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Kurt Cobain Makes a Crappy Excuse for an Icon

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With all due respect, Kurt Cobain makes a poor excuse for a cultural icon. I don’t mean to discount his personal pain, or anything like that. Ten years ago today, though, the cat offed himself. Since then, a lot of people have set him up as some kind of great symbol, like some cheap rock and roll Christ figure who died for our sins or something.

Yuck, people. This guy was weak and suffering and did not ever seem to get any joy from his success. He was one miserable downer. Of all the musicians you could set up as your hero or idol, why this sad sack?

Camille Paglia made a similar point several years ago. She contrasted Cobain as a sad little lost boy, compared to the tough MEN of the 60s rock generation – Bob Dylan, Mick and Keef, etc.

It’s not like Nirvana’s music was all that. They only made about four albums, and none of them was a Sgt Pepper or Purple Rain. They did some good work, but it’s not like it was anything to lose your mind over a decade later. I don’t see anyone carrying on like this about Terence Trent D’Arby now, for example, and he’s FAR more accomplished on every musical level.

On the other hand, TTD didn’t tragically blow his brains out to complete some requirements for legendhood. What’s up with that? Does getting yourself dead somehow make you a greater artist retroactively?

What’s with this cheesy death cult stuff, anyway? What do people get from obsessing over these dead people? There are plenty of much more accomplished musicians who did not self-destruct you could cast as your golden calves.

Why would you set your mind on Kurt Cobain when you could just as easily be doting on Paul Simon or Prince? Call me crazy, but I’d much rather obsess over Graceland or Lovesexy rather than Cobain singing “I Hate Myself and Want to Die.” It’s a lot more fun – and a lot healthier as well.

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  • Guess what!? Kurt makes a great cultural icon. Maybe the best ever. Why? He was speaking deep down for alot of people. Millions of records don’t sell for no reason at all. It wasn’t something that you could go out and market. It pretty much did it on its own. And he spoke well, from the soul. ‘Unplugged’ shows what a crafty songwriter he actually was.

    You are trying to say money can buy happiness? Get a grip! If TTD blew his head off, no big deal (Terrance, sorry, but you get the point I’m trying to make…). How about if first chair violin for the London Symphony Orchestra blew his/her head off. A more accomplished musician than most on this planet, but so what?

    Pop culture involves much more than the music. Well performed musical statements are what make it. Part of that performance is ones own reality.

    In a big picture of Kurt’s perplexities, maybe Bob Dylan showing up in a Victoria’s Secret ad might give some light to the concept.

  • Are you kidding me? I am not saying he was a rock gawd, but let’s give Nirvana some credit – they DO deserve some.

    they brought a musical style to the forefront, that would forever change the face of ‘accepted’ rock music and give way to a decade that would put depth and feeling BACK into the music.. After hearing the meaningless hairbands of the 80’s giveway to an even more annoying genre that would server no more than re-hashing the same ‘politically correct’ message over and over….

    If anything… anything at all lety’s at least give nirvana their just thanks for drop-kiccking us out of that cocaine/vegetarian woven monotonous recital and into a decade where bands were not afraid to freakin rock… and mean it!


  • chelle

    kurt repeated many times that he hated the social standard on what defined “men”, and i thought it was pretty ironic that you mentioned “tough MEN of the 60s rock generation”. who do you think are men? people who don leather pants and make loud music by just using their amps? kurts cobains music came from his soul, not just the equipment he used. i can count the number of icons today who do that on my toes.

  • bhw

    kurts cobains music came from his soul,

    That and his antidepressants.

    I like Nirvana and I thought the Unplugged show really showcased, as someone said above, Cobain’s songwriting craft. But this reverence of the self-consciously depressed and heroin addicted rock Icon has just got to go. It’s not soulfull. It’s just melodrama dressed up as deep thinking.

    I think the quote from Cobain’s mother when he died was something like, “Now he’s gone and joined that stupid club.”

  • Guest

    I have to say I agree with Al. Look, I was in my early teens when Nirvana came out, also around the time I started playing guitar. As much as I enjoyed there music, I don’t see why so many people put him on a pedestal. Sure he HELPED (not set the standard for) grunge music to become popular but you also have to factor in the musical climate at the time and the fact that Nirvana was NOT the only band playing grunge at the time. He was a good songwriter even though he was a HORRIBLE guitar player (technically speaking, Im sure it doesn’t matter to a lot of you). Cobain has my respect as a musician but as a person, he certainly does not deserve deification.

  • Al, you can try all you like, but anyone who compares Cobain to Terrence Trent D’Arby is out of his mind. Wishing Well, isn’t enough to compare with “Teen Spirit,” “Come As You Are,” “In Bloom,” “Heart-shaped Box,” and the entire Unplugged performance.

  • Are you kidding me? I am not saying he was a rock gawd, but let’s give Nirvana some credit – they DO deserve some.

    Are you kidding me? Al may not give Nirvana much credit, but from the rest of the world, they seem to get too much credit.

    As “Guest” said, there were other grunge musicians during the time of Nirvana. Anyone remember a group called Pearl Jam? Now I wonder if Eddie Vedder would have reached deity status if he had went and killed himself around the same time too.

  • Eric Olsen

    What I tried to do in my essay on Cobain was to separate the artist from the person: he was a great artist and a crappy person. Nothing new there.

  • BHW had it just right in comment 4. There’s nothing profound about wallowing in depression.

    As to being deep, I would counter anything Cobain ever wrote with the Terence Trent D’Arby song “Vibrator,” referring to the life force deep down inside. It’s a better song arguably than any by Cobain, but also exactly the counter view to Cobain’s determined nihilism.

    Eric, I want to separate myself from your last statement there. I’m not saying that Cobain was a “crappy person.” He may have been a real nice fellow- but I sure don’t want to sit around thinking about or being like him.

    I think I give Nirvana perfectly fair credit. They were a crappy band with an outstanding songwriter. Cobain wrote maybe a dozen outstanding songs. That’s actually a pretty fair accomplishment- but not even close to an explanation for his continued deification.

    All this stuff about him changing the course of music forever and such is just nonsense. What’s different because of Cobain even a mere 10 years past?

    Grunge was there before Cobain- though it wasn’t that much of a distinctive musical movement at any point. In any case, it’s gone now.

    Kurt Cobain and Grunge – RIP

  • Eric,

    OK, that angle makes sense. What I was trying to say is that I wouldn’t call him a crappy person. He was a mis-wired observant person. The drugs, etc. were just symptoms. His music was his therapy and art. He was a good visual artist as well. He did have that given ability and it did get displayed on a big level.

    He spoke from the soul, his was all fucked up. As a late teen I went through that suicide-depression trip (‘I’m Eighteen’ by Alice Cooper could be an all time great on the social understanding song chart) and my soul did feel a thousand years old.

    Anyway, Kurt displayed an aspect of the human psyche. Its cool. Its legit. Ugh!, too complex to get in to before drinkin’ my a.m. coffee.


  • sheri

    Eric said that Kurt Cobain became something like “an ABSTRACT icon” of Generation X. And I agree. I also agree with another woman on another comment I read somewhere about David Grohl. He wasn’t really appreciated until the Foo Fighters. Also, it moved from grunge to a mixture of alternative/punk/metal pretty quickly, so after awhile it kind of came under a single umbrella.United them so to speak.Seperate but together. I believe Eric said something along those lines too. You could see this in our cd collections, and hear it on radio stations.

  • duane

    Musical influence aside, I think it’s fairly common for young people to identify with “tortured geniuses.” Owing to his notoriety, Cobain was a quick fix for young screwed up people, who are pessimistic about their lot in life, and rather than light a fire under their asses, prefer to pretend to themselves and others that they are misunderstood. “I’m so deep. No one has ever thought the deep, dark thoughts that obsess me.” Like I said, music aside here. He may have written some fine 3-chord music, but the reason that his stature went over the top is because of his posturing as the tortured genius with hair in his eyes and a guitar in his hands.

  • HHHMMM… let me add that I find it kinda sad the lack of understanding of the legitimacy of the emotions that Kurt displayed. There are volumes of clinical information (including cure) about it all. Wouldn’t one consider Peter Green’s mania legit? No, I’m only making a psyche comparison!!!

    Kurt never got the medical attention. Look at his stomach problems, a physical medical problem. My theory is that such attention stopped when his folks divorced at age 10.

    Oh, Al Barger, grunge is R.I.P.? Time to take a look at the modern roots of it all. Click on my name at the top of this comment, it will take you to the URL. It might give you a different view about the whole trip.

    Oh, actually, Nirvana was a very good band. A 3 piece band. Tough to make that work. But when it does, it kicks. They were a rare 3 piece that worked.

    Also, say Andy Wood of Mother Love Bone had not died of a heroin O.D., MLB became Pearl Jam to fullfill a record contract. Grunge would have taken a whole different direction I bet. MLB ‘Apple” is the best album of that era. X-15 ‘Bombs and Insurance’ is a compilation which displays the best ideas of the whole ‘Seattle Scene’.

    Anyway, I live and work the scene up here, so I am just passing along perspective that is a bit closer to the source. Oh the humanity…. (lol!)


  • bhw

    I think that addiction is real and that illness is real. And I have a lot of compassion for people who are mentally ill. I just don’t think that it necessarily makes them write from “the soul” any more than someone who isn’t depressed or ill. [Didn’t Alanis Morrisette kind of have that epiphany along the way, that it wasn’t more artistic to be down and depressed all the time?]

    And I think it’s a mistake to glorify depression or drug abuse and to present them to young people as being cool and artistic and deep. They’re not. They’re illnesses that need treatment.

  • Oh wow, reading other people’s comments, I do have to throw this in.

    First of all, about all this wallowing in depression as an illegitimate personal emotion. Van Gogh, Hemingway, I guess that makes all their works bullshit.

    Then I see people saying things to the effect of ‘lighting a fire under his ass’. Those people don’t understand the depth or complexities or the powers of the mind. Say someone close to you dies and you are sad and crying. I say, ‘knock it off! Quit your goddamn crying! Your emotions are bullshit!’

    Anyway, get the picture? Kurt wasn’t a dumbshit. He spoke very well for affliction. Time to treat the situation.


  • bhw

    My point is that real clinical depression is a serious illness. It shouldn’t be treated as a persona that can be adopted in order to become more artistic. The problem is that young people buy into that crap and start to adopt a phony Cobain-like persona, thinking it makes them more deep and insightful.

    There are and have been lots of artists of all genres who suffered from mental illness. And there have been just as many if not more who haven’t. To suggest that a depressed person is more in touch with his soul or is more artistic than a healthy person is just ridiculous.

    That doesn’t mean Cobain’s emotions weren’t real. It just means we shouldn’t make it seem like similar emotions and/or problems are something to be desired in other young people.

  • hhhmmm… bhw

    OK, this brings up an interesting point. Art is speaking from emotion. To the depressed, Kurt provides a fact of understanding to those with the disease. If you aren’t afflicted with it you are going to become depressed by listening to Kurt. That would be like suddenly getting cancer by listening to an artist who sings about it.

    Are people stupid enough to buy everything they see advertised on TV? Some people sucker to some things, but in general, naw.

    The bottom line is that the music is good. should the planet follow Buffy Saint Marie because she makes the world happy? She don’t on the huge socialogical perspective. she is just singing an emotion.


  • bhw

    Well, art [at least good art] is more than expressed emotion, in my opinion.

    That said, certainly many a fine rock song was written from an emotional experience [all those luuuuuuv songs!].

    But yes, I think I do see a bunch of lemmings in our popular culture. Copycats, wannabees, whatever you want to call them. And yes, kids think it’s cool to be like whoever they think is cool at the moment. Kurt “created” a bunch of young people who learned to affect the deep, morose, “depressed” young person thing.

    You can’t easily take on the persona of a cancer patient. But you can adopt the affect of a depressed “artist.” It happens all the time — Alanis Morrisette admitted as much about herself a few years ago. It was an affect — it wasn’t real. Then she stopped buying into the idea that she had to be depressed and unhappy to be a good musician.

  • The trick to really making it in the biz or life is that you have to be yourself. You must be real. Posers don’t get too far. Kurt wasn’t posing. His problem was that his lack of posing was a means to an end. To quote the Who, ‘Can’t you see the real me? doctor, doctor?’

    Alanis? Was she posing for a while? It is mentioned about adopting a personna. That happens alot in any form via the concept of empathy. Thats what its all about. Adopting personna isn’t a bad thing (except for violent types). Maybe it is good and helps develope a better understanding of the human condition.

    Ugh!, theories abound. Anyway, Mercury goes into retrograde tomorrow. I need to get a bunch of shit done today, or else, you know what a hassle it could become…


  • duane

    “Then I see people saying things to the effect of ‘lighting a fire under his ass’.” Before you finish painting me as the uncaring sort, let me point out that you misquoted me. I was not saying that Cobain’s infirmities were not genuine. My point was that, in my opinion, many of his fans latched onto him because of their perception that he symbolized their own pretensions of being misunderstood geniuses. It’s something many kids go through as they make the transition from Mom and Dad to the Cruel Selfish World. It’s part of growing up. BHW is doing just fine here, and I don’t want to be redundant. I just wanted you, Douglas, to not go off on a tangent by misunderstanding my genius comments. Doh! Now I’m doing it.

