Kurt Cobain: Come As You Are

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“It’s better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you are not,” the rock legend once said.

Kurt Cobain, the frontman of Nirvana, was a musical icon and today, April 5th, 2012, marks the 18 year anniversary of his untimely passing.

Nirvana were arguably at the peak of their popularity at the time of his death, having just released In Utero, their third and final studio album and the follow-up to their sophomore masterpiece, Nevermind. Nevermind, as anyone who listens to music may know, broke the barrier between alternative-rock/grunge and radio, allowing lesser known rock bands to receive airplay after “Smells Like Teen Spirit”—Nirvana’s most successful song—took the radio-stations by storm. No longer was it pop, pop, pop on the radio, although that would later change with the Nicki Minaj’s and Katy Perry’s of music bursting onto the scene just years later.

Now more than 20 years after that initial release of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Nevermind, commemorated by a re-mastering of Nevermind in September 2011, bands like Fall Out Boy, One Direction, Rise Against, even the [terrible yet] immensely popular Nickelback (who were somehow deemed “the” band of the last decade) are all household names because Nirvana paved the way for their chances in the spotlight.

Speaking of spotlight, Kurt wasn’t one for being in it. In fact, if he were alive today, he would probably fit the definition of "hipster," having resembled one then. From Sonic Youth to the Meat Puppets to Iggy and the Stooges, his musical tastes were very indie in nature. Most people will actually go as far as attributing his anti-mainstream mindset to his “troubled” nature, seeing how he and Nirvana were always the center of attention. The spotlight got too bright for him to handle, “they” say.

And then, one unfortunate day in early April 1994, Kurt was gone—taken by an allegedly self-inflicted shotgun blast to the head. Nirvana was no more and one of the most iconic musicians of all time would never pick up a guitar again.

But if Kurt really couldn’t handle the fame, why would he kill himself? Wouldn’t it just be easier to quit the music industry? Suicide is a little rash, wouldn’t you think?

As a huge Nirvana fan, I’ve listened to each album too many times to count, I’ve [guiltily] read the Kurt Cobain “Journals” available at Barnes & Noble or Amazon, I’ve watched all the YouTube videos I could find…I’ve also spent days looking at the “suicide” case and the events surrounding it. Of course, I’m not Courtney Love, Dave Grohl or Krist Noveselic so I don’t know all the details. But still, the facts available to us every day people via interviews and books just don’t add up:

  • It was rumored that Nirvana was on the verge of breaking up following the release of In Utero. With that, Courtney would be married to a "nobody" which certainly wouldn’t be good for her image, especially not with her band Hole being an up-and-coming “talent."
  • The amount of heroin present in Kurt’s bloodstream at his time of death was at an almost lethal level—if it would’ve been enough to kill him, wouldn’t it have been enough to at least incapacitate him and prevent him from committing suicide?
  • That being said, it’s virtually impossible for a sober person to shoot themselves in the head with a shotgun…how would a person drugged up on heroin do it?
  • The police almost immediately labeled it a suicide when they found his body a few days later; they didn’t even bother checking for fingerprints. When they did, the fingerprints were illegible. Following that, copycat suicides followed; teenagers aspiring to be like Kurt in one way or another. Only then did they start investigating it, as to prevent more suicides. They'd been reluctant to label it as a homicide from the get-go and certainly had no plans of changing their initial verdict.
  • Lastly, the “suicide” note Kurt left behind isn’t much of a suicide note: if anything, it reads more like an “I’m quitting rock and going off the grid” note. Kurt was a smart man, jumping to suicide when he had a baby girl isn’t what a smart person would do. And if he would opt for suicide, why would he inject himself with a lethal dose of heroin and then shoot himself? Answer: he wouldn’t.

The "suicide" was all but too convenient for Courtney Hate: she’d apparently paid to have Kurt murdered before, was on the verge of divorce and also had a new album coming out a few weeks later. All of this made for the publicity she so much desired but never achieved because Kurt was in it that much more. That bitch was somehow behind Kurt's death in one way or another and, following the “Foo Fighters are gay” chant she had a crowd in Brazil yell, she’s definitely number one (and probably the only one) on my most hated list—if that counts for anything. If Kurt did, in fact, commit suicide, she must've at least talked him into it. I just know there’s Kurt's blood on her hands, even if you would need a blacklight to see it. The worst part is she could've very well had something to do with Kurt's death, yet she tries milking the Nirvana cow dry whenever she gets the opportunity, as if she's just the widow from a Shakesperian tragedy. As far as the cow goes, she's just getting beef with Nirvana fans everytime she tries comes near it—and rightfully so. Moo-ve away from the cow, you cow.

Since the end of Nirvana, drummer Dave Grohl has gone on to become the walking, talking epitome of what rock ‘n’ roll should be, evolving past his roots as a grunge drummer to Foo Fighters frontman, while bassist Krist Noveselic has gone on over to…politics? And Kurt? "It’s better to burn out than fade away,” he said: and yet he’s managed to do neither. Kurt Donald Cobain is still burning bright in the hearts of Nirvana fans around the planet. I know he inspires me on a daily basis more than I could possibly put to words, even if I may try to; I can only imagine others feel the same way.

Rest in [Courtney-free] peace, Kurt. 

("I Should Have Known," from the Foo Fighters' Grammy winning 7th album, Wasting Light, marks the first time in 20 years that Dave Grohl, Krist Noveselic and [producer] Butch Vig, who all worked on Nevermind with Kurt, were in a room togetherWhile people are quick to label virtually any Foo Fighters song as being about Kurt, this is one of the few that may actually may be, if even slightly so. Upon watching Back and Forth, the film documenting the making of the album, it isn't hard to tell that Kurt's presence, or lack thereof, is missed by all three musical geniuses.)

Junior > Journalism and Architecture > University of Massachusetts Amherst

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