February 20th is the day we celebrate and think about the life of everyman artist Kurt Cobain.
Kurt led what is arguably one of the most noteworthy Seattle bands ever and, for the most part, was flung into the spotlight with little or no tools to handle it. Born in a quiet corner of our State, filled with sounds and ideas, Kurt had a knack for giving a voice to those who lived in the shadows of teen life. He wrote songs for the people who would understand split families, bad or abusive relationships, bullying, school cliques, depression, self-doubt, decaying societal values, and the lure of chemicals. These were songs about how it was to be mediocre and unnoticed by society. There was no filter. No airs of awesomeness or alpha chest-thumping. No polish to the results. Or, the results were so brilliantly crafted that they never SEEMED polished.
Choose your view; either one would describe the phenomenon that was Nirvana.
Kurt wrote for the rest of us. He was the kid that you sorta knew in high school that, in any other circumstance, would appear in your social media feed as “someone you might know.” His projects were for the everyman, like him. He did what was in his heart, and that heart was filled with emotions we all understand.
The music of Nirvana is as relevant now as it was thirty years ago. Something about the songs tugs at the heart, and speeds up the mind. I recall being sad AND mad at the same time when I heard he died. I often wonder, as I do with Jimi Hendrix, what Kurt Cobain would be doing now had he survived. It would seem that the same forces that brought his creativity to the masses were equal to the ones that destroyed him. I am forever grateful to have lived through the most amazing time in Seattle music history and experienced what Kurt’s message did for a generation in the shadows.
Happy Birthday Kurt. You live ever forward in our ears.