20 Years Celebrating Kurt Cobain’s Death

//20 Years Celebrating Kurt Cobain’s Death

20 Years Celebrating Kurt Cobain’s Death

Its been twenty years since Kurt Cobain decided to end it all. 20 freaking years… where has the time gone?

In a previous blog post: The End of Nirvana I wrote:

Sometime in the fall of 1991, I heard Nirvana’s  Smells Like Teen Spirit.  The music hit me in the face like a brick. After one listen I was hooked.

Its true. That song knocked me on my butt.  I was hooked instantly.  I had no idea at the time that Nirvana would become the voice of my generation. Nirvana changed the musical landscape.  It put the nail in the coffin of rock and roll/hair bands of the 1980’s and killed them with a new era of music called grunge or the Seattle sound.  Bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Mother Love Bone created the flannel shirt band motif.  I must be honest I only loved Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilots during the early 90’s.  I blame most of the music at the time for my dive into more classic rock of the 1960’s and early 1970’s.

Just a few short years later Kurt Cobain offs himself and seals the fate of Nirvana. Some how this 4 year rocket ride of “4 kids who just wanted to play in a band” became the voice of GenerationX.

Even though April 5th marks the day of Cobain’s actual death, it’s April 8, 1994 that is forever etched in my memory. That’s the day we found out. I had just spent a week out in California at my grandmothers home.  I had gone out there to do some work on her property to help repay a loan she gave me for school. I was driving in my jeep wrangler with the top down soaking up the Nevada desert  on a beautiful spring day when on the radio I heard that Kurt’s body and suicide note had been found.

I just remember thinking why for the next 400 miles to Salt Lake City.

Why would someone at the top of their game blow their head off with a shotgun?

And 20 years later I still don’t understand.

This is MTV News Report of Cobain’s Death.

By |2016-11-10T20:52:37+00:00April 8th, 2014|Categories: Music|Tags: , , |2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Keith S. April 8, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Thanks for sharing this. I, too, remember the day this news broke. I was seventeen, a senior in high school, and just a couple of months away from graduating. I loved rock music, but looking back I was a little too immature musically speaking to understand the impact that Nirvana was making at the time. I loved their music and followed their career through MTV. It wasn’t until several years later that it hit me and it was like, “Yeah, these guys revolutionize rock music.” Again, I didn’t get it at first, but I get it now.

    I remember being shocked at the news of Kurt’s death, but wasn’t all that surprised. After all, he had attempted suicide before this. His tumultuous personal life always on display through reports of drug abuse and marital strife. It just seemed like the culmination of the downward spiral that he and Courtney had been in together. I could see him heading in this direction.

    I still remember the day with Kurt Loder on MTV making the announcement. At some point that same day I went over at my mother’s apartment. My parents lived separated at the time. Oddly, my father resided in an apartment building one over from hers. I split time between the two of them. My mother asked me if I had heard the news about Kurt. “Yes,” I replied. She proceeded to tell how she was angry at him, but not for the reason I expected. She was upset that Kurt ended his life before she has able to end hers. Basically, that he beat her to the punch. I went numb and couldn’t muster the courage to engage in further discussion of the topic. I changed the subject.

    A little background first, I was raised in a fairly dysfunctional family (I know, weren’t we all?). I’ll spare all the gory details, but it’s important to note that she’d overdosed on meds a few times during my childhood. Every time though, we managed to get her medical assistance and she recovered.

    A couple of months after Kurt’s death, and just days after my graduation, my mother told me she was going away on a trip. I don’t recall the destination or the length of time she planned to be gone. My last visit with her was pretty normal. Looking back, there weren’t any warning signs or pleas for help that I remember. I’m left to suppose she had made up her mind by that time and was at peace with her decision. I never saw my mother again after that day.

    Depression and mental illness can be debilitating. I’m convinced that those with suicidal tendencies can rarely be ‘convinced’ to take a different course of action. Had we discovered my mother’s plan or condition earlier, I’m very sure she would have found another opportunity to end her life. I suspect that Kurt was in a very similar boat. Now, I don’t claim to be a psychologist, this is just my gut feeling here.

    To this day, I have never shared this story or my thoughts/feeling with anyone; not even with my wife. With twenty years since Kurt’s, and my mother’s, passing, thank you for the opportunity, as unexpected and perhaps unwelcome this all is, to unload this and get it off my back. I’ve carried it for far too long.

    Back in 1994, I was not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After her passing, the Gospel’s teachings regarding the eternal nature of the family resonated with me and piqued my interest. I’d like to think that I’d still be where I am today regardless of my mother’s suicide, but I do not know for sure. The following year I was baptized and the year after that I left to serve a two-year mission. This year I will cross the threshold of being a member longer than being a non-member. I’ve grown so much. I’d like to think my mother would be proud of the person I’ve become.

    Other Christian denominations tell me my mother is doomed to eternity in “a lake of fire and brimstone.” I pray that the loving and merciful Father I’ve come to know will show compassion as He is the only one that knows one’s motives and true state-of-mind. I know that one day I’ll see her again.

    Thanks again for letting me sharing this. I hope you’re not put off, but your post opened up some wounds that still lie just under the surface and need to heal once and for all. Not looking for sympathy or pity, just release.

    Nevertheless, after twenty years I still don’t understand why, either. Perhaps, one day we’ll get to ask them in person — I’d like to think so.

  2. eran April 8, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Thanks for sharing… Depression is a monster that is poorly understood by most people. Sorry for your mothers loss but I am happy that it has resulted in you being a better person with a better understanding of God’s plan.

    Thanks
    Eran

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