Nirvana’s former music manager, Danny Goldberg, recently opened up about the late lead singer Kurt Cobain during an interview with Ultimate Classic Rock. When asked about the hypothetical scenario in which the frontman is still alive, the manager expressed his thought on what direction he would follow.
As many of you know, not only was Kurt Cobain one of the greatest vocalists of all time, he was also one of the best songwriters in the history of rock music. The singer had the ability to connect with his audience, and Nirvana was often named the symbol of Generation X. He contributed immensely to rock history even though he was in the music scene for just over a decade.
Who influenced such an extraordinary musician, you might ask. The earliest and lasting influence on Kurt Cobain was undoubtedly the Beatles. The musician highly appreciated John Lennon and even wrote the song ‘About a Girl’ featured in their debut album ‘Bleach’ to prove how much the British band inspired him.
On top of his admiration for the Beatles, Cobain was also a fan of 1970s hard rock and heavy metal bands such as Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Queen, and KISS. The Nirvana singer was a fan of numerous other music genres, including protopunk, alternative rock, and indie rock with bands such as The Stooges, Pixies, R.E.M, and many more.
As a result of being influenced by so many different genres, the Nirvana icon created songs with the band’s original sound at their core but with details from other genres. Although Kurt’s music has been labeled as grunge, Cobain had so much more under his sleeve. However, according to many, he didn’t get the opportunity to show them.
That’s why ex-Nirvana manager Danny Goldberg was asked what Kurt Cobain would do if he were still alive. Since he showed versatility and expressed his admiration for other musicians during his performances, the interviewer wanted to know Goldberg’s personal opinion on what Cobain would possibly do with his music if he were with us today.
According to the manager, the late Nirvana vocalist was a ‘renaissance brain’ in his music and deeply admired and identified with punk culture. From being influenced by the Beatles to performing a David Bowie song, Cobain proved his musical genius, if you ask his former manager. That’s why it’s impossible to say what he would have done, and there’s nothing else to do but to appreciate what he did when he was alive.
The interviewer asked:
“I would have loved to have known more about him as a music fan if he would have stuck around. What we were able to glean was so interesting. Obviously, he does the David Bowie track and other things on MTV Unplugged. I thought it was cool that he was a Smithereens fan, as well. Like any of us, he was a music fan. I think it would have been great to see him get more of a chance to share more of that with the world.”
Danny Goldberg replied:
“Yeah, no shit! Well, there’s no question. He loved the culture and identified deeply with the punk culture. But musically, he was a renaissance brain. Obviously, he ended up doing a Leadbelly song on Unplugged as well as the Bowie song.
They all loved the Beatles, even though they were way too young to have been around when the Beatles were big and it wasn’t cool to the punk world. They just loved the artistry of it. He was a real-life musical genius, so there’s no telling what he would have done. But I’m so glad he did what he did.”
It’s always nice to think of a world with Kurt Cobain in it since his passing at the age of 27 was undeniably early for the music world. His fans cannot help themselves but imagine what he could have done if he lived since his accomplishments in seven years with Nirvana were already impressive.