a tribute to Kurt Cobain
I'm sitting in a pub having a pint on my own while waiting for my sister to get
back from visiting a friend living nearby. Dave Grohl's All My Life video
is playing on the television set while coincidentally, i happen to be reading a
tribute to Kurt Cobain in TheSun (of all newspapers-TheSun ?). Even more
coincidentally, in my bag is a copy of Q magazine's latest issue featuring a
Kurt Cobain cover story and 20 pages in tribute to the icon he is. Suddenly
inspired to write out my thoughts, i dig out a bunch of tiny post-it notes and a
I start to think about whether Kurt really deserves this much attention and
relevance. The 90's is over. Angst is out. This new thing i can't understand yet
called Emo and jackass rock (Fools with musical talents Blink 182, Tenacious D,
The Darkness etc.) are the new shit. Not just that, personally, i've moved on
from the grunge phase ages ago.
But today, (actually the 5th) the 10th anniversary of his death, i'm compelled
to write and relive the impact Kurt Cobain had. (on me at least)
about a girl
this cute girl i had a crush on, called D, was the one who got me into Nirvana.
It was about the year of Cobain's death and Nirvana was more popular than ever
back home. These were the glory days of underground rock. Where even in petaling
jaya surburbia, gigs were held regularly at a club called Picadilly (never
set foot in there- was too young) and Butterfingers were starting to get big. D
played guitar which led on to me picking up the instrument as well. got most of
their singles on mix tapes and fell in love with their mtv unplugged sessions,
cementing my love for acoustic guitar music to this day.
went through all the phases, had my hair as long as school would allow, never
bothered with learning proper music skills and thought i could get away with
just strumming "with heart", got all angsty and in trouble with
parents and attracted to girls who were all wrong for me, wrote suicide note
style poetry, and even researched the conspiracy theory that said Courtney Love
orchestrated the suicide. [for details on this, type Courtney Love conspiracy in
smells like teen spirit
more importantly, nirvana set the
groundwork for the evolution of my musical tastes. The relevance of music in my
life changed from casual listener to addict hooked on the medicinal properties
of pain and beauty in sonic form. I never explored the grunge sound further than
Soundgarden, but I would later get into Radiohead and the whole British
avalanche that followed Cobain's death, moved on to the Pumpkins, which would
turn out to be the last great rock phenomenon to date. the good bands are out
there, incubus, foo fighters etc. they fight the fight but won't win the wars.
who will define this generation ?
linkin park ? ...debatable.
'light my candles in a
daze coz i found god... yeaa'
i'm not sure what i'm trying to accomplish with this piece. didnt think i was
trying to put together an attempt at rolling-stone magazine style music
commentary. this is more of a personal reflection on what i've come to realise
as my musical father figure- the band Nirvana.
i play them every now and then,
but tonight's special. tonight i listen to Lithium and remember how- long before
Thom Yorke's Street Spirit, Billy Corgan's ThirtyThree, Dave
Matthew's #41 and Sigur Ros' Staraflur, Kurt singing "I'm so happy
coz today i found my friends, they're in my head" was the most soothing,
expressive music that flowed through my life and took care of my soul.
^Nirvana's Nevermind, by knocking
Micheal Jackson's Dangerous album off the charts back in 1992, pre-empted the
fall of the King of Pop.
^the title Smells like Teen
Spirit sprouted from a comment that "Kurt smells like teen spirit",
Teen Spirit being the name of his (then) girlfriend Tobi Vail's underarm