Saturday, April 5, 2014

On Burning Out and Fading Away...

Twenty years ago, I was eighteen years old and very drunk in Munich when someone stopped me in the hotel lobby to say Kurt Cobain had committed suicide in his Seattle home. Though I was a huge fan, I remember my reaction wasn't one of devastation or even surprise. Though sad as it was, I rather expected it to happen sooner or later. It sort of amazed me that it came as a shock to anyone. A few months before he had tried to commit suicide in Italy and had ended up in a coma. His songs, especially many of his later ones, read like a diary of one suffering with life. It was this very quality about him that spoke to so many lost teenagers in the first place. So his death didn't surprise me, yet it still saddens me.

To this day I often think about what kind music Kurt would have recorded in the past twenty years. Sometimes I hear a song and can't help thinking Kurt might have made something that sounded like this. After hearing his last songs that have showed up over the years, "You Know You're Right," "Do Re Mi," etc, I think Kurt was moving on to something spiritual in his music. I could also see him doing something like Elliot Smith's self titled album or Johnossi's debut. And though we will never know what was to come, his influence can still be heard and the music he left behind is still enjoyed. True legends never fade away.

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