Remembering Curt Cobain – The Music Lives On!
Monday marked what would have been the 45th birthday of one of the greatest inspirations for millions around the world – Kurt Cobain, the Nirvana frontman who was the pioneer of the grunge rock movement in the early 90s.
He was the leading rock icon of the 90s and still remains one of the most influential and inspiring figures in music. But sadly, the genius committed suicide on April 5, 1994. Read on to know what Curt Cobain and Nirvana still means to millions of people.
Glimpse into Cobain’s Life!
Cobain was born in Aberdeen, Washington to Don and Wendy Cobain, who divorced when he was just 7. Even though he was given guitar classes to stay out of trouble, Cobain dropped out of high school. He left his place with his pal Christ Novoselic, co-founder of Nirvana.
Ironic to the band’s name, Cobain ended his life in 1994. After failed attempts to kill himself, Cobain went missing in action after somehow escaping from a rehab center. After a few days, he was found dead with a suicide note and a shotgun pointed at his chin at his home in Lake Washington.
Known to be addicted to drugs, high amounts of Valium and heroin were traced in his system. With his sad demise, Cobain joined the famous club of musicians – Forever 27. All these musicians died around 27 such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Brian Jones and Jim Morrison. Cobain apparently spoke about joining Foerver 27 much earlier than he died. Wendy O’Connor, his mother, said post Cobain’s death: “Now he’s gone and joined that stupid club, I told him not to join that stupid club.”
Nirvana – The Path-breakers!
Here is a well-known fact – there are not many folks in music who received so much adulation as Kurt Cobain, and not many music bands have been as creative and significant as Nirvana! Both just didn’t change the music of their time, they defined and ruled! Even though Nirvana lasted only for a decade, they successfully brought ‘grunge’ garage rock in the mainstream music. Also, they influenced several other up-coming bands. Even if it has been a decade since Nirvana and Kurt died, many new bands cite Nirvana as their major influence!
The range of people that the band have inspired and influenced, can be seen by the diversity among some recent bands who formed because of Nirvana. The Libertines, Kings of Leon and Franz Ferdinand are 3 such bands who have contrasting styles and sounds, yet each one of them cited Nirvana as a huge influence while starting out. Till date, kids from every nook and corner continue to discover Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. Most of them strum their first guitar after being inspired by the band.
For the uninitiated or skeptics, it can be difficult to understand why Nirvana are considered so different. To be honest, there’s nothing radical about the tracks with 3-4 chords, although it was just the way they were played which mattered: fast, loud and hard, at times somber.
Decoding the ‘True’ Meaning!
The meaning and power behind most Nirvana’s numbers came from their influences in music and life. The band was hugely inspired by The Melvins, and the awesome Pixies, who were their fellow garage-punks. This distinctive sound of garage-punk was defined as grunge. It became the perfect medium to deliver the angst-ridden tracks of Nirvana!
You may know the fact that lyrics were more crucial than the instruments. The lyrics which Cobain penned down in his Mead notepads came right from the gut and heart. It was not possible to convey the impact and true intent of the lyrics on paper alone: it was all about how the band infused life into the lyrics through their music. Here is one of my favorite Nirvana numbers,
Cobain sung his songs with a great intensity and searing passion, and this for me was what Nirvana stood for. The songs were so powerful, so full of emotions and so real – while still being relatable and easy to understand. This is why many could associate with their music.
If you have heard their songs keenly, you will know that the underlying meaning of Nirvana’s songs is not that obvious. One of the perfect examples is the song “Polly.” A few may find the song peculiar but simple altogether, if they don’t carefully listen to the lyrics – the song actually spoke about a small child’s abduction. Most of their numbers are raw and powerful like “Something in the Way.”
Cobain, The ‘Genius’ who Sold the World!
You’ll be wondering how even after a decade, Nirvana manages to lure the newer generation. Well, the ‘comfort in sound’ aspect of their music is why Nirvana is still a rage among the younger lot! When you feel angry or frustrated about all the injustice being meted out in the world, it’s always helps to listen to Nirvana loud – it is a type of escapism which frees you from all the shackles!
Kurt Cobain was not a legendary guitarist, but he instead played with emotion and feeling, creating real, intense music! He was a genius in songwriting. Cobain once said while talking about Nevermind: “Attitude is one thing. But a good song is the most important thing. It’s the only way to really touch someone.”
This is what Nirvana and Kurt were all about. This is the prime reason why Nirvana’s music still continues to strike a chord with the new generation, even after not making any music since 1994. Kurt Cobain is no longer alive but thankfully his legacy and music lives on. Cobain, you will always be a source of inspiration for me and million others!
“Come as you are, as you were, as I want you to be.
As a friend, as a friend, as an old Enemy.
Take your time, hurry up, choice is yours, don’t be late.
Take a rest, as a friend, as an old Memory, yeah.”