Today an entire generation, my generation, is trying to remember where they were 20 years ago when they first heard Kurt Cobain was dead. We didn't have Facebook or Twitter, so everything was a rumor until it was confirmed by the news - either on TV or in print. In 1994, MTV's Kurt Loder confirmed his death to a nation of teenage fans. I was not a stranger to suicide so his death sort of took my breath away. Literally. It made me sick and it made me angry while everyone else was sad. The words "another casualty of success" were used to describe him by a newscaster and I couldn't help but wonder what success really meant to him or to anyone.
Nevermind, Nirvana's 2nd album, was released in September of 1991, my senior year of high school. Immediately the song Smells Like Teen Spirit was in heavy rotation on the radio, MTV and in every car in the school parking lot.
Truth is, I couldn't be bothered with Nirvana while I was in high school. I wasn't a fan because they were everywhere and everyone liked them. The only grunge bands I pledged my undying love to were Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains and Soundgarden. Plus, I was busy chasing Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids all over town and trying to marry Dweezil Zappa. I had a lot going on. I was sick of the song. I was sick of them.
By 1993 I was (questionably) more grown up, out of high school, and putting the pieces of my life back together after Hurricane Andrew. It was then In Utero was released, and I started listening - really listening - to Nirvana. I always had favorite songs from the other albums, but All Apologies always felt like something I was trying to say, but couldn't quite express.
For many people in my generation, Kurt spoke to them. He was a writer, a tormented soul, an addict, a father, an artist. In three short years, Nirvana left a huge mark on the world, forever changing the face of rock music and unintentionally defining a generation.
I always loved the fact that Cobain covered Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World". Some say Cobain I was iconic, I say he was ironic. Punk, pop, grunge - whatever you want to call it. It lives on. Nirvana will never cease to be played or listened to. Kurt's voice won't ever fade.
Below are some of my favorite Nirvana performances for your Saturday Short enjoyment.