April 05, 2004
Ten years have passed since Mr. Cobain did same. Links from
because I didn't want to look up others. A "where were you?" A "what did you like?" A mosquito. A denial.
13 years ago
A 37-year-old Kurt Cobain wouldn't be pretty. Sure as he'd be coloring his hair, he'd have a blog. Oh lord, he'd have a blog.
Heh. I remember the noiseless thunderclap that hit everyone around me that day. Mostly me I guess. I taped hours of TV and radio footage, discussed it with people over microcassette, gathered magazine covers. The dance-station-turned-grunge-blowtorch DJs had a call-in ostensibly to prevent copycat suicides. Mostly I remember the callers being callous, rude, and generally stupid. Specifically I remember a valley-girl sounding "I just think he's just another dead freak". Man it *still* bums me out.
Someday it will go into the multimedia blender of "the project" I've collected everything for.
In the UK, Kurt Cobain's death is sponsored by
. It's pretty sick.
I was in a coffeehouse when I heard. What a quintessential nineties moment. What did his moms say about the "stupid club"? sad sad sad.
Cobain suicide note?
(I still think she drove him to it...am i alone here?)
article. I forget the movie ("Kurt and Courtney"?) where they interview . . the guy from the Vapors . . dang, anyway they were asking him about the rumor that Courtney had offered him 50k to kill Kurt. He laughed and said "yeah but I told her no. Still, I didn't do it -
but I know who did!
Hee hee!" the film crew went back 2 weeks later to follow up, but he had been found dead on some railroad tracks. Anyway Courtney-killed-Kurt derailments aside, I think the grunge thing was an all-too brief time when it seemed like good things could happen again. Before the dark times. Before Bush. :)
forksclovetofu: I believe it was "now he's gone and joined that stupid club" Referring to other rock stars that died at the age of 27 - including but not limited to - Hendrix, Morrison and Joplin.
also died at 27.
I was babysitting when I heard the news. I had played the heck out of Nirvana while working at my college radio station but they were out of rotation before they hit it big on mainstream radio. College radio is very good at doing that. When he was still alive, I remember thinking that Kurt seemed like a sad man with a pathetic excuse for a wife. And a lot like college radio - wanting to shun fame and enjoy the fortune, and getting caught between the record companies, his bandmates, and the exploding Seattle music scene. What a mess.
: Before Bush.
must you drag politics into every sing-- what? the who now? ... oh. Nevermind.
This time, ten years ago: Kurt Loder, stop playing the "In Bloom" video OVER AND OVER. It was good the first fifty times. At least show us a few of the other ones, PLEASE. He couldn't hear, because he was just being played on repeat over and over, reading the same MTV "news" bulletin.
- Ha! Didn't think about that, but that fits too. Damn I hate Bush.
Ya know? I don't even remember what I was doing when I found out or even what I thought about it other than "heroin is bad mmmkay". This surprises me because I was 18 at the time and had used Smells Like Teen Spirit as a way to piss off my dad for several years. I think it's because I had more of an emotional connection to other bands (e.g. Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots).
I get so tired of the Courtney-blaming. It's the same sort of thing you hear about Yoko Ono - for some reason, we have trouble accepting that our favourite musicians, partly loved for being so different and unique, end up liking women who are not so mainstream themselves. And it's usually the male musicians. I don't know, I don't really understand it, but I know that I don't like it. Smacks of the eternal refrain of blaming women when things go wrong. Sorry, not trying to cause trouble. Anyway, I was a snot-nosed 15 year old when this happened, and I wasn't quite cool enough yet to realize what had happened. I understand it now.
Courtney Love not-so-mainstream? Surely you jest. What's not mainstream about punk-pop, breast implants, red carpets, and shitty acting? Hole: for people who find L7 too challenging.
shut up, livii. it's all yoko's fault. if it wasn't for yoko the beatles would have stayed together, and then recorded some incredibly bad, painful crap in the mid-eighties and then we would remember only the sadness of their waning end, not the glory of their middle years. oh, wait. um... thanks, yoko, for sparing us the pain. seriously, how many of the great musicians who died young are considered great because they never lived long enough to put out forced, semi-listenable attempts to recapture their youth when they hit 50 or so? would we fondly remember cobain as an angry young man, or would we rather have had him live long enough to become the fat, drug-addled elvis of grunge? we won't worship the fat elvis, people. we only have velvet paintings of skinny elvis. and nobody would want to see a washed-up old cobain doing a las vegas nightclub act. anyway, i kinda like nirvana a lot better now that it isn't being played ad nauseum on every station. even a good song gets tiresome with enough repetition.
