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The Financial Express

Happy Birthday Kurt Cobain - The symbol of the '90s teen spirit

| Updated: February 21, 2022 18:10:15


Happy Birthday Kurt Cobain - The symbol of the '90s teen spirit

Counterculture has been part of the US mainstream culture since the 1960s. It changed the course of music worldwide in many ways, including giving birth to many genres. 

In the ‘90s, Kurt Cobain was the frontman of Generation X and a significant influencer of a new genre, ‘Grunge,’ which defined the sound of that decade.

Inspired by the punk rock scene in Washington State, Cobain formed the band ‘Nirvana’ with his bassist friend Kurt Novoselic in 1987. 

Later after rotating several drummers and one album Bleach, they recruited Dave Grohl as the permanent drummer of Nirvana.

Kurt Cobain was a genius songwriter. Even though he was not musically trained, he was naturally in tune with his lyrics and melodies. 

Despite his disheveled appearance and ‘don't-care’ persona, he was meticulous with his music. He was so obsessive and intentional about every note that his band had to restart the whole song even if there was a slight mistake. 

His lyrics expressed the angst and anti-establishment views of the teenagers and their desired freedom from societal norms.

Cobain’s success with Nirvana came after the release of their second album Nevermind in 1991. The lead single of the album ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ became the anthem of Generation X, plunged them into worldwide popularity, and made the grunge genre famous.

Born on this day in 1967, Cobain had a troubled childhood. His parents’ separation and strained relationship with them shaped his teenage years in the wrong way. 

Depressed and ashamed of his parents, he became a delinquent teenager and got in trouble with the law during his teen years. 

His songs are greatly influenced by his childhood and teenage experiences, such as ‘Silver,’ ‘Something In The Way,’ ‘In Bloom,’ ‘Lithium,’ and so on. Cobain’s past romantic relationship also inspired him to make songs like ‘About a Girl’ and ‘Aneurysm.’

Cobain was also a staunch supporter of civil rights. He was publicly against sexism, racism, and anti-abortion laws, even though to an extent to be involved in concerts that support these causes. 

His musical style and activism made him the perennial symbol of the ‘90s counterculture.

He dealt with depression since his teen days, subsequently stepping into drug addiction. His mental health deteriorated more by the massive popularity by which he felt overwhelmed. 

On April 8, 1994, he claimed his life with the last phase on his note that says - 

‘It's better to burn out than fade away.’

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