It was a dark collaboration folks. There’s no denying it. In September of 1992, the Beat writer William S. Burroughs entered a studio in Lawrence, Kansas and recorded a narration of “The “Priest” They Called Him,” a short story originally published in his 1973 collection The Exterminator. It’s a grim tale about heroin, addiction, withdrawal, and the “immaculate fix.” Two months later, the reading was given a soundtrack when Kurt Cobain, then the frontman for Nirvana, stepped into a Seattle studio and gave Burrough’s reading a soundtrack full of harsh, dissonant guitar riffs that captured the spirit of the story. Mixed together by E. J. Rose and James Grauerholz, the collaborative recording was released as a limited edition vinyl picture disc in 1993, and then again on CD and 10-inch vinyl.
If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newsletter, please find it here.
If you would like to support the mission of Open Culture, consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere. You can contribute through PayPal, Patreon, and Venmo (@openculture). Thanks!