Re-listening to some of the old Nirvana tracks on the anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s suicide, it’s not as bad as I remember it, but it wasn’t great either.
With the caveat that I know this is a maximally douchey statement, Kurt Cobain’s death was the best thing that ever happened to Dave Grohl’s career. Seriously. (No, that’s not Everlong. Here’s Everlong.) Dave Grohl has created so much amazing material post-Nirvana it is a little bit disturbing to think that he might have been stuck drumming in the background as Kurt Cobain would have eventually turned himself into, well, Axl Rose — a creatively moribund shell of his former self.
I bring this up because I see some folks on twitter reminiscing on where they were when they heard the news. Well, I was a freshman in high school, and I didn’t give a crap. I really didn’t care for the material. Then suddenly, Cobain became some sort of musical martyr by his own hand, and the rest of us were subjected to a never-ending parade of poseurs with Nirvana T-shirts and nascent heroin addictions who felt put-upon by The Man, or something.
I guess Nirvana was better than a lot of the crap that usually passes for popular music, but frankly if I had a time machine and the choice of seeing a performance by Nirvana or, say, Soundgarden, or even Guns & Roses (before Axl completely lost his bleedin’ mind), … let’s just say my choice wouldn’t be Nirvana. Shit, the Screaming Trees were better than Nirvana. I confess that I did own the Unplugged CD, though most of the best tracks were covers. But I can’t pretend for a second that April 5th, 1994 was the day the music died, or any such similar rubbish. He wasn’t the Jesus of Gen-X. He was a modestly above average musician with some peroxide and a drug problem.
Of all the prematurely dead musicians who have graced this earth, Kurt Cobain was the voice of a generation? (Ostensibly my generation?) Oh, hell no.
Long live Dave Grohl.