TIME CAPSULE 1994 — On April 5, 1994, one of the most famous grunge musicians died at the age of 27. Kurt Cobain forever lives on in the hearts of many; his legacy can still be heard in coffee shops and bars or seen on the shelves of music stores. 

Image pulled from Flickr

Image pulled from Flickr

Kurt Cobain became a memorable and influential rock musician with his band, Nirvana, in the 1990s. According to Biography.com, Cobain was talented and creative from an early age; he was gifted at drawing and learned how to play the piano by ear as well as experimented with a kiddie drum set his parents had gotten for him. However, his parents divorced when he was nine years old and he began to retreat into himself. Through a childhood filled with unhappy family situations, Cobain had one thing that gave his life hope: a guitar given to him by his uncle Chuck. 

At the age of 15, Cobain left his father’s house and, according to Biography.com, “bounced around from relative to relative for several months.” He eventually moved in with his mother and attended high school in Aberdeen, Washington. There, Cobain started listening to punk rock and turned to a life of drugs and alcohol after meeting and befriending Buzz Osborne of the Melvins, a local punk band.

By age 17, he was on the streets, couch surfing and even crashing in apartment building hallways and hospital waiting rooms, according to Biography.com. He was arrested the following year for spray painting buildings. In 1988, when Cobain was 21 years old, the band Nirvana was officially formed and they recorded and released their first single, “Love Buzz,” through Sub Pop Records. The band quickly became known for their grungy, alternative sound and their first record, “Bleach,” was released the following year. 

In 1990, Cobain met Courtney Love and Nirvana toured with Sonic Youth. A year later they signed on with Geffen Records and released their album “Nevermind.” Biography.com reported that Cobain and Love got married in Feb. 1992 and had a daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, in August of that year. Cobain and Love were both heavy drug users and in 1993 the police were called to their residence during a domestic altercation. 

While on a European tour with Nirvana in 1994, Cobain overdosed and fell into a coma for over 20 hours, according to Rolling Stone. After detoxing he checked into the Exodus Recovery Center in Los Angeles on March 30, 1994, but left the next day and went missing. 

On April 5, 1994, six days after leaving the rehab facility, Cobain shot and killed himself at his home in Seattle, leaving a suicide note nearby. 

Although Cobain died 24 years ago, his memory and his music are still prevalent. He was truly an inspiring musician who forever changed alternative rock and grunge music. 

Abbygail Vasas can be contacted at avasas@ksc.keene.edu

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