A big birthday shout out to the man who changed my entire life. If he were still with us, he would be celebrating his 45th birthday today. Kurt Cobain, this one is for you.
What Nirvana Means To Me
One steamy afternoon I came home from school, threw myself onto the carpet in front of the TV and hated life. I mean it, I was a boiling cup of hatred, stirring my rage, feeling the cloud of steam fill up my lungs. I breathed heat into the world and fumed. I hated the kids at school, I hated being this chubby little feral with ratty hair and a shit place to live. I hated our TV for not being colour and I hated our carpet for, well, not being ours, and being ugly to boot. I hated my shoes which were not right at all, and my school bag was so uncool as to be embarrassing. Everything was second hand and old, trashy. I felt old and trashy and too young to ever do anything cool- it would be many years before I could go out and party and I wanted those years gone, STAT. I felt trapped, felt I was going nowhere. I also thought I was super awesome and was someone who deserved to move away from my white bread suburban childhood, floating like I had kicked off from the deep end and was following the O shaped bubbles as they escaped my mouth and raced to somewhere better. I had nine year old ennui. Bad.
I wanted a glass of frosty cold milk and Milo. There was no Milo. I wanted snacks. There were no snacks. I wanted to be left alone. Well, being an only child was pretty tops on that, except I wanted to be alone by choice. I turned on the TV. Michael Tunn, the then host of The Afternoon Show beamed his smiling face into my living room, promising to play me the hottest hits of now. I laughed a cynical laugh as soon as the opening strains of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince playing Boom Shake The Room started, boring me for the thousandth time. I knew that next Tunny would play a clip by Ace Of Base, and then some shitty teen programing would start, and then the news. I knew too that if I got up to change the channel I would find nothing better. For want of having somewhere cool to go, or something cool to do, I sat back and stared vacantly at the screen, willing my energy to dissipate.
Except today was different. A film clip with trashy boys throwing tantrums flickered into existence. These young men kicking it in front of a crowd of kids as bored as me sucked the hot air right out of me. The pounding drums that had the cheerleaders going mental, the guitar licks that were so hooky even the cleaner was caught up and the gritty voice of a dirty haired angel combined in such a powerful way as to leave me breathless. My entire focus was on the small TV set. I was mesmerised, my skin tingling, my heart pounding. Everything that was happening outside of the sphere of my body holding onto the TV screen faded into nothingness. I didn’t catch the name of the band. I didn’t know if I would ever hear it again. I was at once so grateful to have seen it- to have been present to witness it, and simultaneously terrified I would never hear that amazing music again. Lucky for me the ABC, while progressive, isn’t that cashed up it can afford to be new every day, and so the next afternoon I found out who it was, and by the end of the week had procured a cassette tape.
To date the music of Nirvana has been the most faithful friend I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. When Kurt died I felt as though something very grand had been taken from me, and while I can now see that never having the chance to fuck up their musical career is in a way a magical thing, the biggest part of me wishes he could have stuck around to let me down with a shitty album.
There is a lot more emotion in my heart and head surrounding the music of Nirvana and the legacy of Kurt Cobain than I know how to express. The only way I know how to wrap this up is to say that for me, the best thing about Kurt Cobain is that I owe him a debt of gratitude for changing my life for the better a thousand times over. I don’t know much about God, but I’ve heard He isn’t too keen on suicide. I hope that in balance, all the lives Kurt enriched make up for the one he took.
I know my son will grow up surrounded by the music of Nirvana, and I’ve found some other ways to express my love of the band vicariously through my son:
|Sub Pop Onesie|
|Nirvana Onesie from Rainbow On Bay|
|Baby Hi-Tops from Converse|
|Baby Flannie from Pumpkin Patch|
|Rockabye Baby Lullaby Renditions Of Nirvana|
|Dirty Jeans Via Industrie/ABCD|
Psychobaby Boys Guitar Playing Baby One-Piece (but I wish it were left handed)
|Toddler Nirvana T|
And because I'm already feeling a little emotional, here are some heartbreaking photos of Kurt and Frances.
And last but not least, A DIY Tutorial on how to knit your own baby Converse.
|DIY Knitting Tutorial For Baby Converse Booties|
Come as you are,