(Disjointed) Musings about Kurt Cobain (2014)

Re: Cobain, 2014 / disjointed miscellaneous annotations 

Thinking of poor dead Kurdt today.

Barely bearable. So many memories:

Accidentally fortunate enough to be dialed in to the Nirvana zeitgeist.

I saw Nirvana at a perfect time, before Nevermind but after Dave Grohl joined. They opened for Dinosaur Jr. at the Pompadour (an old church) in Salt Lake City.

Went away with nothing but the thoughts that they were the *most perfect* band i’d seen: i could hum the songs right away (“gramma take me home, i wanna be alone”) and they were loud (i love loud but Dino Jr. afterwards made everyone huddle in a mass at the back with bleeding ears), and *dareisay* charisma & confidence oozed from all three. They knew what they had ready.

I’ve met Krist a few times since and had him sign the poster from that show, he was surprised to see it as it was part of a few show run to stretch the band out before the whole world changed (for them and us) when Nevermind dropped.

My fave jukebox track was playing the last song on NM which was followed by 10 minute-ish of silence to confuse the bar patrons before the psychedelic mystery track melted their heads.

At Subpop HQ
At Subpop HQ
At Subpop HQ

Living in Olympia after he died, his ghost was everywhere and people always spoke in hushed tones about him.

His old house (from where he used to shoot at the Lottery bldg.) was right by my (OlyWa.net / Zhonka) office – the current resident was a customer even – i saw the graffiti he put on the walls of their jam space, drank at the bars he did, spent a year driving to Aberdeen on weekends for college classes and sadness of that town was palatable.

I learned he was dead weeks after it happened. I was in Japan working high in the remote mountains as a mushroom farmer and a pithy Brit mentioned it in a “good riddance” tone around a campfire at a log home builders party. I had to walk away.

{As an aside, i can’t thinking about another Olympia refugee who met an early self-inflicted (yet somewhat mysterious) demise, Elliott Smith. These dudes were more or less my age and i think my best work is still ahead of me at 43 and feel cheated from the songs we’ll never hear from them.}

But the strongest emotion is one is empathy and how i wished i could have helped them navigate the pitfalls of the “machine” which turned their outward projection into something they didn’t want to be.

And we all want to be known as who we really are.

The relentless photo, tours, hangers-on, pressure, misunderstandings. Let him breathe!

Be kind to artists, be kind to battered souls, be nurturing to those who dull the pain with the easiest escapes.

Here’s a peace pipe for us all to pass and remember a remarkable lightning bolt.

The 5 albums (counting Unplugged & Insecticide but not the endless bootlegs, other live, compilations, reissues blah blah blah) are all significantly different and explore so much musical territory in such rapid time is rather remarkable – reacquainting his muse with each release.

We missed the Kurt album with the 20 minute jams, the one where he played with Roma, the one where with spoken word stories, the one with lullabies, the one where he went surrealist, the one where Dave sang the songs, the one when they added an accordion player or a melodica, the one where he played right handed.

PS If you haven’t seen it, watch “About A Son” – a curious doc with intimate voice recordings with Cobain overlaid with scenes of Aberdeen, Olympia and Seattle. His voice oozes sincerity, intensity, sadness, elation and confusion.

Whatcha think?