  • jmm

    A question: If Kurt is not worthy of icon status, why are you wasting blog space on the subject?

    I just don’t understand why the Nirvana haters of the world continue to point out what idiots or psychos we are. It must be all these MLB/PJ fans that are still resentful to this day that it’s not their band featured on the cover of every third issue of Rolling Stone. (I’m not gloating here. RS exploits the Kurt saga to no end.) But I know people who still think Eddie Vedder is the Jesus reincarnate, and the guy hasn’t even died and risen yet. The Veddists know who they are. Why do they miss out on all this hostility?

    If Eddie had blown his head off early in his career, it would have at least saved us from the cruelty of Binaural. And possibly, just possibly, we would not have been Bushwhacked in November 2000. Don’t blame Nader, don’t blame Kurt, blame Eddie. Also, don’t get me wrong! I go see PJ every time they tour through Texas. They are one of the greatest live bands ever and a remnant of what I do sincerely believe is one of the the greatest eras of rock music ever, regardless of its brevity. I am just making a point here.

    You should quit characterizing Kurt/Nirvana fans as “young screwed up people, who are pessimistic about their lot in life.” I would agree that there are those who have not moved on. That holds true to any fan of a supposed immortal. I do not expect that wallowing in depression would make me a great artist. I can’t even play my way through three chords without screwing up and have never written a song. I have a real job and am completely focused on reality.

    But to write off the entire matter and a generation of fans on this basis is just plain absurd. You don’t see me telling you to get over Prince (who, like Kurt, is nothing today), even though I believe his music was the only bad thing about the first Batman movie.

  • duane, sorry, I was just putting a spin on your quote to make a point. You know, using it in a simplistic way…sorry dude if it was used wrong on a deeper level

    Oh, jmm, you know, PJ came pre-fab with their own passed on icon. Andy Wood. Poor guy had the life sucked out of him early by those glomming on to him as ‘the next big thing’. Irony can be sick.

    Regardless, the bottom line is that it is good, crucial music. With all the popularity and response to blogs, it kinda shows that something is going on here we aren’t really aware of. Being a Seattle scene worker, I sure haven’t been able to figure it all out. It was all part of the deal, and it happened to take off. I don’t get it.


  • duane

    Nice comeback, jmm. You make several good points.

    I just don’t understand why the Nirvana haters of the world continue to point out what idiots or psychos we are.

    I don’t hate Nirvana. And (hopefully not sounding too defensive), I don’t mean to stereotype ALL Nirvana fans. My opinion is that icon status is often (not always) achieved by fans’ perceptions of the personalities of musicians. When the “tortured genius” personna makes its appearance, it tends to garner a larger fanbase. I would be happy to exclude you from that group.

    … fans that are still resentful to this day that it’s not their band featured on the cover of every third issue of Rolling Stone.

    Well, no, actually. I have no hopes that King Crimson will show up on the RS cover. It’s really OK. They have to sell their magazine.

    You should quit characterizing Kurt/Nirvana fans as “young screwed up people, who are pessimistic about their lot in life.”

    It was a rather broad brush. (See previous comment). OK, I’ll quit.

    The Veddists know who they are. Why do they miss out on all this hostility?

    Well, it’s not actually hostility. We’re just having a discussion here. If Vedder were the subject of the post, I would gladly comment on the Veddists.

    But to write off the entire matter and a generation of fans on this basis is just plain absurd.

    Point taken.

    …even though I believe [Prince’s] music was the only bad thing about the first Batman movie.

    Hmmm. I would say that it was merely inappropriate. It’s still good music.

  • jmm

    Thanks for your response, Duane. It’s appreciated and I do respect your opinion.

    Maybe I’m just still fuming over the fact that I never got to see my favorite band live. I know a lot of “Nirvana haters” who did get to see them live. It was all over before I knew what had happened. I was always too busy or had other things on my mind. I will always regret it.

    I do consider Kurt an icon, but not just for the music, and not necessarily in a good sense. It is more disturbing than that. If you ever want any insight into why this Kurt phenomenon persists, I don’t know that I can provide the big answer everybody wants. I would be more than happy, though, to share the story of a kid whose life was eerily similar to the story of the kid depicted in the early part of “Heavier Than Heaven,” the pre-Nirvana days. It took everything I had to keep from throwing up several times in that book. Even the pictures of Donald and Wendy look like two people I know very well.

    Maybe it will add another small piece to the puzzle that nobody seems to be able to figure out. I would love nothing more than an hour or two with Charles Cross.

    To quote Douglas,


  • Boy, did I come off as a Veddist? Well I’m not, nor am I a Nirvana-hater. And I do not deny that Cobain was a great songwriter/musician. I can even say that he was a genius in his own right. However, the matter is, the size of his iconic status is probably due largely in part to his early demise.

    I’ll back up my point with The Simpsons episode that aired just yesterday. (After all if it’s shown on The Simpsons, it must be true!) Anyway, Marge was telling the story of Mozart and his sibling and how they were both talented composers. Mozart, who died young, upon his deathbed says to his sibling something to the extent of how he always worried that through the test of time, his work would pale in comparison to his sibling’s but now that he was a genius dying young, he was garaunteed that his legendary status would outlive that of his sibling’s. And there you have it.

  • Nirvana’s music was outstanding, and memorable. But the anniversary of Mr. Cobain’s death should not be “celebrated” any more than the death of anyone else who killed themselves ten years ago.

    I dig the music, not the heroin-addicted kook who created it, and then decided to kill himself.

    I can seperate the man from the music. I like Elton John and Eminem, The Dave Matthews Band and The Insane Clown Posse, Prince and Green Day. That is to say, I like their music.

    But I couldn’t care less about them as human beings. And I doubt they give a shit about me, either.

  • I was scratching my head over Kurt Cobain icon status (see post #22). Being a working scenester in the Seattle scene, the fact that something took off so huge, that something is a thing that was just part of the deal of the scene here so we were just used to it. In previous comments I just didn’t get around to reciting basic principles of why such icon status exists in human culture. (Hey, my grande double cafe latte’s hadn’t kicked in yet)

    Today’s Seattle Times made it easy for me to explain. Yesterday in Seattle, fans gathered at a park by Kurt and Courtney’s famed home to pay homage. Singing songs with acoustic guitars (no boomboxes or anything loud), leaving flowers, a nice quiet peaceful gathering of respect and all that good stuff.

    So let me quote a few fans: “The sincerity of Cobain’s songs, rife with beauty and pain…”, another says: “Kurt’s given me so much. I’ve learned about myself and about the world. He’s given me so much that I feel the least I can do is come here and celebrate somehow”. Another said that through Nirvana and Cobain’s songs she realized she wasn’t alone in her despair. One person observed: “Cobain had his heart on a platter. He made himself as vulnerable as he could”. Another said: “He made you feel like he was talking to you”.

    Can’t knock anyone for all that. An icon speaks for the heart and soul of masses. And, you know, it all does make alot of sense. Oh yeah, the music was killer! (pun not intended…)


  • Your bile-filled rhetoric makes little argument other than “i think he sucked,” which, if you’re 12, is a great argument. And any article that starts with “With all due respect” should signal readers that they’re coming up on a useless rant. I’m not sure who you’re claiming to respect here – him, the band, or the readers. From what i gather, you give no respect to any of them.

    “Call me crazy, but I’d much rather obsess over Graceland or Lovesexy rather than Cobain singing “I Hate Myself and Want to Die.” It’s a lot more fun- and a lot healthier as well.”

    That song was not to be taken literally (like many of his songs). It was a sarcastic nudge to the music press that painted the picture that he actually hated his rock-star life. From everything i’ve gathered over the years, he got happier as he got older but it was the physical and mental trauma of his stomach and his past that did him in. Please note I’m not defending him here – suicide is never a solution.

    Have you bothered to listen to the lyrics of that song, anyway? For your amusement, here they are. Granted, they are odd, but there is nothing here that points to self-hate and/or suicice:

    Runny nose and runny yolk
    Even if you have a cold still
    You can cough on me again
    I still havent had my fulfill

    In the someday, what’s that sound?

    Broken heart and broken bones
    Think about some capsules of horse pills
    One more quirky cliche’d phrase
    You’re the one I wanna refill

    In the someday, what’s that sound?

    most people don’t realize
    that two large pieces of coral,
    painted brown, and attached to his skull
    with common wood screws can make a child look like a deer

  • Particleman, you’re not impressing anyone with this whining- or at least I’d hope not. Really, to call this column “bile-filled rhetoric” pushes the limits of wussiness.

    To recap, I acknowledged that he was an outstanding songwriter, and probably a very decent guy who was suffering. How bilious is that?

    The criticism was really directed at the morbidly obsessed FANS, rather than Cobain himself.

    More than anything, those lyrics you’re citing point out Cobain’s poor work as a lyricist- for which his whole songwriting credits get docked. In short, these lyrics are meaningless crap- as are the majority of his lyrics. You’d never see senseless drivel like this from a real lyricist like Paul Simon or Oscar Hammerstein.

    Then on the other hand, neither Simon or Hammerstein have formed the basis of a cheesy death cult to make a bunch of losers feel good about their miserable loserness.

    Also, I might take the song title less literally if it weren’t the last song he published a few weeks before he blew his brains out.

  • Kurt was whingeing self-obsessed wanker who topped himself, leaving a young girl without a father and a total loon for a mother.

    Cultural icon? More like a total arsehole.

    Nirvana as a band were all hype and no substance. The shit they produced had been done better by others. The over-shadowed more talented bands that came out of the Seattle scene. There is no doubt Grohl is talented. Thank god he was freed from the shackles of Nirvana.

  • I’m not whining, i’m pointing out all the weak point in your article, and you translate this as whining.

    The whining is coming from your article, not from my post. All you do is whine about how you don’t understand why people view him as a cultural icon… have you tried speaking to these people, perhaps? That might help.

    You call this is ‘acknowledgement’? Right.:

    “It’s not like Nirvana’s music was all that. They only made about four albums, and none of them was a Sgt Pepper or Purple Rain. They did some good work, but it’s not like it was anything to lose your mind over a decade later.”

    Sounds more like a qualified “they were alright, but not really.” It says nothing about being outstanding.

    Your article focuses on him as a cultural icon yet your retort to me on the lyrcis cites the quality of the lyrics. We’re not discussing the lyrics – who cares if they’re meaningless. You’re changing the subject. You took the song title out of context and painted as a song that would be depressing. Taking things out of context is cheap and poor journalism.

    And since when do all song titles represent the lyrical content of the song?

  • Robby

    Kurt cobain was possibly the best icon ever! How dare you say such things about such a awsome person! Granted he wasnt the all American “Tough man” he was very fucked up, i mean thats no secret. But he represented the youth , he made a style, he was the one person who had the balls to say “f*** you!” to anyone. Kurt Cobain was & is a legend, and he wasnt like Bob Dylan mick & keef. You know why, because he let you know what he was thinking and it hapend to be exactly what every-1 else was thinking & feeling! Even “Smells like teen spirit” which no one knew the words to, had an instant connection with nearly every-1 His Death/ Sucicide was really in a way his trademark, he was misserable, but every-1 knew he loved it despite what he said. And like any musician he got frustrated but he got to the ultimate level of frustation and lingered on the edge of suicide at times. But i still belive Kurt is the best Icon ever. He showed the world you can do whatever the fuck you want, in a sense “Be all you can be” Do what you dont want to do and strive for goals, he also taught reason like when MTV wouldent let him play “Rape me” he played the first few Bars and then went to lithium. Kurt cobain Is and WAs the all american badass! In his emasculenity he was the most masculent. I LOVE KURT COBAIN!

  • Robby

    Also i would like to add….. Kurt cobain was a man with a drug problem , if you have ever watched anything about him or knew anything about him you would know that every-1 around him says he was the kindest and caringest father to his child and his wife, he just had a horrable drug additction. Also his lack of good lyrics overall was just a big “fuck you” to leave every-1 lost trying to translate them so he kept writing them just to confuse the people that thought they had him figued out

  • He was a talented loser who blew his own brains out rather than raise his kid.

    What an Icon!

  • HW Saxton Jr.

    “Rock Stars”.Feh.Yeah,they sure do make great icons.Marginally talented,suicidal
    dope fiend.Crappy excuse for an icon,yes

  • Robby, and who caused him to be a drug addict? Surely that is self-afflicted malady? The man blew his head off with a shotgun, he didn’t OD.

