Remembering Kurt Cobain 22 years after his death

Nirvana Kurt Cobain

Singer-songwriter and guitarist Kurt Cobain (1967 - 1994) performing with American grunge band Nirvana at the Roseland Ballroom, New York City, 15th November 1993. He is playing a Fender Mustang guitar.

Photo by Ebet Roberts/Redferns/Getty Images

Though his body wouldn’t be discovered for another three days, today, April 5th 2015, marks 22 years since Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain took his own life.

22 years ago, I was a 17 year old high school kid in Toronto, Ontario. I played in a band, singing and lead guitar, and I wanted to be a rock star. I had seen Nirvana in the Fall of 2013 and loved the show, and loved In Utero, the album they were touring in support of. So when we found out that Kurt had killed himself, I was shocked. To me, the kid, it seemed as though the man had it all. He wrote great songs. He was in a big band. He had a cool wife and a young daughter at home. How could this happen?

Time passed and we learned more about Kurt and mental illness. But in the immediate moments following his passing, we were all devastated. That night I was at a Blue Rodeo concert, where the band covered Heart-Shaped Box as an instrumental in their encore (they also played Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here that night as well, since tickets for the Division Bell tour were going on sale that weekend).

Kurt’s legacy continues to grow every year, and it’s always hard not to think about what could have been, had he lived a longer life, especially with the 25th anniversary of Nevermind’s release coming up this fall. Thankfully, we’ll always have the music to look back on.

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