During the six years of his professional career, thousands of photos were taken of Kurt Cobain both in concert and offstage — but he hated the bulk of them. This photograph, taken at Seattle's legendary Crocodile Cafe in the fall of 1992, was one of the few personal snapshots Kurt liked enough to keep in his own scrapbook.
Kurt at five months old with his father, Don, July 1967 (a note on the back of the photograph reads "Kurt's first time to steer the car").
A two-year-old Kurt at his aunt Mari's home, holding a tambourine. He loved music even from an early age, and was exposed to bands like the Byrds (pictured on the three posters behind him) by his aunts and uncles.
A portrait of the young man as an artist. For his eighth birthday in February 1975, Kurt received this easel from his paternal grandparents. Comic book characters were his favorite art subjects in childhood; he began with Disney-related fare, such as Donald Duck, but quickly moved to superheroes. Here, Kurt is copying the cover from Giant-Size Werewolf #4, an April 1975 Marvel comic.
Kurt in Japan.
As Nirvana's fame mushroomed, Kurt found less time to write in his diary. Despite his growing wealth and stature, many of the entries he did write continued to reflect self-doubt.
Kurt claimed he drank Strawberry Quik because it coated his stomach, which acted up when he was on the road.
A Polaroid of Kurt wearing an International Pop Underground Festival T-shirt from Olympia and holding his kitten, Spina Bifida. Nirvana did not play at their hometown festival, marking the end of Kurt's relationship with the local scene.
In Nirvana's early days, the band's only gimmick was Kurt's habit of playing guitar solos while lying on his back onstage. Even when the band became famous and tricks were no longer necessary, he occasionally did a solo this way.
William S. Burroughs and Cobain at Burrough's Lawrence, Kansas, home. Kurt later said they mostly talked about Leadbelly.
A small sampling of Kurt's personal collection of cassette tapes. He often recorded demos of songs over tapes of other bands, and he frequently decorated his cassette covers. Included in this pile are very early tapes, such as the "Fecal Matter" original demo and acoustic demos recorded in 1993.
Kurt wrote on anything and everything that came across his path, including the back of his smashed guitar.
Both Kurt and Courtney Love collected heart-shaped boxes, and by 1994 they had several dozen in their home. They often gave them to each other as gifts, sometimes filled with personal effects such as hair or a note, or on occasions containing antique valentines.
The Epiphone acoustic with the "Nixon Now" sticker is a model called the Texan. Kurt purchased this from a Los Angeles guitar shop after he became famous. Kurt's guitar tech, Earnie Bailey, installed the Bartolini, installed the Bartolini 3 AV pickup.
Courtney cites this photograph as her single favorite picture of Kurt. It was taken at their North Seattle house in late 1993.
Kurt in the living room of his Los Angeles apartment on Spaulding Avenue, spring 1992. As Nirvana's commercial impact grew during that year, Def Leppard would be on far fewer magazine covers.