    A father that kills himself and leaves his kid with Ms Love? Yeah great icon…

  • sarah

    … yet the shotgun had no fingerprints, and all that other reported stuff. yes, so much hostility about ‘a supposed icon selfishly blowing his brains out’ …it’s widely believed that he killed himself but who really knows for sure? he was also in rehab, trying to better himself for his daughter. no one will know all the details or what could have been. kurt and nirvana meant different things to a myriad of fans. they were just the beatles for my generation. kurt died when i was 12, shortly after i became a fan. his death touched me in a way i could never explain. that doesn’t mean i hold him up on a pedestal as an idol to mourn over or emulate. i don’t even know what it means. it’s just unexplainable emotion.

    your comparisons are all your opinion. whereas i still enjoy nirvana’s music to this day, when prince kicks the bucket, i can’t wait to say “meh.”

    to each our own.

  • Stefanie

    I have a question for you…Is Elvis Presley an icon? He was a washed up “rock” star who succumbed to a drug overdose that left his daughter fatherless.
    Your message is offensive to Nirvana fans everywhere. Kurt Cobain wasn’t a macho-man, that’s true. I’m sure he’s not sorry for being an honest person and skipping out on that whole “we have big hair and tight pants” rock star attitude that seemed to sell so well in the early 90’s. That’s not what people loved him for. They loved him for his honesty and the way he was willing to share that with the world through his music.

    “Yuck, people. This guy was weak and suffering and did not ever seem to get any joy from his success. He was one miserable downer.”
    ~Yeah your REAL mature. Making fun of a guy who battled depression his whole life and felt so desperate in his own skin that he actually had to end his life. He obviously didn’t WANT to do it. He lasted 27 years before he finally gave up. He was holding onto something, but in the end I guess his sadness just got the best of him. Anyway, I just find it sick the way your portray a mental disease as a weakness in someone, when it’s not something that you can help. Addiction is also a disease in case you didn’t know.
    Oh hell, what am I even talking for? I’m responding to a guy who would rather listen to Prince than Nirvana. There’s definetly no common ground here. Nirvana was too honest for your smooth and simple existance.

  • Stefanie has a reasonable point about Elvis Presley, but it’s not the same. For starters, Elvis gets more slack because he was, like, 100 times more artistically significant than Cobain. I’ll cut quite a bit of slack for the guy who recorded “Baby, Let’s Play House” and “Kentucky Rain.”

    Beyond that, though, Elvis ended up being miserable and way early dead, and that’s not particularly a great icon worthy achievement. I would like to have written a better ending to that story, but them’s the facts.

    However, Elvis gets treated as an icon DESPITE the bad ending, not because of it. Elvis did not spend his entire career going on about how miserable he was. He was not idolized as a human embodiment of misery. His demons finally got him, but that’s not what he’s celebrated for.

    Again, I don’t mean this as criticism of Kurt Cobain. He was a poor miserable bastard who couldn’t take it anymore. That’s a damned shame. He had some decent talent, and he seemed like a pretty nice fellow.

    I DO mean this as criticism of Cobain’s more adamant fans. You’re whipping up your own miserable little death cult. Yuck. That’s on you, not Cobain.

    Stefanie- you probably shouldn’t pick PRINCE for your point of mockery. Cobain was a decent songwriter. He wrote probably a dozen outstanding songs, but on his best day he was not even vaguely in a musical league with Prince as a songwriter, let alone as a multi-instrumentalist, singer, arranger, or record producer. He just wasn’t. That’s not just a subjective opinion, but pure F-A-C-T.

    Perhaps you’d appreciate Prince better if he blew his own brains out with a shotgun. Obviously that is the mark of a true artist.

  • Screw Kurt. He swore he didn’t have a gun. And he left Frances with Courtney. Talented, yes. Misguided and suffering, obviously. But wrong. I love the music, but I pity and am angry with the human.

  • Al, you do an excellent job of selectively responding to your responders. How about telling us how you feel about Stefanie’s non-Elvis-related comments?

  • Stefanie

    Al-Prince is not God. And he is and was no better than Kurt Cobain. This having absolutely NOTHING to do with the fact that Kurt killed himself. For one minute, let’s have a conversation about Nirvana that doesn’t include you piping in with “HEY HEY Kurt SHOT himself!” We all know that. But BEFORE he shot himself he wrote a lot of incredible songs. I don’t see how you see Prince as this amazing lyricist. Yeah, he writes songs about getting laid in a red corvette, good for him, his life is perfect. I prefer to listen to someone who tells stories I can relate to. Just so you know, Kurt was not miserable all his life and he doesn’t incorporate that into his music ALL of the time. Listen to Bleach or Incesticide. Hell, listen to Nevermind there are plenty of upbeat songs on that album. The saddest album was their last IN UTERO.
    What do you have to say about depression. I was wondering what your views are. Do you think people fake it for attention? Do you think it’s a choice? The way you talk you make it seem like Kurt surrounded himself in misery rather than the fact that misery surrounded itself around Kurt.
    ” That’s not just a subjective opinion, but pure F-A-C-T.” What you view as a highly intelligent and more advanced opinion is still what it is…YOUR OPINION. I don’t consider Prince talented. I think his voice is annoying, I hate the way he tries to divert your attention from his severe lack of singing talent to his purple jump suits and pretty eye make up.

    “Perhaps you’d appreciate Prince better if he blew his own brains out with a shotgun. Obviously that is the mark of a true artist.”
    ~Haha. No Al. The mark of a true artist lies in the honesty they put across to their fans. I hope, for your sake, Prince never does decide to take his own life. How would you defend his “legacy” against people who claim the only reason he ever amounted to anything was because he did himself in? I guess you’d be saying the same things that I am saying.

  • Bondidude

    *stands up*


    That is all I have to say.

  • Again, Mr. Cobain was a wonderfully-gifted artist. I love his music. I celebrate his music. But NOT his death.

    There is a sort of “death cult” surrounding this guy. I dated a girl once who admitted to me she herself was suicidal when she learned he had died. I asked her why. She couldn’t explain it. But his death just meant SOOO much to her.

    I wonder how many young people killed themselves in the wake of his suicide? I mean, it was like, SOOO COOL…

  • Stefanie and Particleman- I don’t have any problem with Cobain as a person. I’m probably more forgiving in this case than Natalie would be- though she has a strong point about Cobain abandoning his family. I don’t mean to be judgmental about him on a personal level.

    It’s his FANS that I’m criticizing, not him.

    However, he wasn’t all THAT as an artist. He wrote a handful of outstanding songs, but was in no way artistically in a league with Prince.

    Miss Stefanie says that Cobain’s popularity came from “his honesty and the way he was willing to share that with the world.” OK, if you say so. However, I can’t make out what the honest statements are even SUPPOSED to be from his records, not even with a lyrics sheet in front of me.

    That’s because Cobain was generally a very poor lyricist, just purely on technical grounds. What does crap like this actually MEAN? :
    With the lights out it’s less dangerous
    Here we are now
    Entertain us
    I feel stupid and contagious
    Here we are now
    Entertain us
    A mulatto
    An albino
    A mosquito
    My Libido
    Yeah, a denial
    A denial
    A denial…

    Nothing, I propose to you. Nothing that makes any sense. This is just gibberish.

    As a writer of melody, Cobain had some decent moments, but the whole melodic content of his career is less hooks, less development than the 1999 album- before Prince was even peaking.

    As an actual musician, Cobain was weak. He could barely carry a tune, and he did not have any obvious special compensating gift that transcended these limits, as did for example Bob Dylan. Prince is perhaps merely an outstanding vocalist, which would make that his weak suit.

    Then there is playing an instrument. Nirvana just sucked. They succeeded because of Cobain’s SONGS, not because of their playing ability. Prince did more guitar playing in his “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” solo at the Hall of Fame dinner than Nirvana collectively have done in their careers.

    Particleman, to what am I not responding?

  • Stefanie

    You are right Al. Kurt Cobain’s lyrics weren’t the most outstanding. Does this mean his music lacked honesty? NO. Sometimes artists use metaphors for us, as listeners, to decode in our OWN way. This makes the music more PERSONAL and more INTERESTING. What was more important in Kurt’s music was the feeling of it. The way his voice sounded when he sang or just belted something out. He would be the first one to tell you that he was a bad lyricist. He often said that he wrote songs first and then added lyrics later, noting that the most important thing was the feeling protrayed through the rythms and chords, melodies and hooks.
    The fact that you are claiming Prince is better than Nirvana is borderline ridiculous. They are two TOTALLY different musical genres. NUMBER ONE Prince is a self indulgent “diva” who thinks he’s so important he only needs to go by a symbol and will get instant recognition. Nirvana was against self-glorifitcation and all three band mates stayed the same guys that they were when they played in bars back in the 80’s.
    As for Kurt Krist and Dave being no-talents that’s just completely false. Kurt Cobain had an amazing voice, however limited it was. He wrote so many good songs that I still listen to and think “what a fricken genius”. Dave Grohl, that guy is just amazing. In case you didn’t notice, that guy can sing, play guitar and is awesome on drums. Krist was a bass player, and he got his job done and did it well. Now he’s into politics which he was always interested in from the very beginning.
    These were not talentless people who just got “lucky”.

  • Stefanie

    Well, I can’t help you Al. Some people don’t see the significance in Nirvana’s music. I guess the music just isn’t for you. You prefer lyrics that are straight to the point without having to incorporate your own meanings into them. You prefer artists who run around in a ridiculous display of self-glorification that transcends that of any diva I’ve ever seen.
    The song “teen spirit” is about teenage angst, feelings of inadequacy. I thought that was obvious to everyone, and I’m shocked that you couldn’t sense that in Cobain’s voice even if you couldn’t understand the lyrics. He wasn’t the best lyricist, of course, and he would’ve been the first to tell you that. Kurt often said he wrote songs first and lyrics came later. He didn’t believe lyrics mattered as much as the overall feeling the music itself created. That’s where the honesty came in. The sound of his voice, the way he presented the material. Stories don’t have to be told in complete detail, if Cobain had done that he may have sounded like a drunk country singer going on about his “dead dog”. Kurt used metaphors so that we as listeners could find our own meanings in the lyrics. His songs aren’t just about “one thing”.
    Also Al, you can’t say that you loved Kurt’s music but disrespected him as a person. You can say that about some artists, especially those in the “pop” genre. Mostly because their material is largely packaged by corporate musical giants A LA Britney Spears. In Kurts case, that man WAS his music. You cannot seperate the two.

  • Stefanie

    sorry for sending two comments. I was under the impression that my first comment was accidentally deleted so I had to create another one.

  • You had not responded to her comments beginning with “~” and ending with “didn’t know.”

    And from what i can tell, the lyrics to Teen Spirit are supposed to be a satire on teen life.

  • So I’m supposed to answer to charges of being insensitive to people suffering from depression back in comment 38?

    Again, follow what I’m actually saying, and you’ll see that it is not in fact a criticism of Cobain at all. It must have been miserable being him, but it’s the people fetishizing his pain 10 years later that I’m skeptical of.

    Cobain didn’t ask for this sick hero worship.

  • Nick Jones

    “What’s with this cheesy death cult stuff, anyway?”

    Probably began with Valentino…

  • Yeah, I guess. Killing yourself just seems to give you that extra MMPH. Jebus, just look at the Jonathan Brandis post. Nearly 6 months and 100 comments later, and it’s still going.

  • CC

    Hear, hear!

    I arrived at this page as the result of a Google search I did for “Cobain overrated, marginally talented”. All year long I’ve been reading and hearing things such as, “It’s been ten years since a shotgun blast robbed us of the greatest talent of our time… sadly almost no trace of the music revolution Cobain spearheaded remains…”, and “Just think of how much better music would be this year if Kurt could have kept on going…”


    How refreshing to FINALLY read someone who agrees with me that Cobain was a poor, pathetic, lost man and NOT the stuff of rock & roll godhead. Honestly, as someone who grew up listening to ’60s rock, the original heavy metal of the early ’70s and then Punk (by which I mean the true Punk movement, very much a product of its time which ended with the seventies… any band forming in or after 1981 just cannot be truly called Punk…) I never “got” Nirvana; it was a second-tier copycat hybrid of both those genres and, honestly, any of the original bands — the true innovators — Cobain aped could do it much, much better. All the bands that worked Nirvana’s side of the street (Black Flag plays Black Sabbath covering a Beatles tune…)in the late eighties/early nineties were really nothing more than nostalgia acts and were horribly common; any city in the US had at least five similar bands who made this “innovative” sound. Sub Pop records picked Cobain’s outfit to push not becuase they were innovative, but because they were *so* typical of the genre; they sounded just like garage bands everywhere. With that sort of “instant familiarity” factor, they’d be sure to sell records.

    Really, Coabain as well as co-reluctant rockstar Eddie Vedder are the most insufferable kind of rockstar there is; “life is terrible for rich and famous people… you don’t understand how bad we have it…”, they continually moan. Uh uh… don’t buy it. Hey, pal — you signed up for it; just why did you join a band, seek a recording contract and promote your records, then? Because you wanted to be poor and anonymous? And can’t you just walk away and give your money to the poor?

