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Friday, April 8, 1994 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Nirvana's Cobain Dead -- Suicide Note, Shotgun Near Body Of Musician At His Seattle Home -- Mother: `Now He's Gone And Joined That Stupid Club'

Rock star Kurt Cobain was found dead today at his Seattle home, apparently from a self-inflicted shotgun wound.

Although authorities declined to officially identify the dead man, several sources confirmed it was Cobain.

Cobain, 27, became known worldwide as the lead singer and guitarist for the Seattle-based grunge band Nirvana.

The body was found by an electrician who arrived at the Madrona-area home to work on wiring for a security system about 8:30 a.m., according to Seattle police spokeswoman Vinette Tichi. Walking up an outside staircase on the garage behind the house, he saw the body on the floor of the garage's second-story living quarters.

The gun was lying across the body.

The electrician left and called police, who found a long, single-page suicide note next to the body.

Police wouldn't say who signed the note or whom it was addressed to or reveal its contents.

The house is in the 100 block of Lake Washington Boulevard East.

The band's manager, John Silva, told MTV News that he had last seen Cobain on Sunday.

In Aberdeen, Cobain's mother, Wendy O'Connor, said Cobain had been missing for six days and that she feared he would be found dead, according to The Associated Press.

She said she had no official confirmation her son was dead, but said, "Now he's gone and joined that stupid club," referring to the early deaths of such rock stars as Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison.

"I told him not to join that stupid club," she said.

Cobain's wife, singer Courtney Love, was out of town, O'Connor said, but she did not know where her daughter-in-law was.

Cobain's death came as a shock to other relatives in Aberdeen. But given his troubled childhood and meteoric rise in the music industry, they said, they weren't entirely surprised.

Cobain's parents divorced when Kurt was about 10 years old. Although he was sent to live with his father, family members say it wasn't long before Kurt was "bounced around from relative to relative" and ultimately left to live on his own.

"That's what his life was, bouncing around," said his uncle, James Cobain, 46, of Aberdeen. "There was hardly any direction for him to go. He was a pretty angry young man."

Last month in Rome, Italy, Cobain slipped into a coma from a combination of alcohol and tranquilizers. He came out of the coma a short time later but was hospitalized for four days.

Cobain has acknowledged having a history of drug problems, including use of heroin.

In front of Cobain's house this morning, Marty Riemer, a disc jockey for KXRX, a rock station, said the station received a call at 9:30 this morning from an electrician who apparently works for the same company as the man who discovered the body.

Riemer said, "the electrician called the station because he was a big fan." Riemer said he could not overstate the importance of Nirvana to the Seattle music scene, which is enormous now because of the band.

Several others collected this morning in front of the house. One, Laura Mitchell, who characterized herself a "diehard" fan, said Nirvana "touched something deep inside me." Mitchell, in a black leather jacket and black pants, was obviously shaken by the news. She hugged acquaintances and cried.

Another fan, Renae Eli, also dressed in black, was shaking so badly she could scarcely speak. "Nirvana had something to say, especially to young people," she said.

Another fan, Jim Sellars, said, "I can't believe what this will do to the Seattle music scene."

Some fans were taking bits and pieces from the Cobain property as souvenirs, including one who made off with a piece of the police tape used to mark the scene.

The large, three-story house is surrounded with hedges on a neatly manicured lot landscaped with rhododendrons and azaleas. The home, which is not visible from the street, is in the Madrona area of Seattle, not far from Lake Washington. Times staff reporters Dave Birkland and Barbara Serrano contributed to this report.

Copyright (c) 1994 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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