– by Rob Furber
Today marks the 17th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death. As a dedicated fan I recently visited the Seattle park that has become a shrine to his memory to contemplate the Nirvana frontman’s legacy.
Seattle has given us Bill Gates, Boeing, Frasier, Starbucks and grunge but among those ‘Famous Five’ only one mattered to me. For a die-hard indie kid defined by 90s music, it was something of a pilgrimage to visit the city that gave us Nirvana on the anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death.
More than that, as someone who has consistently failed to rise from his bed with a jubilant, spring-heeled leap, and tends instead towards a tardy lollop accompanied by a brow-beaten scowl, Cobain was bestowed with hero status in my eyes for being the patron saint of slackers.
Amazingly, next year will mark the 20th anniversary of Nevermind (released in September 1991), Nirvana’s second studio album that jettisoned grunge into the mainstream on the back of the angst-fuelled anthem ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’.
Cobain was found dead at his Lake Washington home on April 8, 1994 (though the coroner said he had died on April 5) and his ashes scattered in the nearby Wishkah River. As he has no grave, fans visit Viretta Park – which borders the house where he used to live with Courtney Love – to pay their respects.