Posts Tagged ‘Kurt Cobain’

So, I went back and forth for a few days on whether to even bother writing this article.

Having already written about Kurt Cobain here at length on a number of previous occasions, I didn’t know if there was anything left worth saying.

Among these older pieces, five years ago – on the twentieth anniversary of his death – I wrote a very long piece about that day and its impact both on me personally and those generations culturally. Around the same time, I also wrote this piece on how I viewed Cobain’s real ‘legacy’ and long-lasting impact.

The former was more of a snapshot of a moment in time and that moment’s resonance; while the latter was an attempt to bypass all of the accumulated bullshit around Kurt Cobain that has developed over the years and to somewhat simplify and purify his impact and legacy.

So I don’t know that I have anything to say about Cobain that I hadn’t already expressed.

But then I started thinking again about stuff that’s been added to the Cobain ‘mythology’ in the time even since then. Stuff like the Montage of Heck movie, for example, the Soaked in Bleach movie, and the flood of Murder Theory videos and supporters of those theories. (more…)

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Leaving Neverland is a very difficult thing to react to.

Because, the way it is constructed, it leaves no real room for any diversity in interpretation. The way it is constructed, there’s only two possible reactions: either you believe it wholly or you dismiss it as a lie.

It’s very difficult to be anywhere in the middle: because the filmmaker Dan Reed has basically eliminated any ‘middle’.

The film asks no questions, but simply – and relentlessly – hammers home a statement: this guy was a sinister paedophile and this is our story. Believe it or don’t.

Again, as I’ve done each time I’ve covered this subject, I’ll say this: I have no idea whether Michael Jackson is guilty or innocent. I don’t have a solid opinion. All of the claims in Leaving Neverland might be true. (more…)

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The remarkable journey of George Takei to pop-cultural icon is the subject of Jennifer M. Kroot’s documentary film, To Be Takei, which just debuted at the Sundance film festival.

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“You mean like a funeral?” the producer of Nirvana’s MTV Unplugged session asked, in regard to the black candles and stargazer lillies Kurt Cobain had requested to decorate the set. “Exactly. Like a funeral,” said Kurt.
It’s difficult to tell whether Nirvana’s unplugged show would have acquired the legendary, mythic status it has, whether it would’ve resonated so poignantly, were it not for the fact that within five months of the show Kurt was no longer with us.

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While Glastonbury has been getting headlines recently, it’s worth saying that the Reading Festival has over the years had probably just as many classic performances and awesome line-ups (if not more). Just look at some of the Reading line-ups twenty years ago; 1994 and 95 alone were like a wish-list of incredible artists, the likes of which you’d have a hard time compiling in 2014.
And no Reading Festival performance has acquired so much legendary mist around it, become so lionized and referenced, as Nirvana’s 1992 headline set.

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“The song is about a person who’s beyond depressed; they’re in their death bed, pretty much.” This was what Kurt Cobain said in a 1993 interview with Impact, concerning the song Pennyroyal Tea; the Nirvana single that never was.

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“This is not pop music,” REM’s Michael Stipe says, as the beloved frontman inducts his friend Kurt Cobain’s unmatched band Nirvana into the Hall of Fame. “This is something much greater than that.” Leave it to Michael Stipe to sum it up perfectly. Krist Novoselic thanks all the Nirvana fans. Buzz Osbourne and Chad Channing both get a shout-out. Punk rock veterans Joan Jett and Kim Gordon come to the party. And no one cares about Kiss or Peter Gabriel.
So five days after the 20th anniversary of the day Kurt Cobain departed, here we are now; Nirvana have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, in an event everyone was talking about but hardly anyone was able to actually see.

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Tonight, twenty years after Kurt Cobain chose to burn out and not fade away, Nirvana are being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
But at this time that’s seeing a major swell of Nirvana-related stories and Cobain-related controversies, I say forget for now the conspiracy theories, forget the upcoming Soaked In Bleach movie, forget that stupid statue in Aberdeen, the frequent celebrity nonsense of Courtney Love, and all the other extraneous distractions that float about Kurt Cobain’s legacy; the greatest part of Kurt’s legacy remains musical and cultural. Kurt’s first, most important legacy, is his music.

The second – and the subject of this post – is his influence on the culture and sub-culture of at least two generations, if not a third.

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Someone, via social media, criticised me for writing such a long piece about Kurt Cobain‘s death and not saying anything about Layne Staley (who by strange twists of fate also died on April 5th, though eight years later).

The reason I wrote something about Kurt was because it was specifically the 20th year since his death, whereas Layne died twelve years ago, which doesn’t have the same resonance to it as a passage of time.

For the record, I did refer to Layne in the Kurt post. However, I’m saying a little more here about Layne’s passing too, as he was someone else I really had a huge amount of love for (and still do).

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