Kurt Cobain – Style Icon

He was the reluctant crown-prince of my generation.  Had he lived, he would be 45 today and an Indie Rock God Legend or a bloated cliche or a recluse.  There is no way to predict something that will never be.  We will always remember him as beautiful, and sad.  My family and I were in Aberdeen over the weekend and probably went over the Wishkah a half dozen times.  The rain was heavy and constant, like it always is this time of year, and we hid out in an old mausoleum in the cemetery where my great-grandparents  are buried.  If I were a kid growing up in Aberdeen, I would have made it one of my haunts, it is very quiet and empty and full of the forgotten founders of a town whose prime has passed.  Ladies and gentlemen, Kurt Cobain.  Style Icon.

Kurt Cobain, born in Aberdeen, Washington (1967). He was the son of an auto mechanic and a cocktail waitress. His parents divorced when he was seven, and the split was traumatic, which influenced a lot of the pain in his lyrics. “I remember feeling ashamed, for some reason,” he told an interviewer in 1993. “I was ashamed of my parents. I couldn’t face some of my friends at school anymore, because I desperately wanted to have the classic, you know, typical family. Mother, father. I wanted that security, so I resented my parents for quite a few years because of that.”

He dropped out of high school three weeks before graduation, took a job as a janitor, and started playing in a band. They called themselves Nirvana, pooled their money — $606 — and recorded their first album, Bleach, in 1989. Bleach did well enough to get them a contract with a major label. In 1991, the group came out with its second album, Nevermind, which received rave reviews and propelled the band to stardom. The album featured the singles “Come as You Are” and “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” Nevermind sold more than 24 million copies and Cobain became the reluctant poster child of Generation X.

In 2005, a sign was put up in Aberdeen, Washington, that read “Welcome to Aberdeen – Come As You Are” as a tribute to Cobain. The sign was paid for and created by the Kurt Cobain Memorial Committee, a non-profit organization created in May 2004 to honour Cobain. The Committee planned to create a Kurt Cobain Memorial Park and a youth center in Aberdeen. Because Cobain was cremated and his remains scattered into the Wishkah River in Washington, many Nirvana fans visit Viretta Park, near Cobain’s former Lake Washington home, to pay tribute. On the anniversary of his death, fans gather in the park to celebrate his life and memory.

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