Kurt Cobain: The Tragedy of a Seattle Music Icon
It’s been Sixteen years today since the music world lost one of its most iconic members when Kurt Cobain took his own life at his home in Seattle. (His body was actually found on April 8, but autopsy reports showed that he likely passed on the fifth.)
Cobain was only 27 years old when he died, but has proved to be a music icon in his own right. However, it wasn’t enough to fight the inner demons he faced for most of his life.
Born on February 20, 1967 in Aberdeen, Washington, Cobain grew up poor and showed an early interest in painting. His interest in music came later, when his uncle bought him a guitar for his 14th birthday. It was then that he became interested in punk rock and the growing music scenes happening in both Seattle and Olympia.
Cobain dropped out of high school his senior when he realized he’d be a few credits short of graduation, but by then he had already met future Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic. By the mid-’80s, the pair started hanging out with proto-grunge bands the Melvins, Tad and Mudhoney. With a rotating cast of drummers, Nirvana started touring and eventually got together enough momentum to record Bleach for Seattle’s Sub Pop Records in 1989.
The band’s profile continued to rise, as they earned a reputation as a blistering live act. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was music staple in 1992, which propelled the group’s second album Nevermind to the top of the charts. Cobain had gone from crashing in other people’s basements (his mother threw him out of the house when he dropped out of school) to being one of the most recognizable rock stars in the world in a few short years.
Though Cobain kicked heroin (which had become a full-fledged addiction) in 1992 when he discovered that wife Courtney Love was pregnant, the rigors of the road proved to be too much for him, and he ended up back on the drug. His behavior became more and more erratic (he famously fell asleep several times while on heroin during a photo shoot surrounding the band’s appearance on “Saturday Night Live” in the fall of 1992).
Cobain attempted to clean up multiple times, but his downward spiral continued through 1993 (when the band’s abrasive third album In Utero was cut and released), and by the beginning of 1994 things had reached a fever pitch. While on tour in Europe in March of ’94, Cobain overdosed on a combination of champagne and Rohypnol. After getting his stomach pumped, Cobain returned to Seattle with wife Love. She staged an intervention for him a few weeks later, which ended with Cobain agreeing to enter a rehab program in Los Angeles.
But a few days after checking in, Cobain hopped the wall of the Exodus Recovery Center and caught a plane back to Seattle, where people lost track of him for a few days — in fact, Love hired a private investigator to track him down (at the time, she was on tour with Hole, who were preparing for the release of Live Through This). He was finally found dead on April 8 by an electrician who had come to his home to install a security system. Cobain left behind a suicide note, the shotgun he used to kill himself and a bevy of questions about his drug issues and mental health.
Article from www.mtv.com