How to beat the white noise of 80’s album cover art.
In 1980, the cover of a Nirvana album, Nevermind, featured a black woman and a white man holding hands.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in 2000, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain explained that the cover was a nod to the band’s “whiteness,” which he called “the worst possible word for a woman to use.”
Cobain said he’d decided to cover his album cover “because white people are so used to the word ‘whiteman’ being a bad word, which is so offensive to me.”
In his book, Kurt Cobains Unplugged: A Memoir of an American Icon, Cobain wrote that he didn’t want to offend anyone.
“I’m not gonna say anything about race,” he said.
“If people think it’s racist, they should just leave.”
Cobains decision to cover Nevermind in black and white was a reflection of the time, not of his politics.
He called the cover a “political statement” and argued that the white woman and the white man held hands were “beautiful symbols.”
In a 2011 interview with CNN, Cobains father, the late Kurt Cobran, said the cover “wasn’t about us, it was about me.”
“It’s about me, it’s about my legacy,” Cobran said.