Nirvana and I have an interesting relationship. The band, not The Band, I love The Band, and that other nirvana and I have kind of an interesting relationship, too, the more cosmic nirvana, but the band out of the PNW (it burns) and I, well, kind of a love hate thing. And mostly, of course, that’s about Kurt Cobain, the front man poet.
Back when they first hit the scene, or shortly thereafter, was the era that I rented out rooms to two guys with whom I did research, back in the Elser lab days, and John and I had bonded over music, I had lots of old stuff (on vinyl, of course) and bootleg tapes, old Dylan stuff he’d never heard, and he was really in to Neil (we saw Neil and Jackson and Bruce Cockburn up in Sedona once, way, way cool show), and so we bonded over music.
John was also into Nirvana, and I basically hated it. And I mean yuck. All I ever heard was that whiny voice saying “here we are, entertain us” and I thought “bite me, you little douchebag”. I never really listened, the loud blaring rage that underlay lots of it, same thing in Hard Core Punk et al. or Metal, my nephew the Slayer fan and I would not do well under the same roof for very long, at all, not matter how much I love him.
The Bad Religion thing, I get, don't much care for the music.
But John had a stereo system that was just over the top it, way hi fi, and loud and bassy and man, those speakers, we could crank up some tunes and dance. But to Nirvana? No freaking way. He mostly did Nirvana when I was at work, on the evening shift. We danced to Woodstock, or Cowboy Junkies, or Talking Heads, the Doors or Motown or one of the gazillion other songs or bands or music of my lifetime up until then that were way good.
Not freaking Nirvana.
Then, to top it off, the Dude shotgun blasts his head off. That’s just rude, I’m sorry, the same whiny me me me, entertain me, and yeah, now Courtney or Mom or whoever has to come clean up your brains blown all over the house. That’s just plain rude. Douchbag. If you want to off yourself, please, have some consideration how you do it.Think about who is going to have to clean up after you.
I've always been kind of a bitch. What else should I be? All Apologies.
Then, years, later, and I mean years, I tried again. Put a bunch of Nirvana on the iPod, did a lot of uploading from library CDs, a wonderful way to build one’s music library, BTW, if you’e still got a drive for it, for free, and as often as not, when a Nirvana song shuffled by, I’d listen for 30 seconds, and move on.
But then, while sitting in that little hell that was my cubicle (oh, such a long story, my little cubicle) at the job I moved here for, that little square where the iPod was plugged into the desktop, no iTunes there, listening but not listening, the subconscious thing, and over the course of how ever many times the Nirvana songs showed up, interactively with what was going on in my life, I got it.
Not Kurt, so much, because I never met Kurt, but somebody like David Foster Wallace, who I never met, either, but read, like, darned near everything he ever wrote, with him I feel more, well, entanglement, but still can’t really grok him, or the suicide thing, at all, because he was so heavily medicated in ways I have no experience with, but at least he had the decency to hang himself, not make a big mess about it, but his whole life experience, his relationship with his parents, his little willie, his brains, the expectations, the whole show, him, I totally grokked.
Kurt, I know nothing about, other than his poetry, and his death.
Both of them had all kinds of stuff. We all do, for sure. I get a whole lot of Dave’s, don’t know enough about Kurt’s to get or not get. We all have stuff. But what I do, so totally get, is Kurt’s poetry.
Man, he was a beautiful poet, it’s something that comes from, well, our stuff, that poetry. And I learned to like Smells Like Teen Spirit (oh Patti), lots, even the Nirvana version, finally listened to all those words, and yeah, I like the guitar riff, I get the feeling stupid thing, and contagious, totally, I was forced to make all kinds of kids feel stupid over the course of that career, and I was contagious a time or two, in my own prose and poetry, I use that term very intentionally, stupid, because often the audience for whom I intend my prose is uber intellectual, at least to its thinking it is, and of course there’s the innocent child and the Emperor ’s nakedness thing, the well, duh, and lots of the stuff on that unplugged album, man, I love it, because, well, it’s unplugged, and not quite so electric and grungy, even if I do love the Grandfather of Grunge’s grunge, bunches.
Still not into death metal or even hard core punk at all, Sex Pistols, fine, love ‘em, poets, not too loud, thanks, unless I'm feeling particularly fired up. Perhaps a book of lyrics would help.
But All Apologies, that song says so much in so many ways, in ways personal and universal, I just love it.