It is very rare that a music icon comes along and leaves you emotionally attached to them. I was in year 11 when my best friend was undergoing a Nirvana phase. I was sent a YouTube link to Rape Me and told to have a listen. I liked it. It was intriguing, and so different to what I was listening to at the time (random Indie rock music, if you must know). I didn’t bother to pursue Nirvana further than this YouTube link, purely because I just couldn’t be bothered. They were cool. That was enough for the moment.
I was so wrong in doing this.
A week later, I was (quite embarrassing to admit this today) tuned into Scuzz. With the TV blaring in the background, I heard the most amazing guitar riff ever. I rushed into the living room and saw the title of the song:
Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit.
I was hooked. Nirvana became engrained into my life and my passion for their music grew. Frontman Kurt Cobain’s musical genius was what really got me though. The raw, rough voice which sang with just so much emotion. Even today, you can feel that his vocals come from the very core of his being. The witty lyrics – so funny and depressing at the same time – still make me pause to think years after being introduced to Nirvana. Kurt Cobain was a master of his craft, and I feel as though nobody can ever match what he brought to the music industry. Nobody at all.
Today, on his birthday, I’m reminded again of the absence that so many Nirvana fans feel. As if I didn’t already feel I was born in the wrong era, I am reminded of my delayed birth yet again. The year I was born was the year my idol died. I will never get to see Kurt Cobain perform. I will never get to hear the potential music that Nirvana would have produced. I will always feel that lingering lament.
Onto more positive things. Kurt Cobain has left his legacy behind. With millions of fans celebrating his birthday today in their own individual ways, it is testimony to the sheer impact he had on many people’s lives. For that, I thank him for being born at all.
Happy 47th birthday, Kurt. Thank you for giving me the gift that was Nirvana.