I was in my 20s when Kurt Cobain died. At the time of his death I was a music critic, for want of a better term.
I met Cobain. While interesting, it didn’t change my life nor his. He seemed sweet. Messed-up. Like a little boy, even though we were around the same age. Too sweet to be in the music industry.
I still enjoy Nirvana for what they were, I don’t try to figure them out. People constantly philosophized and misinterpreted their message. Still do. The media and public hounded Cobain. These and other demons rode him hard. Unstable to begin with, massive success was the final nail in his coffin.
Some people say Cobain was the voice of a generation, some say he was a mixed-up young man who didn’t really know what he wanted. I’d say he was a bit of both.
Cobain mentioned to a few people over the years he was thinking of suicide. When he was young he even said he wanted to die like Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix died of a drug overdose. Cobain also mentioned he wanted to die before he got old. Several members of his family committed suicide.
Cobain left or was taken from his daughter, Frances Bean Cobain.
Cobain was a strong opponent of sexism, racism, and homophobia. He grew increasingly offended by the alleged ‘fans’ he felt were posers jumping on a bandwagon. Well, duh silly, how many hours of people’s lives are spent doing what’s popular instead of what they like? Music, movies, TV, hobbies, friends, games, clothes, etc.
While I understand the frustration, forcing people to do stuff they don’t want is as just wrong as them doing stuff they don’t want to do. We all make choices.
Music that challenges the mainstream is easily neutralized by the music industry – they sign them. Make them popular. If for some reason they can’t be controlled or changed, then sales figures do the work for them. Problem solved either way. In Utero was a stunning album yet sales were low. People only wanted Smells Like Teen Spirit. Grunge was no different. It died young, likeCobain.
I wonder, without drugs, mood swings, chronic illness, revising his history, etc. what Cobainwould have become? Then again, without those things he wouldn’t have been what he was. That’s why trying to find meanings in his lyrics or art is pointless. He didn’t know what he was or saying most of the time, how could anyone else? Maybe just enjoy what you enjoy and don’t pick it apart…who knows what you’ll find? Teen Spirit was a deodorant that smelled to cover other smells.
Cobain wanted the world to be a different place and since it wasn’t changing, he left.
I hope there’s plenty of Kraftdinner wherever he is.
Here we are now, entertain us…yup, that about sums it up.