It’s been 21 years today since Kurt Cobain’s life ended in a greenhouse in the affluent Denny-Blaine neighborhood of Seattle. Around this time last year the internet world was in an absolute frenzy because someone reported that the Seattle police were re-opening the investigation into Kurt’s death. What they(SPD) actually said was that they were going to take another look at the evidence since it had been 20 years. After re-visiting it they felt there was no reason to re-open the case.
Of course that moment led to another hatefest for Courtney Love who according to the conspiracy theorists, was finally going to get her day in court. Remember the guy, Richard Lee, who was suing SPD? Yeah us neither but here’s a refresher.
Undoubtedly, there have been some peculiar things that have happened since Kurt died, probably none bigger than the strange, sudden death of El Duce. Read HERE. He made the claim publicly that Love had offered to pay him to kill Cobain.El Duce, who was a member of the crazy Seattle band(before they moved to LA) The Mentors, was also interviewed for the documentary film, ‘Kurt & Courtney’ but just two days after filming, he was mysteriously hit and killed by a train in the middle of the night. With no witnesses to that “accident” it led to even more speculation, as El Duce, whose real name was Eldon Hoke, stated in the interview that he knew who Kurt’s killer was but was going to let the FBI catch him. He baited the interviewer that the alleged Cobain killer went by the name Allen but then retracted the name and said “my friend”. Google the name Allen Wrench sometime, just for some perspective.
And there were other mysteries surrounding the death of the Nirvana frontman from Aberdeen. Private investigator Tom Grant has pointed out for the last two decades what he thinks are discrepancies in the Seattle Police Department investigation. Love herself hired Grant days before to find Cobain after he left drug rehab. Since Cobain’s death Grant has made a career for himself with his open accusations of Love. I’ll be honest, I’ve always ridden the fence on the subject in that I have an open mind. If some of the claims by Grant and Hoke were in fact true though, then damn! But the thing is Kurt was a drug addict in the battle of his life with heroin, so it’s totally believable to me that he made permanent decision to try to fix a temporary solution.
So, the names Kurt Cobain and Nirvana trended on Facebook and Twitter in March and April 2014, just as they certainly would have, had those social media sites been around in April of 1994. 2014 was of course also the year Nirvana was inducted into the rock & roll hall of fame(lower caps intentional). Occasionally throughout the year(any year), the Nirvana name will pop up again but it’s usually some website fishing for clicks by offering up “10 Ways Nirvana Killed LA Hair Metal” or some bullshit like that. The articles are usually written by people that have very little knowledge of the band and think Wikipedia is the end-all, be-all when it comes to journalism.
This year is a bit quieter and the Nirvana news wire is filled with less frenzy. There is however a hotly anticipated documentary called ‘Montage of Heck‘ scheduled for HBO in May but will be shown in select US theaters in April before the cable release. One of the theaters is in Seattle, not sure if there are any tickets left but you can find out HERE. I can tell you that Northwest Music Scene is extremely excited to see the film produced by Brent Morgen. It was recently revealed that the film will have never before heard music from Cobain and while that would be enough probably, the trailer we have seen is top-notch and the home movies of Kurt as a child are chilling to say the least.
Kurt’s childhood home in Aberdeen, WA was also in the news recently. It is on the market and some fans want to buy it to turn it into a museum, although the campaign seems stalled at just $2,450 of the almost $600K they were trying for, even with the help of Rolling Stone and other publications around the world.
According to the GoFundMe page they wanted(still do) to make sure this house is memorialized by the fans so it doesn’t end up in the clutches of capitalist greed. They say this museum will reflect the anti-commercialism spirit of Nirvana.
In other Nirvana news Krist Novoselic showed up at the Moore Theater in Seattle on Thursday April 2nd and much to the delight of the audience got up on stage and jammed a song with the Tacoma rock & roll legends The Sonics. And of course Dave Grohl has the Foo Fighters in turbo kick ass mode and that train doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Grohl himself made a special Seattle appearance a few months ago with the Foo Fighters, just a few blocks from The Moore at The Showbox for a screening of his Sonic Highways series and a concert to follow.
One thing I’ve never really understood is the deep hatred that some people in the northwest and beyond have for Kurt Cobain and Nirvana. I was just reading a ridiculous article on Blabbermouth.com from 2011 where they are talking to guitarist Erik Turner from the hair metal band Warrant. Turner states, “Yeah. If the music industry was a church, we would’ve all been excommunicated. You are no longer welcome to come bow at the altar. We were branded as harlots. It’s funny but it’s true. That was it. Bam! You’re no longer wanted or needed around here. Bands started getting dropped like flies, and then they went around and signed bands that sounded like Nirvana! And there were some really good ones that I loved… Soundgarden, I love Alice In Chains, they actually got signed opening up for Warrant, ironically.”
Soundgarden and Alice In Chains sounded like Nirvana? What the actual fuck was he even talking about? Do people honestly think it’s Cobain’s fault they got so huge? That’s ridiculous, if the artists themselves had that sort of power, then all the bands that hated him would have been huge, or still huge, whatever the case may be.
Kurt just wanted to play music, it was the thing that gave him the release from the world and some kind of hope as a kid coming from Aberdeen. That said, sure, he was hoping to be successful, that’s kind of the idea right? That’s what most bands dream of. Some people act like he was supposed to do this shit and hang back and not try to be famous. Cobain was an incredible songwriter, gifted singer and guitar player who struggled to fit in and like so many other creatives battled mightily with drugs. His downfall was that he wasn’t ready and was ill-equipped to be the biggest rockstar on the planet. One of the best books you’ll find on this complicated and fascinating musician is ‘Heavier Than Heaven’ by legendary northwest writer Charles Cross. Heavier Than Heaven traces Cobain’s life from his early days in a double-wide trailer outside of Aberdeen, Washington, to his rise to fame, success, and the adulation of a generation.
No matter what happened to Kurt, whether he just couldn’t take this life anymore or if something else happened to him, what a waste of a brilliant human being. RIP Kurt