After many years, Mary Lou Lord today speaks opening and movingly about her relationship with Kurt Cobain. So intimate, so personal, rarely do we have the opportunity to delve so deeply into the heart of an artist. At the end of her writings, listen to her voice and her music.
“Ok, so I barely pay attention to Wikipedia and most things related to myself. Can’t stand it. Never could. Don’t have the time, blah, blah….BUT tonight, I gave a good look at my Wiki page, and I DON’T LIKE IT!!..I have no patience for learning much internet negotiating, and I don’t know how to EDIT the page!!..So, if anyone can edit the entire part that mentions Kurt Cobain, I would be grateful. I know that when I want to know something about someone, it’s the first place I visit, and I dont want people to have a shitty impression, or a false impression of me, just because some moron whith nothing better to do said stuff was so…….( THE WIKI PAGE HAS SINCE BEEN EDITED..thank you guys for your help with that!!) however, there is still a bunch of false info still floating around certain corners of the interweb, so I am still going on with writing this…
Visiting my own page tonight made me slightly ill….I DON’T WANT that shit to be the first thing people see..I don’t want it to be referenced at al!!!l..I’ve perhaps done myself a dis-service by not talking about “what exactly happened” openly when he was alive, or even given a proper interview with a proper writer, and gotten the whole truth out right there, right then, but I thought it best to just keep my mouth shut about the whole thing. (Not to mention, I ALMOST couldnt believe it all myself. One of the only mentions I made (and Kurt was alive at the time), was that the song “some jingle jangle morning” was in fact written about him. Big deal. Small local paper, the writer was a friend, and it was true. Courtney love went into a rage. I have no doubt in my mind that she made him (they faxed a lot back then) fax a letter to the paper claiming that all I said was untrue…Ah Courtney, how you doin’ now sister? WHO THE FUCK exactly believes ANYTHING she says ANYWAY??…
Yes, I sit here nearly 18 years later and YES there are things I am pissed-the-fuck off about!..The things she about me (from Rolling Stone to anyone who would suck up to her and listen) were FALSE and certainly DID NOT come out of Kurt’s mouth…for one thing (and yes, it’s somewhere embedded in Wiki), as beautiful as I thought Kurt was, the “infamous” episode that “supposedly happened in the back of a van” NEVER even occurred!! !!..My “thing” with him wasn’t based on a “sexual” escapade between band guy/groupie type thing. That’s fucking gross, and I wouldnt stand a guy that was like that (there’s PLENTY of dip shit bimbos out there, and many of them WAY hotter than me to boot!!.We ALL know (those who really knew him) that he wasnt like that either…He would have been MORTIFIED, afraid of, AND sickened by chicks like that…
One huge observation I also made was how this woman who was SUPPOSED to honor him, cherish him, etc, could blatently be-little and DIS HONOR his character and memory, by the” bj statement ” she made (in a HUGE Rolling Stone COVER piece btw, just months after he passed away) about me…NOT ONLY was she putting me down, but she didnt EVEN stop to think, that she was ALSO ripping HIS character apart ( by making “the Dark Van bj” statement…The “episode” included TWO people…NOT just one..On top of all that, and the saddest thing, is that it wasn’t even true. It all came out of a very sick, twisted, “DARK VAN” of her OWN mind…HOW FUCKED UP IS THAT?? ..I do often think of him..it’s impossible not to..a song on the radio, an old video, the pictures I have etc.. I am writing all this NOW perhaps because I want to set the story straight not just for me, but also for HIM. He wasnt even there to defend himself, and I’m sure as shit that he would have cringed at what (his own wife) said about him.
