New Book Reveals Cobain’s Petting Zoo Dreams

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September 6, 2011 | 6:00pm EST

Late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain dreamed of opening his own petting zoo, according to a new book about the history of grunge.
Journalist Mark Yarm gathered anecdotes about Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Mudhoney, among others, for his tome Everybody Loves Our Town: An Oral History of Grunge – and one fact from Cobain’s record label boss Bruce Pavitt really stands out.

The Sub Pop Records co-founder tells Yarm, “He (Cobain) was a sensitive guy who really liked kids and animals. I remember the first time I visited his apartment, he had, like, three different cages of gerbils. I got the impression he liked animals more than a lot of people.

“He talked about maybe starting a petting zoo. He was just kind of musing. The energy I was getting was kind of magical: ‘I can pretty much do anything I want. I’d like to start a petting zoo’.

“That week, Nirvana had knocked Michael Jackson off the charts. In a lot of ways, Kurt reminded me of Michael Jackson. Think about it: Neverland … having a passion for kids and animals. I found it somewhat ironic. If I’d heard those same words coming out of Michael Jackson, I wouldn’t have been surprised at all.”