Kurt Cobain Day in Bloom

Kurt Cobain. Photo credit: MTV Unplugged
By Matthew Law

Thursday, February 20th will see Aberdeen, Washington celebrate the first ever Kurt Cobain Day on what would have been the late singer’s 47th birthday.

Mayor of Aberdeen, Bill Simpson, commented that, “Aberdeen residents may justifiably take pride in the role our community played in the life of Kurt Cobain and the international recognition our community has gained from its connections with Kurt Cobain and his artistic achievements.” February 20th will now be an annual day to celebrate the late singer’s successes and memory, with many other fans outside of Aberdeen across the world also taking part.

Kurt Cobain rose to prominence in the early 1990s after his band Nirvana gained international recognition for their critically acclaimed album Nevermind. The band released three albums in total and two EPs before Cobain’s suicide on April 5th, 1994. The death is a landmark in Seattle’s music history, and the date is commonly referred to as “the day Seattle died”.

The main festivities at Kurt Cobain Day will include a ceremony at the Aberdeen Museum of History where a statue of the singer designed by local artist Randi Hubbard will be unveiled, and also a performance by the band Gebular who will be playing a number of Nirvana covers. “We’re all huge Nirvana fans and this will be an honor”, said Gebular’s guitarist Dogger Darko.

Aberdeen is not the only place to have a day dedicated to Cobain and his work. A fellow Washington town, Hoquiam, hold their very own “Nirvana Day” on April 10th each year. Hoquiam mayor, Jack Durney, stated that, “He (Cobain) and Krist Novoselic are part of our community, and I think it’s good to honor our sons and their great accomplishments.”

2013 and 2014 are significant years in the Nirvana calendar. 2013 saw the 20th anniversary of the band’s third and final album In Utero which was marked with the release of a special edition of the album which featured a number of remastered and also previously unreleased tracks. 2014 will also host two more important events with Nirvana being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 10th, and April 5th being the 20th anniversary of Cobain’s death.

Former drummer Dave Grohl has also played his part in bringing the band to the foreground during these times of celebration and remembrance. His work in the documentary film Sound City, and the accompanying album, saw something of a part-Nirvana reunion when Grohl along with ex-bandmates Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear joined up with former Beatles member Paul McCartney to record the Grammy award-winning track “Cut Me Some Slack”. The Nirvana trio also got together for several other shows, that included a performance featuring Stone Sour’s Corey Taylor on vocals, and Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielson on lead guitar.

The cult status of Cobain and Nirvana is still well and truly alive today. The Seattle band were only on the scene for seven years, but still managed to create three critically acclaimed albums, and inspire a number of prolific bands and artists.

Published by The Gown Queen's University Belfast

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