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What Kurt Cobain Meant

What Kurt Cobain Meant

Saturday, April 5, 2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Kurt Cobain.  Five days later, the surviving members of the band will stand on a stage to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Few artists have had the impact of Cobain with such a small body of work.

The following post is a collection of thoughts about the life and death of Kurt Cobain.  It is written by our editor, Jeffrey Clayton.

Feel free to share your thoughts on Cobain below.




"It's better to burn out than to fade away."

-- Neil Young

Kurt Cobain quoted Neil Young in his suicide note.  That knowledge has stuck with Neil Young ever since.  Ironically, it was Young who was desperately trying to contact Cobain not long before the Nirvana front-man took his own life.

On April 5, 1994, Kurt Cobain pulled the trigger on a shotgun.

His life was over at 27.

Conspiracy theorists still believe that Cobain did not kill himself.  Because of that note, I believe he did it.

Kurt Cobain's suicide note reads like it was written by a conflicted soul.  That is the word I use to summarize Cobain's life and career.


Kurt Cobain was a conflicted person.  Many of his fans contend that he was an underground artist who was thrust into stardom he never wanted.  That's simply not true.

Kurt Cobain wanted Nirvana to become the biggest rock band in the world.

At least that's how he felt in 1990.  While seeking a major record label, Cobain would tell record executives that he wanted Nirvana to be the biggest rock band in the world.

But, Kurt Cobain was conflicted.

He was the tortured artist, but he also loved to laugh.

He loved the Beatles and Sex Pistols. 

When Nirvana became the biggest band in the world, they did the typical "big band" things.  Nirvana played MTV Unplugged.  But, they did not play Smells Like Teen Spirit and they brought the Meat Puppets on stage and played three of their songs.



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