Timeline: Tracing the intense relationship of Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love

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Maybe Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love were doomed from the start. Grunge’s most famous, and infamous, couple shared interests that included property damage, intensely personal lyric writing, and heroin. Not exactly the foundation for a healthy relationship.

They were also constantly in the public eye, leading to disputes with everyone from Axl Rose to Child Protective Services. They married only a few months after they started dating. Love at one point admitted that their daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, was an attempt to save the relationship. Both had emotional volatility and mental instability that would cause fights and occasional separations. The question isn’t really how did a short marriage end this quickly and this tragically, it’s how this marriage even survived two years.

The timeline that connects Cobain and Love is murky, with some of the most important events being subject to conjecture and debated by the people who were there. The courtship instantly changed both of their central figures’ lives, with Cobain taking on additional mental burdens and Love finding herself cast in a critical light from the music press.

Love herself has claimed that their peers tried to keep them apart. “Kim Gordon [of Sonic Youth] sits me down and says, ‘If you marry him your life is not going to happen, it will destroy your life,’” Love told The Guardian in 2006. “But I said, ‘Whatever! I love him, and I want to be with him!’ … It wasn’t his fault. He wasn’t trying to do that.” Despite the warnings, Cobain and Love continued on what would ultimately be a doomed relationship.

Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain were married for just over two years, during which time both experienced major professional highs and savagely personal lows. For Cobain, it was the increasing depression and ongoing medical ailments that saw him take his own life in 1994. For Love, it was having to live through her husband’s suicide and extreme attention brought to her in its wake. This is a timeline that reconstructs their two-year relationship, from their first meeting to their final days together.

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