Kurt Cobain remembered as 'warm genius’ on 25th anniversary of his death

‘The thing about Kurt is he’s got time for you. When he looked at you, he looked at you in the eyes with warmth. But when he sang to 18,000 people he sang to you, and he looked you in the eyes.

‘And that’s why he’s a f***ing icon. The sadness of it all and the issues and conspiracies [doesn’t compare].’

At the time when Nirvana were pioneering the grunge scene, Oasis were reigniting the rock n’ roll genre on this side of the pond.

But Abbot says Oasis, featuring Liam and Noel Gallagher, didn’t realise the true extent of Cobain’s genius until his death.

The music executive explained: ‘I don’t think people in the Oasis camp appreciated, until after, just how great he was. I think what changed that was the MTV Unplugged.

‘That Nirvana Unplugged session is one of the greatest records ever made. That sums up Kurt Cobain for me, the tragedy and the loss, is that if you listen to that Unplugged and then put the dichotomy of that electric wave, that power, everything that was full throttle Nirvana, that’s the genius of the guy.’

Recalling the acoustic session fondly, Abbot continued: ‘Heart Shaped Box – it makes me tingle thinking about it.

‘When he delivered them on an acoustic guitar with a few candles around them, it’s like they’re even stronger than having 100,000 watts behind him.’

Abbot also remembers meeting Nirvana’s management team on their visit to the UK – and their brilliant reactions to the local sights of Hackney, east London.

He revealed: ‘I remember their management coming over to Hackney going, “Where the hell is this? It’s like the Bronx”.

‘It was rough then, Hackney wasn’t gentrified or anything.

‘I think these cats thought they were stopping at the Dorchester and, to be hip, they got the tube from Bethnal Green and then had to walk about a mile because there was no overground station or anything.’

Abbot added: ‘These three, big American record execs just went, “Where the f***ing hell is this place, man?”’

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