April 5, 2014

Kurt Cobain

April 5, 2014

Today (April 5, 2014) marks 20 years since Nirvana's lead singer Kurt Cobain's death. And I just wanted to take a moment to pay respects by jotting down my favorite quotes and songs, from him and Nirvana. Also to come to the defense of younger generation Nirvana fans.

Kurt Donald Cobain, was an American musician who served as lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter for the Seattle-based rock band Nirvana.

Cobain formed Nirvana in 1987 with Krist Novoselic. Within two years, the band became a fixture of the burgeoning Seattle grunge scene. In 1991, the arrival of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" marked the beginning of a dramatic shift of popular rock music away from the dominant genres of the 1980s (glam metal, arena rock, and dance-pop) and toward grunge and alternative rock. The music media eventually awarded the song "anthem-of-a-generation" status, and, with it, Cobain was labeled a "spokesman" for Generation X.

During the last years of his life, Cobain struggled with drug addiction and the media pressures surrounding him and his wife, Courtney Love. On April 8, 1994, Cobain was found dead in his home in Seattle, the victim of what was officially ruled a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. In ensuing years, the circumstances of his death became a topic of fascination and debate.(according to Goodreads)

My dad and I bond over Nirvana. Whether we are having a marathon jam session in the car on a road trip or just at home playing Nirvana songs on the piano and guitar. That may not be important to you, but it is to me. I just hope that we aren't making Kurt rolling in his grave over how (bad) we play. Hey, in my defense, I'm sort of a beginner. Their stuff is more complex than what I'm used to. But it sure is fun and liberating learning to play their songs.

Favorite Quotes by Kurt...

Yeah, yeah. Most, if not all, are lyrics from the band and his books, and are a little foreboding, but relevant and thought-provoking. They are too good to ignore.

"It's better to burn out than to fade away."

"The duty of youth is to challenge corruption."

"Life isn't nearly as sacred as the appreciation of passion."

"We're so trendy, we can't even escape ourselves."

"I'm not well-read, but when I read, I read well."

"I was tired of pretending that I was someone else just to get along with people, just for the sake of having friends."

"My heart broke, but I have some glue. Help me inhale and mend it with you."

"Life is a waste of time and time is a waste of life, so let's all get wasted and have the time of our lives."

"Nobody dies a virgin... Life fucks us all."

"Rather be dead than cool."

"I knew I was different. I thought that I might be gay or something because I couldn't identify with any of the guys at all. None of them liked art of music. They just wanted to fight and get laid. It was many years ago but it gave me this real hatred for the average American macho male."

"They laugh at me because I'm different; I laugh at them because they're all the same."

"There are a lot of things I wish I would have done, instead of just sitting around and complaining about having a boring life."

"Humans are stupid. I'm ashamed to be human."

"If it's illegal to rock n roll, then throw my ass in jail."

Favorite Nirvana Songs

The mainstream one that everyone knows...

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Another mainstream but a goodie...
Come As You Are

Rape Me
...and last, but certainly not least, my favorite 
Heart-Shaped Box

While some fans would think a particular cover is offensive because it strays from its originality and too much modern influence, I personally thought this cover was pretty cool. Thought I'd share. It's not only a cover, but a remix as well, so it can slide a little, can't it?

A short open letter to those who say 90s kids and 00's kids are too young to tribute and pay respects to Kurt...

"We have no right to express an opinion until we know all of the answers." --Kurt Cobain 
I've come across some tweets and comments around the internet concerning young people who are Nirvana fans paying respects to Kurt, and are receiving hell for it; so I'm going to write a short open letter to address why that isn't right. Many of the generations before us ["us" being the 90s kids and further recent] are giving hell to us because we were only 1 to 4 years old, or not even born yet, when Kurt committed suicide. But does that mean we are not fans of Nirvana's music? I mean, sure, we weren't able to see them perform live in concert, but whose to say that we didn't grow up listening to their music? Nirvana still played on the radio, and their vinyls and cassettes were still being sold on shelves long after Kurt's death. Sometimes I still here them today (not including my iTunes library). We were bound to hear them eventually. After all, their last album came out in 1991. Some of us were born just then, and other times their music has been long released and had been playing everywhere by the time we were born. Either way, once people do hear it, some of them become fans. Just because we weren't around at the time their albums released, doesn't mean we are not fans. We may not have been a fan for as long as the first generation fans, but if we truly do enjoy and love their music, lyrics and the guys in the band then how are we not true fans? If that's not a fan, then I don't know what is. When the younger generation are paying respects for Kurt, never did we state that we "will always remember him." Now, if we did, you are at liberty to call us out on it, because Kurt's life ended just short of the halfway mark in the 90s. However, that's not the case. All we're doing is saying "rest in peace" or "you are a legend" and "your music lives on." There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Whether first generation fans or newcomers, those of us who honestly love their music, are fans. Time doesn't dictate whose a true fan or not.
"Before I die, many will die with me and they'll deserve it. See you in Hell."

Fun fact: Kurt was left-handed. (We share something in common!).

Books by Kurt Cobain
Rest easy, Kurt.
Paper Charade © 2014