Kurt Cobain: Come As You Are

This article appears in our 8th issue. 

(NO TABLOIDS) Kurt Cobain of Nirvana during Nirvana in New York, New York. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

(NO TABLOIDS) Kurt Cobain of Nirvana during Nirvana in New York, New York. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

What’s that? What’s that, in there air? Do you smell it? It smells like the only Nirvana song you know. Just kidding, we’ve heard you in the shower. We know you know them all, by heart.

In fact, most of us do. Nirvana practically defined the late eighties and early nineties from a musical standpoint, spurning out gritty rock that commanded the airwaves as well as the headlines. But behind these melodies were real feelings, real memories, and real pain, strongly and openly connected to the band’s front man, Kurt Cobain.

When Cobain teamed up with Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl in the eighties, he channeled his internalized angst through his music. Nirvana is known best for its grunge rock sound, and alternative lyrics. The band’s name may have very well have served as an inconspicuous illusion of a higher feeling that Kurt felt he would never reach. Cobain himself became synonymous with the band’s success, to which he was often quoted as having disdain for.

Nirvana went on to spearhead the counterculture revolution in the Pacific Northwest, which reverberated around the country. For Cobain, his music was his outlet, his vein of life for creative expression. This artistic energy that had been rattling around inside him since he was a tiny Kurt-let, coming out in small bursts through his drawings, writings, and debauchery, culminated in the early nineties when Nirvana hit the pinnacle of their success, selling over 30 million copies of their latest album at the time, Nevermind, which topped Billboard charts in the states as well as abroad.

Kurt’s big idea, in actuality, was a small one—express yourself. An idea that echoed further than was ever his intention. He used his music and his message to communicate externally what had been brimming inside him for decades. It just so happened that this outward message he shared publically gained enough momentum to launch the 3-piece grunge rock group into eternal stardom.

Kurt Cobain died on April 5th 1994, he was barely 27 years old. During his later years, Cobain had become all too familiar with the downward spiral of heroin addiction. The culmination of this dependence, persistent health and mental issues, along with the toll of his fame, is what is still commonly recognized as justification for why he took his own life. His untimely death slotted him in to the Forever 27 Club, a reference that alludes to the early deaths of musicians along the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison—a group of artists that are as popular today in death as they were in their prime.

NETHERLANDS - NOVEMBER 25: HILVERSUM Photo of Kurt COBAIN and NIRVANA, Kurt Cobain recording in Hilversum Studios smoking cigarette (Photo by Michel Linssen/Redferns)

NETHERLANDS – NOVEMBER 25: HILVERSUM Photo of Kurt COBAIN and NIRVANA, Kurt Cobain recording in Hilversum Studios smoking cigarette (Photo by Michel Linssen/Redferns)

Despite his early exit from this world, Cobain still continues to be a popular rock icon today. His message and music stylings reiterate his one big idea—be you, be true, express yourself, project yourself.

 

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