Kurt Cobain died/committed suicide/was killed on April 5, 1994, depending on whether you think he died of a heroin overdose, a self-inflicted gunshot wound or if his wife killed him.
I love his music and I think Nirvana is the greatest band that ever existed. But personally, what I find most tragic about this whole thing is that Kurt never set out to become what he became and people treated him like an icon, and after he died, they treated him like a god – a dead god.
When he was still alive, I was too young and still living in isolation to know who or what Nirvana was. I don’t remember the first time I heard the song Smells Like Teen Spirit or the first time I saw the video, and I can’t pinpoint the moment where Nirvana changed my outlook on music as a whole. What I love about it is the subtlety of it all. How it came to me under the radar was almost surreal.
Unlike all the other bands I like/liked, Nirvana was the only one I could say that I liked without being ridiculed. If I said I liked Marilyn Manson, people would call me a freak. If I said I liked Rammstein, people would call me a Nazi. If I said I liked Bikini Kill, people would call me a feminist cunt (or most of the time would just stand there going "who?"). But if I said I liked Nirvana, people would say "you got good taste in music."
Really? Do I?
So I enjoyed feeling like I have something in common with the mainstream after having managed to isolate myself so perfectly in all other aspects of life. Liking Nirvana’s music was not considered a rebellion anymore. Even my mom knows the lyrics to almost all of the songs from Nevermind, and she doesn’t even speak English all that well. The truth is, with Nirvana, you don’t have to know English to sing along to it. I think that even Kurt had no idea what the hell he was singing.
Another thing worth mentioning is what a lot of people fail to realize, and what I have yet to hear being detailed in documentaries about Nirvana. The band was part of the Riot Grrrl movement. They even appear in some Riot Grrrl albums. Kurt Cobain used to date Toby Vail from the band that started it all, Bikini Kill, and they were both involved in the movement. Toby was also the inspiration for some of Nirvana’s songs (About a Girl among others) and her deodorant was also an inspiration (Smells Like Teen Spirit). And like it or not, Hole was originally a riot grrrl band, and you all know where I’m going with this.
Another documentary will air in about five minutes, so I’ll just wrap this up saying rest in peace, Kurt. Lord knows your music brought peace to so many of us.
Peace, love and "I guarantee you I will screw this song up…"