i hear you about the Yoko Factor
, but after seeing enough about Courtney (that Kurt & Courtney movie interviewed lots of her friends, associates, and her dad - who fwiw thinks she killed Kurt (??)) - that I'm thinking she at least didn't help anything. But hey he (was) a big boy, he can figure out what he wanted. More. drugs. One of my favorite things about _Nevermind_ was the "Duh!" at the end of . . In Bloom? One of the reasons I like them so much is the ability to make me feel like they know exactly what I'm thinking and put it into something so simple as "Duh!" - everything and nothing at once.
Yo. CLF. Not every aging musician produces crap. Notably, the likes of David Byrne, Dave King (who moved past hiss hair metal past with fastway to found Flogging Molly), Elvis Costello, Ian Mackeye(and the rest of Fugazi) Cheap Trick, The Flaming Lips, Frank Black, etc. etc. etc. etc. I won't bore you with a list going on forever. Point is, age and Quality are in no way dependent on each other.
psyko - the flaming lips are indeed pretty damn cool. from what i've heard. (haven't been privy to their whole catalog.) it just seems that aging musician producing crap (or painfully living off of the former image, adam west-style) is the rule, not the exception. personally i just think that cobain would have gone fat elvis. too much expectations, too much pressure, too much drugs. (the beatles analogy i have more evidence for - there's very, very little produced by any of the fab four post-beatles that stands up to what they did together. whether this is a result of working alone, or a result of age, we'll probably never know...)
I suspect it's an aspect of working alone. McCartney, free of his competition with Lennon, quickly forgot any of the lessons learned at the hands of Johns experimentalism. Harrison while a solid guitar player, never could write a song. And Ringo was always the weak link anyway.
Courtney Love not-so-mainstream? Surely you jest. What's not mainstream about punk-pop, breast implants, red carpets, and shitty acting?
Didn't most of that happen after Kurt died? Anyway, I base at least some of my comments on comments made by Kurt himself, in the
liner notes, which sort of echoes what
said (and thanks for agreeing on Yoko, always makes my day):
While all these things are very special, none were half as rewarding as having a baby with a person who is the supreme example of dignity, ethics and honesty. My wife challenges injustice and the reason her character has been so severely attacked is because she chooses not to function the way the white corporate man insists. His rules for women involve her being submissive, quiet, and non-challenging. When she doesn't follow his rules, the threatened man (who, incidentally, owns an army of devoted traitor women) gets scared. A big "fuck you" to those of you who have the audacity to claim that I'm so naive and stupid that I would allow myself to be taken advantage of and manipulated.
He would have killed himself without Courtney in the picture. I think that was going to be his end no matter what. While I enjoyed Nirvana, I liked Alice in Chains even better and was more saddened by Layne Staley's death--horrific as it was and inevitable as it seemed. Also, having seen both groups in tiny little clubs before they got big, even then, Alice in Chains had more impact for me.
Aw, lay off the Beatles attacks now! Seriously, Paul may have not been the most creative of the Beatles, but did you know that he actually played around with backwards tape first? And what would the later albums have been like if it hadn't been George who had brought in the sitar? And Ringo, well, that's personal. ;)
"In England, we call them chips!"
I was at recess. Good music though. Looking forward to the day when Nirvana and all the rest become oldies. It'll be a comfort to have Teen Spirit playing in the old folks home.
Paul may have played with backwards tapes first, but he was always being pushed to come up with something that John hadn't He was brilliant, but he needed motivation. George was a great player, and he had his moments of true inspiration as well. But not a songwriter. And if Ringo is personal, then so be it.
did you know that he actually played around with backwards tape first
I'm with Kimberly on this. I was 18, had a cassette copy of In Utero and "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on video but otherwise didn't know a thing about Nirvana. I couldn't say where I was, except that I was probably in school, and what I was doing. It was only the following year when I went to uni that I discovered grunge properly.
Umm... Wolof - I think it was implicit within that conversation that we mean "within the beatles". A whole host of people did all sorts of things before the beatles did them altogether.