    Of Nirvana’s time, location and style, Soundgarden were 10X the band Nirvana was… but they simply broke up the band and moved along into other things. That doesn’t have the romantic pathos of dead-junkiedom which, in the end, is exactly why Cobain was hoisted up to the pedestal. He died for The Rock, maaaaan…

    If I bump into Kurt in the afterlife I’ll have but one thing to say to him, which will be, “Why’d you have to go and leave us to hear your cuntish, slovenly shrew of a widow screeching incessantly? Couldn’t you just have chewed your arm off and snuck out of Portland the morning after you snogged her? Did you HAVE to let her ride your coattails?”

  • Josh

    I agree with you 100%. I hate it when famous people whine about how hard their lives are. “You don’t know what it’s like to be famous”, and blah blah blah. I guess that when they signed that record contract, the concept of being rich and famous never entered their minds, right? Give me a break.

    Anyway, this whole Kurt Cobain thing is a very touchy situation. On the one hand, he had a terrible stomach disease that left him in constant agony, not to mention his own personal internal conflicts. But on the other hand, he just had a baby girl for God’s sakes. I really don’t know what to say about it. I agree with Al that Nirvana sucks and ridiculously overrated and that Cobain gets far more respect than he deserves. But I think that unless we actually KNEW what was going on inside of him, we have no right to criticize. Some people don’t deal with things as easily as others. That’s what everyone fails to realize. I went through a period where I dealt with suicidal feelings for quite a while, and let me tell you, you really can’t understand unless you’ve been there yourself.

    But anyway, Nirvana does suck and I’m so sick of hearing “he spoke from his soul”. Maybe so, but there’s more to it than just writing depressing songs all the time. I mean, Nirvana fans always whine about the “pretentiousness” of the 80’s metal bands. They blurt out crap like “Oh, the metal bands were so generic and Nirvana came along and…”, you get the picture. Well let me ask you this – What would you rather listen to: an 80’s metal song that talks about partying and having a good time, or a Nirvana songs that talks about being depressed and wanting to end your life? Not a tough choice for me.

  • I didn’t read any of your pointless comments because they’re retarded.

    Al Barger: how do you manage to be so wrong about everything, old man?

    First of all, Camille Paglia has not and never would call Dylan “tough.” Dylan’s a pansy. She does love the Stones and gives them some intellectual veneer — “chthonian” or some crap — but not Dylan. Dylan’s not earthy or powerful or sexual in any respect. You’re attributing something to her work that she never said.

    I may write a more extended discussion of this later, but here’s why Cobain was great. Cobain broke the nihilism of the punk movement to the mainstream. This is where even an astute critic like Paglia (who has said that she’s very interested in documentaries like Kurt and Courtney) may miss the mark a little bit: the genius of Cobain IS his perpetual exclusion, his all-consuming hurt, his absolute inability to repress his emotions and anger, his self-destruction. Cobain is a great rock and roll romantic in a way those others could never be because his art and persona militated against the understanding of virtually all his consumers. That was the challenge of punk and of Nirvana: trying to understand a band that defined itself at the outset as something that could never be understood. Cobain was death, hate, sexual frustration, and the closest thing to an iconoclast the pop industry has produced in the past 50 years. You may not understand it because you’re too old and off-put by the racket those young boys made with their guitars, but Cobain’s legacy in our culture will be more enduring than that of other “death cult” members like Jim Morrisson or even Jimi Hendrix. I’ll argue that last point if I need to because I know it will be controversial.

    Cobain was about constant rebellion, pain and rejection of everything. That’s a futile, destructive strategy, but it makes for fascinating art. All great art is radical. And most great art is misunderstood. If we can talk about “pop” as art in any sense, Cobain was an artist. I don’t understand his pain or that kind of life at all, but I find it fascinating and compelling to observe because it seems genuine and true, especially in an era where so much angst is manufactured and postured. All great art also has a ring of truth to it, even in its irony (as Nirvana often employed).

    For what it’s worth, I think punk in general or Nirvana specifically has a core of hope and integrity to it that most pop and rock music has lacked. Older people who don’t understand punk often think that its criticisms and loud, aggressive sound are nothing but anger and bitterness, but I think the lyrics and ideas of the punk movement are about holding a culture accountable for its contradictions and clinging to hopelessly unrealized ideals at the cost of the ultimate self-denial. Suicide is a pathetic failure, but it is a moral statement (despite its immorality, or perhaps because of it).

    Josh: um, you’re a real intellectual. Go have fun listening to “Pour Some Sugar On Me.” Metal sucks — it’s soulless and masturbatory, just like most of the classic rock the rest of you dinosaurs listen to.

    That is all.

  • OK, I read some of the comments just to see how asinine they were.

    You REALLY don’t get it, old folks.

    While I’ll dispute your criticisms of their playing and singing, that’s beside the point. To judge Nirvana by their technical merits is to miss the point of Nirvana entirely. To compare them to Hammerstein (!) and Prince reveals how shallow and limited a notion you have of music as art. The aritsts you compare them to have very contained, structured, targeted conceptions of what pop is. Prince is a little more experimental, but they were essentially making palatable POP music. Feel free to commend their pleasant melodies or guitar playing all you want, Grandpa. Paul Simon is a soul-less, washed up hack who had to go to Africa and write bad cheese pop masquerading as world music to resurrect his career. He’s a nebbish, just like Dylan is.

    You’re telling me you can compare that kind of crap to the innovation and rebellion that Nirvana represented? Nirvana changed the whole music industry and culture — probably for the worse because of all the bad imitators and poseurs, but they still changed the entire mainstream.

    Nirvana was great because they aspired to deconstruct pop and resurrect real, visceral emotion and truth in a medium that people had ceased to expect such things from.

    Cobain was the great iconoclast of modern rock. The reason he’s different and memorable is because he rejected your idea of a “pop icon” to begin with. He tore down the statues of your classic rock false Gods and exposed the music industry for money-changers in the temple. I’m not saying he was a rock Messiah, anything but. He was rather a rock Anti-Christ, which is significant because we forgot that rock music started as rebellion. Great art should rebel against our instincts and challenge our beliefs. The artists you call icons in your list, like Oscar Hammerstein and Paul Simon, don’t do that AT ALL. Read some Nietzsche and you’ll understand art. But you can’t read or appreciate art, so don’t bother.

    That is all.

  • Josh

    Yeah, I AM an intellectual. You know why? Because I don’t insult people for simply stating their opinions. Wish I could say the same for you.

    It’s fine if you disagree with me, but there’s no need to get cocky and hostile about it. Excuse ME for having my own opinion and not kissing Coabin’s ass like everyone else. Sorry. I was under the impression that this was America and we all have freedom of speech. What was I thinking?

    Anyway, Cobain was hardly as innovative as you claim. Punk bands and even some metal bands were doing the same shit BEFORE he came along. What exactly did he do that was so brilliant? Also, I’m amused at your “classic rock false gods” comment. Please explain this to me – what makes them ‘false gods’? The mere fact that you don’t like them? Because they made money? Because they wrote songs about having FUN instead of making suicide and depression seem cool? That’s some logic you’ve got there.

    “Paul Simon is a soul-less, washed up hack…”.

    Please explain to me your reasoning on this. Paul Simon – the same guy who wrote “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, “The Boxer”, “The Sound Of Silence” and countless others, is soulless?! I’m curious – what exactly is your definition of “soul”? Jumping around on stage like an idiot and making worthless three-chord garage band music while you whine about your life to a bunch of punk teenagers who will heed your every word like it’s the holy grail? That’s cool. Certainly a lot better than that “dinosaur” classic rock stuff.

    The very fact that you support a man who committed suicide after just having a baby daughter, well, that pretty much says it all.

  • Stories don’t have to be told in complete detail, if Cobain had done that he may have sounded like a drunk country singer going on about his “dead dog”.

    Hey, don;t be dissin’ Country here… :-/

  • “Paul Simon – the same guy who wrote “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, “The Boxer”, “The Sound Of Silence” and countless others, is soulless?!”

    The Boxer is one of the greatest tunes ever. Period. I can listen to it every day, and it never gets old.

  • Leaving aside mythology and such what, there was nothing at all innovative in what Cobain did. He was working with strictly the most basic ABACAB type song structures going. Prince and Paul Simon both have gone much further out that way than Cobain would have even begun to have the technical skills to try.

    He was a pretty fair straight pop songwriter who presented most of his work with arguably counterproductive layers of guitar noise.

    He wrote a good handful of hooks and a few decent actual tunes. He did pretty well.

    However, in terms of creating memorable songs (the main bottom line) and also in terms of generating unique sound palettes- stuff that doesn’t sound like any other record- the whole Cobain catalog doesn’t equal “When Doves Cry” let alone the rest of that album or Mr. Nelson’s career.

    Even leaving aside the actual incredible music, I would rate even Prince’s schtick as exponentially more interesting than Cobain’s. But hell, if you find Cobain’s suicidal whining more intriguing than Prince’s religious machinations, knock yourself out.

    One thing though, as a MUSICIAN in any form- songwriter, producer, guitarist- it is not merely opinion but incontrovertible goddam fact that Cobain was but a pimple on Prince’s ass.

  • Josh

    Yes, thank you Al. I hate it when people like Bob come onto these sites and just start insulting and offending anyone they damn well please. People seem to be forgetting about a little thing called PERSONAL TASTES.

    Bob says “You REALLY don’t get it, old folks”.

    Old folks? I’m 20 years old, Bob. Please think before you make such erroneous remarks. I’m proud to be one of the very few young people who hasn’t fallen victim to the Nirvana/Cobain schlock.

  • Again, there’s personal taste and then there’s just plain stupidity. You can argue that you think the Stones were better than the Beatles- that can be a fun argument. If you try to argue that, say, Milli Vanilli were just as good as the Beatles, however, then you’re just a goddam idiot who doesn’t know anything about music.

    Trying to argue that Cobain’s musical achievements were even vaguely in a league with Prince or Paul Simon comes near to the foolishness of a Milli Vanilli/Beatles comparison.


    Al, that Milli Vanilli comment is dead on!

    I swear, music criticism probably generates more spleen venting than any other topic here, I can understand that. Little gets me more argumentative than debating the relative merits of my superb taste in musuc versus the dross and pap that most people accept. (I’m kidding here)

    I may be anomaly, but I was 25 when “Nevermind” was released, and it rocked, but it didn’t speak to me. At the time, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, and Soundgarden were much better. In fact, IIRC, he bragged that the follow-uip to “Nevermind” would be so unlistenable produced that only the true Nirvana fans would listen to it, of course, “Heart Shaped Box” from that album turned out to be agreat song and get more airplay.

    Kurt’s worldview from his suicide note, as I remember it: Boo-hoo, I am alienated, the world sux, people love Kurt Cobain, but I hate myself, I must be a sell-out,BOOM!

    He was upset that the jocks and fratboys who beat him up liked his music as much as the outcasts, dear me!, I must not be “edgy” enough, He would have preferred to screen his purchasers so only those who met his dispossessed enough from society standards could be his fans.

    He made the decision to put himself in the public eye, he could have afforded to become a recluse, or get help for his problems, he chose the coward’s way out. We all have problems or trials that sometimes overwhelm us, few of us kill ourselves, nothing romantically tragic in suicide.

    As for Elvis, Jimi, Jim, Janis, and Layne Staley, great talents, pathetically poor role models with drinking and drug problems.

    For the record, Dylan is about 1000 times tougher and more soulful than Cobain, read up on him, you will see its true.

  • Eric Olsen

    I don’t mean to sound jaded to the perpetual fount of debate that is popular music, but you all are missing the point, again. What do you value in music? In art? that is what this debate is about. No one here is wrong but you are all provincial and segmented in your arguments – for these arguments to have any meaning at all beyond group therapy, you would have to take it up to the meta-level and debate which values are most important in evaluating popular music (or whatever) and why.

  • I think I’ve made it very clear what my values are. I leave it to the soul-less and value-less who don’t expect truth or critique from their art to articulate their own values beyond the most pedestrian, provinicial (as you say) examples of technical merit. Willie Nelson? Oy vey.

    Paul Simon: soul-less. 100%. You, soul-less, 200%.

    Simon and Garfunkel wrote some pleasant enough pop tunes, but Paul Simon has consistently proven himself to be cultural wallpaper, a soundtrack for yuppies to plan their 401Ks to. His work has never been radical or unsettling; he has always tried to appeal to the broadest possible audience (even during the turmoil of the 1960s); steadfastly avoided any positions on politics or art that might alienate anyone at all; and churned out lyric after lyric of bad, vague, pseudo-high school poetry that incites no emotion other than self-satisified, complacent, smug entitlement or consumerist stupor on the part of his yuppie listeners. The man has made a nice living out of writing lullabies for the soul-less out of his own empty, ever-so-moderate soul. His fake world music resurrection in the 1980s proves how lame he is and how desperate he is to breathe any soul into his creative bankruptcy. He’s a nebbish with no presence who wears his silly hat to cover up his bald head and milks money out of stock-brokers and accountants for his horrible performances even though he hasn’t written anything worth hearing in well over a quarter-decade. Now the man writes movie soundtracks for children’s movies, which is perhaps more fitting.

