April 7, 2008

Kurt Cobain: 1967-1994

Isn't it funny how music can affect your life so greatly?

DISCLAIMER: This post is unorganized as it is almost 6 a.m. and I've been up all night. I will probably edit/re-organize later. Beware of grammatical errors!


Tomorrow will mark the 14th anniversary of when Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was found dead in his Seattle, Washington home. He was 27 years-old. Anyone who knows me, knows that Nirvana is one of my all-time favorite bands, and that "Serve The Servants" will always be one of my favorite Nirvana songs. Sometimes, when I listen to it gives me chills, becasue it describes my life in some many ways. I love when music can do that...

Teenage angst has paid off well
Now I'm bored and old
Self-appointed judges judge
More than they have sold

If she floats than she is not
A witch like we had thought
A down payment on another
One at salems lot

Serve the servants - oh no
That legendary divorce is such a bore

As my bones grew they did hurt
They hurt really bad
I tried hard to have a father
But instead I had a dad

I just want you to know that I
Dont hate you anymore
There is nothing I could say
That I haven't thought before

I will always be amazed how Kurt could write such powerful songs and incorporate them into four chords, and say something more relevant than some artist could say in an entire album [1]. To this day I will never understand how he could have written something as brilliant as "Polly."

I remember seeing an MTV2 special on Nirvana in 11th grade. It was April 2004. From the start I was captured by Kurt's intense blue eyes as he slumped over his D-12 Martin strumming forlornly. He was singing "Where Did You Sleep Last Night." Thinking back on it, it's weird how that moment is so vivid in my mind, especially when I can hardly remember anything else during that month. Several weeks later I went to library and checked out Kurt's published journals. I read it viraciously. After reading his journals, I decided that would find out more about his life. So, picked up a copy of Charles R. Cross's biography "Heavier Than Heaven." To this day, it will always be on the most important books I've ever read about music. As I read it, I remember feeling like someone was inside my brain reflecting on paper all the feelings I always had about music. This fueled my curiosity of becoming a writer. I recognized that writing about the experience I have with music was something I desired, and I became deeply interested in the concept of music used in a way to understand life, like in the way a song or guitar riff can articulate your feelings in ways you, at times, cannot verbally express. So, not only is today deeply influential day in rock music history, but it is an important day in my life as well.

R.I.P. Kurt. You will never be forgotten...

1. When musicians die, people tend to put them up on a pedestal undeservingly. Kurt was probably one of the few musicians that could defy that (as well as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, John Lennon). Although, I do think if Kurt were alive now that his music beyond 1994 would not be anyway near as relevant as what he wrote before. I would imagine he'd be akin to a present-day Eddie Vedder: mostly predictable, but sometimes cool.

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