On April 10, 2014 Nirvana will be forever immortalized into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Kurt Cobain fans will be in mourning as it is the 20 year anniversary of his tragic death. On April 5, 1994, Kurt Cobain committed suicide with a shotgun to the head. He died at the young age of 27, putting him in the “27 Club”, a group of artists famous for dying at 27. Other artists belonging to that club are Jimi Hendricks and Janis Joplin.
Kurt Cobain will always be known for two things: redefining music during the 1990’s, and for being a cautionary tale about the dangers of too much fame. The 1990’s was a time where there was a lot of angst music hitting the airwaves. A popular sub-genre of rock was introduced called Grunge. Grunge was invented during the mid-1980’s in the state of Washington. It typically involves growling and angst lyrics. Grunge also has a very stripped-down aesthetic, as opposed to other forms of flashy rock and roll bands. Nirvana had become the most famous band of that genre. Some of their most iconic songs are Smells Like Teen Spirit, Heart-Shaped Box, and About A Girl. Even though Grunge is no longer a trending genre, Nirvana is still enjoyed today by hipsters, Goths, and fans of alternative music.
Nirvana only released three albums in their entire career: Bleach, which was released on June 15, 1989, selling five million copies; Nevermind, which was released on September 25, 1991, selling 30 million copies; finally, In Utero was released on September 21, 1993, which sold 15 million copies. To this day, Nirvana is still incredibly popular among teenagers. Kurt Cobain was able to accurately represent the angst teenagers of every generation felt. Nirvana was popular before the age of YouTube, yet despite this, his three iconic songs listed above have more than 200 million views combined. It is incredible that after more than 20 years since the anniversary of his tragic death, Kurt Cobain still manages to inspire artists and the public.
Nirvana is also widely recognized for creating songs for the love of music, not out of fame or money. During their performance on MTV Unplugged, they did something that was quite unusual. Contrary to other bands that were performed on Unplugged, Nirvana decided to not perform their most iconic songs. This was very unusual since most bands who appeared on Unplugged wanted to play their most popular songs to capitalize on the fame of the songs.
Cobain’s tragic death is a source of many myths. Some say he was murdered by his sweetheart Courtney Love. Some say that someone broke into his house, killed him and made it seem like suicide. Nobody truly knows, but it is a debate that has been brought up recently due to the 20 year anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death. There has been a fan made memorial for Kurt Cobain near the building in which he was found dead. Fans from across the country have come to pay their respects by leaving behind notes, flowers, letters, signing their names on the bench, and even quoting Nirvana lyrics such as “who needs actions when you have words”.
Opinion By Ignacio Gatti