1001 South African Songs You Must Hear Before You Go Deaf

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Who Killed Kurt Cobain – Koos Kombuis

Who Killed Kurt Cobain – Koos Kombuis (Kom-spiracy theories)

Madiba Bay by Koos Kombuis

Madiba Bay by Koos Kombuis

The suicide of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain sent shockwaves through the music world. He had been the face associated with the burgeoning grunge movement that was gaining appeal with the slacker generation. Hard hitting, heavy music with a great big dollop of self loathing in the lyrics.

Neil Young’s ‘Sleeps  With Angels’ was dedicated to Cobain after the Nirvana man quoted a line from Young’s ‘Hey Hey My My (Into The Black)’ in his suicide note (‘It’s better to burn out than to fade away’). But it was not only Neil Young that was affected. In South Africa, our very own Bard of Gordon’s Bay was also struggling to make sense of what had happened.

Not usually associated with such heavy songs, ‘Who Killed Kurt Cobain’ is a biting, bordering on bitter affair. Koos is angry at the waste of such a talent and you’d be hard pressed to find a more vitriolic vocal performance from him. Koos’ anger though, is not directed at Cobain, but rather at what could have caused his actions. Once described as the greatest song the world never heard, ‘Who Killed Kurt Cobain’ is a hard hitting tribute that is at the same time is a loud scream of ‘WHY!!!?’

Where to find it:
Madiba Bay – Koos Kombuis (1997), Wildebeest, WILD004



Did you know when they told you the passion was gone
did you show them the way rock and roll should be born
did you leave us with nothing but one single tune
I don’t mind that you’re gone, but it happened so soon


The spirit smelt good but the purpose was pain
the walk in the woods became a walk in the rain
Were you here to be Jesus, whom did you entertain
and would you care to explain who killed Kurt Cobain

Did you see who was there when you turned out the light
was it a fan or a neighbour that shot you that night
who held the barrel and who loaded the gun
was it me, was it you, who the hell was the one


Was it drugs, was it horror, or sheer loneliness
was it money or sex, were you tired of being famous
were you scarred by the limelight, hurt by the sun
as it shone on the needle when the day’s work was done
could it be that we’ve waited for 30 odd years
for a man like John Lennon, just to lose him like this
true wisdom is rare, so few heroes around
I’m so tired of waiting with my feet on the ground

(Written by Koos Kombuis)

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