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Kurt Cobain Was Working on His ‘White Album’ When He Died

Kurt Cobain
Frank Micelotta, Getty Images

As former Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson continues the promo tour for his book, ‘Letters to Kurt,’ he’s been dropping bombshells about his experiences with the late Kurt Cobain. The latest is both touching and heartbreaking — it recounts what could have been.

The tall and lanky guitarist told FUSE that Cobain was demoing songs shortly before his death from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in April 1994. Erlandson believes these tunes, which Cobain planned for a solo effort, had the potential to become the iconic frontman’s best work ever.

“[Kurt] was headed in a direction that was really cool. It would have been his ‘White Album,’” Erlandson said.

Comparing Cobain’s demos to one of the Beatles‘ most revered albums may seem like hyperbole, but Erlandson further qualified the assessment: “That’s really what he was going towards, a solo album but working with different people. I was really excited about some of the stuff he was working on. I got to see him play it in front of me. That’s why I was really sad [when he died]. I was like, ‘Oh man, not only are you cutting off a life, but a message to the world, a musical path is just left with … Bush and all this other stuff [laughs]. He was cut short. Who knows where the music would have gone.”

Erlandson also shared that he heard a demo of Cobain performing a famous cover song but wouldn’t give up the goods on which one it was, saying only that it was a “sweet … touching song.” He does, however, hope that it eventually sees the light of day, if only for the sake of the people who love Cobain’s music. “I just hope that one day it will be released for fans. It’s just so heartbreaking,” he said.

The guitarist mused that an album of demos could see a posthumous release. “I heard some talk about somebody putting together some raw, rough acoustic thing,” he revealed.

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