Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's suicide here in Seattle. In the afternoon, I took my daughters plus two of their friends down to Viretta Park to pay our respects. The park is next door to the house where Cobain killed himself. We live close by and I drive by it almost daily. Over the years, I've met people from all over the world who've come to leave flowers, beer, cigarettes, or whatever on the park bench. Yesterday, I read a note from one fan who traveled all the way from Indonesia.
My kids have a vague understanding about who Nirvana where, but I was surprised that their friends were as uninformed as they were. I told them about their history and the still lasting effects on Seattle and the music industry. The grunge music scene definitely played into my decision about moving to Seattle after graduating from college.
I've struggled with listening to Nirvana for the past 20 years. To say that their music was transformative in my college years would be an understatement. However, I'm still mad at Kurt for taking his own life and denying us his talents, let alone his wife and baby daughter a husband and father. That tragedy is what makes it difficult to listen to their songs, even though, I might sing along to the lyrics anytime "Smells Like Teen Spirit" comes on the radio.
Last night, I played many of Nirvana's videos for the girls. These 11-12 year olds were awestruck! I wonder what Kurt would think about these kids, who were born a decade after his stardom, moshing in our living room to his music? Watching them dance took me back to a more innocent time in my own life, back when Kurt was still with us. RIP Kurt.