Rock History

The Legend of Kurt Cobain

As we hit the 10-year anniversary of the death of Kurt Cobain, we will be flooded with tributes, analysis and debates about the nature of his death. One of the best places to get a capsule summary of what’s out there is by Simon B. at No Rock and Roll Fun. Another interesting Canadian take on the Nirvana front man can be found at Canoe. The bottom line for me is that you can toss all that “voice of a generation” crap out the window and summarize what Kurt Cobain did for rock and roll quite succinctly: he re-introduced both the guitar and attitude back into rock and roll while relegating the spandex and smoke bombs to the sideline and this is something rock and roll always needs once in awhile to keep its’ excessiveness in check. The fact that he killed himself is a sad and tragic fact that will unfortunately always overshadow his contribution to rock and roll in the years to come as the way he died and not the music he created with the rest of the guys in Nirvana will be the lasting memory most people will have of Kurt Cobain. That is perhaps the saddest legacy of all. If you really want to pay tribute to Kurt Cobain, don’t bother with all the bullshit of why or how he died but listen to his music and those bands and musicians that influenced him. Then maybe try and pick up a guitar yourself and see what happens. That is something I think even Kurt Cobain would find cool. I know I would.