Why Kurt Cobain disliked the lyrics to AC/DC and Led Zeppelin

Kurt Cobain, whether as a rock star, celebrity, musician, or just as himself, was a constant force for good in the world. His untimely passing was difficult for many fans to accept because of the positive impact he had in his brief time in the spotlight.

Jaded and disillusioned, Cobain was a champion for the good and a defender of the downtrodden. He led by example, and the progressive values he upheld only served to confirm his reputation outside of the music industry.

Cobain always had a positive view, which was undoubtedly influenced by the punk movement’s ethos. In sharp contrast to many of the most well-known rockstars in the world, who, for the most part, the Nirvana leader was at ideological differences with, he was anti-homophobic, anti-sexist, anti-racist, and consistently opposed bigotry and stupidity wherever he met it.

Cobain’s manager, Danny Goldberg, admitted to Forbes in 2019 that while the grunge icon enjoyed the sound of classic rock bands like Led Zeppelin and AC/DC, he didn’t enjoy their lyrics due to his moral principles.

When asked if this was due to their sexism and homophobia, Goldberg responded, “Oh, absolutely! Absolutely. To start, I concurred with him on that. Second, I believe he struggled because he appreciated the music. He enjoyed AC/DC and Led Zeppelin music. But for precisely the reason you mentioned, he did not feel comfortable with the lyrics. I believe I included a quote from him in the book along those lines. It’s essential to who he was as an artist, so that’s why I wanted to do it.

He stated, “He obviously associated culturally with the punk rock communities’ values. which were in rebellion not only against Reagan but also against social injustices. However, they were disobeying due to products of the music industry. He agreed with that generational statement. However, he had a very diverse taste in music. He was a huge fan of the Beatles, despite the fact that they do contain some sexist lyrics, as is well known.

Goldberg’s final statement regarding Cobain’s devotion to morality and love of music was, “You know, I love John Lennon and Kurt liked John Lennon, but I think that ‘Norwegian Wood’ is a bit on the sexist side. Although he enjoyed the music of many different musicians, he associated culturally with a moral code. One of the things that, in my opinion, made him such a fascinating artist to know and collaborate with was that. That featured a genuine disgust for masculine stereotypes and actions.

Watch Kurt Cobain discuss his identity below.

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