Mark Lanegan shares anecdote remembering a post-Nevermind conversation with Kurt Cobain

The Screaming Trees vocalist considered Cobain a “cherished little brother”.

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Photo: Jordi Vidal / WireImage

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Former Screaming Trees vocalist, Mark Lanegan, has shared an anecdote that recalls a post-Nevermind Kurt Cobain. The two musicians have been known to share a close friendship, with Lanegan even considering Cobain to be a “cherished little brother”.

Lanegan recalled spending time with Cobain – hot on the heels of Smells Like Teen Spirit’s release – in a hotel room in Seattle, Washington. “We were hanging out, laying on the bed,” he told NME. “He was talking with somebody on the phone about some business thing. It was a hot day so the windows were open. We were on the third floor, and MTV was on. They were playing Smells Like Teen Spirit around the clock at the time.”

Lanegan reported that Cobain “pulled the phone cord out of the wall”, after getting irate with the phone conversation; but it was the ensuing moment which prompted the Nirvana frontman to start throwing footwear.

“Right then, ‘Teen Spirit’ came on MTV. He grabbed my boot, which was laying between us on the bed, and he threw it at the TV set. It was a perfect strike! It turned the TV off and right at that moment, from three floors down we hear a car going by, and ‘Teen Spirit’ is playing on the car radio! That’s when I realised there was no escaping it.”

In Lanegan’s new memoir, Sing Backwards And Weep, the musician chronicled the early days of Seattle’s rock music scene – before it was widely publicised as grunge, to the dismay of numerous artists of the community. His recently released 15-track album, entitled Straight Songs Of Sorrow, served as a musical companion piece to the memoir.

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