Celebrating Kurt Cobain: A Rock Girl Remembers her Childhood Hero
While I was born long before "In Utero" was released, I distinctly remember receiving the Nirvana album (so aptly named), and truly believe this to be the day my life began. As one of the first albums that I ever personally owned, I remember waking up in my top bed-bunk, with my mom rushing in my room giving me birthday presents, and unwrapping the cassette tapes to reveal the glorious image of an anatomical body with wings gracing the cover artwork. "In Utero" had just been released, only a few days before my 6th birthday, and by that time I had already developed an obsession with Kurt Cobain. Not only was my 6th birthday a glorious one for me for getting such an exciting gift, but it marks the year that music truly wrapped it's grips around my heart, and my rock music-life as I know know it began. Kurt Cobain was not just a rock-star to me. He was not just a rocker with long blonde hair like mine. He was not just someone I watched on TV in awe as a kid, emulating on air guitar. He was not just someone who sang lyrics that somehow made my childhood of dysfunction make sense. He was a hero. He was my music hero. And possibly the only hero that I've had in this lifetime.
My fondness of Kurt Cobain stemmed from my love of Nirvana music, and my relation to the ominous sounds and dark lyrics amidst a childhood surrounded by chaos. Prior to discovering Nirvana, when my mother would play cassette tapes and I would overhear, I never knew what grunge music was. I had only heard the sounds of bands such as The Beach Boys, The Grateful Dead, and Talking Heads. Suddenly, one day I heard the twangy grungy strumming of guitar, with a gritty but mellow voice singing along, and I was instantly enthralled. I had never known anything grunge before, and I was hooked.
I emulated much of my childhood around Kurt Cobain, and spent my elementary school years wearing plaid shirts and ripped jeans, crazy sunglasses, and dying my hair every color of 'Manic Panic', just to be like Kurt. I listened to "All Apologies" and "Heart Shaped Box" over and over and over. In the days before the internet and really any form of technological luxury that we currently have, I would play my Nirvana tapes on repeat, and sit by the boombox in my living room writing down words so that I could learn song lyrics.
While today is Kurt Cobain's birthday, it is a day I truly celebrate. Without the likes of Nirvana, and particularly Kurt Cobain's role in my childhood life, there is absolutely no way that I would be the Rock Girl that I am today. At the moment I received my first full-length Nirvana album, I fell in love with grunge, and I never looked back.
As I grew up, and became exposed to the many different types of personalities and aspects of humanity, I lost my ability to look up to people as 'heros' as opposed to as equals. However, Kurt Cobain and the amazing music that he made will always cause him to hold a special place in my life as the only 'hero' that I have ever had. So here's to celebrating Kurt Cobain's music on his birthday. As Dave Grohl has sung, "there goes my hero."