Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Happy Birthday Kurt, We Hardly Knew Ye

Kurt Cobain’s birthday was Monday. He would have been 45 years old, just about a year younger than I am. I remember the first time I heard of Nirvana, the first time I saw photos and video of them, and just wanting to hate them because of their grunge look and long hair. Little did I know how much I would grow to appreciate their music. There was so much more to them than their appearance and I think it took them as much by surprise as the rest of us when they became a worldwide phenomenon, selling countless records and spawning innumerable bands. It was a truly sad day when Kurt killed himself – we’ll never know what he would have contributed as he matured and his life continued to evolve.

From WikipediaKurt Donald Cobain (February 20, 1967 – April 5, 1994) was an American singer-songwriter, musician and artist, best known as the lead singer and guitarist of the grunge band Nirvana. Cobain formed Nirvana with Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington in 1985 and established it as part of the Seattle music scene, having its debut album Bleach released on the independent record label Sub Pop in 1989. After signing with major label DGC Records, the band found breakthrough success with "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from its second album Nevermind (1991). Following the success of Nevermind, Nirvana was labeled "the flagship band" of Generation X, and Cobain hailed as "the spokesman of a generation".

Cobain, however, was often uncomfortable and frustrated, believing his message and artistic vision to have been misinterpreted by the public, with his personal issues often subject to media attention. He challenged Nirvana's audience with its final studio album In Utero (1993). During the last years of his life, Cobain struggled with heroin addiction, illness and depression. He also had difficulty coping with his fame and public image, and the professional and lifelong personal pressures surrounding himself and his wife, musician Courtney Love. On April 8, 1994, Cobain was found dead at his home in Seattle, the victim of what was officially ruled a suicide by a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. The circumstances of his death have become a topic of public fascination and debate. Since their debut, Nirvana, with Cobain as a songwriter, has sold over 25 million albums in the US alone, and over 50 million worldwide.

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  1. Love them or hate them (and I can't see how anyone could completely "hate" Nirvana, that's like saying you hate puppies), they changed popular music forever, perhaps more so than any other single group. And Kurt's death is yet another example of Neil Young's prophetic "It's better to burn out then too fade away" lyric.

    In other news it's also the anniversary of the USA/Soviet Union game in the 1980 Olympics.

  2. I'll have to load Nevermind in my cd changer this week. He would have be just about a year younger than me too. I turned 46 on the 17th.

  3. 45...really...hard to imagine him at any other age than 27....I remember when he died..what a shame and a lost of great talent..I agree with you he is one that would have been interesting to watch change through the years.


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