I am *so* itching to get into the Beatles derailment, but someone (maybe Psyko or Wolof?) could start a new thread for that? Anyway, here's some things i wanted to add (got
going): The jaguar / jazzmaster guitars. The soft-interview voice and the wallpaper-shredding scream. Women's rights, gay rights. The old drug guy listening to "And I swear I don't have a gun" and shaking his finger at the speaker: "Oh yes you do!" Throwing yourself into the drum kit. Loving the Beatles. Songwriting. Crappy handwriting. Harder / Empathy / Harder / Empathy / Harder. The 'secret' track on Nevermind. Butch Vig. Nobody gets it but me... millions of me.
Beavis and Butthead's "I-hate-myself-and-want-to-die"
Ok, this is exactly how unaware I was when I was in grade nine. I was in a school for the arts, mind you, and one day I came into class in the morning and there was a knot of girls in the corner of the room crying. 'What happened?' I asked, concerned. 'It's Kurt Cobain,' said one of the girls, her face drawn with shock, 'we've just heard he committed suicide.' I felt a cold wave of dread come over me. 'That's terrible! ... What class was he in?'
livii - to set the record straight, i'm not bashing the beatles. in fact all of my mom's beatles records are safely in my closet. i'm just saying - how many bands or musicians would we regard differently if they hadn't broken up / died when they did? dreadnought - i just remember being surprised that anyone was surprised about it. seeing as how all of his songs were so uplifting and full of life and hope and all. but i was in college then, so what did i know... (holy crap, i'm still in college! ah well.)
it was more of a "holy shit -
?" e.g.ironic detachment,
PS> Dave Grohl is/was tha shiznit
A 37-year-old Kurt Cobain wouldn't be pretty. Sure as he'd be coloring his hair, he'd have a blog. Oh lord, he'd have a blog.
So Cobain would have become
Have you ever listened to that guy's music or read his blog? He makes Blink 182 sound challenging. Look at the guy's insanely long blogroll of nothing , but popular blogs. Think this guy is trying real hard to get attention?
My attitude on Nirvana is that Husker Du did it better. I like Nirvana, but Bob Mould and Grant Hart were the shit.
I dunno, I found that, for all the bleakness of Nevermind, there was always a definite sense of hope - of wanting to get out, and not neccesarily wanting to take the easy way. I mean, I understand why everyone says now that they saw it coming. But the truth is that, if you base things solely on the music - it really wasn't that clear that this was a man on the brink.
Oh, I know, clf, I just felt like getting into the Beatles a bit. I guess it is a derailment though. ;)
:"I hung it on me wall!" - and I love your user name.
nirvana/cobain: the pixies, with the voice of paul westerberg i only began to pay attention to nirvana on the day of kurt's death. i was 12, and a classmate with whom i collaborated on the school paper was crying. word of the suicide was immediately banned from the pages of our publication, but for me, that was all the more reason to seek out and listen to the guy's music (not that it was hard to find). nirvana is all that i listened to for the next 3 or 4 years. like many, i've burned out all their songs from overexposure and never feel like listening any more. but it can't be denied, kobain could write a fine ditty, yessir
I am *so* itching to get into the Beatles derailment
... but you were a better painter than drummer, right?
Personally in the "what if" category The Family Guy gets my vote for (if not most probable) most amusing scenario. Record Flunky: Great news Kurt, you're seventh albumn just went double platinum! Kurt Cobain: (with a look that says, "no shit I'm fucking Kurt fucking Cobain"): That's great. You've met my wife, Courtney Love, right? Record Flunky: Who?
make that "your" contractions give me conniptions.
i was in college watching tv in the lounge. we didn't believe it at first because maybe a week or so earlier there had been rumors that he had OD'd. first thing i did was call my brother because he had picked Kurt in his office's yearly "celebrity death pool". oddly enough he had Tupac on his list the year he died.
goddam - tell your brother to stop entering that death pool, for chrissakes. he's a menace to music.
Or make him pick Phil Collins this year.
I heard from from people that the incident in Rome was a suicide attempt. That came out after Kurt died. So I wasn't surprised.
is how I found out that Kurt Cobain killed himself.
I had this in
Dr. Frank has more songwriting talent than your writing abilities x10. chump
Check out the guy's
and tell me if you think he rocks. I tremble in fear that all three of Dr Frank's fans are going to attack me.
