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Kurt Cobain Died On This Day In 1994 But His Legacy Lives On - Sometimes In Odd Ways
April 5, 2013
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It's hard to believe it's been nearly 20 years since the iconic Kurt Cobain died.

On this day in 1994, the lead singer of Nirvana was found at his home in Seattle - his death officially ruled a suicide. He was 27.

Cobain struggled with heroin addiction, illness and depression during the final years of his life and had trouble coping with his fame and public image.

But his impact was enormous, as 'Nirvana' was one of the most influential bands of all time, and Cobain was described as the "spokesman of a generation."

For more on Kurt, check out the Strombo Show on CBC Radio 2 this Sunday at 8 for our segment "Smells Like Kurt Cobain." We'll spin some of Kurt's influences, and discuss his legacy.

Last month, at the South by Southwest Festival, former Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters leader Dave Grohl talked about losing his good friend:

"When Kurt died, I was lost. I was numb. The music that I had devoted my life to had now betrayed me. I had no voice. I put away my drums. I turned off the radio. I couldn't bear to hear someone else singing about their own pain or happiness."

Of late, several websites have done posts about who could possibly fill Cobain's shoes in a reunited Nirvana.

The answer really, is nobody.

Cobain's legacy simply runs too deep. Yes, he's gone but in many ways, he's never left us. And to this day, his memory stays alive - sometimes in the most unexpected places.

1. Guitar Hero

No disrespect to Bon Jovi, but they might be the embodiment of everything Nirvana was against.

When Cobain's avatar was used in Guitar Hero 5, many of his fans were upset when he was featured singing Bon Jovi's hit 'You Give Love A Bad Name'.

Ex band-mates Grohl and Krist Novoselic said they were "very disappointed" by the game-maker, Activision and didn't know Cobain would be used that way.


To his credit, Jon Bon Jovi said, "I don't know that I would have wanted it either. To hear someone else's voice coming out of a cartoon version of me? I don't know. It sounds a little forced."

Activision did say that Cobain's widow, Courtney Love, had provided a written agreement which allowed his likeness as a fully playable character, which she disputed, launching a lawsuit.

2. City of Aberdeen uses the phrase "Come As You Are"


Kurt Cobain lives on in a sign in his hometown of Aberdeen, Washington.

As a posthumous tribute, the Kurt Cobain Memorial Committee had the old sign, which was rusted and had a bullet in it, replaced with a new sign - inspired by the Nirvana song.

Kurt's grandfather, Leland Cobain, told Aberdeen's local paper "I think it's a good idea, and it's about time. I drive by there every day and look for it. I have been waiting for it to go up."

A campaign to rename a bridge after Cobain failed. Some residents were against the idea because of his "drug abuse, suicide, and poor opinion of the city."

3. Smells Like Teen Spirit, Muppets Style

In the 2011 Muppets movie, there's a fun barbershop treatment of Nirvana's iconic 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. In the film, Jack Black yells "you're ruining one of the greatest songs of all time."

The version below is so spirited, even the curmudgeonly Statler and Waldorf would approve, from their balcony perch.

4. Kurt Cobain, The Musical?

Courtney Love says a musical will never happen, but there were rumors that her sometime co-manager Sam Lufti, had gone ahead with her blessing.

Apparently, the project was to be about Love's life with Cobain. But Love told The Observer, "there will be no musical... sometimes it's best just to leave things alone."

There's also been talk of a sitcom called 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' being developed by one of the writers of 'The Big Bang Theory'.

5. Twitter Seance


On Halloween in 2009, a self-proclaimed psychic Jayne Wallace claims to have contacted the spirits of River Phoenix, Michael Jackson and Kurt Cobain.

Wallace told The Telegraph that Cobain's ghost revealed that Dave Grohl is a "good drummer" and appropriately, given the entry above, that "people should buy their children real guitars, rather than Guitar Hero computer games."

Skeptic magazine New Humanist didn't buy it saying, "Utterly predictable. It shows how easily Twitter can be used to spread a marketing gimmick - especially if you know the gimmick will irritate people."

6. Kurt Cobain Sticker Book

on-this-day-in-1994-kurt-cobain-died-but-his-legacy-lives-on-sometimes-in-unsual-ways-feature3.jpg This is described on Amazon as "a sticker collection chronicling the life, influence and friends of Kurt Cobain".

The book is packed with 72 stickers and printed illustrations designed by 13 different artists from around the world - featuring illustrations of Cobain, Courtney Love, and The Pixies.

The publishers who put together the Cobain book are also responsible for a Bill Murray colouring book.

7. Kurt Cobain Statue For Sale On eBay Cobain_Statue.jpg

Get it while it's still available.

The statue, is one of the more unique Cobain-centred items currently for sale on eBay - a stand-out amidst all the various t-shirts and newspapers detailing his death.

The description on Amazon reads "Based on his appearance in the video for 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' this Kurt Cobain Action figure includes his guitar, rendered in painstaking detail, and part of the gymnasium floor as his base.

It retails for $29.99 and is said to make "an excellent gift."


27 Songs that Influenced Kurt Cobain

Paul McCartney Fills In For Kurt Cobain In Nirvana Reunion At Hurricane Sandy Benefit

Images Of The Day: Rock Stars Before They Were Famous


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