Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’ cellist remembers being “insulted” by Courtney Love

"I was like, that’s pretty catty for a so-called feminist"

The cellist who played on Nirvana‘s ‘In Utero’ has recalled being “insulted” by Courtney Love in a book.

Kera Schaley plays cello on the songs ‘All Apologies’ and B-side ‘Marigold’ on the Seattle trio’s 1993 album, and has rarely spoken about her appearance.

To celebrate the album’s 30th anniversary though, she appeared on the Rolling Stone Music Now podcast to discuss her experience in the studio, and a run-in with Love.


Revealing that she hasn’t spoken to any Nirvana member since she appeared on the album, Schaley said: “The only thing I heard, and this is embarrassing, but I am insulted by Courtney Love in that Come As You Are book.”

In the book by Michael Azzerad, ‘In Utero’ producer Steve Albini – the then-girlfriend of Schaley – reportedly labelled Love a “psycho hose beast,” to which she responded: “The only way Steve Albini would think I was a perfect girlfriend, would be if I was from the East Coast, played the cello, had small hoop earrings, wore black turtlenecks, had all matching luggage, and never said a word.”

Schaley said: “She doesn’t say my name, but she makes all these references, and all my friends like are sending me this thing going, look at what she said about me. And I was like, that’s pretty catty for a so-called feminist.

“So I sent her a joke letter, teasing her about it, and she called me in the middle of the night one time, and I honestly was half asleep, but her way of apologising was saying, “I’m sorry you thought I was talking about you.””

Next month, Nirvana will release a 30th anniversary reissue of ‘In Utero’. The band’s final studio album was released on September 23, 1993 and featured hit singles ‘All Apologies’, which famously featured in their MTV Unplugged performance that same year, and ‘Heart Shaped Box’.


On October 27, the landmark album will be reissued in several formats including a limited-edition eight LP super deluxe box set, five CD super deluxe box set, one LP + 10 inch edition, two CD deluxe edition, and a digital super deluxe edition. You can pre-order/pre-save the reissue here.

The three super deluxe editions comprise a total of 72 tracks with 53 previously unreleased tracks.

Speaking to NME about the anniversary, bassist Krist Novoselic discussed the chance of the band using AI to finish old songs, like The Beatles are set to on their upcoming “final track”.

“That’s a good idea!” he said. “I’m going to bring that up with Dave and Pat! I can hardly wait to hear a new Beatles song. Come on, it’s The Beatles! I want to hear a new Beatles song! And if AI helps it, then absolutely – that’s the way it is today.”

Discussing whether there are unfinished Nirvana songs that could be completed with the help of AI, he added: “I don’t know. We’ve got to start talking about this. That’s a good idea. There could be. There’s a point where it’s like, ‘Is this Nirvana or AI?’ There’s a lot of that stuff already on Youtube, and that’s a debate that’s going to have to be settled when it comes to copyright and disinformation. It’s like 2001: A Space Odyssey – ‘Don’t do it!’ ”

Of the potential of a reunion, he added: “I’d like to. I always love. There was a time after Kurt died when I said to myself, ‘I’m never going to play these songs again’. That was part of the grief I went through. We don’t want to overdo it, we try to make it special and be grateful.

“When the opportunity comes, we do it if it feels right. In the meantime, we just remember Kurt and do our thing.”

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