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Rememberng His Death Anniversary April 8, 2020
1 Hour Of Rare Tracks

DETROIT - Today, April 8, is the anniversary of the death of Kurt Cobain from the rock band Nirvana. Cobain had passed away in 1994 due to a gunshot wound. His body was discovered on the 8th but research said he had been dead for three days. I'll never forget the day his body was discovered and heard about it on the radio while working my first graphic designer job. I was working on the campus of Eastern Michigan University. The first news report made my blood turn ice cold. The announcer said that there was a headless body found inside of Kurt Cobain's Seattle house. They were going to have a news report about it after the commercial break. I stopped what I was doing and sat up in my chair and turned the radio up because I didn't want to miss anything.

I wasn't a huge fan of the group but I was familiar with a few of their songs. My college buddies took the full Nirvana ride and even stopped bathing and taking care of themselves. They wore patchouli and took on the Grunge look for themselves and were pretty proud of it. I had wanted to graduate and get out of the whole college landslide trip ASAP. I wanted out. Yet I couldn't help but wonder how this rocker ended up with a headless guy in his house. I knew he was a wild guy and I couldn't make sense out of it. There was talk about him OD'ing in Italy a few weeks back and I knew he had a wacko wife and there were drugs to be had. They were always in the news and this time they got my brain spinning. What could have possibly happened?

Kurt Cobain's rise to fame happened rather quickly when the album, "Nevermind" came out. My first glimpse of him was in the, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video came out. I thought he looked like Jackie Rogers Junior, a character played by comedian Martin Short, and I just didn't take him seriously. The video was blurry and out of focus in parts and my first take on it had me confused if this was a man or a woman. Whatever it was it was angry. I am sorry to say that I didn't get it at first.

When the radio announcer came back from break he explained that the headless person was not some anonymous fan but it was Kurt himself! Wow, my mind was blown, why was his head missing. What could have possibly happened? The short answer here was that in the midst of all of this fame he took his own life. That part of it didn't make any sense to me either because he was a staple on MTV. You could not outrun Nirvana, hence, they were everywhere. Nirvana was huge and they had a growing fanbase and for whatever reason he was inescapable. The rest of this story is kind of a blur because I didn't get what was happening.

That night my friends and I were having a remembrance party in Cobain's honor. Everybody had weed and alcohol and was in a state of depression. I was in more of a state of, "I can't believe it". We stayed up all night and lit candles and just talked and played his music. We watched the reports on MTV and the news and the whole evening was very surreal. Cobain was the first major star from our generation that died so that impacted us pretty deeply My buddy mentioned the Cobain tragedy briefly when he played outside on the U of M campus at a live music tribute. My buddy Charles walked up the mic and murmured, "No I don't have a gun" ( one of Cobain's lyrics) which got him some boo's in the crowd. It was far too soon.

Meanwhile, the news reports came in. and there was footage on MTV of Cobain's widow Courtney Love reading a suicide note. The audio is barely audible as Love breaks down and is heard crying during the reading. She has to be bleeped out for obscenities and she struggles to read it to the fans. There is a lot of the note that was written for his daughter Francis Bean. I didn't even know he had a daughter. The rest of the letter has something to say about his lack of heart for his career and it comes off as an apology. There was a reporter from Rolling Stone Magazine who used aggressive language and was comparing Kurt to John Lennon. Even though Cobain was 27 at the time of his death the comparisons to the legendary Beatle. The idea here was that both of them grew up without much of a father.

Looking Back At The Whole Story In 2020

At this anniversary I still don't have any concrete answers but I have heard many stories. There is incredible allegations out there that Kurt was indeed murdered. Some even point the finger at his spouse Courtney Love. There is a documentary out there that features the lead singer from the Mentors, El Duce, who makes this bold and outrageous claim. There is footage of him being interviewed in his front yard by a cameraman who is asking about the whole incident. El Duce claims that he was asked to kill Cobain by Courtney Love for a sum of money. This does sound somewhat intriguing but how likely was that to really happen. The interview was recorded in 1997 and he stood by his claim until his untimely and strange death. El Duce, real name Eldon Hoke, was killed by a train while walking drunk. Duce claims that he was offered $50,000 to whack Cobain.

Nirvana blew through Ann Arbor too back in their heyday. Again, we didn't know much about the two other guys that played with him but now we do. The joke back then was, "What has four legs and works at McDonalds?" then the punchline reveals to us -- Nirvana. Apparently the bandmates didn't have the respect of their public as they do now.

Looking back on the whole grunge scene seems kind of nostalgic and morbid now. All of my best friends have died since those wild and wicked nights. There is one story that I have that I cannot forget. It involves my best friend Bob who was gifted a bootleg VHS tape of Nirvana when they played a live show. There wasn't any information about the tape other than it was a live show. We were watching this on one hot summer night in 1994. College was coming near an end and I wanted to move on with my life. These college nights of couch surfing and eating pre-packaged fast food meals and cheap malt liquor were taking a toll on me. My buddy Bob was overweight and on this night sitting on a busted recliner chair. One of the legs was missing and he sat there dressed up only in his underwear mesmerized and watching the video. We had a fan on in the room but it was only blowing the hot stale air around. I was trying to cool off drinking a rank 40 ouncer of Midnight Dragon.

As I looked around the dirty apartment I took a good look at my friend's wondering if we would ever find true love. Who could love us? Seriously. Bob was complaning that although he liked the video he couldn't understand the band because some blabbermouth was babbling throughout the whole performance. This guy in the video was drinking out of a bottle and talking over the cameraman and you couldn't hear the music. At the climax of the show, the drummer drunkenly falls off his stool and lands on the ground. Bob blurts out, "Hey this happened at the show I was at too!" and then we made the connection that this was shot at the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Upon further inspection, we then figured out that the loudmouth guy in the audience who won't shut up was big Bob himself! We had a great laugh over that one. And there was Bob sweaty sitting in his underwear on his birthday looking like a loser. This is a great comedic memory and one that I hold dearly.

One of my girlfriends famously said, "These are the memories you hold onto?" To that, I say --- HELL YES WOMAN. For these days were beautiful in their own right and on the bad and terrible days, these memories serve me with laughter, joy, and warmth. These are the same qualities that Cobain would have wanted his friends and fans to have. The debate goes on with Cobain and his legendary status in the 27 club, (Kurt was 27 when he died). Was it foul play or was it really suicide? That adds to the whole unhappy and anger in some of his songs. This isn't just pop music it is really complex and at times insightful. Cobain remains a central figure of the whole Grunge movement and one might even say that he really defined it. He was certainly enigmatic and central to the whole Seattle scene. His star power has outshined his contemporaries such as TAD, and Mudhoney. I have learned to appreciate those chaotic days and nights with a little more fondness. Kurt Cobain was, in fact, a gifted musician who left us all too soon.

RIGHT HERE --- 1 Hour - 8 Minutes





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