A bizarre Kurt Cobain mix tape has emerged that some say is a peek into the mind of Cobain. It was made one year before the release of the band’s 1989 debut album, Bleach. Kurt was enamored of putting together diverse mix tapes and allegedly assembled one tape he called, “Montage of Heck,” around June 1988 using a 4-track cassette recorder and some sounds from Cobain’s personal collection, radio and demos.
The mix tape begins with snippets of Mike Douglas’ “The Men In My Little Girl’s Life” a 1960s show tune by the acclaimed talk show host about a father who’s struggling to cope with his daughter dating boys. Allegedy created by Cobain, the tape also includes some sound effects such as urination, vomiting into a toilet, Nirvana’s bassist Krist Novoselic in a rant about pot and whiskey and even Cobain mimicking James Brown.
There are samples from artists which include Jackson Five, the Beatles, Queen, Metallica, and Cher plus snippets from Frank Zappa, Shocking Blue, Queensrÿche, the Barbarians, William Shatner, Daniel Johnston and others.
You can hear segues and interludes that include brief scraps of dialogue for example, Fred Flintstone yelling for his bowling ball, Jimi Hendrix when he spoke at the Monterey Pop Festival, and bits from several future Nirvana demo tracks.
“Montage of Heck” is actually available in two different versions. The first is an 8-minute mono version containing more Nirvana scraps, and the second one being a 36-minute stereo version. A part in the short version, referred to as “Buzz Cut,” was later used as an intro to the Nirvana single “Love Buzz.”
According to United Mutations, Cobain also made other 4-track experiments. One of these is often incorrectly referred to as “Montage Of Heck Part 2” on bootlegs; it is listed on United Mutations’ blog as “Escalator To Hell.” It features a recording of Kurt’s voice backwards saying “she’s selling the escalator to hell” followed by some obnoxious guitar noise.