As so many teens do I idolised Nirvana and Kurt Cobain. This started for me during my first year of high school in 1996. A fellow student, one of the popular kids, would have the bus driver play Nevermind on the commute to and from school. It didn’t know anything about them other than their biggest hit ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ and I knew nothing of Kurt Cobain’s suicide. The music just appealed to me immediately. To this day Unplugged in New York is my favourite album of all time.
I was messed up enough as it was at this stage. I was even seeing a child psychologist. There was something romantic about Cobain’s death or the way it came about. The songs were almost like jigsaw pieces as to why he did what he did. There are conspiracies as to what may have really happened to Kurt. Some think Courtney Love was behind his murder and some of the evidence is compelling and if it was anyone else who died under the same circumstances I would wonder but lets face it: Kurt wasn’t the happiest of people and his lyrics are riddled with suicidal undertones. He suffered terrible stomach pains and he was a heroin addict. He also overdosed and was in a coma for three days. Not the most stable of people!
These days I have lost a lot of respect for the man. Not so much his music but the mess he left behind. He had a baby daughter and he had millions of impressionable teenage fans. After his death copycat suicides escalated. I was 11 years old and can’t even remember seeing it on the news. Had it been only a few years later who knows if it would have impacted on my fragile life?
It’s amazing to think of how popular Nirvana is after all these years. If it wasn’t for his death I wonder what would have become of Cobain and Nirvana? Would it have been different if he died from natural causes? Would they have kept their popularity or would they have faded away? I sometimes wonder what would happen if someone like Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam did the same thing as Kurt? Would that have made Eddie into a legend and place Pearl Jam on a similar level to Nirvana? I wonder what made Kurt so special? I wish I was around during the peak of the Nirvana’s success. I missed out by a few years.
As I write this I am wearing a Nirvana t-shirt and Unplugged still get’s played from time to time.