Youri Lenquette has just revealed photos he allegedly took two months before Kurt Cobain’s death in 1994, and they look to be from Cobain’s last photo shoot with Nirvana. Adding emphasis to the story is that the lead singer also was said to have brought a gun to the shoot, to be used as a prop.
In an interview with BBC’s Alain Galès, seen in the video below, Lenquette speaks of how he had become friends with Cobain while shooting the band on tour in Australia, circa 1991.
The photographer was based out of Paris, and when Nirvana came to the city in February of ’94, Lenquette said Cobain visited his studio often. One afternoon the lead singer proposed a photo shoot, and Lenquette was surprised, mentioning how Cobain had always tried to avoid photos. That night he got a phone call from the band, however, saying they were on their way to the studio, so the photographer happily obliged them.
Lenquette said he was taken aback when Cobain arrived with a handgun for a prop, but also considered it as something associated with rock ‘n’ roll and hip hop at the time. The mood of the shoot ended up a happy one, and he managed to get some incredible shots of Cobain, Krist Novoselic, Dave Grohl and Pat Smear.
A few months later, following Cobain’s suicide, Lenquette made the decision to hold on to the photos yet to be widely distributed, and let time pass before releasing them to the public. In the interview he says now, 20 years later, feels like the right time, and the result is his exhibit The Last Shooting: Kurt Cobain, which is being shown at the Addict Gallerie in Paris from March 25 to June 21.
Hear Lenquette’s thoughts on the final shoot:
While the anniversary this year is a melancholic one, Cobain has at least been somewhat honored through these photos, as well as the recently unveiled statue of his likeness, in his hometown, and Nirvana’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next month.