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


Lmwtan cleanup.png This article has been tagged as Needing work due to its lack of content, clarity and references.

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

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

The story goes that 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. But after Nirvana had become famous with their 1991 album, Nevermind, the executives realized this decision was a mistake.

No copies of the alleged song have been released, and as such the songs existence has not been confirmed. Even if copies of the song still exist (assuming it even did in the first place), It is said that the version Nickelodeon had were trashed, making it unlikely that any of the executives hold a copy. Cobain's estate has not commented on the matter.

Comments


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Anonymous user #1

15 months ago
Score 1++
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

7 months ago
Score 0++
maybe, but it's interesting to speculate.
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Anonymous user #6

6 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

10 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

7 months ago
Score 0++
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

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

5 months ago
Score 0++

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

4 months ago
Score 3++

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

4 months 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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Mightymessymatriarch

1 months ago
Score 0++
I rewrote the article to make it more ambiguous of its existence or not. I don't think its real. I'll add more to the article soon once i get done researching it.
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Happy Brian

1 months ago
Score 0++

Thanks for your work on trying to fix this article. I had a feeling that this might have been a misinterpretation of a statement made by Billy West (it would be nice to find a source of where his original statement on the subject matter is).

Once you add enough content to the article (including sources), I'll fully remove the "Needing Work" tag.
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Vamp1597

1 months ago
Score 0++

I found the podcast that contained Billy West's reference to the incident is from a podcast called Nerdist (here's the link: http://nerdi...-billy-west/ and the part where the story is told is at about 41:50). I should note though, Billy West said that the kid "wanted to write a song for Ren and Stimpy", not that he already did it (although the people at the studio was said to have thrown something in the wastebasket, but I'm not sure what). Billy West didn't even say if he was there when it happened. All he said was the scraggly kid went to the studio, said he wanted to write a song, the higher-ups shrugged him off, and the kid was Kurt Cobain. He didn't say the higher-ups realized their "mistake" of not hiring the kid for the song. In fact, this didn't even happen at Nickelodeon. It happened at Spümcø, which was the animation company and where the actors recorded their lines (the story was part of a discussion about LA office for Spümcø and began a couple minutes before the Kurt Cobain story).

Also, something that's been bugging me is why would Kurt Cobain ask specifically to write/record the theme song for Ren and Stimpy? This was before the show started airing, so how would Kurt Cobain have even heard of it? This was an original show, not a remake or adaptation of a pre-existing property. The pilot was purportedly shown at some film festivals before the show premiered on Nickelodeon, but who knows if he went to any of them. In addition, Nirvana had released their first album in 1989 and started recording for their second album in 1990, so it'd be kind of random for Kurt Cobain, without his band, to try to write the theme song for a "kid's" cartoon TV show, especially by walking into a studio rather than using industry contacts.
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Anonymous user #8

21 days ago
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Well there is some credibility to Curt doing it because he was probably a fan because he was apparently really into bootleg cartoon vhs, and there are pictures of him with a ren plush. So it atleast seems like he was a fan of the show, I'm assuming he got a bootleg of the pilot. Is there anyway of contacting John on this? Because in the podcast Billy specifically talks about John getting mad and going "who does he think he is to just waltz in here" and stuff, so if billy was telling the truth I'm sure John would remember throwing "it" out and getting supper pissed off about getting bugged by him
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