Kurt Cobain Envied Dave Grohl’s Singing Voice, Says Nirvana Manager
Nirvana manager Danny Goldberg recalled that frontman Kurt Cobain was envious of drummer Dave Grohl’s singing voice, long before Grohl formed the Foo Fighters.
Goldberg, who was involved with the band from 1990 to 1994, just published his memoir, Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain, which he hopes will shed more light on the late singer’s personality.
“Kurt just said to me, ‘I don’t think you realize how good a singer Davie is, but I hear him singing harmonies every night,’” Goldberg told the Washington Post in a recent interview. “It was like he was really doing it so I would know this because there was this very fraternal side of him and a sweet side of him, but also it had a touch of envy in it. I mean he was competitive.”
In the book, Goldberg wrote of his relationship with Cobain: “Sometimes I felt as close to him as a brother and other times he seemed a galaxy removed, barely perceptible.” In the interview, he noted that Cobain’s wife Courtney Love once told him "Kurt was just as ambitious [as I was]. He just hid it a little better.”
He noted "that was part of his art. He was extremely focused and disciplined about accomplishing what he wanted to accomplish. This is someone who insisted on months of rehearsal before they went to the studio to do a record, who had a tremendous work ethic. And at the same time he created a character called Kurt Cobain. Hiding some of his ambition was conscious, and it was part of the creation of a persona that he felt that he wanted to create and that he would have admired as a kid. He’s not the only one who did that. I think Bob Dylan and the guys in R.E.M. did it.”
Grohl recalled in 2014 playing some of his early demos to Cobain. “Kurt heard that, and kissed me on the face, as he was in a bath," he said. "He was so excited. He was like, ‘I heard you recorded some stuff. … I was like, ‘Yeah.’ He was like, ‘Let me hear it.’ I was too afraid to be in the same room as he listened to it."