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Kurt Cobain’s Mother Recalls The First Time She Heard “Smells Like Teen Spirit”

Kurt Cobain’s mother remembers hearing “Smells Like Teen Spirit” for the first time and how she knew the world would never be the same for her son.

Speaking at the Museum of Style Icons’ “Growing Up Kurt Cobain” exhibition in Newbridge, Ireland, Wendy O’Conner recalls, “The hair on my arms stood up and I got this heaviness in my chest,” while listening to the iconic song.

O’Conner says Cobain kept the song from her for three days before the big reveal, and after that first play, she told him, “This is gonna send you to the moon and back. This is so good, this is going to change everything.” But that motherly instinct also left her “scared to death” for her son, waning him, “I don’t think you’re ready for this. How are you gonna do this? This is gonna go huge, this is big. Thank you, but I don’t think you can handle this.”


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