Kurt Cobain Essay, Research Paper
Kurt Cobain, Mascot of a Generation
The number one cause of death in teens is suicide. Looking back to one of the most commonly known and possibly most devastating suicides, of Kurt Cobain. In his time of music he had the world in his hands. He used personal turmoil as fuel for great music. Surprisingly, he seemed unusually tortured by success. But yet he still managed to change rock music forever and influence many other bands along the way.
One of Cobain’s biggest worries was that his band had sold out. In one line of a not-so-popular song he says, “I’d rather be dead than be cool.” It seemed like the once unknown punkish Seattle band moved mainstream overnight. Nirvana caught on fast and changed rock and roll music forever. Some say Nirvana caught on so quickly, because Kurt expressed feelings people had, even before they knew they had them. Nirvana, along with a few other Seattle bands, molded the music of the 90’s, alternative. In a way he was the unofficial spokes person for his generation. As stated by Dave Grohl, former drummer of Nirvana, don’t tell me how to make a record! I was in Nirvana. I was in the greatest rock and role band of the nineties. We changed the course of rock music.”
Not only did Nirvana create a new outlook on rock music, they also set the tone for a new kind of music that is still being played to this day. They inspired such bands as Silverchair and other new youthful groups. The Foo Fighters, a softer alternative band started by Dave Grohl, spawned from Nirvana after Cobain s death in 1994.
Kurt Donald Cobain was born February 20, 1967. He was a happy child growing up with his mother, Wendy, father, Donald, and little sister, Kim, outside the town of Aberdeen, Washington. He was a very interjected boy who enjoyed singing, drawing, and even acting out skits. But by the time of his eighth birthday in 1975 when Kurt’s mom filed for divorce. Kurt was ashamed. He instead he lived in a trailer with his mother for a year before moving in with his father. In result of this Cobain became an outcast and had few friends.
In 1979 Kurt s great-uncle committed suicide. Soon after that another one of his uncles committed suicide. The Cobain family was clearly falling apart fast.
Cobain s father remarried to a woman with two children of her own. This made it even harder for young Kurt to have a relationship with his father. He ended up moving between aunts , uncles , and grandparents houses many times between 1975 and 1984.
On his 14th birthday Kurt recieved his first guitar. He had been writing poetry since he was 13, so he started using his poetry to write songs. He was in several bands throughout highschool, some of them were named Fecal Matter, Skid Row, Brown Cow, The Sellouts, and Pencap Chew.
Around the time of Kurt s senior year he moved in with his mom again and formed Nirvana with high school friend, Krist Novoselic. A few of their drummers fell through and then they found who Kurt called “the worlds best drummer”, Dave Grohl. His drumming style was exactly what Nirvana needed.
Two months before Kurt’s high school graduation he dropped out. This move made his mother angry so she kicked him out of the house. He lived with friends, and for a time he even lived under a bridge of the Wishkah River in Aberdeen.
A few years later, in June of ‘89, Nirvana’s first album was released, entitled Bleach. They did short US tours and European tours to promote their album with bands such as Pearl Jam and Red Hot Chili Peppers. In 1992 Nirvana kicked off their first world tour. That’s when Nirvana started getting big.
Around the same time Kurt decided to get married to Courtney Love, lead singer of alternative band, Hole. Their marrage was in Waikiki, Hawaii on February 24, 1992. Kurt referred to their love as the relationship between Evian and battery acid.
Six months after their wedding they had a baby girl, they named her Frances Bean Cobain. Her middle named derived from the shape of her body on the sonogram. In interviews Cobain presented himself as a happy man, he said that his daughter was the “best drug” he ever had.
A month after the birth of baby Cobain, Nirvana was invited to play at the 1992 MTV music awards. They performed their well-known hit Lithium and took home two awards that night. At the ‘93 awards Nirvana won “Best Alternative Video Award.” Nirvana performed twice on Saturday Night Live in their time. Both times Cobain refused to be driven in a lemo because it made him feel like people were treating him like a god, and that pisses him off.
The last weeks of Cobain’s life were filled with turmoil and anguish. Courtney gathered friends and doctors to try to scare Kurt into getting help for his drug problem through interventions. After foolishly mixing champagne and tranquilizers he lapsed into a coma in Rome, a failed suicide attempt. He spent several days in the hospital until willfully leaving. Its reported that immediately following the departure of hospital Kurt purchased a gun. He was missing 6 days. He was found sprawled on the floor of the Seattle Cobain home, dead, gun still pointing to his chin. On a counter nearby was a suicide letter addressed to his fans, wife and baby, made out in red ink. He had been dead 3 days. Thought it was never fully proven, most people assumed Kurt committed suicide. Others believe that Courtney Love hired a hit man to fake his suicide.
In result of his tragic death hundreds of people gathered in Seattle, where the devastated widow, Courtney, read certain parts of the suicide note over microphones. The media went wild and some obsessed fans committed suicide in tribute.
The slight soft-spoken Cobain will be remembered as the architect of grunge. He’s responsible for the most creative rock music of the last decade. In his music he didn’t communicate in complete sentences or elaborate arguments, his lyrics were a stream of conciseness insights to the short attention span of his audience. Contrary to the plan Kurt had for his life, he became rich and famous and carried the banner for this generation of rebellious teens. To some Kurt was a depressed heroin addict, to others just a singer, but to some an example. There is a little Kurt Cobain in all of us.