Shut Up, Little Man!

“Smells Like Teen Cocksuckers” : Some Notes Toward a History of Shut Up, Little Man!

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“Smells Like Teen Cocksuckers” — Kurt Cobain enshrines Raymond Huffman in song

The lyrics are typical Cobain — simple, abstract, and nihilistic. They reflect the sort of hate-filled negative atmosphere of the Pete and Ray experience as well as suggest Peter's plea of ‘Shut up’ with the phrase ‘Just be quiet.’ The lyrics also present the obvious name-check of “Ray,” of course, but beyond that there is the unmistakable reference to the little man and his legendary hobby of puking on himself:

Those years in his vomit
A phrase from his pocket
And chains holding the wind, I won’t be
Dough, Ray, Me

On their way
Just be quiet
Follow hate
Read me 
Dough, Ray, me

In interviews after Cobain’s death Courtney Love referred to the song as “Dough, Ray, and Me;“ she noted that it was the last song that Kurt wrote and that it had the aching beauty of something off The Beatles' White Album. According to interviews, band histories, and various fan sites, the early versions of this song were all entitled “Dough, Ray, and Me“ and featured these same words as the repeated chorus. But, in the last two months of Cobain's life, the unfinished song continued to evolve. Love noted that after Kurt's overdose in Italy Cobain toyed with the idea of changing the song title to “Me and My IV.“ There are three versions of “Dough, Ray, and Me” in extant in bootleg form , but only one version of the song—now, for some reason, re-entitled “Do, Re, and Mi“—is officially available on the post-humus Nirvana box set. Who knows how the song would have mutated and what the song may have been named if Kurt Cobain had lived to formally record the song for a studio release. It is clear, however, that Raymond Huffman had planted some bad seeds in the already shady mind garden of one of the towering figures of pop music history.

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