Hard as it may be to believe for those of a generation where chicks wore army boots and Mark’s Work Wearhouse flannel was the height of fashion, it was 17 years ago that Kurt Cobain decided it was better to burn out than fade away. Tuesday (April 5) was the anniversary of the death of the late Nirvana frontman, who committed suicide in 1994 by sticking a shotgun in his mouth at his Seattle home.
To mark the occasion, a statue—designed by Washington State artists Kim and Lora Malakoff—was unveiled in Cobain’s hometown of Aberdeen, Washington. Made of concrete, the sculpture is of the singer’s left-handed Fender Jag-Stang guitar, with a commemorative steel ribbon containing the following “On a Plain” lyrics: “One more special message to go and then I’m done and I can go home”. Those interested in making the pilgrimage to the town that, ironically enough, Cobain hated, will find the monument near the Young Street Bridge, where the future icon hung out as a child, and later immortalized in the song “Something in the Way”.
In the meantime, have a brief moment of silence for the man that almost single-handedly revolutionized modern music. (If you don’t believe us, ask your mom, who, hopefully, isn’t still wearing army boots.) And then click on the video for “Heart Shaped Box”, from In Utero, which, despite what most fans will argue, remains the definitive Nirvana album. If you want all the reasons Cobain became a drug-addicted junkie, start with this final, 12-song will and testament, which is as harrowing today as the year it was released.