Why Kurt Cobain Found A Closer Bond To John Lennon Than Paul McCartney

It may have been over five decades since they broke up, but the Beatles still keep influencing musicians from all walks of life. And that includes acts whose general discography is noticeably heavier than your average Beatles tunes, later-era songs like "Revolution" and "Helter Skelter" notwithstanding.

One of the most successful harder-rocking bands to ever be influenced by the Beatles was Nirvana. Of course, the Fab Four were just one of many bands that informed the sound of the Seattle-based grunge icons, but their late frontman, Kurt Cobain, loved mixing some nice, poppy hooks into his band's otherwise heavy, angsty output. This is probably most evident in the song "About A Girl" from their debut album "Bleach." Cobain reportedly wrote the song after listening to the Beatles' second U.S. album, 1964's "Meet the Beatles!" on repeat for one whole day (via Billboard), and it's quite easy indeed to imagine "About a Girl" performed with English accents and '60s instrumentation as some sort of lost Beatles recording from their early years.

In a lengthy January 1994 interview with Rolling Stone, Cobain spoke openly about his love for the Beatles, and although it was just one of myriad topics he discussed with the publication, he had some completely understandable reasons for naming John Lennon, and not Paul McCartney — who he also mentioned — as his favorite Beatle.

Cobain preferred Lennon because he was an 'obviously disturbed' individual

In the aforementioned Rolling Stone interview, David Fricke mentioned Kurt Cobain's well-documented Beatles fandom, and this prompted the Nirvana frontman to go on record about which member of the Fab Four was his favorite. Without hesitation, Cobain proclaimed himself a member of Team John, explaining why he preferred Lennon over his longtime songwriting partner. "John Lennon was definitely my favorite Beatle, hands down. I don't know who wrote what parts of what Beatles songs, but Paul McCartney embarrasses me. Lennon was obviously disturbed," Cobain said, laughing. "So I could relate to that."

Cobain didn't go into detail about why he felt Lennon was so "disturbed" or why he was "embarrassed" by McCartney, but one can point to Lennon's checkered youth, one where he dealt with parental abandonment and the death of loved ones (including his mother, Julia) at a very young age. Lennon also primarily wrote some of the lyrically heavier songs in the Beatles' discography, including, but not limited to "Yer Blues," a song that frequently mentions suicide.

Meanwhile, the narrative surrounding McCartney suggests that he was the Beatle responsible for a huge chunk of their "silly love songs," and he's gotten his share of flak for that. He has, however, openly defended this perceived penchant of his, telling Billboard in 2001 that he's encountered many a fan who belatedly understands why he focused so much on writing sentimental songs.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

He related to Lennon's desire for a more private life post-Beatles

Kurt Cobain also told Rolling Stone that he felt sympathy for John Lennon as a person, pointing out how the legendary musician was "locked up in that apartment" — this is a reference to the New York City apartment Lennon shared with his second wife, Yoko Ono, following his move to America in the aftermath of the Beatles' breakup. "Although he was totally in love with Yoko and his child [Sean], his life was a prison," Cobain clarified. "He was imprisoned. It's not fair. That's the crux of the problem that I've had with becoming a celebrity — the way people deal with celebrities. It needs to be changed; it really does."

Cobain also addressed how it often feels like celebrities are being whiney whenever they complain about all the attention they receive. "I can understand how a person can feel that way and almost become obsessed with it," he added. "But it's so hard to convince people to mellow out. Just take it easy, have a little bit of respect."

As noted by the New York Post, Lennon did indeed move to the Big Apple to get away from a stressful situation in England, where, as a high-profile celebrity, he faced drug charges and was dealing with the fallout of the disbandment of a massively popular and successful band. Public figures who got to know him in New York told the outlet that he enjoyed his time in the city and was, in the words of Geraldo Rivera, "very approachable." However, they also told stories of Lennon wanting to avoid excessive attention; most fans respected his privacy, but there were others who, not surprisingly, made a big deal of seeing a rock star in their midst.

Ironically, Cobain covered a Beatles song associated with McCartney

It's probably not shocking to most Nirvana fans that Kurt Cobain identified more with John Lennon than Paul McCartney. But in an ironic twist, one of his many unreleased recordings was a cover of a Beatles song that is mostly known as a Macca composition. During his research for the Cobain documentary "Montage of Heck," Brett Morgen discovered an acoustic version of "And I Love Her," promptly including it in the film as well as its companion album, "Montage of Heck: The Home Recordings."

As quoted by the Beatles Bible, McCartney described "And I Love Her" in his biography, "Many Years from Now," as the first ballad he wrote that he was truly proud of. "It was a love song really," he told the book's author, Barry Miles. "The 'And' in the title was an important thing. 'And I Love Her,' it came right out of left field, you were right up to speed the minute you heard it ... You would often go to town on the title, but this was almost an aside, 'Oh... and I love you.' It still holds up and George [Harrison] played really good guitar on it. It worked very well."

Yes, it's one of McCartney's many "silly love songs," but it's still a beloved classic, and even Kurt Cobain wasn't able to resist jamming on it.