Kurt Cobain, 20 years gone today | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Kurt Cobain, 20 years gone today

Posted By on Sat, Apr 5, 2014 at 4:22 PM

It will probably take readers of a particular vintage to understand what a blow it was when singer Kurt Cobain committed suicide at his Seattle home 20 years ago today, but for those who came of age listening to Nirvana, what a terrible moment it was when the world heard the news. A tragic moment. A bewildering moment.

The 50s had Elvis, who bloated and faded and finally burned out. The flower children had John Lennon, silenced by a lunatic with a gun. Generation X, meanwhile, had Cobain, a hugely flawed and reluctant anti-hero who was eventually stolen away by his appetite for drugs and his own despair. Calling somebody "the voice of a generation" is a cliche, sure. But for a few years, if there was a voice, Cobain was it. He sure took this kid from the sticks to new places, shrugging off the neon-lit testosterone stench of hair metal in favor of a music that was more thoughtful, more introspective, more real.
Knowing that Cobain gave in to hopelessness after a few short years of giving everybody else a kind of hope was a hell of a thing, still hard to fathom long after all the flannel shirts and Doc Martin boots went to the back of the closet or off to Goodwill. We'll always have his music, however, which is a hell of thing as well, as seen in the video above, from 1993's MTV "Unplugged" special, with Nirvana covering Leadbelly's "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" 

The Seattle Times, as you might imagine, has an excellent package of stories today on Cobain, Nirvana and what Cobain's death meant in the big picture, if such a thing can ever be known.     

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