Kurt Cobain died 20 years today, the result of a suicide in his Seattle apartment. He was found three days later, and ever since, the legend of the Nirvana frontman has grown to mythical proportions. Everyone from Stereogum to Family Guy have speculated on what Cobain would be like today, had he lived on past April 5, 1994, and while no one knows for sure how the would-be 47-year-old would view life in 2014, it’s likely he’d be pretty disappointed in our behavior after his death. From post-grunge to crying statues to newly-released images from his death, if Cobain ever comes back to life or walks out of a subterranean New Mexico bunker revealing it was all some hoax (“It was Tupac’s idea”), he’s going to be pretty disappointed in us.
To help try to make amends, here are just five things we, as a society, need to stop doing so the fucking guy can rest in peace.
5. Stop trying to determine what he’d look like in 2014.
Cobain would be pushing 50-years-old if he were alive today, so naturally, there’s a morbid curiosity to digitally age him and see what he’d look like “bored and old.” But when Sachs Media released their collection of what “dead rock stars would look like today,” the most heartbreaking image was Cobain’s. We refuse to believe he’d look like a frumpy uncle attending a Puddle of Mudd concert.
4. Let’s just pretend soft grunge and adult alternative never happened.
Has such a respected artist ever spawned such an endless list of shitty imitators? From Candlebox and Bush in the early- to mid-’90s, to Nickleback, Creed, and Three Doors Down later in the decade, Nirvana paved the way for shitbag alt-rock to grow old from the college bros to new dads around the world, effectively bringing musical creativity to a crashing halt by the end of the ’90s and creating a void in the new millennium that hasn’t really been filled since. We let it happen, so we can pretend it never did.
3. Halt the endless reissues and deluxe editions.
We’ve heard all the Nirvana classics so much — thanks, alt-rock radio — that we pretty much never have to hear them again. So why are we being asked to re-buy another copy of In Utero? We guess that Steve Albini letter was cool and all (good thing they “saved” that one), but the endless factory line of reissues, box sets, and deluxe editions just seems to fly in the face of what the dude stood for. In a few short years this comet of a band left us with three studio albums, 21 singles, three live albums, two EPs, four compilation albums, two box sets, and one Dave Grohl. Let’s just leave it at that, cool? We already own them all. But hey, “Pennyroyal Tea” never sounded so good on these Beats By Dre.
2. Tear down the Aberdeen statue of him crying
Go ahead and cry me a Wishkah River — a “weeping” Cobain statue has been unveiled in the singer’s hometown of Aberdeen? Really? Here’s a guy who openly despised where he grew up, and now the place recognizes him as a cash cow and wants to position itself as “Graceland of the West.” That’s a quote from Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson.
1. Stop releasing images from his suicide two decades ago
Oye fucking vey — last month, Seattle police released photos of Cobain’s suicide scene, you know, just weeks before its 20th anniversary. What timing! Did we need to see this? What good does it serve? Expect his dirty works to eventually land on eBay.
Consequence of Sound wrote that the SPD re-opened Cobain’s case earlier this year, and “while the cold case officer found nothing new to suggest Cobain’s death was anything other than a suicide, he decided to release a pair of newly-developed photos from the scene, with the hope that it would end any and all conspiracy theories.”
We guess it’s true, the only image we want to see from what happened on April 5, 1993, is whether or not Courtney held the shotgun.