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you do NOT want to read this 
6th-Apr-2004 02:40 am
Ten years ago yesterday, Kurt Cobain committed suicide.

At that point I had been living in the Seattle area for about a year and a half. I had never heard of either Kurt Cobain or Nirvana until that first news report of his death. I had vaguely heard of something called "grunge", but I knew very little about it beyond the name. To this day I would probably be hard pressed to identify grunge pieces from other forms of indie rock --- well okay, I guess I can identify REM now, but maybe REM isn't actually considered grunge; I don't know...

Nor do I remember exactly where I was when I heard that first news report --- most likely I was driving to or from work, since I never listened to the radio at any other time. The story made pretty much zero impression on me beyond the usual touch of sadness/tragedy/wasted-potential involved whenever someone I don't know senselessly dies at a fairly young age.

It wasn't until the following week when the various magazine cover stories started showing up that I began to understand that this wasn't actually just a local news story about some random teenager committing suicide. And, as time went on, I could only grow more and more amazed that someone whom I'd had absolutely no clue about whatsoever could have been so famous / so central to people's lives / so etc.

Never mind that I would not have remembered the date at all today were it not for the n other people on my Friends list posting entries about this. And since they probably wouldn't appreciate my putting this comment in their journals, I'll do it here instead.

Ok, so I live under a rock and am apparently not true Generation XTM (...even if I do satisfy Douglas Copeland's original definition of the term...).

Please don't hate me.
6th-Apr-2004 08:49 am (UTC)
Heck I don't hate you. I remember first hearing Nirvana and thinking oh a heavy metal version of R.E.M. and was never all that impressed with them. My thought upon hearing the news 10 years ago was 'hey doesn't he have a brand new kid, what a selfish bastard'.
I still don't like Nirvana though.
6th-Apr-2004 11:19 am (UTC)
Yeah, REM's not grunge, though they had a few grungy songs. Apparently Michael Stipe (lead singer for REM) had become good friends with Kurt not long before his death, though.

I don't hate you for not knowing who Nirvana was—it's not like they were the Beatles or anything. I hope you don't hate me for not knowing anything about your favorite music either. (classical?) I totally didn't get why everyone was so affected by Princess Di's death, either (though of course I knew who she was). The relationship of celebrities to their, uh, celebrators is definitely an odd and unpredictable one.
6th-Apr-2004 12:31 pm (UTC)
Ten years ago, I was into the club scene and I attended the smegging memorial service at the Seattle Center.

I just found the pictures and all I can say is "MAN I was a fucking loser in college!"

Not that I'm a huge success now, but at least I don't dress like a hippie anymore.
6th-Apr-2004 04:14 pm (UTC)
wait, you were in college 10 years ago?
6th-Apr-2004 04:56 pm (UTC)
I graduated ten years ago last month, so I guess *technically* I was out of college when Cobain blew his brains out.
7th-Apr-2004 11:23 am (UTC)
I was at the Seattle Center thing, too. If you have pictures, I was the long-haired bearded freak in the Nirvana shirt--yeah, I'm sure that narrows it down.

I was a big fan of Nirvana, and his suicide just got under my skin, particularly since I was in a fairly depressive period in my own life. I just had to acknowledge the event, and deal with how I felt. So I drove up to Seattle from Olympia, playing Nirvana compilation cassettes all the way.

When I got there, after negotiating a Seattle Center traffic jam, I walked silently among the truly grieving people. I joined the mosh pit in the flag pavilion as recorded Nirvana tracks played. I had a really interesting conversation about Nirvana and Kurt Cobain with a guy who was a local community activist on police accountability issues. It was a proper wake.

All of this probably makes me a thorough dork and totally uncool, and I don't care.

The whole thing still brings up mixed feelings of anger and sadness, and more than a little defensiveness toward the people who slag Nirvana and Kurt Cobain.
7th-Apr-2004 11:36 am (UTC)
I think the part that bothered me the most was that he was MY age, and I was confused as to what would cause somebody with a young child to just blow their brains out like that.
6th-Apr-2004 01:12 pm (UTC)
Mostly what I remember about the day the news broke is thinking "my friend Jim Stone from grunge-l is going to be devastated" and wishing I had his phone number and not just his e-mail address. And otherwise sitting in front of a computer all day working on the parts for Prof. Asshole's chamber orchestra piece.
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