Charlie Hoselton, 1998; Greg Sage, 1999; Jeff Holmes, 1997; Tim Silbaugh, 1998; Jamie Crunchbird, 1999; Earnie Bailey, 1998; Danny Mangold, and Barrett Jones.

Page 265 “They chased me up to the Castle”: Jim Crotty, Monk #14, January 1993.

Page 266 “If I ever find myself destitute”: Azerrad, Come As You Are, page 268.

Page 268 “This whole concept of the man”: “Love in the Afternoon,” Gillian Gaar, The Rocket, November 1992.

Page 268 “We knew we could give”: Poneman, Spin, December 1992.

Page 270 “It’s just amazing that at this point”: “The Dark Side of Kurt Cobain,” Kevin Allman, The Advocate, February 9, 1993.

Page 274 “of which $380,000 went to taxes”: Ibid.

Chapter 20: Heart-Shaped Coffin

Author interviews with Krist Novoselic; Alex MacLeod; Courtney Love; Pat Whalen, 1999; Neal Hersh; Jackie Farry; Rosemary Carroll; Ingrid Bernstein, 1998; Kim Cobain; Dylan Carlson; Jessica Hopper, 1998, 1999; Nils Bernstein, 1999; Pare Bernstein, 1999; Neal Karlen, 1998; and Michelle Underwood, 1997.

Page 283 “Geffen and Nirvana’s management”: Greg Kot, Chicago Tribune, April 1993.

Page 284 “symptoms associated with an overdose”: This and all police notes that follow are from official Seattle Police Department reports.

Page 288 “a whirling dervish of emotion”: “Heaven Can Wait,” Gavin Edwards, Details, November 1993.

Page 290 “If Freud could hear it, he’d wet his”: “Domicile on Cobain St.,” Brian Willis, NME, July, 24, 1993.

Chapter 21: A Reason to Smile

Author interviews with Courtney Love; Krist Novoselic; Alex MacLeod; Dylan Carlson; Anton Brookes; Craig Montgomery; Jackie Farry; David Yow, 1998; Lori Goldston, 1998; Bob Timmins; Mark Kates; Danny Goldberg; Rosemary Carroll; Sean Slade, 1999; Paul Kolderie, 1999; Robert Roth; Mark Pickerel; Kristie Gamer, 1999; Jim Merlis, 2000; Kim Neely, 1998; Thor Lindsey, 1998; Curt Kirkwood, 1999; Derrick Bostrom, 1999; Amy Finnerty; Jeff Mason; and Janet Billig, 2000.

Page 295 Fremont’s son Marc asserted it was suicide: Marc Fremont, The Doctor Is Out, unpublished manuscript.

Page 295 “I desperately wanted to have”: “Howl,” Jon Savage, The Guardian, July, 22, 1993.

Page 297 “Cobain ricochets between opposites”: “The Band That Hates to Be Loved,” Jon Pareles, New York Times, November 14, 1993.

Page 301 “I’m glad you could make it”: “Kurt Cobain,” David Fricke, Rolling Stone, January 27, 1994.

Chapter 22: Cobain’s Disease

Author interviews with Courtney Love; Krist Novoselic; Jackie Farry; Alex MacLeod; Jim Barber, 2000; Dylan Carlson; Alan Mintz; Danny Goldberg; Amy Finnerty; Alice Wheeler; John Robinson; Dave Markey; Larry Reid, 1998; Rosemary Carroll; Leland Cobain; Don Cobain; Jennifer Adamson, 1999; Jenny Cobain; Shelli Novoselic; Danny Sugerman, 2000; Lexi Robbins, 1999; Bill Baillargeon, 1998; Don Muller; and Buzz Osborne.

Page 312 “It was a fruitful year. Nirvana finished”: Letter to The Advocate, January 25, 1994.

Page 319 “He hated everything, everybody”: Fricke, Rolling Stone, December 15, 1994.

Page 321 “He was getting really fed up,”: “Kurt Cobain,” Steve Dougherty, People, April 25, 1994.

Page 323 “I know this is a controlled substance”: “Love and Death,” Andrew Harrison, Select, April 1994.

Page 323 “Even if I wasn’t in the mood”: Fricke, Rolling Stone, December 15, 1994.

Chapter 23: Like Hamlet

Author interviews with Courtney Love; Jackie Farry; Krist Novoselic; Alex MacLeod; Kim Cobain; Shelli Novoselic; Leland Cobain; Travis Myers, 2000; Dylan Carlson; Rosemary Carroll; Marc Geiger, 1998; Ian Dickson; Jennifer Adamson; Danny Goldberg; Steven Chatoff, 2000; Dr. Louis Cox, 2000; Rob Morfitt, 1999; Karen Mason-Blair; Buddy Arnold; Mark Kates; and Anton Brookes.

Page 325 “He was dead, legally dead”: “The Trials of Love,” Robert Hilburn, Los Angeles Times, April 10, 1994.

Page 326 “in a profession he doesn’t have”: Claude Iosso, Aberdeen Daily World, April 11, 1994.

Page 327 “I flipped out”: Fricke, Rolling Stone, December 15, 1994.

Page 327 “I wish I’d just been the way”: Ibid.

Page 335 “I did not even kiss or get to say good-bye”: Ibid.

Chapter 24: Angel’s Hair

Author interviews with Courtney Love; Krist Novoselic; Dylan Carlson; Jackie Farry; Alex MacLeod; Michael Meisel, 1999; Gibby Haynes, 2000; Bob Timmins; Harold Owens, 2000; Buddy Arnold; Nial Stimson, 2000; Harold Owens, 1999; Joe “Mama” Nitzburg, 2000; Duff McKagan; Jessica Hopper; Ginny Heller, 1999; Bret Chatalas, 1999; Jennifer Adamson; Rosemary Carroll; and Danny Goldberg. The events of Kurt’s final hours are pieced together from police reports, forensic evidence reports, and pictures of the scene.

Page 347 “I know this should be the happiest”: Hilburn, Los Angeles Times, April 10, 1994.

Epilogue: A Leonard Cohen Afterworld

Author interviews with Courtney Love; Marty Riemer, 1998; Mike West, 1998; Kim Cobain; Don Cobain; Leland Cobain; Jenny Cobain; Jackie Farry; Rosemary Carroll; Tom Reese, 1998; Nikolas Hartshorne, 1999; Dave Sterling, 1998; Sharon Seldon, 1999; James Kirk, 1994; Jeff Mason; Alan Mitchel, 1999; Gene Stout, 1998; Dan Raley, 1998; Cynthia Land, 1998; Krist Novoselic; Susan Silver; Rev. Stephen Towles, 2000; Bob Hunter; Alice Wheeler; Tracy Marander; Dylan Carlson; Danny Goldberg; Janet Billig; and Leland Cobain.

Page 356 “I saw this body laying there on the floor”: The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 9, 1994.

You can support our site by clicking on this link and watching the advertisement.

If you find an error or have any questions, please email us at Thank you!