Kurt Cobain, the founder and frontman of now-legendary alternative rock band Nirvana and songwriter of such classics as “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Come As You Are,” and “Lithium,” and who died by suicide at age 27 on April 8, 1994, incredibly predicted the rise and eventual ascendancy to the White House of one Donald J. Trump — in 1993.
Or did he?
A quote from Cobain suddenly went viral on Twitter on Thursday, in which the late rocker appeared not only to predict Trump’s rise but to approve of it. There was only one problem with the quote. As the news site Raw Story reported, the alleged Cobain quote is a complete fake.
Here’s what Cobain — who would be 51 in 2018 — supposedly said in 1993, a year before his death — but actually never said at all, as far as can be determined by searching through records of Cobain’s public statements, as the music site Loudwire attempted to do.
“In the end I believe my generation will surprise everyone. We already know that both political parties are playing both sides from the middle and we’ll elect a true outsider when we fully mature. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s not a business tycoon who can’t be bought and who does what’s right for the people. Someone like Donald Trump as crazy as that sounds.”
“Cobain did not, in fact, say this. The quote was invented by a pro-Trump Facebook group in 2016,” wrote Daily Beast reporter Lachlan Markay on his Twitter feed on Thursday. “And the idea that Cobain would ever muse positively about a ‘business tycoon’ doing ‘right for the people’ should immediately set off your bull***t detector.”
According to Loudwire, Markay was referring to the Facebook group Trump Train, though when the site’s researchers combed back through the posts from 2016, they failed to locate the fabricated quote.
“It could have been deleted since posting,” Loudwire wrote. “Although there is no way to definitively say that Cobain never uttered these words, there is no evidence to say that he did.”
But according to the fact-checking site Snopes, the quote first appeared on the Trump Train Facebook page on June 30, 2016, in the form of a meme that featured a photo of Cobain with the quote superimposed over the image.
As Snopes pointed out, a telltale sign that the quote was fabricated comes in the meme’s spelling of Cobain’s first name, which is incorrectly rendered as “Curt” with a “C” rather than the way Cobain actually spelled his name, “Kurt.”
According to Snopes, Trump Train has frequently posted hoax memes and fabricated news stories — actual “fake news” — citing one such story posted by the pro-Trump group with the headline, “A Giant Anaconda Was Found Dead. What Was Found In Its Stomach Will Shock You!”