Seattle’s Music Mount Rushmore Closeup: Kurt Cobain

We’re celebrating the grunge icon’s local roots.

kurt cobain beach.jpeg

A memorial bench for Kurt Cobain in Viretta Park is a common site for tourists and fans of the grunge band.

Photo by HoneyKnut via Wikimedia Commons

We’ll get this out of the way first — yes, he’s from Aberdeen. However, there’s no denying the vast impact Seattle had on Kurt Cobain’s early career, nor the way his work continues to influence our city’s reputation as the grunge capital of the world.

The ‘90s legend and frontman of rock band Nirvana is a natural fit for our Mount Rushmore of Seattle Music. Here are some of the local spots where he made his mark.

The Central Saloon

While also operating as the oldest saloon in town, Pioneer Square’s Central Saloon is where Nirvana played their first show in Seattle. It was April 16, 1988 and two representatives from Sub Pop, the label responsible for Soundgarden and Green River, were in the crowd of ~10 other people. While they said they weren’t initially very impressed with the band, they liked Cobain’s voice. “Nevermind” would be released under Sub Pop three years later.

Screwdriver Bar

The basement at 2320 First Ave. in Belltown is now a rock ‘n’ roll themed dive bar, but it was previously a rehearsal spot for Nirvana between the release of “Bleach” in 1989 and “Nevermind” in 1991. The group ended their lease eventually and the space sat empty before becoming Screwdriver Bar and its sister event space Belltown Yacht Club.

Robert Lang Studios

The north Seattle recording studio has been a host to legends like Alice in Chains, Brandi Carlile, and Leon Bridges. It’s also the location where Cobain recorded his final session with Nirvana. The fated sessions took place January 28-30, 1994.

Linda’s Tavern

Still up and running, this Capitol Hill dive was known as a frequent spot for Cobain. It’s also where he was last seen alive before he was found in his home on April 5, 1994.

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