In August 1993, when Nirvana was in New York to perform at the legendary Roseland Ballroom, Jesse Frohman photographed them for the London Observer’s Sunday magazine—the last formal photo shoot in which Cobain participated before he committed suicide on April 5th, 1994.
Over the course of ninety photographs, Cobain seems an almost feral creature, by turns gentle, playful, defiant, suffering, or absorbed in his music. There’s a diverse range of shots of Cobain with fellow band members Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl and on his own, posing, performing, and greeting fans. Jon Savage’s original interview, which appeared with Frohman’s photographs in the Observer is also reproduced, giving us Cobain in his own words. The book is a touching tribute to Cobain twenty years after his tragic demise, and following Nirvana’s recent induction in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Some of the most enduring images ever taken of the rock star. All the hallmarks of grunge and Kurt’s particular sensibility are there: his Jackie O sunglasses, the chipped paint on his fingernails, the patched jeans, and, most of all, Cobain’s iconoclastic vulnerability.
These 100-plus images reflect Cobain’s complexity: defiance, charisma, playfulness, and sullen anger all bound up in a shaggy persona lurking behind those goofy oval sunglasses.
— American Photo
A moving testament to Kurt Cobain’s life.
— Library Journal
It's a rare thing to see almost all of the photos taken from a photo shoot and a performance…Seeing a young and already charismatic Dave Grohl is an added plus.
— USA Today
Frohman's insightful portraiture transcends the nature of celebrity photography. The pictures are as humanizing as they are glorifying.
— L'Oeil de la Photographie
Has an interesting text by Jon Savage, whose interview wit Cobain that day is transcribed.
— The Seattle Times
Iconic images of Kurt make me want to cheer and cry both at the same time. This glimpse into his world is one I don’t want to miss.
— Chloë Sevigny Porter
Jesse Frohman began his photography career in New York, working first as an assistant for the legendary Irving Penn. His work has appeared in many major magazines, including Vanity Fair, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Rolling Stone, and Spin. He also shoots for advertising and recording companies. Frohman has had several solo exhibitions and his work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Glenn O’Brien writes about art, music, and fashion.
Jon Savage is a Cambridge-educated writer, broadcaster, music journalist, and historian of punk. He conducted an important interview with Kurt Cobain in 1993.