    You conservatives call rage, sex and angst infantile — I’d say it’s descriptive of the prolonged adolescence that defines rock and roll itself — but I’d call the perfumed banality of Paul Simon and some of your other heroes positively neo-natal. You’re old — you don’t need bland, pandering, inoffensive music to soothe you and make you feel like you have a conscience and a heart. You don’t. Paul Simon is post-operative music while you’re sedated after your lobotomy. I’ll never understand you weirdos. You CLEARLY don’t fit into the mainstream in any way or form yet you absolutely insist on picking the worst, most mediocre, most middle-of-the-road in the art and music you surround yourself with. There’s nothing worse than a lame nerd.

    Prince is far more innovative and radical than you give him credit for. The reason you find his music palatable is because you simply don’t get it. Prince has consistently been left-of-center with his sexual/gender politics and his musical approaches, but people like you don’t listen to the lyrics. You neglect Prince’s race and musical influences entirely.

    You geek out about “technical merit” despite the fact that you know nothing about professional music performance or instruments or song-writing. You know the songs you keep locked in your desk drawer are hideous. You cry your empty tears to cheesy, contrived, mass-appeal ballads that wring your empty, lonely, unloved hearts dry.

    Al Barger: where’s your response on the Cosby thread by the way, old man? That’s an important discussion, unlike this one. Sorry to shame you into silence on your race-baiting views.

    Josh: my apologies. You’re not old. You’re just lame, nerdy, and unsophisticated. Sorry to fog up your coke-bottle glasses. It’s an incontrovertible truth that Dungeons and Dragons, scifi, lonely white male virgins all love classic rock and bad heavy metal during high school, even today. Someone explain that sociological fact to me.

    This has nothing to do with age. I agree with Olsen that this has everything to do with what you expect out of your culture. I don’t think we’ll ever agree because you’re all far too square and far too willing to accept artifice and commerce as meaning.

    That is all.

  • Josh

    Why all the hostility? Why all the put-downs? Is that really necessary? Surely you can make your point without using an insult every other sentence. Then again, maybe you can’t. I guess that’s where I’m better than you.

    All I keep hearing from you is how classic rock artists are “fake” and lame they are. I asked you to explain this and you evaded the issue, only to use more immature put-downs, of course.

    Your views on Paul Simon are ridiculously one-sided and narrow-minded. Every single thing you said about him was strictly your opinion and nothing else. “High school poetry that incites no emotion”? Tell me, then, Mr. Music Expert, what is your definition of ’emotion’? Please explain this to me and don’t pussy out by avoiding the issue and resorting to more worthless insults. If you can do this just once, I might garner a little respect for you. I bet you can’t do it. Please prove me wrong.

    You’re one of these people who feels that Nirvana were so “real” and emotional and all the classic rock artists were fake. That’s not justified, nor is it accurate. Do you not think that classic rock artists were speaking their mind and writing songs about genuine emotion and pain that they were feeling??! You’re telling me that out of all the thousands of classic rock artists, NOT ONE of them ever expressed genuine feelings and rebeliousness? Put down the crack pipe and face reality – there is nothing Kurt Cobain did that numerous others hadn’t done before him.

    If you can post just ONE comment without being an offensive asshole, I’ll take your opinion seriously. I did NOTHING to offend you so I don’t know what your problem is.

    By the way, you say “This has nothing to do with age”, yet you constantly refer to Al Barger as “old man”. Explain that to me, Einstein.

  • Leaving aside mythology and such what, there was nothing at all innovative in what Cobain did. He was working with strictly the most basic ABACAB type song structures going.

    I’m assuming you don’t play guitar, or any instrument for that matter. Anyway, all of rock ‘n roll is exactly what you just stated. ABCABGDEFA and that’s about it. Solos, technical wizardry, finger-tapping, whammy-bars, whatever. When you break it down, it’s all basic chord progressions. You want to slam Nirvana for basic chord progressions, shit, slam Hendrix. Slam Bob Dylan. Have you heard All Along the Watchtower? Hey Joe? As basic as you’re gonna get.

    If basic chord progressions bother you, you probably also find all of punk rock, blues, country, etc etc a total bore.

    Al, i suggest you avoid taking a musical angle on Nirvana or any other band. It’s laughable.

  • I can honestly say that there was a time that “The Boxer” was a very emotional song for me. It meant a lot. I would drive around, with my car’s cassette player absolutely fucking BOOMING out “The Boxer” and reflecting upon my life.

    I now await the insults…

  • Josh

    Certainly nothing wrong with that. “The Boxer” IS an emotional tune, and often hailed as one of the most brilliantly produced, well-crafted epics ever recorded.

    Although you probably shouldn’t have said that. Now Bob is gonna jump all over your case because you like a classic rock song. After all, if you’re not a trend-following Nirvana lover, that makes Bob mad.


  • Particleman, there’s nothing wrong with basic chord progressions, but ABACAB refers to a basic type of song structure– verses, choruses, bridges, not anything to do with the chords or harmonics.

    A lot has been done with basic chord progressions and song structures, but more advanced artists can do much more because they have a bigger palette.

    Cobain and pretty much all “punk rockers” such as the Sex Pistols were quite limited in their musical expression simply for starters because they lack the musical vocabulary. Paul Simon or Prince can get all kinds of effects that a Cobain never would be able to express.

    I’m not talking mostly about cheap instrumental dexterity- being able to play a bunch of complicated guitar notes real fast. I’m mostly talking about knowledge- understanding more sophisticated levels of harmony than the most common I, IV, V stuff, for example.

    Which is not necessarily to say that technique is king. I think any sane person would be much more interested in listening to basic Chuck Berry than a bunch of ELP jacking off with their conservatory training. There are a lot of things involved between inspiration and technical skills and a finished song.

    In short, Prince and Paul Simon are serious musicians. Sid Vicious is not. Cobain was maybe somewhere in the middle. He was more of a songwriter than the Pistols, but was simply too miserable and distracted and took himself out too early to fully develop his talent.

  • Apples and oranges Mr Barger.

    I agree with your assessments of Paul Simon and Prince. And to the extent of music theory, you are 100% correct.

    BUT, just based on touching something off, Kurt Cobain deserves to be mentioned with any of them. You may not like it and it may not be up to the technical standards, but the emotional depths that Cobain touched other fans and musicians is so huge and influential that it puts him in the category of greatest of all time.

    You are right, from a technical standpoint Cobain’s songs don’t measure up. From an emotional standpoint, I would say that most other musicians don’t match up with Kurt Cobain.

  • For once, i agree with the gist of Al’s post. Technically, Cobain can’t match match other songwriting heavyweights. And he never claimed/tried to. But creatively, i do think he brought something new to the table. But as Eric said, this really all depends on what you value in art and how you evaluate it.

    One thing i disagree with is the labeling of certain musicians as “serious.” Any musician that gets on stage and gives up the day job life for music is as serious as you can get.

  • WOW, after all these years I finally figured it out. Being an oldster from the Seattle scene that grunge evolved from (late 70s-early 80s) I, like many had more of a passing attitude on the whole grunge thing.

    The other day I walked into an indy record store on the Ave. in Seattle. They had some music blasting that sounded great! I was thinking “who is this? I know I’ve heard it before”. Then I realized it was Nirvana! I mean, I haven’t played any for years so I didn’t really snap to it right away.

    So it was good to hear Nirvana with a virgin attitude. It was fucking great! I finally see what all the hype is about. Yeah, Kurt deserves his icon status.


  • Orange

    Yes kurt was a messed up individual who did not like the fame. But he did end the worst era the 80’s. The glam rock with no heart or soul and thats where kurt came in. He brought the music back to where it should be. Music you can listen to regardless of how you feel at the time and it still fits your mood. As far as not being a talented guitar player, that doesn’t matter. If you can write great music whats the difference wether it technical or not. You think Jack Johnson’s songs r hard to play. So yes he does deserve icon status for helping in a big way to end the 80’s. And for singing and playin straight from his heart and not from his greediness.

  • Orange:

    “and for singing and playin’ straight from his heart and not from his greediness”. So well put. Right on! And he was a better guitarist than some might give him credit for. Nirvana was a 3 piece band. Now that is a tough one, but when a 3 piece clicks it can’t be beat. Very powerful.


  • clash77

    First off a caveat before anybody reads this – remember that opinions are like the anal orifice – everybody has one. Bluntly put, if Kurt Cocaine, er, Cobain, was as miserable as he professed, he should have been crouched in the corner of a blank white room somewhere instead of in the music biz. Imagining him as some sort of prophet, even a gutter prophet, is the stuff of myth and pipedream. Instead of complaining about the trappings of his success, he should have been down on his knees every night thanking the deity of his choice that the masses had been swindled into buying the turgid miasma he passed off as “art.” Although “Nevermind” had a few barely tolerable songs, by the end, Nirvana was plumbing new depths of musical blandness and embracing the corporate dollar just like everyone else in the 90’s, a dark, dark decade for rock and roll. Live with it…

  • Anthony G

    Rock Sucks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Rap Rules!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • donna_dixon


  • clash77

    For a guy who hates rock so much, you sure do read a lot of blog about it. Hope you have a good time in junior high this year…

  • Anthony G


    What do you mean that I read a lot about it. And why do you end all you comments with …


  • Jools

    Just came across this as i’m doing some research on suicide and copycats. I have lost 2 of my brothers to suicide and find it completely offensive, some of the comments posted here.If any one person here had bothered to think about what was leaking from the hole in their face, before opening it, we may not have been subjected to such a huge amount of verbal diahorrea.
    Regardless of the mans musical talents or lack there of, he was still a human being. A son, a brother, a husband, and a father. These things are the sum total of Kurt Cobains life. Not how many records he made and whether they were good enough to make him a rock god.
    Does anyone here really think that he gave a shit about all of that in his last moments? He probably felt so bad that death for him was the only way out.So you sit there on your rock of judgement, but don’t judge the man, because you know nothing about him.
    If you must pass comment, do it about the music, thats in the public domain, its fair game. But his life isn’t, he still has a family, that love and miss him. Give the guy a break, he died 10 years ago.

  • Ken Byrne

    I don’t know how old this is but I would like to put my worthless 2 cents in. I can’t change any of the anti-Cobain posse’s mind’s so I’m not going to try. All I can say is that, to me, Kurt deserves every bit of credit for his musical genius that he gets. Before Kurt I only had a passing interest in music, but when I first heard Kurt’s voice and the gritty detuned guitars I was instantly touched.
    Regardless of technical merits, the music was powerful. Kurt always said that they were a vocally oriented band because he didn’t feel that he was a great guitarist.
    I don’t think his guitar playing was all that bad…at worst it was average.
    Anyway, it doesn’t matter because Kurt is to people whatever he is to an individual. Why is there such an arguement about Cobain by people who claim to be irritated by his over-protective over-admiring fans?
    Just go back to listening to prince if that’s your idea of musical genius and we’ll listen to Nirvana.
    All I can say is that to me the guy was great. He was interesting, vulnerable and could write killer hooks.
    It’s also well known that Kurt was divorcing Courtney just before he was found dead. If you’ve ever heard his final song ‘you know you’re right’ he says ‘Theres talk about someone else, steaming soup against her mouth.’
    She was having an affair.
    You know you’re right is one of my favourite songs even though it’s pro-tooled to bits.
    Let me end this meaningless drivel by comparing Robert Johnson and Jimi hendrix…oh, wait! To do so is pointless just like this post.

    ‘He may be dead, but at least all you people know his name.’

  • Dan

    Personally, I worship Kurt Cobain. He was not a person who flaunted his talent. Al, you act like he acts like Bono onstage. He KNOWS FOR A FACT that he doesnt know a thing and that he has no right to talk politically, since he doesnt have any idea. He knows he is stupid. But he will say what he wants to say because he knows that he has a right and if he didnt he wouldn’t want to live. He didnt surround himself with an entourage. He didnt buy a 5,000,000,000,000,000,000 sq. ft. house. He spent that money on his fans. THAT is why I worship him, and his lyrics blow my mind. He can be deep and profound and then, in the next song, just want to jump around and rock out. And just so you know, this is coming from a person who grew up listening to ZZ Top and George Thorogood. I didnt grow up in a house where punk rock was liked. If I had liked them I would have been made fun of. I found Nirvana on my own. I have never in my life found a band who created such good songs. I have watched VH1 and have looked into all of these bands that are “the greatest,” and not a one of them is as good as Nirvana. Sure, I love the Rolling Stones and Led Zep and Black Sabbath and all of the rebel bands, but they cannot compare to Nirvana. Dave Grohl can play the drums with the best. Krist has killer baselines that rival JPJ (Led Zep) And Kurt Cobain, is a God. I mean, look at the name, Nirvana. Do you think they named the band after a group of peoples form of heaven by accident. HELL NO!!! The Band will stay the greatest until they are put into the shadow by a band better, which will be tough, obviously. If Nirvana sucks so bad, why cant anyone make everyone forget about them. Look at yourself, even you cant forget about Kurt Cobain’s death, and the death of Nirvana

  • Ken Byrne

    Well said! I just can’t wait for the box set to come out. Counting the days. Looking forward to hearing the solo stuff and the first rehersal of teen spirit.
    The gig in novoselic’s house (DVD) is going to be cool. Alot of exciting stuff in that box set.
    Doll Steeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeak!
    Test Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaat

  • Oli Hayes

    Why the fuck are you making a complaint at a great musician and one of the most influencial rock bands of the 90’s, We choose who we want to like and why we like it. None of your business so shut up, go home and cry.

