Kurt Cobain Reveals How Much Lollapalooza Money He Turned Down In Rare Interview

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In our first #ThrowbackThursday article, a rare interview with late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain has surfaced on Nirvana’s Reddit. In the fall 1993 interview that took place around the release of In Utero, Cobain was asked if there was anything he’d been tempted by anything since becoming successful.

“No, not that I can think of, except for Lollapalooza. They offered us a guarentee of like $6 million, and that’s way more money than, we’re going to break even on this tour because of playing in theaters. The production is so expensive at this level, but other than that, I never thought of the Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, and U2 offers as any kind of offer, it was just never a reality to me, or Krist and Dave. So those were the only temptations I can think of, if someone could actually consider it a temptation.”

Courtney Love has previously claimed that Nirvana were offered $9 million to headline Lollapalooza 1994, which the band were expected to headline prior to Kurt Cobain’s suicide. It’s unclear if Cobain is referring to an offer for Lollapalooza 1992 or 1993, or a very early offer for Lollapalooza 1994.

He also discussed punk rock ethos frowning on ambition.

“Well, that’s not how I perceived early punk. I thought that the Sex Pistols wanted to rule the world, and I was rooting for them, but then American punk rock in the mid 80’s became totally stagnated, and totally elitist. It was a big turn off for me, I didn’t like it at all. But at the same time, I had been thinking that way for so long that it was really hard for me to come to terms with the success all of the sudden.

But I don’t care about it now, there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m not going to put out a shitty record on purpose, that’s ridiculous. But I probably would have done that a year and a half ago, I would have gone out of my way to make sure that the album is noisier than it is, but we did this record the way we wanted to.”

  • Raj

    No surprise, Cobain and Nirvana turned down big headliner deals and co-headling tours with mammoth bands. He always preferred smaller more intimate shows instead of grandiose outdoor festivals.

  • Hwang Sunghyeop

    Nirvana did well without big festival.