The Origin of Nirvana’s “Come As You Are”?


Courtesy of Charles Cross

At Charles Cross’s recent Aberdeen Library appearance for Here We Are Now, his latest book about Kurt Cobain, an interesting discovery was made.  Journalist Steven Friederich came forth with a document that perhaps sheds light on where the title for Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” came from.

According to Cross, Friederich discovered an ad for the Morck Hotel in Aberdeen in a 1940’s city directory and recipe book. The Morck has been dilapidated for years, but it was one of the many places in Aberdeen where Kurt’s friends told Cross he crashed during his “homeless” teenage era. The ad for the hotel lists their slogan as “Come As You Are.” In all likelihood this appeared on letterhead, and signage at the time. Whether Kurt directly took something from that, or whether it simply stayed in his subconscious a few years later when he wrote the song, is unknown, but it’s a fascinating twist, and perhaps an explanation of the genesis of the title of one of Nirvana’s greatest songs.

Cobain3488Cobain’s name was thrust into the spotlight again last week  and even found a home among the daily trending topics of both Facebook and Twitter when a Seattle TV station (and us) announced that the death investigation of the iconic Nirvana frontman would be re-opened.  What they (Seattle Police) meant to say was that they had only re-examined the details of the case. The release of never before seen photographs of the death scene also led to world wide speculation that there was something new to talk about, but in the end SPD made it clear that nothing new was found.

But this find from Friederich is different. If this turns out to be true, which of course is hard to prove given that the man that wrote the song has been dead for two decades, Nirvana fans world wide will likely be in a frenzy.

Cross’s latest book on Cobain works to put to rest some of the most talked issues surrounding the singer that hung out on the banks of “The Muddy Wishkah”.

Get the book here: Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain


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