  • Take a look and listen to the new Nirvana box set “With the Lights Out”. Anyone who doubts Cobain’s validity will be eating crow over this one.

    Probably the best anthology box set ever put out in the record industry.


  • Kenner Byrne

    Anyone that questions Cobain’s validity either has no smarts or just doesn’t get it. How could someone touch so many people if he did not have something special?
    In my book no-one matches up to Kurt Cobain. He was the best. And i like a lot of different artists, but not one of them had the intensity and power that Cobain had.
    Fuck anyone that says any different because they are exactly the type Cobain was trying to alienate in the first place.
    I see a lot of people mentioning different musicians and comparing Cobain with them. What the hell has this got to do with cobain? It’s chalk and cheese. He was on a different planet. LIstening to Prince and paul simon and then saying that Kurt could never express musically what they could is complete horseshit. For me it’s those that couldn’t do what Kurt did. He was an Artist…those guys are posers and techies. Kurt Cobain put himself out there and made a difference, and I would chose him over any of the self-indulgent, posing, gibson-les-paul-playing assholes that morons keep calling real musicians!
    Oh, and as Columbo says: just one more thing. Why does everyone that complains about Cobain always harp on about drugs? People saying he is a junkie…..hello. 90% of rockstars where junkies; Jimi Hendrix, the beatles, elvis, red hot chilis,Jim morrison, Guns n roses, sex pistols ect. The list goes on and on! All except Frank zappa. Stop talking shit, pull your head out of your ass and throw away your prince CDs.

  • sophie

    Kurt Cobain did not Commit Suicide! He was Murdered by his Psyco Wife Courtney! Read Love and Hate!

  • Eric Olsen

    Nostradamus predicted in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion that Tupac would murder Kurt with a lead pipe in the library

  • ok, so kurt cobain wasn’t the most wholesome human to ever live, but he didn’t have the best past either, if eddie vedder’s parents had deserted him at age 7, perhaps pearl jam’s music would be more angry. i am a person who glorifies cobain, and, being a teenager myself, i believe that he is the person that helped us nerds stand up to the jocks and preps. anyone who disagrees, i’m going to assume is a jock or prep.

  • P.S.: Dan on comment 83, email me sometime, on the account listed at myspace.com/thebeef. i would love to discuss your take on some of cobain’s music.

  • Abe

    Wow you guys…..I cant believe that you are so nieve to see what Kurt was trying to tell you the whole time……By putting down his music he just won the battle and the war. He was all about sticking it to the man…He never wanted to be famous…He dident kill himself …..neither did Courtney….It was MTV….Kurt was generally a happy guy till MTV tried to make him an icon….I’m happy to see that some of you guys aggree that he was not an icon….He wasn’t …..He was a truth that needed to be told…..He prooved that being different is o.k….he proved that you should do what you want….I totally disaggree with the people that say Kurt was only famous becasue of his depressing life. He was famous for a message that could not be put in any other way other than the way he did…….He said that you should come as you are….As I want you to be….Dowse in mud, soaked in bleach.

    He was saying he wanted you to be yourself….he dident care what you were as long as you were urself….he dident care if you were black, white, gay, dumb, he just wanted you to be happy….He wasent happy because a lot of people of the early 90’s only liked him because he was on MTV…He wanted people to like him for him….he was mad MTV was making him a…

    Flower Sniffen
    Kitty Pettin
    Baby kissin
    Corporate Rock Whore

    He was mad that he was turning into a sell out.

    Kurt wanted to question your question.
    He wanted to make you think about your thoughts. He wanted to let you be you. He dident want to be your Icon…

  • Abe

    Thank you Adamn! of comments 90 and 91!……I really believe in what you said about Cobain and how he made it possible for the Nerds or fags or what not to stand up to other people……He did an article once for a magazine that told of how he used to go around and right GOD IS GAY on cars….it was not a dis to God or anything….it was just a statement that said be who you are….you never know might have the same feelings as you and wont or cant express them.

  • M-Dizzle you fucks, remember the name!

    Beatles > ALL

    John Lennon > GOD

    Pearl Jam > Nirvana

    Although, contrary to the original arguement – I do believe Kurt was in fact talented. *However*, at the same time, I feel the pedestal his legacy has been bestowed upon, is completely unwarranted, and a slap in the face to those fallen forgotten rock legends who perished amongst the depths of mediocrity…. Personally, an icon should radiate confidence, and such said strengths – to lead, and or at the very least, “reach” his audience in an effective, positive manner – of which Cobain accomplished, however, his efforts (to reach) were detered by his own self-empathy, “leading” youths much like myself in disarray. Practically encouraging pain, by Super-fans who would like to live vicariously thru his emotions/music. Seems entirely too pretentious….lastly, I will reiterate this sentiment once more, an icon should show strength. Anyone who resorts to suicide, ESPECIALLY with millions of dollars – is not a strong individual, as such, any praise…should be minimal, if any. No rewards for taking an ‘escape route’. We all encounter the pressures/hardships of life. Difference is, millions of dollars better accommodates these “hardships”.

    If you want emotional/deep record:

    John Lennon – Plastic Ono Band

    Word the fuck up, you little cum buckets.

  • Yada

    I would see art as a way of expressing the emotions. I also see that Kurt perhaps created art based on these emotions. I would say that adolescents growing up at the time (myself), had a voice in Kurt. He was not a positive role model in the sense of going out and doing volunteer work and such or being involved in the community. But he did do something that was pretty big. I related to the power of the music and it inspired me to play and to write. But the lifestyle, I could leave it.

  • eve123

    NIRVANA SUCKS ASS, If Kurt hadnt offed himself then they would have just faded away with most of the other fucking shitty 90s music!!!!!!!

    I really love the 80s. If only i could go back in time. The 80’s = Amazing !!!

    It would be before the early to mid 90’s!
    That was when rock n roll slowly began to rot and die! It went stale and now its six feet under
    NIRVANA/KURT IS TO BLAME IN MOST PART! So i hold somewhat a grudge againsed this band!

    He sould NOT be called a rock ledgend, jeez he complained in every one of his songs, people say he was murdured!
    He Killed himself
    Im glad
    End of story

  • eve123

    he also made depression into some kind of a trend

  • eve123

    ok, i just gotta add!
    Nirvana – Smells like something crappy
    If i could i would take their “heart shaped box”
    and flush it down the oval shaped hole in the bathroom.

  • do you even know what nirvana means?

    ok lets get this straight, Kurt cobain was an idol of grunge music because he was good at it. He never wanted to be famous, and to make money, he just loved music and to play it.and if you think he was such a downer, the only downer he was would be down to earth, you want to listen to happy music, go ahead, but the people who are sierrous and talk about life for what it really is,we’ll listen to nirvana.

  • seane

    jeez eve123! im glad to see that we’re all adults discussing this topic in a grown-up fashion. NIRVANA SUCKS ASS. Wow. Genius, clearly.

    I spose enough has already been said about this but id just like to put in my own two cents. Kurt Cobain was a normal person like u or me. normal people think and feel fucked up things all the time, but we dont let on to others about it. Ive felt the anger he felt, so i take an attack on his character as an attack on mine. Judge not lest ye be judged. Give a guy a break.

    And please, please please please! Before anybody else insults his writing style, read Naked Lunch by William Burroughs and u will find a startling similarity. Therefore do u think William Burroughs is a poor writer? If so i suggest u take a look at how many copies of Naked Lunch have been sold throughout this (and the last) century.

    And kurt cobain played guitar well enough that it didnt detract from the melodies he wrote, which were his first and foremost priority. Which is a damn sight better then alot of “stars” these days.

  • fan of nirvana

    I believe Kurt Cobain deseves every bit of respect. He was and is and always will be a rock god. Sorry for sounding how i did but thats me and my opinion it doesnt have to care or matter to u or kurt cobain to be honest he hated attention but i dont care. Nirvana may have not been the only grunge band but there certaintly one of the best and still are played on the radio today and sound as good as they did 11 yrs ago. So dont go hating, think about it did he ever say anything bad about you???? do u know him did u ever really listen to Nirvana if so listen again feel the energy which drove a generation and sold millions of copys certaintly u can not deny Nirvanas impact on rock and roll.

  • Whiskah

    Kurt was a person who did his own thing teenagers are so stupid today thanks to mtv. they think rap is actually music which it isent its just manufactred crap like new wave. Not letting fame goto to your head is a good thing he was humble, and defintly not a rockstar rocker yes star no. he atracted people by just being himself he was actually cool and didnt use a visade of expensive clothing and jewlery to get people intrested, his music was new inovative and fresh, hes an excelnet role model, if you dont want to be just another stupid drown. and as for his drug use that was his problem and his problem only and its none of your fucking bussiness. Al Barger go fuck your self ———-HOMO—SEX—-RULES———-

  • Ok this is what i think kurt wrote music with alot of methaphors that can convey diffrent meanings to diffrent people so his songs essientially have a universal meaning and his guitar playing wasnt great but it got the job done and never interfered with his songs and he was good dude he was fucked up from the drugs and i love nirvana but sadly i do know its because he killed himself that he gets this much credit his music was fresh but it didnt inspire shit and if it did it would have to be people like my chemicalromance i do think nirvana is overhyped alothough he is excellent lyrcists and they were a great band

  • CosmiqCobain

    I knew Kurt Cobain. His main purpose was spiritual, and the music was a vehicle. He made mistakes, he was very naive, got involved in drugs early, was neglected, abused by others and starving, had some head-twisted ideas,etc. This all messed up his ability to function of course.

    If you listen to some of the songs such as a good version of Rape Me, you can hear the spiritual voice. That is where the inexplicable success lies. This was (is) a mystical and supernatural phenomenon, a gift that he possessed.
    Believers, believe: unbelievers, we don’t care about you.
    You can say he was a god, you are not far from the truth. I knew him to be endowed with spiritual light at times that was literally brilliant,glow-in-the-dark, in private. It came and went, came back again…
    Expect something from this man still, as a true son of God, that will blow you away. He is not done yet.
    And no, he did not kill himself. Someone else did.

    He was not Bodda (his childhood word for God whom he knew), but a boddhisatva, a being of spiritual light, who had lessons to learn early on in life, until he remembered what he was sent here to do.

    We have not seen the last of him, because his kind do not always stay dead. Ever hear of people coming back alive after they had died? I have.
    His work is far from over. I could say more but I won’t. But in this, he will again lead the way for many.
    God Bless Kurt Cobain, Protect Him and Let us who Love Him See Him Again on the Earth!
    TLJC amen.

  • Cosmiq Cobain

    I hope that really blows away your non-icon premise … so (not) sorry I can’t conform to the point of your article… You are forcing us who call him a Lord, to come out of our shadows and speak…

  • Mike Hunt

    its a shame SONIC YOUTH dont seem to get the credit Nirvana do/does.

    I think its because he sucked on the end of a shotgun and blew his own brains all over the place.

    A lot of people dig that for some reason – Suicide always makes you an icon if your a celebrity.

    Then theres the idiots who blame Courtney love.

  • kiri

    how dare u pll say kurt cobain is a crap idol he was the most sexy man alive hes a great singinger n a good guitarist he was a bi n he was pround if i could bring him back i wouldnt because he wanted to die anyway!! xxxx r.i.p kurt i love u!

  • alex

    the simplicity and elegance of his nature and playing is undeniably the most mysteriest of any music, not just rock…. there are some people you cant beat and one must understand that in this forum filled with the talent of loving egotistical, self gloryfing so called musicians remains true… if one must be exposed to music nothing comes closer to human nature

  • chris

    you’re my hero…kurt cobain is gay..and i don’t understand why people like him at all…he raped a retarded girl in highschool

  • DarkAngel

    Courtney love problay killed Kurt.
    and he didnt rape a retarded girl in highschool. Kurt deseves some respect.
    He was and is and always will be a rock god.and i think Kurt makes a great cultural icon.Nirvana Rocks………XR.I.P Kurt cobain 167-1994X I luv u!!

