Cobain, Nirvana’s legendary frontman, was memorialized recently with a statue of him that cries tears of pain. In honor of Kurt Cobain Day – yes, it really exists – in Aberdeen, Washington, celebrated on the grunge rock legend’s 47th birthday, the rocker’s hometown decided a statue in the image of their claim to fame would be a significant tribute to the fallen icon. Nearly 20 years have passed since Cobain’s famous Seattle suicide, and it seems his name is destined to live on much longer than the man himself. A crying statue as a tribute may seem a little unorthodox, but to those with an extensive knowledge of Kurt Cobain’s life and morbidly depressing behavioral patterns, the saddened stone visage of the grunge king makes all too much sense, and those under the delusion that Cobain was a happy man can think again.
Hero to those who find strength in his music, felon to others who see him as a poster boy for all sorts of unsavory behavior, Kurt Cobain’s tragic legacy remains one of the most jarring stories in rock ‘n roll history. Leading a life of equal parts success and failure, Cobain saw the world from a bird’s-eye view as the frontman of what will always be remembered as one of the biggest bands on the planet: Nirvana.
It is appropriate that Cobain’s memorial cries tears of pain. He was continually plagued, as if peering up at the world from the gutter, with chronic drug addiction and numerous physical maladies. A sufferer of bronchitis, intense stomach pain and depression, Cobain had been going through his own hell since childbirth. His first true form of attempt to escape from reality had the rocker experimenting with various drugs, a habit which he never kicked. Indeed, the severe addiction and dependence on myriad substances is one of the most well-known traits of the late Nirvana singer. Despite his overwhelmingly massive commercial success with Nirvana and the iconic alt-rock album Nevermind, Cobain never managed to overcome his chronic depression, which, added to his unstable dependence on drugs, and an equally unhealthy obsession with firearms, ended up claiming his life at the age of 27.
Heroin was the prime drug of choice for Kurt Cobain, who abused the substance as a form of self-medication, having stated in an interview, “It started with three days in a row of doing heroin and I don’t have stomach pain. That was such a relief.” His unhealthy addictions and high-stress lifestyle as the head honcho of Nirvana did nothing to improve Cobain’s rapidly failing health. Preferring to burn out than fade away, Cobain’s famous case of self-destruction took place over the course of a failed suicide attempt and a stint in rehab before his final escape plan was initiated.
Even though some may misinterpret Aberdeen’s tribute to its most cherished son (who ironically didn’t cherish the town back, frequently calling it a waste of space and worthless), the Cobain memorial that cries tears of pain eerily and accurately depicts the fallen rocker, once again bringing his name into popular media. It seems that although his is a name that is synonymous with depression and substance abuse, the interestingly high degree of hope and power Cobain’s music has instilled in so many people remains something of a false mask, hiding the pressure of a lonely man deep within.
By Christopher White