Kurt Cobain’s Mom on Hearing ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ For the First Time: ‘The Hair on My Arms Stood Up’
A new exhibit on the life of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain just opened at the Museum of Style Icons in Newbridge, Ireland. Cobain’s family was on hand to celebrate the "Growing Up Kurt Cobain" exhibition, and Kurt’s mother gave a stunning recollection of the first time she heard “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
Wendy O'Connor, Kurt's mom, was joined by the singer’s sister Kimberly and daughter Frances Bean. According to Wendy, Kurt kept “Smells Like Teen Spirit” hidden for three days before promising to play it at a low volume for her, as Kurt didn’t want to disturb his stepfather watching football.
“You don’t need to hear football. Turn it up!," O'Connor recalls telling Kurt. “The hair on my arms stood up and I got this heaviness in my chest. ‘This is gonna send you to the moon and back. This is so good, this is going to change everything.’”
Wendy continues, “I warned him, ‘I don’t think you’re ready for this. How are you gonna do this? This is gonna go huge, this is big. Thank you, but I don’t think you can handle this.’ I was scared to death for him. He goes, ‘Oh, Mom.’”
In the clip above, Kimberly also talks about missing a school report so she could go see Nirvana play for the very first time. As for Frances Bean, she calls her father’s legacy “untouchable.” The Cobain exhibition at the Museum of Style Icons will be open until Sept. 30.
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