Kind of hard for me to believe that it's now been 20 years since Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain took his own life at his home in Seattle - like so many things these days, it makes me feel old, but it also takes me back too. I loved Nirvana when they first came out, and embraced fully the changes in the style of modern rock that Cobain ushered in with bandmante Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl. By '94, though, I had other interests and had kind of moved away from Nirvanamania. I rediscovered the group in '97 when I picked up From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah and, as TFB attests, my appreciation for the trio's musical legacy has only grown since then.
The news of Cobain's death thus didn't make that much of an impact on me when it happened, though obviously it was a big story in the music world and pop culture at large, and still has some relevance today. The anniversary of Cobain's death shifts the focus away from Nirvana's brief yet brilliant career and onto Cobain as an individual. I've read two biographies about him - Michael Azzerad's Come As You Are tracing the band's meteoric rise and sudden end, and Charles Cross' heavier Than Heaven focusing more in-depth on the life and times of its frontman. And for some strange reason, despite his not even seeing his 28th birthday and really only being musically active for 5 years, I still find Kurt Cobain utterly fascinating. From Nirvana's origin story, to Cobain's well-publicized difficulties, to his rejection of fame, to the general way he appproached his music and his celebrity, he remains one of the most compelling public figures of my lifetime.
Just for the heck of it, here are a few links to articles I've written about Nirvana, though I'm sure there are a few more.
A Great Records Post on Nevermind
"Breed" placing among my all-time greatest riffs.
A Very Good Records post including Incesticide
A Great Records Post on In Utero
A Great Records Post combining Nirvana's first two live outings - Unplugged in New York and From the Muddy Banks of the Wishkah
A review of the essential live document Live at Reading
My favorite bands 1-10, with Cobain and Co. taking the top spot
Some comments on their documentary Live! Tonight! Sold Out!!!