Date: December 2, 2023 9:16 am
Though he receives credit as a co-producer, the amount of Kurt Cobain’s involvement in producing the Melvins’ classic 1993 album Houdini has always been questionable, seeing as how the Nirvana rocker was relieved of his appointed producer duties at some point during the making of the record.
But now, longtime Melvins bandleader Buzz Osborne has slammed a long-standing rumor that they actually had to let go of Cobain because he wanted to write the album’s songs for them.
That’s just not true, as Osborne — or King Buzzo — tells Revolver, the Melvins icon contending Cobain’s addiction issues hampered the sessions.
READ MORE: Nirvana Biographer Suggests Kurt Cobain Was Jealous of Dave Grohl in Nirvana
At the time in 1993, producer Garth “GGGarth” Richardson completed the album with Melvins. As for Kurt — “He didn’t show up for one of the sessions, and it was just really obvious [that he was unfit],” Osborne now remembers of Cobain when asked for the catalyst of their split, as UCR reported.
Saying it “wasn’t a judgment call” on Cobain’s abilities, but instead a feeling that it “isn’t going to work,” the Melvins bandleader explains, “I went into [Nirvana manager] Danny Goldberg’s office at Atlantic and told him this. And he conveniently doesn’t remember any of it, which is crazy.”
Ascribing the rumor to Goldberg, Osborne adds, “He’s actually said stuff like Kurt quit because we wanted him to write songs for us — which is fucking insane. I don’t need anybody to write songs for me.”
Was Cobain Fired From Melvins Album?
Osborne has discussed the topic before. In 2009, he told The Stranger, “The head of A&R at Atlantic, a guy who also ran Kurt Cobain’s management company, suggested producers, and we were like, ‘No, no, no.’ And then he goes, ‘What about Cobain?’ And I go, ‘Well, that’s kind of an interesting idea I haven’t thought of.'”
The Melvins leader explained, “Unfortunately, Cobain was in no shape to produce anything. So we got into the recording sessions, and I went to the A&R guy at Atlantic and said, ‘Look, I’m not recording with him anymore. I’m firing him, essentially.’ Kurt did what he did as much as he possibly could as far as I’m concerned, and that was the end of that.”
Asked his subsequent feelings, Osborne said, “I have a lot of hard feelings with a whole lot of stuff that went on around that whole camp. None of it is good. There is not a lot of good vibes or good scenarios in that situation. There is no happy ending.”
Cobain died by suicide in 1994, less than a year after Houdini‘s release.
Watch all of Osborne’s interview with Revolver below. And sign up for Loudwire’s newsletter and download the Loudwire app to get the latest in rock and metal news.
Buzz Osborne Talks to Revolver About the Making of Houdini – Sept. 21, 2023
Melvins, “Honey Bucket”
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