  • Lilly

    I love Nirvana’s music. It’s deeper than alot of the other stuff you get. They did GREAT work.

    Kurt Cobain is an icon partly BECAUSE he was in so much pain, and people can relate to that. He went through so much shit he was tough to withstand it for so long.

  • This was written by someone who has no clue what Kurt Cobain meant and means to his fans. He also has not done any research to see that many people do not believe that Kurt “blew his brains out”. Elvis was a drug addict and so were the Beatles at one time.

    The people who attack Kurt now are the same people who attacked Kurt 15 years ago… jealous and petty. “I Hate Myself and Want to Die” was a joke… listen to both versions of the song before you judge it!

    Kurt was an icon and still is… do you hear Purple Rain on a popular radio station in 2007?? Hell no… but I hear Nirvana everyday. Comparing Nirvana to Prince or Terrence Trent D’Arby is like a bad joke, apparently the author does not have much taste. D’Arby was a one hit wonder and while he might have talent, no one cared in the 90’s and no one cares now. Write about something you have the brain power to understand next time, music is not your forte.

  • Cedde

    This will be one comment and only one. So dont write back on this
    First of all, Al, music doesnt have to be complicated to sound good, and thats my and probably alot of other persons around the worlds opionion, i dont care what yours is.

    Second i’m not going to criticize Prince, or who ever you listend to because i respect the diffrent gengres and styles that follow with them, but this i’ll tell you, if had been a fan of Nirvana when Kurt died(i was like 2 years old at that time) i really think i would have cried, and i’m dead serius. Even if i had been like 28 years old. Sure the man had some bad habits but it’s not the bad habits that make him a icon, i respect the man because of the music he created. His voice was like no others. The music they created made me feel something i had never really felt before, like when i first heard Smells Like The Teen Spirit. And i dont know if it’s because your like 40 and thats why you cant relate to the song, the way it’s composed is just pure genius to MY ears, and alot of other people think that aswell.

    Your right about one thing though. He was a rather “Crappy” role model what with the drugs and all that, but i respect him even though the drugs, he was obviusly sick of depressions and fought it with them, and being drug addicted isnt always the smokers own fault, maybe he was in group or clique, where they forced him over and over agin.
    Why was he depressed? Well maybe the fact that he never wanted to be famous, as he said “Famous is the last thing i wanted to be” , witch is also the answer why he didnt have joy of his succes.

    And last it hurts inside when you say all this. You wouldnt like it if we called your idols idiots because of they’re unwanting lifestyles.


  • matt

    just everyone shut the fuck up. no ones going to agree, everyone thinks different things. i dont think kurt really cares what you thought, your not proving anything just leave him and his music alone, it is a thing of the past… and to some of us who have nothing in the future we can hold on to it and have some hope. seriously what the hell do you know.

  • i was 6 when he died. so i didnt get to experience nirvana(i was so young). in mid to late 90’s ive heard of nirvana and like them. some complains about how kurt was overrated and how he played guitar. i think hes a good guitarist. even though he didnt play guitar like jimmy page, eric clapton, jimi hendrix etc. probably the impact he did on the music scene in the world that made kurt SOMETHING.

  • Classified

    Why does eveyone concentrate on his personal life so much? That isn’t what made him famous. Well…I guess he sold a lot of records after he died…a testament to the sanctimoniuos nature of the average human, but Nirvana was pretty damn big before that. It’s almost like his music is secondary these days. He was a good songwriter, and a more accomplished musician than most people were aware of, and a good lyricist. He managed to connect with the youth at the time who felt alienated and outcasted from society, THAT is why he became a cultural icon. But mostly, it’s because he wrote some damn awesome music.

  • Kurt Coccaine

    And I forget just what I taste
    And yet I guess it makes me smile
    I found it hard, it was hard to find
    Oh, well, whatever, nevermind.

  • Sebastian

    Do you people realise how pathetic this bicuring is? I my view Nirvana as a fantastic band that i enjoy yet today. But Paul Simon is great aswell. In the end Music is all about taste so theres no right or wrong wich people obviously failes to understand. Fact is that Nirvana and Cobain became extremely successful and theres no suprise that when he died people started to worshipp him. Ridiculous in my view, but so is Al’s warped view on music. All this is, is trying to force their opinions on to others.

  • Christain

    lemme just say imma start my own religion and worship Kurt Cobain !!!! Like the Catholics and the Jews believe in different religions this is a matter of my choice and you can f@&#!!!! off …. Oh, no I said a dirty word …. LOL

  • slackr

    Kurt was a great person. Enough said. To the people who think he is not an “icon”, he isn’t. He never wanted to be. It is what we make of him that he is. In my view, he is the greatest musician ever. You don’t have to be great at guitar to become a legend.

  • katy :P

    i think the person that wrote this page dosnt know what the hell there talking about …thats what i think cuzz kurt was sooo awesome and his band kicked ass thats what i think 😛

  • katy :P

    im going to miss him a lot 🙁

  • 90’s teen

    [personal attack deleted] Really Terrance Trent D’arby? Just who in the hell is that. You obviously know nothing about music or art and the fact that you would take your time to trash a dead man whose music influenced more people than most musicians who have actually made it through the 27 and out period that all icons endure. He is the epitome of what a true 90’s musician was and his lyrics about anguish and pain seem to ring truer for those who like myself used drugs to medicate their problems. Do yourself a favor and go back to authoring your star trek blog and leave the musical opinions to those who actually know what they are talking about and have attended a concert in their life.

  • Greg

    Your all so fucking stupid. Nirvana is the best band in history and if you don’t understand that then your so fucking ignorant and think about music way too fucking critically, if you sit down and listen to a Nirvana record it changes you, for the better, that’s why I don’t get offended when people don’t respect Nirvana because it just shows what kind of a person they are, regardless of what other music they listen too, none of it will even compare to the feeling you get when you hear Kurt bellow out a note. fucking idiots.

  • Marcia Neil

    The RIAA is trying to sue listening audiences when they themselves commit music piracy in their factories — actions that affect the health of musicians like Kurt Cobain. Much recorded music is all-vocal — the musicians and their instruments provide staged renditions.

  • Marcia Neil

    In other words, ‘Nirvana’ is an album theme.

  • Greg – Your statements and language simply indicate your own ignorance. Nirvana did some good work, but they were by no reasonable stretch of the imagination even vaguely arguably the best band in history, either in terms of songs and certainly not in terms of musicianship. I’m sure they’re nice fellows, but ain’t none of them serious musicians.

    Perhaps you identify strongly with the themes and emotions of Cobain’s work, which is cool. But his basic themes were depression, despair and self-loathing. Perhaps you’ve never heard, say, Nina Simone sing “Black Swan” just for an example off the top of my head.

    But those themes are not nearly the highest themes in art, and the greatest artists have had a lot more spiritual aspiration than simply crying out their misery. And there have been many do even that far more skillfully than Cobain ever got around to.

    Again though, I emphasize that my point here was not a criticism of Nirvana’s music at all, or even of Curt Kobain personally. He obviously had some medical level issues tormenting his soul.

    But there’s been a lot of jackasses make much more out of him after his suicide than was made of him in life. It’s that death cult crap that tends to lose my sympathy. It’s much the same thing as a generation earlier for Jim Morrison.

  • Greg

    Al Barger- Okay Al, I respect your opinion, I could’ve just as easily tore you a new asshole but this is why I hear people out because sometimes just sometimes someone else’s opinion actaully hits home with me, as this one did.A lot of what your saying makes sense, and some of your points of arguement were what drew me to this particular band in the first place. I just want people to really feel what I feel when one of their songs come on (by the way im not some 13 year old kid either, although that was the age I discovered this band. anyway what I’m trying to say is just learn to find or even respect that maybe this band were not the most musically acclaimed, what have you, but what they made when they were still a band cannot be called anything but magik, maybe it was like, something tells me these guys were destined to do what they did. thnx for your opinion. well appreciated…Now why can’t the rest of you fuck heads be as well thought and read as this guy?

  • Thanks Greg. Nirvana did worthwhile work. Basically, the band were below average as players, but Cobain was a very talented songwriter. He was overwhelmed and snuffed himself before he was able to fully express himself, and that’s a damned shame. I may have shortchanged him musically in the original piece by way of making a point – but the story wasn’t actually about MUSIC to begin with, but idol worship.

    You should slip over and raid MY STASH. If you’re not familiar with his work, I’d particularly recommend Robert Johnson to a Nirvana fan. I’ve got all his songs there. I’d imagine Cobain would identify with stuff like “Hellhound On My Trail” or the “32-20 Blues.”

  • Gregor

    Did you know that Ted Bundy’s first dog was a collie that he named Lassie? Imagine that, a collie, named Lassie.

  • adhiraj singh panwar

    kurt was a legend,his legacy will never die neither the legend of kurt cobain.He was known for his killing melodies and stage persona.It makes me lify reading your comments.He always said what he felt through his music.he is a reluctant spokesman of an entire generation.The greatest songwriter ever and one of the greatest guitarist of all time as well as the greatest vocalist of all time.His image was even bigger than the entire band put together.Whatever u say kurt changed the face of grunge and rock music for ever.He and nirvana r.i.p.

  • Gregor

    [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor] now I understand what Al was talkin about, if your a real fan of Nirvana your not going to try and defend them to death and go as far as saying that Kurt Cobain blah blah best vocalist,song writer in the world. SHUT The FUck Up. He clearly was not the best in the ENTIRE world and your just fucking ignorant to say that [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor].

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    In the late 80’s,People mistook make-up,Big & slick over production & twangy one-stringed guitar solos for Metal. Other bands followed the trend by merely writing about love & heartbreak while incorporating electric blues. People still consider this schlock to be some form of Metal though it hardly mirrors any kind of skill or structure that real Metal demands. This kind of debauchery let the record companies continue to fill their pockets with the support of the overwhelming female fan base. Most people with an ear and a love for music got sick of the same crap that was killing the airwaves so they clung to the first act in the rock genre that was different and somewhat shocking. Unfortunately, the majority of these people were still led by trends and didn’t realize the “dumbing-down” process that was taking place in the music industry. Thus, in the 90’s, you didn’t have to be a musician to be an icon. The scene went from one extreme to the other. From looking like bitches & having some chops to being dirty and hardly playing power chords properly. But, the record companies figured out the formula and latched on giving us Nirvana. Now these freaks think that Kurt & Co. pioneered Rock because they were all glued to f*cking MTV and didn’t look any further than what they were being fed to find a real change.

  • Marcia Neil

    The record companies decided to mis/use ‘freedom of the press’ decades ago, such that any stage musician who performs original works must endure (or die) the social pressure from new/original music automatically copied in major recording company factories and distributed worldwide. When is the time to disclose that such musicians are not playing their own? Some become celebrities if well-sheltered and protected while others lose health permanently.

  • a girl

    wow i can’t believe this fanaticism–have you people heard of Joy Division??–They were the first and greatest band to use punk to convey complex emotions. All those lame hair bands you kurdt lovers hate were killed of by Guns n’ Roses. But that’s blasphemy to you since kurdt the said that GNR are devoid of any talent whatsoever. I wonder if Cobain didn’t have those good looks would Nirvana be a tenth as popular, aside from his early death?–would the pixies be more popular if their frontman looked this good??

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    All those lame hair bands you kurdt lovers hate were killed of by Guns n’ Roses.

    Naw…I would have to give that honor to A.I.C., though a couple of songs at the end of Facelift still had that glam kind of feel.

  • Teen

    Opinion – a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty.

    Point Of View-
    1)a specified or stated manner of consideration or appraisal; standpoint

    2)an opinion, attitude, or judgment

    Everyone has different opinions and their points of view and so everyone like different types of music and so on. Just blurting out that he was “a talented loser” or any other kind of childish offensive phrases or words. It is really hard to separate a personal life from a musical life. People tend to just blend these two and start ranting about non-sense. Yes Kurt Cobain had drug addictions, depression that never got treated, and a really sad past, but we must separate this from the person he was musically, which is really hard since many of his emotions were the fuel for his songwriting. Even so, we must not judge his work because of what he did in his personal life, we must judge it because of the quality and the passion that he did it with. Of course, opinion and point of view come in as there are many people who didn’t like his music. They have all the freedom to. I think the writer of this article gets of the course of what he wants to state, and so do much of the people commenting. There are artist that cannot be compared to other due to the large difference in musical style, just because what they play are subgenres of rock doesn’t mean it is exactly the same thing.

    As so why he is idolized there are many reasons.

    Some Are:
    1)The fan base that he had and the people he inspired and still inspires.

    2)The Shock of his spontaneous death and the fact he was a rock star by the time he supposedly killed himself.

    3)The oportunity the media gets from it. Everyone here knows that the media talked a lot about this the time it happend and know 14 years after it happened it is a topic largely talked about. Proof is right here. No one knows how much ratings shows got because of the topic.

