Kurt Cobain's "Ren and Stimpy" Theme Song (rumored/lost recording; existence unconfirmed; 1990)


Kurt Cobain's Ren and Stimpy theme song
Kurt Cobain and Ren and Stimpy.
Kurt Cobain and Ren and Stimpy.
Status Lost/Existence unconfirmed

In 1990, before Kurt Cobain hit it big with his band, Nirvana, he was a struggling, starving musician. One of his many stabs at fame was penning a theme song for the famous cartoon, Ren and Stimpy.

Cobain recorded the song on the cheap but felt proud of it. Studio executives at Nickelodeon heard the song, thought it was awful, and then threw it out. After Nirvana had become famous with their 1991 album, Nevermind, the executives considered this decision to be a mistake.

While it has been confirmed that a couple of copies may still exist, the song has never found its way as a release to the general public. The version Nickelodeon had was trashed, so none of the executives holds a copy. Cobain's estate is yet to comment on the matter. Many Ren and Stimpy fans who are also Nirvana fans are saddened by this.

Comments


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Anonymous user #1

11 months ago
Score 0++
I'm pretty sure this is fake, considering that every source only points to Billy West and no one else. If it were true, why hasn't anyone come forward to verify it by now? Even John K hasn't said anything regarding this subject.
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Anonymous user #3

3 months ago
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maybe, but it's interesting to speculate.
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Anonymous user #6

2 months ago
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Keep in mind that Billy West was Stimpy's voice actor. This is genuinely one of the "existence unconfirmed"'s that I want a straight answer on from creator John K.
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Anonymous user #2

6 months ago
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Perhaps an audio copy still exists somewhere among Mr. Cobain's belongings, but the holders of his effects have decided not to comment on it to preserve his wishes.
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Anonymous user #4

3 months ago
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I honestly think Cobain wanted to keep it secret once it got rejected by Nickelodeon. I guess once he died, his family members kept its existence under wraps.
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Anonymous user #5

2 months ago
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The real recording was probably buried with him (in his grave)
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Adrastia

2 months ago
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This is the first time I'm hearing of this. I never saw it in any interviews with Nirvana back in the early 90s. It seems like the type of thing that would end up being asked by someone. Especially on MTV. Sounds like something Riiki Ratchman might ask on the Headbanger's Ball. After all, when he interviewed Soundgarden he asked them about their contributions to Road Rash for 3DO/PC/Sega CD. It just screams "interview question". And I watched a lot of MTV and read a lot of magazines throughout the 90s. I think that this would have eventually come up as leaked info or have been brought up in one of the many documentaries after Kurt's death. Not even his aunt Mari mentions this in her interviews. I don't know if Billy West is a reputable source for this. He may have been joking or trying to add some mystery.

I'm not saying it is 100% false. But it doesn't sound like it is likely to be true.

If a copy does exist you'll pry it out of Courtney's cold, dead hands.
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Anonymous user #7

7 days ago
Score 2++

Not to be an ass, but the author of this article misrepresents what the legend is. Billy West states that a scraggly kid comes in and says he wants to record a song for the show. He doesn't specifically state the "theme."

To the subject, West must have a great memory to remember some scraggly kid by name who came into the office two decades before.

Considering most studios, especially in the 80's and 90's, didn't accept unsolicited material unless from well-known people (sometimes not even name value was enough). These unsolicited materials would have found its way into the garbage without as much as a bat of an eye. "Thank you, sir," and that's it. The receptionist would most likely have not gotten a name and if they did they would have probably just scribbled something on a Post-It and threw it away afterwards. It's highly unlikely that a voice actor was in the receptions area at the time and even less likely cared enough to ask some "scraggly kid" what his name was.

Cobain wasn't doing music for fame, as the author suggests. He was there for Nirvana and did everything for the band. I highly doubt writing tv jingles or themes was on his priority list and if it was and he was rejected, we would have definitely heard something about it- either as a snide comment or other form of artistic expression.
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Happy Brian

7 days ago
Score 1++

Your comment is actually very much welcomed here. I was also suspecting that this might be a misunderstanding of the legend as Kurt Cobain himself has no record of actually recording a theme song for a TV show back in the day. It's possible that Billy West's comment got misinterpreted as saying "Kurt Cobain (not the kid or voice actor he was apparently talking about) actually recorded a theme song with vocals to this show and got rejected because the executives didn't like it!".

All that is left to do is find out who actually recorded the rejected theme song (which itself seems believable but not the whole "Kurt Cobain recorded it!" thing) or ask Billy West himself about who he was talking about/referring to.
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