On various lists of Kurt Cobain facts throughout the web, you may have heard the rumour doing the rounds that Kurt Cobain had originally been a roadie for The Melvins, or that he had unsuccessfully auditioned for the band.
In an interview with Kurt’s childhood friend and The Melvin’s frontman, Buzz Osbourne, Osbourne addressed the rumours, citing Kurt Cobain’s diminutive stature as a central reason that the roadie rumours are absurd.
I always think it’s funny that people say he roadied for us. Look at him! He couldn’t lift himself out of bed. You think he could roadie for someone? But we all hung out a lot. Krist Novoselic drove for us for a while. But roadie? We didn’t have a roadie. I didn’t even know what a roadie was until 1990. In order to hire someone to roadie you have to be making money. The first time we made money was in 1988, and that was $200. If we would go to Seattle and play a show and make $160, maybe we’d all go buy everyone a burrito. That’s it. There was no money.
And people also say Kurt tried out for The Melvins. Yeah, right. I’ve never had tryouts for this band, ever. I can’t imagine doing that. We all jammed and played together back then. It was hopeless and stupid and horrific and mind numbing. There are happy memories, but in the end it’s a tragedy. I can’t rewrite history in such a way that makes me feel good about it.
Honestly, I wish Kurt would have never become famous and was still alive.
On a somewhat related note, Buzz Osbourne also recently addressed suggestions that he would have liked to trade places with Kurt Cobain, given the fact that Nirvana went on to become far more famous and successful than the Melvins.
People have said to me, which I think is crazy, ‘Do you ever get jealous that Kurt Cobain got fame and money?’,” says Osborne. “And I go, ‘Kurt Cobain is f—ing dead. Are you kidding? What are you talking about? You think I would trade places with a dead guy?’ Yeah, I wish I had been more famous, and had more money, and was dead. No, no, no. I win. I win. He doesn’t win. He loses. He’s a major loser. His f—ing loss. He left a baby at the mercy of that woman [Courtney Love]. And, it couldn’t be worse. There’s nothing good about any of that.