On Thursday, February 20, the city of Aberdeen, Washington celebrated the first annual “Kurt Cobain Day,” which aims at bringing the musician back to his roots and allows people to enjoy his genius at least for 24 hours, if not for a week, as planned by Mayor Bill Simpson. The city that the artist once named “Twin Peaks without the excitement” has opened its arms and received the artist on what would have been his 47th birthday. The day was commemorated by Nirvana’s first drummer, Aaron Burckhard, Cobain’s first guitar teacher, Warren Mason and local rock band, Gebular.
Aberdeen declared February 20 the musician’s official day after neighboring city of Hoquiam honored the grunge legend, Nirvana, for April 10, which also marks the day the band will be inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The day celebrated by Hoquiam falls five days after the 20-year anniversary of the artist’s suicide, but the first annual “Kurt Cobain Day” wishes to metaphorically bring the musician back home. Aberdeen’s proclamation allows the city’s residents to “justifiably take pride” in the role the community had in the life of the musician and the international level the town earned being the home of Nirvana’s lead singer.
The artist has already been honored on the “Welcome To…” sign, right next to the band’s most well-known song, “Come As You Are.” Mayor Jack Durney of Hoquiam acknowledged Cobain as part of the city’s community, since he lived there for a while.
Among the festivities which aim at bringing the musician’s genius and notoriety back home is a statue of him unveiled at the Aberdeen Museum of History. Although life in Aberdeen was tough after his parents divorced and he dropped out of high school, the city’s initiative means that it embraces the artist for better or worse.
While Nirvana’s lead singer was alive, Aberdeen was thrown into obscurity because of his drug abuse and troubled life. However, the first annual “Kurt Cobain Day” aims at restoring the city’s renown and metaphorically brings the musician back home after 20 years, no matter the feelings he might have had towards his hometown.
The local full-scale statue was made by local artist Randi Hubbard, a former truck driver who began building the statue right after Cobain’s death in 1994. The musician’s grandfather supposedly visited the shop where the statue was exposed regularly to witness its construction.
“This has been a long time coming,” Mayor Simpson admitted when asked about “Kurt Cobain Day.” “We should have done it long ago.”
Last year, Courtney Love, the widow of the late artist, told Bust magazine that the Nirvana songs are “cursed” and that immediately after she sells the rights, “it becomes a jukebox musical, makes a billion dollars, and you’ve got hands on Broadway.” Therefore, it is possible that the majority of the rights to Nirvana’s songs will remain with Love for a long time.
Nonetheless, the first annual “Kurt Cobain Day” wishes to bring the musician’s glory back home and attract even more visitors to the museum dedicated to him, which is visited by approximately 5,000 people per year, from 32 states and 28 counties.
By Gabriela Motroc