Skip to main content

Weird Al says Cobain was 'cool' with hit parody

Weird Al Yankovic has spoken about his conversation with Kurt Cobain after the prankster decided to record a parody of Nirvana hit Smells Like Teen Spirit.

In an video interview with Loudwire, Yankovic says he was nervous about asking the Nirvana frontman for permission, but that Cobain was “cool” with the idea.

He says: “I remember that phone conversation very well – I wish I had recorded it, it would have been a nice little piece of history.

“I was very nervous, and I didn’t know how he would take my requesting the parody. But he was extremely cool. I just told him, ‘hey, it’s Weird Al Yankovic and I would love to do a parody of Smells Like Teen Spirit.’

“His initial reaction was, ‘oh, is it going to be a song about food?‘, because a lot of my hits at that time were. I explained it’s about how nobody could understand his lyrics. There was probably half a beat on the phone and he said, ‘yeah, yeah – sounds like a funny idea.’”

The funnyman also says his hit, Smells Like Nirvana, brought him back into the spotlight after a slow couple of years.

He says: “When I came back with Nirvana, that brought me right back into heavy rotation on MTV and back into the top 20 in the Billboard charts and it did feel like a real return to form.”

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.