Kurt Cobain’s Circa-1988 ‘Montage of Heck’ Mixtape Resurfaces

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 11.03.14 in News

For a band that has been gone for more than two decades, Nirvana‘s vaults still include a remarkable amount of apocrypha. Aside from the reissues and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tributes, now and then the occasional cache of historical riches — 1989 live videos, for instance — pops up online. Well, over the weekend, Dangerous Minds pointed to the below stream of Montage of Heck, an eclectic, idiosyncratic mixtape Cobain made on a four-track cassette recorder around 1988. It remains an impressive array of styles — spanning James Brown, the Jackson 5, Queen, Butthole Surfers, Cher, the Beatles, John Denver, Black Sabbath, George Michael, the Velvet Underground, the Barbarians and the Monkees — and it’s just a shame that the alternative-rock boom that followed didn’t continue to observe such broad-minded tastes. Listen below, and scroll down for more details about the contents.

Montage of Heck components (partial list, out of order):

“The Men In My Little Girl’s Life” by Mike Douglas
“The Sounds of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel
“Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” by The Beatles
“A Day In The Life” by The Beatles
“Eruption” by Van Halen
“Hot Pants” by James Brown
“Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves” by Cher
“Go Away Little Girl” by Donny Osmond
“Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver
“Everybody Loves Somebody” by Dean Martin
“The Candy Man” by Sammy Davis, Jr.
“In A Gadda Da Vida” by Iron Butterfly
“Wild Thing” by William Shatner
“Taxman” by The Beatles
“I Think I Love You” by The Partridge Family
“Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl?” by The Barbarians
“Queen Of The Reich” by Queensryche
“Last Caress/Green Hell” covered by Metallica
“Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin
“Get Down, Make Love” by Queen
“ABC” by The Jackson Five
“I Want Your Sex” by George Michael
“Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden
“Eye Of The Chicken” by Butthole Surfers
“Dance of the Cobra” by Butthole Surfers
“The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey’s Grave” by Butthole Surfers
“New Age” by The Velvet Underground
“Love Buzz” by Shocking Blue
Orchestral music from 200 Motels by Frank Zappa
“Help I’m A Rock” / “It Can’t Happen Here” by Frank Zappa
“Call Any Vegetable” by Frank Zappa
“The Day We Fall In Love” by The Monkees
“Sweet Leaf” by Black Sabbath (intro)
Theme from The Andy Griffith Show
Mike Love (of The Beach Boys) talking about “Transcendental Meditation”
Excerpts of Jimi Hendrix speaking at the Monterey Pop Festival
Excerpts of Paul Stanley from KISS’ Alive!
Excerpts of Daniel Johnston screaming about Satan
Excerpts from sound effects records
Various children’s records (Curious George, Sesame Street, The Flintstones, Star Wars)