10 Things You Didn’t Know About Kurt Cobain’s Grandpa


By now, if you’re remotely interested in the Nirvana universe, you’ve probably heard all you care to about Courtney Love’s Twitter rampage in honor of daughter Frances Bean’s birthday last week. For our part, we prefer a quieter, less tabloid-y story Stereogum just tipped us off to: a Seattle Weekly profile of Kurt Cobain’s 86-year-old grandfather. As it turns out, Leland Cobain is far more accessible to the common fan than you’d imagine a member of the fallen rock legend’s family might be. We recommend giving the entire insightful piece a read, but if you’re in a hurry, we’ve pulled out our 10 favorite facts about Leland after the jump.

1. He lives in “a cluttered double-wide trailer” in the small Washington town of Montesano, outside of Aberdeen.

2. Leland’s home is “a mini-Graceland of Kurt Cobain memorabilia,” covered in photos and fan portraits of Kurt.

3. If you write a letter to Leland about Kurt, you’ll receive “a handwritten note and a few photocopied pictures of Kurt.”

4. If you request to visit Leland, “the answer… is always yes.”

5. Leland is the only member of the Cobain family who will talk publicly about Kurt.

6. Courtney Love isn’t a big fan of Leland: He’s suggested that Kurt was murdered. As a result, he hasn’t seen Frances Bean since she was a toddler.

7. Leland didn’t begin to speak about Kurt’s death until his wife passed away, in 1997.

8. Want to talk to Leland on the phone? His number is listed in the local phone book. (We tried a whitepages.com search. It works.)

9. While Leland generally indulges Kurt’s fans, he admits that some are nuts: “A woman from Sweden sent me some paintings. She’s actually in love with Kurt. She talks to him every day. Boy, she’s really got it.”

10. The bottom line on Leland: “He’s just lonely, and he wants you to sit with him. He’s said all there is to say about Kurt Cobain, yet he’ll gladly repeat himself if it means a few hours of company.”

Photo credit: Peter Mumford/Seattle Weekly