Happy anniversary, Nirvana


He sits on my desk at work and watches me type from behind my monitor. Although he’s prominently visible, many people don’t give him a second look. He’s my little guardian – a testament to who I was once and who I’ve continued to evolve and become.

This is Kurt Cobain.

This is Kurt Cobain in 12 inches of plastic glory. The outfit, pose and scenery (notice the gym floor he’s standing on) is from the epic anthem “Smells Like Teen Spirit” from the Nevermind album. Today marks the 20th anniversary of its release. With the anniversary comes a special collector’s edition of Nevermind. I’m not going to sit here and tell you what’s in the 20th special edition album. Nay nay. You can Google that. What I will tell you is about why that album is so special to me.

The door that was Nevermind

For me, Nirvana was the door to grunge. I found that cd in my dad’s collection. You see, my dad is cool (if you didn’t know this from earlier posts) and listened to amazing music – Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam and (yes) Nirvana.

I remember seeing the unmistakable cd – the baby swimming towards a dollar bill on a fishing line – lying around his stereo. I distinctly remember sneaking it into my sweater, tiptoeing up the stairs to my bedroom, silently closing the door and blasting it through my earphones.

The music was amazing. The words to every song are seared into my lips; every guitar riff etched into my brain. It was the album I turned to when I needed to release my teen angst; the album I turned to when I needed a moment to be down. Even now, when I’m in a bad mood I often turn to many of those songs as my release.

When I ran my first 10 km race, Nirvana was on my playlist. Smells Like Teen Spirit was my anthem for just about anything – it still is. Something about the energy in the song keeps you going even though your legs feel like lead, your lungs feel like they’re drowning and all you can think about is how it feels like an alien is trying to escape through your stomach (aka stitches). Somehow I made it through and I firmly believe the music I listened to had a big hand in that. Trying to shake off the feeling of pain and use it to motivate yourself to finish.

Many thanks for the music

So let me say this – thanks for 20 great years Nirvana. That cd is a staple in my collection and will be for years to come. And with this I end with one of my favourite Kurt Cobain quotes (no it’s not the burning out and fading away one…he did have other great quotes you know!):

I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.

Well, Kurt, as I look to see you staring at me with your empty plastic eyes, I can say with great confidence you still hold a special place in my cd collection and on my desk. I know what playlist I’ll be listening to tonight.


4 Responses to “Happy anniversary, Nirvana”

  1. 1 Mark Merrell

    Nice article Aleks!

    • Thanks dude – you know I couldn’t let it go unnoticed. Wrote it last night n added the picture earlier today. Luckily I keep things like that on my iPhone form WAY back when I originally displayed him.

      Big thanks to my baby brother as Kurt was a gift. 🙂

  2. I still remember the first time I heard “Here we are now, entertain us”. It wasn’t the kind of music I was into at the time, (pop and rap, sadly) but I was still drawn to it.

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