Scratching the Surface

The public craves rare Nirvana. Fear not: 'You Know You're Right' is only the beginning.

"Pine Tree Janitorial Service": This is a fake ad jingle, recorded on a home studio four-track, for a company Cobain wanted to start with Novoselic. "We purposely limit our number of commercial offices in order to personally clean while taking our time," he sings, to which Novoselic responds, "We will suck up all manner of filth, muck, grease and grime." It would later resurface during the Nevermind sessions as "Shoot Up While You Work," with drastically reworked lyrics -- "suck up," for instance, becomes "shoot up."

"Losing Nirvana": Originally intended for inclusion on Nirvana's first single for Sub Pop in 1988, this song was Cobain's passive-aggressive attempt to inform drummer Dave Foster that he had been replaced by Chad Channing. Cobain and Novoselic decided to write Foster a letter instead -- which appears in Journals, the forthcoming collection of Cobain's diary entries, drawings and grocery lists -- though Cobain ended up using many of the lyrics to "Losing Nirvana" in his kiss-off to Foster: "We feel really shitty that we don't have the guts to tell you in person/But we didn't know how mad you would get."

"Get Free": Think this Vines song sounds like something Kurt Cobain might have written? Well, there's a good reason: He did, in 1991.

"Now I'm bored and old": The canonization of Kurt continues.
Charles Peterson
"Now I'm bored and old": The canonization of Kurt continues.

"My Stomach Hurts": This song, from the planned double album Cobain's Disease, is a 15-minute symphonic experiment in Neu!-like prog, and its lyrics, like so many other Nirvana songs, hint at the agony Kurt was constantly enduring -- the "burning, nauseaus [sic] pain in my upper abdominal cavity," as he wrote in Journals. Among the lyrics: "My stomach hurts/My head hurts/My arm hurts/My leg hurts/My back hurts/My front hurts/My hurt hurts."

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