It is hard to imagine that if Kurt Cobain was still alive, he would be turning 50 years old this month. From creating an iconic and unforgettable music band to developing a new music genre, Cobain’s legacy is as important in the music industry as it is in society. The music legend achieved so much in just 8 years of his very own band Nirvana, which makes us think how powerful he would be nowadays if he could still spread his messages of hope and equality in the world.
“I’m disgusted by my own and my generation’s apathy. I’m disgusted at what we allow to go on, by how spineless, lethargic and guilty we are of not standing up against racism, sexism and all those other ‘isms’ that the counterculture has been whining about for years while they sit and enforce those same attitudes every night on their televisions and in the magazines.” (Kurt Cobain)
Just like many other young artists, like Amy Winehouse or Jim Morrison, Kurt went away too soon by taking his own life at the age of 27. However, his short period on Earth was lived to its fullest and that is why we can, must and still remember him:
- His forever-young figure is still modern and iconic
Being the face of grunge music allowed him to become an icon, but not just in the music industry. Kurt was, and still is, the fashion role model for any young person who wants the Nirvana-way-of-life: not caring about perfection. His blonde careless hair, along with his pale skin and large jeans still reflect the teen spirit, the one we should never lose if we are a Kurt Cobain’s fan.
“He was an avowed feminist and confronted gender politics in his lyrics. At a time when a body-conscious silhouette was the defining look, he made it cooler to look slouchy and loose, no matter if you were a boy or a girl. And I think he still represents a romantic ideal for a lot of women.”
(Alex Frank, editor at The Fader magazine, on Kurt Cobain’s fashion influence)
- His honest and not-so-poetic lyrics still make sense
For someone who once said, in 1991, that he does not “understand anything technical about music at all”, Cobain was not that bad after all. Many artists still quote him today in their lyrics and it seems that Kurt’s trick to writing good stuff was actually very simple: just be you and write about anything you want, disregarding any musical rule.
“With the lights out, it’s less dangerous
Here we are now, entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now, entertain us” (Smells Like Teen Spirit)
“What else should I be
What else could I say
Everyone is gay
What else could I write
I don’t have the right.” (All Apologies)
- The way he spoke to his fans is still appreciated nowadays
If Kurt Cobain was still alive he would definitely have a lot to say about today’s society, especially if the main issues are body movement, genre roles or regarding the LGBT community. Kurt was active in expressing himself carelessly as well as he was in motivating others to do the same.
“If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of a different colour or women please do this one favour for us – don’t come to our shows and don’t buy our records.” (Kurt Cobain)
How would 50-year-old Kurt Cobain react to present times? Unfortunately, we will never know the answer to that but one thing is certain: Kurt Cobain “smells” and always will “like teen spirit”. Nonetheless, and even though he would be unlikely to be active on social media accounts, we are pretty sure he would still be very popular without making any effort.