I have a daughter. So does he. someday he might have grandchildren. I am also writing this for them. Thisstory (My Story) is NOT REALLY a BIG deal AT ALL anymore in MY life, or in “our lives= readers, fans, etc”, but someday, our children (mine, his) or grandchildren, will probably seek out EVERYTHING that defined who we were as people (especially on a personal (non-rock star guy) level for him…I WILL NOT SIT BACK AND LIVE WITH BULLSHIT WIKI PAGES AND OLD OLD DARK RUMORS THAT SOME BITTER JEALOUS WOMAN started out of rage, insecurity, and greed while years later regret that a child or grandchild of mine might stumble upon some strange false statements lying dormant on some web page out there in cyberworld….There was a short time between Olympia and constant touring (1993 or so), when I lived with my parents who I loved, who were in thier late 70′s. Courtney somehow got a hold of thier # and would call incessantly leaving INSANE messages on thier answering maching in the middle of the night ..She would ramble, threaten me, threaten them, etc…(Whaat?)..She would say things I’d rather not care to reapeat and some things were barely co-hesive anyway. I rember my father (who was a 76 yr old retired fire-fighter) giving me a look of absolute confusion after listening to some of these rants, and saying one of the most profound observations of Courtney I’ve heard yet…He simply said ..”Mary, she’s just not one of us”….
I don’t know…I see that she is coming out with a new record (whatever) and that she’s lost custody…again….AND I ran into my stupid Wikipedia page and the whole thing FINALLY has made me want to LET IT BLURT!…Fuck it fuck it fuck it….!!!! Also, I just read N.Horby’s Juliet Naked. I think it sparked something off..Being a musician, I guess it was impossible to NOT identify with the Tucker Character in the book. It’s a new age now, and everyting is on the internet…I myself could care less if I became another “fucker” (the Tucker character’s nick name on the internet meaning “Fake-Tucker” to the world in cyberspace who DIDNT know the truth about the REAL Tucker).. but I know my daughter WOULD care. In the end, that’s all that matters. This is for her…..and for Frances.
Ok…so here goes…what exactly happened….
It all started with my friend Philip Welsh…Around 1988 I was playing in the subway (met Phil on green line, govt center (possibly the worst busking pitch EVER)…and Philip was nice and I would see him daily and chit chat about the covers I was playing etc…He seemed to know a lot (I was a BIG folky at the time..John Gorka, David Wilcox, Aztek twostep, Tom Paxton, Passim all the way) and I asked Philip to make me a mixed tape. Next time I saw him he presented to me one of those casette tape-holders containing something insane like 8 or 10 mixed tapes!!! HOLY SHIT !!! On these tapes were music that I certainly wasn’t familiar with….It was stuff like Cows from Atlantis, the Holy Modal Rounders, Half Japanese, TV personalities, the Verlaines, the Pastels…and sooo much more..Philip had a vast knowlege of underground music and this beloved kooky box of mixed tapes was really ( of course I could go into a nutty story of how I met REM in 1984, and how bizarre it was to take them on a schenic sight seeing spree in Salem ma (my home town), but that’s for another time…Who didnt love REM back in the day)… (but that’s alll another story entirely)…But this box from Philip, that MAGICAL box , was really the start. Thanks Philip!! I LOve you (billy)
I had begun playing in the subway full time because I needed money and it was better than being a waitress (which I never would have been good at anyway)..and one of the main focuses was on songs by Shawn Colvin..I absolutely adored her. She also had no record out yet (remember…this was WAY before internet and there was no place to find the music if there was no record out yet)..so, I deemed it my mission in life to play her lovely songs as to the delight of people who wanted to hear awesome songs…I did this for a long time until her first cd actually came out!..(over the course of that time, she was to become one of the best friends I’ve ever had the pleasure of having)…so, Shawn’s songs were alive and well, and certainly didnt need me playing them to be alive..Yay Shawn!
About this time 1989, I met a fella named Jim Neill in a record store in Salem Ma. I heard hime talking to the guy at the front counter and I decided I wanted to meet him. My strategy was to ask the counter guy in a really loud voice (hoping jim would hear my question and if HE (jim) were interested in my question, I decided that would make me interested in him!)..so I asked “Hey, do you guys have the new Shawn Colvin cd??” ..Jim’s head spun around “You like Shawn Colvin”?? (remember, NO ONE knew her yet)…”ah yes, she’s a friend, and I adore her” said I….Jim and I instantly bonded. Turned out Jim was working for a company called Ryko disk in my home town of Salem. I had just returned from College in London, and we decided to move to lower Allston and be room-mates.
