The final song sang by Kurt Cobain at Nirvana’s last gigRodney
Kurt Cobain sang ‘Heart Shaped Box’ for the last song he ever sang in public
It was 1st March 1994, Nirvana were on tour in Germany and played a show in Munich. Little did everyone know it would be the last time Kurt Cobain ever sang in public.
On the night on 1st March 1994, Kurt Cobain knocked on the dressing room door of The Melvins. On other nights of the tour, Cobain would drop by The Melvins dressing room congratulating them on a good gig. However, this night was different. Cobain informed Osbourne that this would be the final night of the tour. He wanted to quit the band, end his marriage with Courtney Love and go home.
Cobain told Osbourne “I should just be doing this solo”. Osbourne reflects on this moment telling Seattle music writer Charles R. Cross “In retrospect, he was talking about his entire life”.
“So, if somebody died, we’d still have to do the shows?”
Earlier in the tour, Cobain told his bandmates Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic that he wanted to cancel the tour. The band didn’t have cancellation insurance on the tour and it was scheduled to end in Dublin, Ireland on 8th April. This cost the band tens of thousands of dollars to cancel.
In a sarcastic tone Cobain asked “So, if somebody died, we’d still have to do the shows?”. Looking back now that sarcastic question is pretty somber. In a weird way in the contract death was the only acceptable reason to quit the tour.
On the stage of the gig there wasn’t much enthusiasm or passion coming from Cobain. It just looked like a man who didn’t want to be there. Mid-set there was a power cut that made Cobain more grim. After the show Cobain called the booking agent and cancelled the next gig. When in Rome, in a hotel room Cobain wrote a suicide note that read “Like Hamlet, I have to choose between life and death, I’m choosing death” Kurt attempted to take his own life by taking an overdose of painkillers.
“Like Hamlet, I have to choose between life and death, I’m choosing death”
Dave Grohl talks of this 15 years after the event. “So Krist and I get on the phone” telling Classic Rock’s Paul Brannigan. ” “And then someone says, ‘He’s okay, he’s just in a coma, he’s not dead.’ It was so chaotic and crazy… it was so weird, and surreal, that 28 hours ago I was hanging out with these people. But then someone called and said that he died, and I lost it, I just fucking lost it.“
Grohl added ‘He came home, and we talked on the phone, and I told him, ‘Man, Kurt, fuck …’ I didn’t tell him that someone had told me that he’d died, but I told him that I was terrified and so worried. And he was really apologetic, like, ‘So sorry, I was partying and drinking and I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing.’ And I said, ‘Listen, I don’t think you should die!’ And then, I think, well, then, you know what happened…”
Have a listen to the recording below. The encore performance of “Heart Shaped Box”. The very last time Kurt Cobain sang in public, a month before his passing.