American legend Kurt Cobain’s family have said that the singer may have taken inspiration from his Irish roots for his song writing before his tragic death.
His daughter, Francis Bean Cobain, sister Kim and mother Wendy O’Connor were at the opening of an exhibition in Co Kildare which has some of Kurt’s personal items on display.
The family of the former Nirvana frontman opened the Growing Up Kurt Cobain exhibition at the Museum Of Style Icons in Newbridge.
Cobain was a pioneer of the American grunge scene, which gave him a star status around the world that he was never comfortable with. He tragically committed suicide, aged 27, in 1994.
The new exhibition features many items that have never been seen by the public before. It includes art, sketches, handwritten lyrics, clothes and a powder blue 1965 Dodge Dar, which was the only car that Cobain ever owned. It runs until September 30.
The Cobains have Irish roots and their ancestors made the journey to the USA from Carrickmore, Co Tyrone, in 1875.
Francis Bean said: “I think it was important for the three of us to come here to Ireland. This is where our roots are.
“It’s a very healing place. And also we haven’t travelled. They’ve been outside the country, they’ve been to Canada and Mexico but that doesn’t really count.
“So it was important to come here together because this is where we’re from.
“I’d been here before and it was super healing for me as a child and I wanted to come and be part of this experience with them.”
Kurt had become interested in finding out more about his Irish roots before he died, according to his sister Kim.
Kim said: “I know he really enjoyed it here, he did come and I think he was trying to look more into his roots and where he came from. I’m sure his Irish roots influenced his art.
“It felt like the right time to show who Kurt really was as a child growing up. To go back to his roots of being a child, where he was happiest.
“We just wanted to bring him back to where he came from and the person that he really was as a child and try to focus more on his art and him and to show people just how silly, goofy and sweet he was.
“We want to bring focus back to the light-heartedness and happiness that he had in his life and not focus on all the negative crap that happened later.”
His mother Wendy added: “I think it shows who he really was, the real person inside before he got famous.”
Francis Bean said that if her father was still alive he would be deeply troubled by the current political landscape
She said: “The violation of basic human rights that seems to be a prevalent theme in our country right now – I would like to believe that Kurt wouldn’t have stood for that or accepted that.”
Francis Bean also discussed the taboos that still surround mental health issues.
She said: “There is an association that is shameful and it shouldn’t be. It’s taboo … despite the fact that it is present in our society every single day.
“I think that in Europe it is a little less taboo. I think in America it is very frowned upon.”
Take a look at the video below which sees Kurt’s family discussing their memories of the star.
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling