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Kurt Cobain died ten years ago on April 5, 1994. His body was discovered three days later. His obituary hit the papers ten years ago this morning.
Beyond the media hype [and teenage angst paying off well] Nirvana managed to articulate the gap between the American counter culture of the early 90's and the conservative Republican status quo. Kurt neatly outlined Nirvana's social politics in an easily consumable popstar open-letter via the liner notes to their 1992 Incesticide record as follows:
A while ago, I found myself in bloody exhaust grease London again with an all-consuming urge to hunt for two rare things: back issues of NME rumored to be secretly hidden in glass cases and submerged in the fry vats of every kebab machine in th U.K. and the very out-of-print first Raincoats LP.
The NME search was a clever, saucy upstart of an attempt to be, uh, nasty. However, the Lord and Julian Cope himself know how we need, need, need the NME to embrace the unifying hands of our children across this big blue marble and NIRVANA's tarty musical career. So please bless us again--we'll forever feed off of your high-calorie boggy turbinates.
In an attempt to satisfy the second part of my quest, I went to the Rough Trade shop and, of course, found no Raincoats record in the bin. I then asked the woman behind the counter about it and she said "well, it happens that I'm neighbors with Anna (member of the Raincoats) and she works at an antique shop just a few miles from here." So she drew me up a map and I started on my way to Anna's.
Sometime later, I arrived at this elfin shop filled with something else I've compulsively searched for over the past years--really old fucked up marionette-like wood carved dolls (quite a few hundred years old). Lots of them... I've fantasized about finding a ship filled with so many. They wouldn't accept my credit card but the dolls were really too expensive anyway. Anna was there, however, so I politely introduced myself with a fever-red faced and explained the reason for my intrusion. I can remember her mean boss almost setting me on fire with his glares. She said "well, I may have a few lying around so, if I find one, I'll send it to you (very polite, very English)." I left feeling like a dork, like I had violated her space, like she probably thought my band was tacky.
A few weeks later I received a vinyl copy of that wonderfully classic scripture with a personalized dust sleeve covered with xeroxed lyrics, pictures, and all the members' signatures. There was also a touching letter from Anna. It made me happier than playing in front of thousands of people each night, rock-god idolization from fans, music industry plankton kissing my ass, and the million dollars I made last year. It was one of the few really important things that I've been blessed with since becoming an untouchable boy genius.
It was as rewarding as touring with Shonen Knife and watching people practically cry with joy at their honesty. It made people happy and it made me happy knowing that I helped bring them to the U.K.
It was as rewarding as the last Vaselines show in Edinburgh. They reformed just to play with us in their hometown, probably having no idea how exiting and flatteri
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