A 37-year-old Kurt Cobain wouldn't be pretty.
He'd be a lot prettier than he is now.
would we fondly remember cobain as an angry young man, or would we rather have had him live long enough to become the fat, drug-addled elvis of grunge?
So we'd rather wish someone DEAD than imagine him alive but washed up? Harsh.
it's a celebrity thing Sooooz, I don't think it applies to the actual person. Not that it's not a moot point . . .
Yeah, I know it's a celebrity thing. I think it just kind of creeped me out a bit.
Also that's quite an assumption. Consider Alice Cooper.
Also that's quite an assumption. Consider Alice Cooper.
Pete, are you saying that Cobain would have taken up golf?
Sullivan, no one here is happy at the thought but - what else do you do when you get off the horse? I think Iggy Pop cleans his apartment alot. That's also a possibility.
well, no it isn't. Not actually. Crap.
what else do you do when you get off the horse?
I get on MonkeyFilter. *Psst! Hey buddy? Want to get on?*
Not Fade Away
nice post. Never thought of comparing him to Wesley Willis. I disagree though that he couldn't figure out how to be a rock star. He wasn't getting any help and the help he tried was the wrong stuff. But maybe i'm just an optimist.
"yeah, Kurt would have loved this"
. Article from Thurston Moore
Great link, Pete. Has anyone heard of the
Archers of Loaf?
I always felt they were a better band than Nirvana that made similiar kind of music.
livii, Love was doing L7-lite before Cobain. And she always wanted to be a star. I don't think she's got the whole Ono thing going on, though having a fucked-up heroin addict for a wife probably doesn't help with one's mental problems. That said, the more screwed up Love is, the less I think of Cobain for killing himself. You left your daughter in the exclusive care of who, fucktard? You've got money, friends, a kid, a wife, you get to make art for a living, and you deal with a bout of mental illness with a shotgun? Loser.
Courtney Love also used to go out with
in the 80's. I'd say thats enough to fuck anyone up irrepairably.
Hey people. Check out the
current Courtney Love thread.
It's lonely over there.
Irony is not dead
But, y'know, Kurt is.
"Kurt Cobain: About A Son"
Kurt Cobain took the best paths available to him
on his road from miserable obscurity in Aberdeen, Wash., to intensely symbolic pop-culture stardom, or such is the implication of "Kurt Cobain: About a Son," the extraordinary montage film by AJ Schnack that premiered at SXSW on Monday. (Actually, it premiered in Toronto last fall, but this was the first showing of the final theatrical version.) Cobain's face is not seen in the film until its final moments, but it's entirely narrated by him, over an evocative stream of images showing places he lived, went to school, worked and played. Schnack worked with reporter Michael Azerrad (author of the book "Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana") to edit the latter's extensive 1992-93 audio interviews with Cobain into an approximate narrative, then set out to shoot a film to accompany it. He went to Aberdeen, to Olympia, Wash., and to Seattle, the three places Cobain lived, and shot people and places in those cities as he found them today. So "Kurt Cobain: About a Son" isn't exactly a documentary, or at least it's a highly unconventional one. It contains no archival footage, no talking-head interviews with friends or bandmates or family members, no voice-over from a semi-hip celebrity (Sting? Parker Posey?) telling us what to think. It's something else, something that combines impressionistic biography, poetic film essay (in the spirit of Godfrey Reggio's "Koyaanisqatsi" and its sequels) and psychiatric session or confession. Cobain comes off as strikingly intelligent and self-critical at many moments, and at others angry and defensive to the point of paranoia. It seems clear that the kid who roamed around Aberdeen banging a bass drum and singing Beatles songs, and who embraced gay identity in high school (even though he was straight), had a marvelous capacity for self-invention. But he also seems to be a permanently wounded, aggrieved personality, unable to let go of past injuries large and small, driven onward by an unhappy nexus of pain and desire. No single film or book can dispel the cloud of enigma surrounding Kurt Cobain, but simply sitting in the dark and hearing him talk to you for 90 minutes, while the dreary gray-green beauty of his home state moves through your eyeballs and into your brain, goes a pretty long way. You can't make it through "Kurt Cobain: About a Son" without concluding that this tremendously talented young man (he'd have turned 40 this spring) was battling suicidal depression his entire life.