For our modern day hero we used the singer and songwriter Kurt Cobain from the
band Nirvana. This punk Seattle band moved almost mainstream almost overnight.
Nirvana caught on fast and changed rock and roll music forever and molded the
music of the 90’s, alternative. Cobain had an enormous amount of talent but
unfortunately his life was cut short by a still controversial suicide in his
Seattle home. On April 9, 1994, his body was discovered. He is a hero for many
of today’s troubled youth because his music influences how these troubled kids
feel. They are able relate to Cobain and his music. Kurt Cobain was born in
1967. He lived with his sister and parents two hundred miles away from Seattle
in the small logging town of Aberdine. His aunt, who helped him form his first
band, introduced him to music at a very young age. His parents divorced when
Kurt was only seven years old. Torn up by his parents’ divorce, he went to
live with his mother in a trailer. After the divorce, Kurt was forced to look at
his life in a different light. Kurt became extremely anti-social, had few
friends, and was picked on in school because kids thought he was gay or weird.
Kurt started writing poetry at the age of thirteen, and when he was 14, he
received his first guitar. Throughout high school he was in many bands- Fecal
Matter, Skid Row, Brown Cow, The Sellouts and Pencap Chew. He formed Nirvana
during his senior year of high school with his friends Chris Novoselic and Dave
Grohl who Kurt called “the world’s best drummer.” Shortly after the band
was formed, Kurt dropped out of high school, and his mother kicked him out of
the house. Homeless, he lived under a bridge at the end of his street. It was
here that he would spend time alone writing his own songs. From his parents’
divorce to his mother pushing him out of the house, Kurt had become even more
alienated from other people and life. He was very detached. Kurt hated the music
of big rock bands like the Sex Pistols, Rolling Stones and Aerosmith. He felt
their lyrics were sexist and pointless with no meaning. Kurt was a very
sensitive and emotional person, a characteristic that showed through all of his
songs. Eventually he became so famous that he a cult following. The songs
exemplified the kids’ world. In the song “Dumb” Kurt sings, “I think
I’m dumb” over and over again to show how his years of neglect from his
peers at high school and his family made him feel as if he was to blame. Kids
relate to his music because it portrays how the world was so cruel and how he
and the kids’ were treated badly. He was responsible for the most creative
rock music of the last decade. Kurt didn’t have to hide behind face paint or
wear tight clothes to grab attention as the other rock stars. He wore flannels
and jeans, something that every other kid wore, and he wasn’t ashamed by it.
In one song “Come As You Are” Kurt sings “Come as you are as I want you to
be.” He wanted to show the youth that they don’t have to follow the crowd
and do something someone else wants them to do to fit in. Every modern
alternative song has a tint of “Nirvanaism” in it. Just like bands that
followed the Beatles, many groups that followed Cobain tried to sound or copy
his same music pattern. In his music he didn’t communicate in complete
sentences or elaborate arguments. Instead his lyrics were a stream of conscious
insights that inspired and appealed to the short attention span of his audience.
We picked Kurt Cobain as a hero because he is different than the conventional
hero who just goes out and saves lives. Kurt was an emotional leader for the
troubled youth, and he gave them a place to escape from a life that was hard to
live. His music gave them a hideaway from the harsh realities of the real world.
All they had to do was listen, and they felt instant relief because they knew
that not only they felt the way they did. They could relate to Kurt and his
fragile emotions. In the song “Rape Me” Kurt sings; “Rape me, my friend.
Rape me again. I’m not the only one. Hate me. Do it and do it again. Waste me.
Taste me, my friend. My favorite inside source, I’ll kiss your open sores.
Appreciate your concern. You’ll always stink and burn.” This shows how he
believed society took advantage of him because he was weak and emotional. These
kids relate to Kurt. Kurt once said that he would rather be in pain than fame.
His words and music make him a modern day hero.