#ripkurtcobain: Seventeen years ago today

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Hard to believe it's been that long. Seventeen years ago today, Kurt Cobain left this life entirely too early. I remember vividly where I was and what I was doing when word of his death first came across the clock radio on my desk. It was a complete shock to the system.

And that's the way the news was delivered, on the radio. If the same thing happened today, of course, we'd be barraged with millions of simultaneous tweets on Twitter (where he just happens to be trending right now, incidentally), followed by an infinite amount of news reports (see Jay Reatard).

I can still remember listening to Nevermind on my Walkman on the bus ride home after work and just feeling sad and empty, like I'd lost a close friend (probably not coincidently, I felt pretty much the exact way same way when I heard that Buckley, Tupac, Biggie and Elliott Smith died), and then watching the impromptu tribute and news coverage on MTV. What a huge loss.

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9 comments
crazeeblkchick
crazeeblkchick

I was 22. I saw him for the first time when I was 19 in Jacksonville,Fl @ the Milk Bar. Nirvana  opened for The Wailers with Junior singing lead... I will be 40 years old this year like Tu-Pac would have been today. Good times, good times.

Brian Frederick
Brian Frederick

Not to shake the limb of a sleeping tiger here, but Kurt Cobain DID kill himself. Regardless of what he did for music, he left a child on this earth without a father, by personal choice. Needless to say, it's even worse that it was with Courtney Love. I myself make it a point to turn the channel if a Nirvana song is being played and will ultimately get defensive when someone wants to sit me down to talk about his great accomplishments. To me, pulling the trigger overshadowed anything he ever did. Deal with your demons like everyone else does and make sure your child is raised, if you're any man. Sensationalizing his life is just another block we build our culture with, and for children now to see that it's okay to do things like that is an unfortunate consequence of that idolization.

Just my two cents. Go Rockies!

Breecdavies
Breecdavies

Wow. Brian, I challenge you to look at every album that has changed your life, every artist that you have aligned with lyrically, and every concert you've been to that moved you and tell me that someone in one of those bands didn't do something you didn't approve of. If you don't like Nirvana, that's fine with me. If you don't like how Kurt and Courtney lived their lives, that's fine too. I just have a hard time taking a music critic seriously that doesn't look at the music itself. I hate the rampant use of cocaine in the music world I live in, work in, and admire, but I don't and can't hold that to musicians accomplishments. If I did, I would be lying when I said I didn't think Iggy Pop is a piece of shit. Because he may have been in the past (and might still be), but he made and makes music that changed the musical world. Same with James Brown (who beat his wife), Jimi Hendrix (who beat his girlfriends), and in fact, a huge, embarrassing percentage of musicians in general since the dawn of rock n' roll who have abused women, abandoned their families, chosen drugs and alcohol over their band mates and partners. But as a music critic, I am here to talk about music, and I know that what Kurt Cobain did made a huge impact on modern music history. I know, because I lived through it and I see the changes today. The album sales don't lie, and the influence of his work reverberates today, even in the lost world of radio-friendly rock.

And why belittle your own opinion by calling it two-cents?

Mark Towne
Mark Towne

I'm somewhere between Brian and Bree. I completely understand, and agree with, Brian's statement, "Deal with your demons like everyone else does and make sure your child is raised, if you're any man.” No true MAN will kill himself with a child (much less an infant) in need of his support. I don't think anyone should consider Kurt a hero in the traditional sense of the word. Some of the greatest artists have lived a life of suffering and mental instability. It is not a coincidence their turmoil is reflected in their work. The same traits that makes them miserable serve as an tremendous source of inspiration and provides a need for a genuine heart-on-your-sleeve outlet. Kurt was no hero but he sure did make some incredibly inspirational music that has undoubtedly helped others with similar problems in hard times. Not to mention a ginormous pool of individuals who don't. While he took the coward's way out I think his music should stand as a testament to artists and the dual nature of inspiration and art.

Miner Matt
Miner Matt

Thanks for remembering, Dave. I love all of their albums, from Bleach to Unplugged. RIP, Kurt.

Spunky PR
Spunky PR

"Bleach" changed my life! I was in class when we got the news. Brings back a lot of memories of all varieties--such nostalgia! Nirvana was a truly awesome, innovative band and reminds us how fragile some people can be, how tragic life can be. RIP Kurt Cobain indeed.

Brandt Hardin
Brandt Hardin

Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley changed my life with their music. I paid homage to them on the anniversary of their death today with my portraits of them on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot... Drop by and tell me how you were influenced by their work and lives.

Nathan Huisgen
Nathan Huisgen

Man, I can't believe it was 17yrs ago......I totally remember where I was when it happened and I remember getting in a big fight w/ my 10th grade english teacher about it. "In Utero" is still my fav album, but that unplugged album showed Nirvana in a whole new light.

Mark Towne
Mark Towne

I'm a big In Utero guy myself. "All Apologies" never fails to give me chills (especially the acoustic version). "Dumb" is also a very emotional tune and the lyrics have always made me smile. "Milk It" tears the roof off. This could go on a while...

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