Despite his musical success, Cobain’s relatively short life was plagued with tragedy and hardship. A succession of broken relationships, drug addiction and depression prefaced his premature death when he was only twenty-seven years old.
To many of his fans Kurt was a hero, his musical talent led him to be called ”the voice of a generation.” Kurt Cobain will never be forgotten, his music will always live on, and hopefully others will learn from Kurt’s tragic end.
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”Long before there was a void in our hearts, there was a void in Kurt Cobain’s”.
The life of a rock star starts out with just a few lyrics scribbled on a piece of paper. With the added help of a good voice, good sound, hard work and determination, someone can become very successful in the competitive music industry. Among the successful, hardworking artists in this industry are Little Richard, Elvis Presley, The Beatles and the Sex Pistols. Kurt Cobain, the lead singer from the famous band Nirvana, can also be included with these rock legends, and his life in music is supported by great talent, emotional conflicts and difficult relationships that courted controversy both when he was alive and in the years following his death.
Born on the 20th February 1967 in Abertine, Washington, when he was only seven years old his mother and father divorced. Following this incident, Kurt was moved between various family members and friends, and for this the situation got to the point of being unbearable so he started to spend most nights under a bridge near the road he used to live in- immortalized in the song “Something in the Way”-. Here, Kurt’s time was mostly spent writing, the writing which then became his earliest lyrics. Moreover, school life wasn’t any easier on Kurt either. Unlike most boys at that age, Kurt had little interest in football and the mainstream sports; instead he enjoyed painting and singing, therefore he didn’t have many friends at school. Many thought of him as just another “weird-o” or even a bisexual- since he spent most of the time with the girls who shared his interests, others thought he was simply just strange, so he decided to isolate himself from most people.
He was not always alone though, before he was famous, Kurt lived with Tracy Merander- Immortalized in the song “About A Girl”- for three years in Seattle. During this time with her, most of his talents, such as painting and sculpting, were inspired by her and created for her. Tracy, as Kurt claimed and as it appeared to be, was said to be his “only true love”. Of course this only lasted until he met Courtney Love, who immediately became an important part in Cobain’s life. They married on January 24th 1992 in Waikiki, Hawaii, and six months later, Courtney was giving birth to their first and only daughter, Frances Bean. Their relationship in general seemed to be wonderful, despite the fact that people who were closer to them said the relationship was troublesome.
One of the most important aspects of Kurt Cobain’s life is obviously music. From a very early age, he showed interest in the arts in general; he received his first guitar on his fourteenth birthday and by the time he was fifteen, he already knew how to play it. His musical influences went all the way from The Beatles and The Monkees to bands like Led Zeppelin and AC/DC. Kurt’s music didn’t turn out to be like any of these, but it was a mixture of heavy metal and 80’s punk, which was later to be known as ‘grunge’.
With his friend Chris (‘Krist’) Novaselic, Kurt formed one of the greatest bands in rock history, Nirvana, in 1986. In 1988 Kurt, Krist and the drummer Dave Grohl went to Seattle to make a demo at Reciprical Recording Studios, a demo that later led them to a record deal with Sub Pop records. On June 11th 1988 they released their first album, Bleach, which was produced under the Sub Pop record label. After their successful release, Nirvana toured the United States, and later on they performed their first European concert in Newcastle. The next year, Nirvana decided to change record companies to Geffen Records. Later in 1991 Nirvana signed a contract with them and started working on what would later be their historic album- which bumped Michael Jackson’s “Dangerous” off the number one spot overnight; they were overnight millionaires with a song Kurt didn’t even like, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”- titled ‘Nevermind’. As Nirvana became more and more famous, the stress increased on Kurt; he was constantly protected by guards, so he had little contact with his closest friends and even his own family.
Another important aspect in Kurt Cobain’s life was his struggle with drugs. He had become dangerously addicted to morphine and heroin. Cobain tried to get his friends and family to believe he was going to get some help and that his drug abuse was under control, but of course, this wasn’t true.
While at seminar in July of 1993, Kurt overdosed on heroin. What’s more is that prior to that event, Kurt had entered a drug-rehabilitation programme in California; he was annoyed with everything around him, he felt uncomfortable wherever he went, so he soon left the rehabilitation centre and returned to Seattle, where he then shot himself.
On April 8th, 1994, Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain was found dead in the greenhouse of his Lake Washington home. Enough heroin was in his blood to kill three people. Beside him on the floor was a 20-gauge shotgun. He’d apparently bitten down on the barrel and pulled the trigger. Lying on a nearby table, there was a suicide note, which was written moments before his death:
“Thank you all from the pit of my burning, nauseous stomach for your letters and concern during the past years. I’m too much of an erratic, moody baby! I don’t have the passion anymore, and so remember, it’s better to burn out than to fade away.”
To the Seattle police, who were called to the scene, it was suicide–open and shut.
The media went into overdrive about the short, tragic life of one of the most talented musicians of this generation. Fuelled by the rumour mill and by comments made by his widow about earlier suicide attempts, they talked about his depression, his heroin addiction, his stomach pains–and his overpowering wish to die.
Though Kurt Cobain did not reach the age of thirty, he became well known as a legend like Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Jim Morris, who were all- like him- twenty-seven when they died. The world sat in disbelief to the announcement of Kurt Cobain’s death, and for days the media reported on his suicide.