    4)All the money the corporations get from it. Everyone knows how grunge was mass marketed and companies started to sell expensive clothes with the excuse that they were “grunge” clothing. By making this a big deal there is no doubt that they will keep making money and his legacy will still be alive.

    In the end I think he was a great musician(not the best). He was a really talented person and made great music. He continues to inspire a lot of people, and not because he is dead, but because of his music. People should just Idolize who he was musically and forget what he did in his personal life. Many complain as in why he pushed the marriage of him and Courtney to his fans. But who are we to protest? I mean, he had all the right in the world to marry her and do whatever he wanted. Many things he did were not healthy but yet again that is of no importance. We must remember what he did musically and the good thing she did.

    I think I said enough, thank you and goodnight!

  • Teen

    Sorry for the she* typo

  • Bleepopipus

    Man, I hate when people say: “They were good but were not The Beatles.” Meh, Sgt. Peppers? How bout u listen to some real good bad ass psychedelic music like The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

  • Matt

    This is just typical generation gap disagreements. “My rock idol could so kick your rock idols ass in a fight!” My dad would always argue some of the same points Al Barger makes, we can’t blame them really, we do the same. Kurt is the voice for the 90’s generation, that’s undeniable, nothing will change that. What Al doesn’t understand is that Kurt opitimizes a tragic hero. Tragic heroes sell, like it or not. It’s partly why he is so popular after his death. However it is not why we idolize him. We idolize him for what he created, all character flaws aside, who cares? He was a good man and made music that inspired and will continue to inspire long after he is gone. Do you really believe that the ‘TOUGH MEN of the 60’s generation’ didn’t have drug and or other flaws. I guess you forgot Bob Dylan went to rehab?

    On a personal note: I don’t think suicide is any way to judge a man. It’s a right we all have as independent beings and thinkers. We live our life or we choose not to. So be it. It’s your decision to make, it’s your life to live, not mine.

    P.S. About I Hate Myself and Want to Die. He picked that name as a joke, it’s satirical. Read Kurt’s interview with Rolling Stone for the quotations. Kurt had a great sense of humor, that’s part of what his music was about. Poking fun at himself, poking fun at his fans, poking fun at homophobes, poking fun at ‘macho men’. This is all something you’ve obviously seemed to missed, but what can you expect to get from reading Kurt’s Wikipedia Bio.

  • Matt- Thank you for reading my story, and for your thoughtful reply. Again, I emphasize that I don’t mean to pass judgment against Cobain for killing himself. It’s not for me to judge how much misery a man should have to bear.

    But there is a point beyond mere generational difference of opinion when I say that it is inappropriate and unhealthy to idolize someone on the basis of their misery as many do with Cobain. Not that other entertainers haven’t engaged in self-destructive behavior, but idolizing or romancing misery is not the big personal connection that draws people to the Rolling Stones.

    Speaking generationally, such a thing however might be considered a big part of the Jim Morrison cult. I would actually be much more inclined to judge Morrison harshly than Cobain.

    On a different point, I fail to see much humor anywhere in Cobain’s work, as you seem to. Not that it is an artistic requirement, but I can’t think of anything in any Nirvana record or video that struck me as being funny – or even intended as funny. Perhaps I’m just a little thick, but I have never heard anything on a Nirvana record that seemed to be humorous or joking around – and I think I have or have had all of them.

  • Marcia Neil

    The recent Colorado Springs, CO, gas-pump fire as example — a young woman was publicly immolated possibly because people nearby elicited her thoughts as verbal output when she should have been running from the fire. To certain extent, the same can be true with performance art — people are onstage when they should be eating or sleeping or talking with lawyers, and the difference kills them.

  • he got murdered you fucking idiots so shut the fuck up about everything, he didn’t kill himself why would he do it if he had a young daughter, to leave that way and for her to find out later on, he wouldnt have done that so search up the truth and do what you can, or just move on cause he has. peace the fuck out bitch.

  • kongas

    What the heck do you about music bro?
    Kurt crappy?
    I don’t think so man, He’s like one of the best rockers of grunge, and the grunge era was pretty great. and who the heck is TTD?
    i never heard of him, must be a nobody…
    plus I’d rather be gay than listen to prince with his album cover.

  • gabby

    NIRVANA WAS THE BEATLES OFF THE 90S [personal attack deleted].

    yeah didn’t think so.

    kurt cobain changed music forever and had the guts to say what we were all feeling.
    whoever wrote this article is probably some fat person sitting on their couch wishing they could’ve been like him.
    yeah, he was depressed.

    listen to other songs besides smells like teen spirit [personal attack deleted].
    they were amazing, and there was feeling and depth in every song.

    next time you diss kurt cobain your dissing all of his still MILLION respected fans.

    have a nice day and listen to some NIRVANA,
    [personal attack deleted]

  • Kurdt

    You really missed the whole point. Cobain rules. Try listening to his stuff again, maybe you’ll get it. If not, don’t try to ruin it for the rest of us. Feeling the need to dis him 10 years after his death is WAY more pathetic than being obsessed.

  • Viod

    This is the probably the most pathetic, blind piece of writing I’ve ever seen.

  • van halen rocks

    Can’t stand Nirvana personally. I miss the early guitar rock. I’ll credit them a little for getting us out of the glam scene but I won’t give them all the credit.

    I think Guns n’ Roses and Motley Crue saw the light when they came out with the Girls, Girls, Girls. Glam was on its way out anyway. I’m just sad to see that it got replaced with flannel and depressing, morbid lyrics.
    Just for the record I kind of miss the videos about partying and picking up chicks. Music can just be fun sometimes. Everything doesn’t have to be so damn deep!

  • van halen rocks

    What I really meant to say was, Guns n’ Roses, Skid Row, and even the later Motley Crue stuff was not glam. The hard rockers were changing their stripes before the Grunge movement.

    All the grunge movement did is make rock temporarily boring until it inevitably will go out of style and guitar rock will once again resurface to save Rock N’ Roll. Since I do have faith that the general public has taste.

  • Ashley

    How can you NOT consider Kurt Cobain and icon?!?! After all the drugs he took, he could still come up with some pretty deep stuff. Kurt Cobain said pretty much all of my favorite quotes. He was a fantastic musician even AFTER he was on all those drugs! He had a hard life that he probably never got sympathy for. He was one badass musician and what the hell have you done?!?! Who are you to say that Kurt Cobain isn’t an icon? Coming up with a blog website is NOTHING AT ALL compared to anything Kurt Cobain EVER did!

  • Robbo

    Terence trent Darby more accomplished on every level than kurt Cobain….want a spanner hehe.

  • dk

    Kurt Cobain had severe stomach pain, which is why he did Heroin and which is why he probably killed himself.

  • joe

    The guy is a legend , u think it’s really to right his 3 chord music as u put it? get a pen and a guitar and let’s see u try

  • Chris

    Nirvana was a good band, but I think Cobain was a total douche.

  • Terra

    Kurt is beautiful, and SOME of us are grateful for his music.. No one’s perfect and NO ONE can tell us exactly why what happened happened.. but I think its any individuals choice to choose whether Kurt is their icon or not. If he’s my icon.. respect it.. I love him for probably the same reasons you dont.

  • adrian

    This is a ridiculous statement about a great person, what have you done in your life that is so great to be calling shots like this.

    Kurt had a very troubled life, that is why he was seen as such a reject to society, because he was so much greatly different to everyone at the time.

    Seriously dude, your a plain set out idiot, and im really angry for you pointing he was scrawny and weak, and is that somehow supposed to affect his musical composure and skill ?

    Idiot. Shut up.

  • I wasn’t aware that one had to have achieved great things in one’s own life in order to be eligible to criticise the works or actions of others. When did that rule come out?

  • Hannah

    Get the fuck out of here man. He was a very talented man, unlike you and your horrible writing. please, do yourself a favour, go buy a Nirvana album, and just fucking listen to it instead of putting more bullshit on the internet.

    And what the fuck does his depression to do with the fact he was king of grunge, and with that yes, an icon. What the fuck are you 12? You are a horrible writer with one of the worst and boring blog I’ve ever read. Obviously you don’t know good music.

  • Jim S

    Damn Al, I was googling something about Kurt and came across this 6 years after the fact! I was surprised people were still commenting on it, but I guess it shows you just how powerful Kurt’s music was. I’m wondering if you still truly believe your words. Comparing Kurt to Darby, Simon or even Prince is laughable. I would have to rank him right behind John Lennon as the best singer/songwriter of all time. He changed a generation (mine). His work will live on long after anyones you mentioned in your blog.

  • Bearden Main

    Came across this looking for new music, I’m 26 at the time of this typing.

    I vaguely “remember” this whole grunge scene thing. Kurt was long dead before I started listening to Nirvana. So maybe as an outsider I can give you my perspective.

    Now in my opinion, Kurt was a very gifted musical artist (I’m sure the whole band was cuz the Foo Fighters are awesome too, even though they’ve gotten “serious”). Whether or not the band was very technically able, I don’t know. Even if they didn’t play instruments particularly well, they were a really, really great band and there are things much more enjoyable than agreeable competence.

    It is important to know that he was great because that is part of the making of an icon.

    There is also a timing issue. Let’s face it, the 90s was the first time our culture became self aware in a way. Like Eve biting from the apple, we were aware of our nudity and shame in a way we weren’t before as a whole. Yes there was punk, but my parents aren’t now and were not then – in their teens – really aware of it. It was a fringe element in America.

    Iconography, though also speaks to a larger psychological place. Sorry for talking smarter than I am, but here we go…An icon is a reflection of ourselves, of what we want to see. It’s not so much about Kurt, but rather about what he represents like a tarot card or Jungian anima. He is Le Tortured Artiste.

    I don’t see a problem with that, though. People hurt sometimes. Everyone feels misunderstood at times. People need to express themselves and sometimes we just want to feel bad.

    However, the people who are going to think they are a deep tortured soul who can just feel circles around all the sheeple were going to think that way anyway. Heroin use has been popular among music makers long before Nirvana. With a brief break for coke in the 80s, of course. Those self appointed geniuses will find someone else soon and they existed before Nirvana. One of them probably ran the holocaust.

    But Kurt deserves his place as an icon. If you look at his music from the outside all you’re gonna hear are the radio friendly singles that are “depressing”. The way people say they like everything but country and rap because they never took the time to listen.

    If you look at Smells Like Teen Spirit, the big one, then you will see they still make this type of song many years later. But will Just Like You by Three Days Grace be revered many years later? Typing this many years later after that song came out, I can say no.

    Smells Like, says many things. Songs like Just Like You say one thing, namely, “No, fuck you, Dad!” Smells Like taps into a whole segment of the emotional color wheel like Kurt or a tarot card or an anima, its more than what you see. Angry, sad, excited, serious, joking. I’ve listened to that song to make me feel better and to make me feel worse.

  • Brother Bearden, this is a very good point: “there are things much more enjoyable than agreeable competence”

    Thank you for your thoughtful commentary.

  • Nevermind

    kirt cobain was cool and all but we don’t know what happened to him. He made great music! So rip or if u comted seuisside then I guess ur in ur worst nightmare.so that’s bad

  • Victor


  • Victor- Why would Kurt Cobain or all people be your “hero”? Hero: 1. a man distinguished by exceptional courage, nobility, fortitude That really doesn’t sound like a description of the Cobain to me.

  • ellie

    “Elvis gets more slack because he was, like, 100 times more artistically significant than Cobain.”

    Like, in what way? Elvis didn’t write a single song. He couldn’t even play guitar. How was he an artist?

  • Why do people make celebrities into cultural icons in the first place? That’s the fucking problem: you look to celebrities to serve as role models when most of them are more fucked up than you are.

    Kurt’s music was dark and depressing, sure, but it was REAL. He actually wrote his own songs and played an instrument–how many pop stars can say that today? He also had a major hand in designing the album covers and directing the music videos. A true artist in every sense of the word.

    Appreciate performers for their talent instead of putting their personal life on blast. Kurt himself hated this aspect of stardom and despised the celebrity-worship culture. He didn’t kill himself to fit into an imaginary club of dead rockstars; he did it because of bipolar disorder, drug addiction, chronic pain, the pressures of stardom and people like you.

  • None of your business

    your probaly from the illuminati right? worshipping bob dylan Who has no talent at all face it in an interview he said he sold his soul to the devil if he had Half as much talent as kurt he would’ve made it without selling his eternal soul jimi hendrix did the same thing if you consider them musical geniuses then you Need to re think your idols over and btw go read his journals some one killed him

  • Jimbo

    Prince is lame imo. but Paul Simon is sick so good work (y)

  • Smh

    Not everything in life is “life is awesome and perfect” cobains music was real and not music from a corporate sellout. And to assume someone is not “tough” because they, what? Don’t live up to the societal standards and generalizations of a “masculine” rockstar? So what. Not everyone is the same and that’s exactly what’s so refreshing about Kurt. He was against those kind of labels. Also struggling with addiction and fame doesn’t make you weak, it makes you human. imo