In November or so of 1990 Jim was driving to work. I had hitched a ride with him to visit my parents that day. At around 8 in the morning a SONG came on the car radio. “what is this Jim”? (Jim knew everything about music)..he didnt know what it was. No cells then, and dj never said…BUT that song stayed in my head. A few weeks later I met a guy named Dave Gwiazdowski who was a dj on wers. I met him in the subway at Park st (well, I din’t actually “meet” him… I thought he had great hair and there was just something cool about him, so I decided to follow him. Yep, right there and then I packed up my busking shit and hopped on the same train he got on. I followed him all the way to central sq. He went into the middle east. I followed him into the back room where the bands played. I had no idea who he was, or who he was going to see..I didnt balk at the cover charge, just HAD to know this guy…Later that night after about 2 hours of stalking him (he’s the ONLY guy I’ve EVER “followed” by the way), I finally I got up the guts to say hello…Turned out that he was a dj on WERS (the same station I had heard THAT) song (the one with Jim in the car) weeks before that I couldnt get out of my head. Dave turned out to be an awesome ,awesome guy, and we have remained great friends to this day. We had lots of fun fun times back then…seeing band after band, talking about music, making tapes, etc. I would ride him on the back rack of my bicycle from Cambridge to boston night after night!! I was very very strong back then. Went to the gym 7 days a week, ran 4 miles a day…you getit. (Glad I had the good sensabilities to stalk Dave Gwiz!)
It occured to me that perhaps Dave would know THAT song I had heard on the radio station he worked at a few weeks before. I sang it (hummed the melody) for him….”Oh, I think that’s a band called Nirvana” he said….Ah,”make me a tape!” I said. So, Dave made me a tape. It was Bleach..I loved it….about 3 months or so later, Dave informed me that that band I liked “Nirvana” was coming out with a new record and that he had an advanced copy…Ah,”make me a tape!” I said…so, he did….HOLY shit SHIT! Again, I fell in love with it..I loved Bleach, but this was SOMETHING ELSE!!!…this was special.!!So, this was probably April or or May of 1991..(not exactly sure, but I had that tape for a while)……I listened to it all summer and learned to play (really shitty versions of course) most of the songs on that tape!…For some reason, I never bothered to see what the band looked like, and stuck with the tapes, and didnt have a record player anyway. never really gave a shit about what bands looked like. no internet. no wiki. no money…fuck it…loved the tapes!
At around that time I was REALLY REALLY into Teenage Fanclub…I had seen them at the middle east (probably with Dave (who probably to this day loves the fact that I “stalked” him), and they blew my mind!!!! I met them at the middle and had a great talk with Jerard Love about Scotland, the music, all the stuff nerdy-musos talk about …oh, and also I forgot to mention that about a year before all this, I had discoverd Daniel Johnston..Probably right around 1988…I heard a song on the radio (speeding motorcycle) and called the radio station and asked who “That woman singing about the motorcycle was” “That’s not a woman, that’s Daniel Johnston”…”where can I get his records?” …radio guys says to go to “in your ear” I go and YAY NO RECORDS!! it appears he ONLY had casettes….I bought all they had…Hi How are you, Yip jump, etc…also got some Sentridoh..(I think)….ok, so fastforeward to August 1991…I was in a band with Jason Hatfield called Chupa…Jason loved to play practical jokes and on the night of Sept 21st or so, he left a message on my machine saying in a very Scottish accent “hello, this is Jerry Love, and I am hanging out at the Rat tonight and you should come round”..What is Jerry doing at the rat I thought? (he’s the dude from teenage fanclub)..also, that same day, Dave (my radio friend), told me I should come to the rat to see The Melvins (cause I would like the singer’s hair he said….I had a thing for BIG hair back then)…so, I was all confused but liked the Melvins and was hopefull that jerry would be there (although before I got to the show I realized it was probably Hatfield fucking with me)…Anyway, I went to the show…Melvin’s were great. Buzz’s hair was great!…Dave was there…bunch of people I knew were there….Good times.
