Thursday, February 24, 2011

30 day song challenge - Day Sixteen

Day 16 - A song you used to love but now you hate.
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana

Oh, 1991. I liked you. I was freshly married, living in Atlanta. I was at a record store in Decatur and they had a giant poster of a naked baby boy swimming underwater after a dollar on a fish hook. Nirvana's album cover for "Nevermind."

Strangely, I then saw the video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on MTV's 120 Minutes. I liked the millieu, the filthy gymnasium filled with anarchist cheerleaders, the lead singer with his crazy mop of blond hair and his stripey shirt, the drummer who looked more like Animal from the muppets than even Animal did. The janitor rocking out with his mop. The out of control stands, crowd surfing, and just general fuck you chaos of the shoot.

I couldn't get enough of this song, or this album. I hated living in Atlanta, and this was a great album filled with really angry songs that were also radio friendly and super poppy in a lot of ways.

We relocated to Massachusetts, I had a baby, and the lead singer of this here band, a few short months younger than I am, also had a baby. I kind of felt weird, knowing that in this world both Kurt Cobain and I were parents. Two very different people, with babies really close in age.

And then Kurt blew his head off. And now I never ever want to hear this overplayed song ever again.

I had a copy of the Rolling Stone Magazine with his black and white photo on it. I stood in the middle of my living room while my 2 year old daughter walked around me. I was heartbroken, not for the "world's loss of his genius" but for Frances Bean. For her loss. I thought to myself that no matter how hard life had to be, how do you do that to your baby? How do you just do that?

I'd gone through some very serious depressions in my time. I had been at the end of those ropes. But something always ended up dissuading me, pushing me into a different direction than suicide.

All these years later, Kurt's birthday just passed here in this realm of reality. A whole ton of the kids I'm friends with on Facebook had posts wishing him a happy birthday. "We love you Kurt!" I had a whole discussion with a girl named Molly about how I am still mad at him for what he did, to his daughter. Molly, being 14, didn't really get it.

I hope she never has to.

In the meantime, yeah. I am still mad at him. I don't feel that he robbed the world of his genius. I just wish that as a daddy he just had the strength to fix himself with help. With the help of people who loved him, not for his genius music, but for him.

If you never have, I suggest you read the book "About A Boy" by Nick Hornby. They made a movie about it a few years back with Hugh Grant in the lead role. But they left out the entire part of the book that was the connection between Hugh and The Boy... their shared love of Nirvana, and Kurt's suicide. It is a heartbreaking book. And of all the things left behind by Mr. Cobain, probably the most sad and beautiful part of his legacy.

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