Kurt Cobain and your life
This weekend marks the passing of a musical legend. Not only did his success and tragic demise impact a generation, but April 5th may have been day the music died for the Seattle sound known as, “Grunge”. Now a member of the infamous 21 club. What was the true impact of the life and death of Nirvana leader Kurt Cobain. Coincidently, sharing a date of death, the two pioneers of the “Seattle Grunge” movement in the early 1990’s both were found dead April 5th. Cobain in 1994 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and Layne Staley of the band, “Alice in Chains” was found in an apartment dead from fatal doses of heroin and cocaine 2002.
Cobain left this world at the height of Nirvana’ fame and popularity. His Rockstar death shocked the world in similar manner as the violent deaths of politicians and celebrities alike. For those dubbed, “Generation X” many of whom were in their teens back in 1994 when the tragedy of his death was discovered in the greenhouse behind his home with then wife Rockstar Courtney Love. Losing the patriarch of the, ” Grunge” movement was like the loss of a close family member. Millions mourned and were truly inspired by what Cobain offered not only the world of music, but the world as whole. The millions of fans truly identified and bonded with the artist and his music which reflected soul searching questions, vulnerability, rage and even self-hatred at times.
Ironically of sorts, it was that rage and self-loathing that made Nirvana become a beacon of understand for 1990’s youth, but also led to his demise. Over time reports have come out about the wealth and fame truly becoming an albatross for the artist and the more success followed, so did the misery he was plagued with. There were even reports, he referred to himself as a fraud on occasion. At this point in time, nobody will ever know if his genetic predisposition to depression, heroin addiction or turbulent laced marriage to Hole lead singer, Courtney Love were the reasons behind his gruesome death. Or may it have been his idea and contempt that he by default the spokesman for a generation. He was a spokesman who was continuing to wrestle with his own thoughts racing in his head. Seattle Police, have been dealing with they felt an open and shut case of suicide. However, many still hold a theory that the death was not a suicide but a planned murder.
In addition to all of this, his longtime heroin use was climbing to a peak and this was not the first time he had been treated for an overdose related incident. In March 1994, Nirvana was on tour in Munich, Germany to be exact which eventually turned out to be the final concert for the famed band. Three days following the show he was found in the midst of an overdose of the prescription drug Rohypnol and champagne while staying in Rome. He spent the next five days in a hospital recovering from the effects of the incident, all before flying home to Seattle, Washington. People close to Cobain believe that may have been the first attempt and suicide.
The details and cinematic climax to Cobain’s death were slowly being leaked by, KROQ a Los Angeles alternative radio station where Nirvana’s music was in heavy rotation. Eventually, MTV reporter Kurt Loder confirmed the news in a sullen and almost in shock manner to fans globally. March 1994 saw wife, Courtney Love attempt to arrange an intervention for the artist, which prompted the tortured artist to enter the, “Exodus Rehab” in Los Angeles, California. The very next night the Grunge Hero climbed the six-foot facility fence. Cobain was missing over the next several days. Being seen by some including familiar drug connections. Sadly, being found on April 8th by an electrician, hired to do work on the artist’s home. The corpse was found with attached suicide not. Medical examination later confirmed a date of death of April 5, 1994. There were heavy traces of heroin and Diazepam found in his system accompanying the self-inflicted gunshot.
The last line of the suicide note included a quote from the Neil Young song, “Hey, Hey, My, My (Into the black)”. It stated, “It’s better to burn out than fade away”. It may seem absurd but just like the generations prior being able to tell you where they were when President John F. Kennedy was murdered, “Gen X’ers” can tell you they were the day they found out Cobain had left this world”. During Cobain’s tenure as a story teller in music, Nirvana sold over 75 million albums world wide and continues to influence others every day. Nirvana, is survived by bandmates drummer Dave Grohl who went on to form the, “Foo Fighter” and Krist Novaselic who side from his musical endeavors, Novoselic has been active politically, including the creation of the political action group JAMPAC (Joint Artists and Musicians Political Action Committee). His daughter Frances Bean Cobain and wife Courtney Love.
The lasting impact of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain will be forever measured by they’re massive success, but more importantly what they were able to do for others. Prior to Nirvana’s success record stores subjected alternative music to small back areas of the store and did not put much faith in album sales. Nirvana’s explosion rectified that not only with record stores, but with the record labels themselves who now found alternative as a viable medium. While there were other hits before Nirvana’s success, it wasn’t until the release of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album that the landscape began to change. While the idea of “Generation X” was widely deemed a slacker generation, they proved it wasn’t slacking necessarily. They were political activists, artists interested in social change. Nirvana personified that. Generation X, did have angst and Cobain was himself full of angst searching for a revolution of his own. He good or bad he found one. They may be remembered by the massive hit, “Smells like teen spirit” but the band was so much more than that. He was the voice of a generation, icon and musical martyr.
If you would like to see more Nirvana, their music can be found at nearly every retailer or take a look at their music videos on Youtube.