As I was leaving the club (the show was pretty much over and some people were leaving), There were 3 guys trying to get in saying thier name was on the list…the door guy was being a prick “what’s your name again (to the guys) , I dont see it on the list”….”Nirvana” the little one said. “nope, not on list” said prick…..I stop in my tracks (I was almost out the door)…”hey”, you should let them in” I said in a sort of shocked that he wouldnt let them in kinda way…”who the fuck are you”? says prick (to me)…I decided to go back down stairs in the hopes that they might make it in, and of course to tell Dave that the “Nirvana” band were here and trying to get in….Before going back down into the Rat I just remember shaking my head and saying to the prick door guy” you really should let them in”….
About 10 or so minutes later, they came down stairs…..There were probably 15 or so people left, finishing thier drinks, hangin out with the Melvins, merch, etc…Then after a few minutes, the little guy with the blonde hair came up and said, “Hey, thanks for helping us get in”…”ah shit, I said, the show’s been over for a while, and that guy (the prick) was being a prick”..( I knew the blonde guy was in Nirvana (cause they said “Nirvana” to the prick,, but I didnt know which one he was..still had never seen thier picture…he could have been a roadie for all I knew)..So, this is the point where I actually met him…””um, what are you guys doing here” I asked…he said that they were doing a show at Metro>(not sure where it was) the next night, and they had just gotten in and wanted to see the Melvins. “Ah…ok…I really like your band”…”you know us” “yea…a little (I lied…I had owned Nevermind casette for months but couldnt get Dave in trouble so didnt say so)..Yea, “where are you from”…oh, Olympia huh, Capital right? “yea”..Oh..THEN, all of a sudden, someone came by me and says “Hey MaryLou, heard you playing in the Subway, it was great”…Kurt says…”You play music? …in a subway???” “um yea”…..whooa…what kind of stuff do you do> ..Um, folk songs..By the way, I know youre in Nirvana , but which guy are you? “Oh, I’m the Singer and play guitar”…(right around here is when I started to shit myself)…ONLY because I loved them sooo much ( no one else could have given a shit yet, really, Nevemind wasnt even out yet!)…So, he then says, “what kind of folk songs”..ah, you might not know it (for some reason I thought ONLY me and a few others liked what I liked (and that is actually true)…so I spout off…”Daniel Johnston, Teenage Fanclub, The Bats, the Clean, The Vaselines, etc…” The look on his face was PRICELESS…”Have you heard any of these bands”? I ask…”Do you want to go upstairs and talk “” he says……
We went upstairs and had one of the most insanely intense comversations about life, music, life, music, and life and music that I’[ve EVER had in my life. There was this insanely instant connection and as 2 approached, I asked where he was staying "the howard JOhnson's"( was right down the street)...I asked if he wanted a ride. "sure"...ok....we leave the bar, and I start unlocking my very old bicycle with a great rack (on the back)...he see's it says "I thought you said you were gonna give me a "...."I know" I said..."you sit on the back"...So, there it was...I was on my 1966 columbia peddling Kurt Cobain around Boston....We got back to the hotel after a little ride around Boston, and sat on the big wall in front until about 9 in the morning (never even went in the hotel)...just shooting the shit, and knowing that we each had met someone special...
