According to author Michael Azerrad’s 1993 Nirvana biography, Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana, the song was written about Tracy Marander.
Marander was Cobain’s girlfriend at the time he wrote the song in 1988. The pair lived together, and one day she asked him why he never penned a song about her, contributing to About A Girl. The lyrics covered their fractured relationship, mainly due to his refusal to get a job or help clean the apartment. She only found out the song was about her after reading the biography.
The song appeared on Nirvana’s debut album, Bleach, with an acoustic version being recorded for the live album MTV Unplugged in New York.
It was later released as a single on October 24, 1994, just six months after Cobain’s tragic death. About A Girl reached number one on the Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks Chart.
Cobain’s obsession with the album mirrored Dave Grohl’s own love for The Beatles.