Redd Kross, the alternative rock band born out of California in the late 1970s, have claimed Courtney Love “blacklisted” them from ever supporting Nirvana at the height of their fame.
The early formation of the band, which began in 1978 when brothers Jeff and Steve McDonald began performing together in school, went on to release their self-titled debut EP in 1980 and earned a cult following from that very moment.
It’s widely accepted that Redd Kross—being somewhat early pioneers of their specific sound—influenced a number of alternative rock and grunge bands in the years that followed. A young Kurt Cobain, who has yet to form Nirvana, was listened to Redd Kross on a regular basis and later referenced the band as an early influencer. Fast forward a few years later and both bands were being managed by the same person and their paths had crossed numerous times.
Given Nirvana’s meteoric rise in fame and popularity, Redd Kross bassist Steven McDonald reached out to their manager in a bid to arrange a support slot on a Nirvana tour: “We were never able to open for Nirvana,” McDonald said in a recent interview with The Guardian. “We shared the same manager. Flash forward to Nirvana being the biggest thing in the world—OK, can we please go on tour with your band? We were told we couldn’t, because Courtney Love said we were mean to her when she was fat.”
Pushed future to detail if there remained any truth in the claims, McDonald dismissed the accusations that he and his friends made derogatory comments about the Hole front woman: “We used to crank call Courtney. But not about being fat. We didn’t even know she was fat,” he denied.
“When she met Kurt Cobain we realised: Oh man, that Courtney chick—we have to be friends with her now. But she had her revenge. She blacklisted us from Nirvana tours.”