He told me to meet him at about 4 the next day at the Rat and that he would take me to the show which was on Lansdowne st...It was some kind of party thing for wfnx, and a record release of thiers of sorts....I went to the show and it was amazing!!..I heard them play all those songs that were on my beloved advance copy of Nevermind casette and it all just completely blew my mind. There was this great "feeling" in the air, and I KNEW I was part of it. I was WITH him RIGHT at the very APEX of the WHOLE thing. That night after the show, Kurt wanted to hang out where I lived and listen to the many records I mentioned that I owned...(well, I lived with the records. Some were mine, but mostly,...they actually belonged to Billy Ruane and there were thousnads and thousands of them.I was house sitting for Billy at the time. I think he let me live in the place for free as long as I alphbetized the records...I think I got as far as "C" there were SOO many)...I remember I had this really wierd picture of Lester Bangs on my wall that I used to drag around from apartment to apartment with me. It was from a very rare book of photos by a guy named Michael I think called "pumping Irony" "do you know who that is? he looked more like meathead from all in the family than Lester Bangs, and it didnt say "leseter Bangs on the pic itslef...but Kurt said..."Lester Bangs"?..Whoa I'd met my match...anyway, at this point, we had had a few drinks, and I rarely drank at all back then..I didnt smoke, didnt drink, went to the gym every day and rode big people around on my bike...but this night i had a few, and decided to have fun...We had a dance party curtesy of Billy Ruane's record collection)) ....this went on till about 4 am, then .....I HAD to ask him .."do you want to play some songs with me?"..Well, this was funny cause it was my guitar there, not his, and he's a LEFTY.(I'm a rightly)..so he struggled (and it was funny) to get out a few chords...he immediately got frustrated and said..."you play for me"...(shitting myself again at that point)....so, I played...I honestly cant remember all the songs I did, but I KNOW that I played "Polaroids" which now is so so ironic and bizarre for me ....He had such a look of intensity while I played it and he (I know) was absolutley blown away by the lyrics..(he told me so)..the line where it says "Begging for love in a Suicide threat"...so wierd now...This was 1991...Sept 23...I remember ...Then, next what happened (and this really really blew his mind...) was that I continued to play and I got up the guts to play about 6 songs that I had learned from Nevermind ( I had owned it for months ...remember), and it WASNT even out yet!
He looked absolutely shocked..I had never really said HOW MUCH I liked his band (didnt want to come off as a dork or get in trouble for pre-owning Nevermind)...so, it must have been wierd for him...a dude from Aberdeen, not very well known (especially in the chick department) and here comes me with my Daniel Johnston/kooky bike/love of Teenage Fanclub /Vaselines,, AND KNOWING the Nirvana LP inside out, before it was out!!!!...Ok, so if ANYONE is reading, are you getting this?.>???This was a fuckload more than a fictional BLOWJOB (No, sadly (should have for all the shit I took about it anyway) I didnt go there)..that Courtney MADE UP!!
The next day we hung out again....Kurt really wanted to play in the subway (it really intrigued him)...so. we went all around trying to find a girl named Janet Macanerny (sp?) who I knew was a lefty (but only remembered later that she simply flipped it around (didnt actually change stringing)...so, we had a fun day, hanging out around Cambridge, going to record stors, riding subways, him meeting my subway friends on our quest to find Janet...amazing day..... and then again that night saw Nirvana again, and once more, happy to have another dance party w Kurt in Billy's living room...
There are some people that you meet and you know that there is something profound going on...it's not a matter of "how much time was spent" with them...it's a wierd thing..I've had this only with a few other people before, but not many......one of them was (like Kurt) also a piscese...He is also a singer...same thing..TC, you readin? do you remember?
I'm trying to put the time context stuff in order here so, forgive me if my dates are wrong.
There were some dates on the tour I attended...I went to the Baby head show in RI which was nothing but amazing, hung out after, etc, and I think New York was next. I awoke the morning of that show to Kurt on my answer machine.( I had driven back to Boston after the RI show because I was with my friend Danelle who had to get back to go to work)... He siad, Take a bus, take a plane, take a train, take a boat....I want you here with me...at that time I had a full time job at Mystery Train records, and I had to convince someone to cover for my shift. I hopped a grayhound to NYC and didnt get there till late. I met up with my friend Deb (who God bless her saved every piece of shit rant that Courtney was to spew YEARS later on a very new web site called "America Online" in 1995, in her infamouse "HOLE" folder....(that's a whole nother story)...So, Deb and I got to the show (I think Deb came?) and it was nearly over, but I made it to the backstage and Kurt came up to me with a huge smile "There you are!!!" he exclaimed...He introduced me to Kim Gordon and Thurston and a whole bunch of other people. After the show we went to a big party for someone who worked for MTV...Then, we went to a club until about 5 in the morning...What was really, really fun about this, is that they had a jukebox filled with nothing but disco, and Kurt Cobain himself ( I know, hard to picture), danced his ass off....
Ok, so, you see there is at least a little story developing here, but I have to pick noodles up from the floor...DO you want me to continue, or should I someday write a book?”
“His Lamest Flame”