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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
Style Icon: Kurt Cobain
Remember how rough it was, trying to win Kurt Cobain's approval? You'd be all "Hey, Kurt, I just wrote 'Fugazi' across the toes of my Converse All-Stars in scratchy black ballpoint pen - was that cool of me?" or "Kurdt! I spelled your name 'Kurdt' in the school paper - was that cool? Do you think I'm cool now? Do you at least not think I'm hideously uncool? Can you please not hate me, Kurt, please please please please?" God! So stressful. It's so good, not to be 15 in 1993 anymore.
Now I'm 32 in 2010, and I still use Kurt Cobain as a barometer of cool, but in a much more positive kind of way. Like: it's cool that I love Aerosmith, because Kurt Cobain loved Aerosmith. Or: it's cool that I'm wearing these cheesy white-rimmed sunglasses, because Kurt Cobain wore cheesy white-rimmed sunglasses. And: it's cool that I haven't shampooed my hair in three weeks days and I've worn the same plaid flannel for the past three days, because Kurt Cobain never washed his hair and probably never washed his clothes either.
Kurt is cool; Kurt will never not be cool to me. Kurt still makes me wish the cuffs of all my cardigan sweaters were singed with cigarette burns, all my t-shirts were stained with tea spills. So these are my all-time top ten favorite "Kurt is cool" moments, in no particular order:
I. THAT TIME AT THE 1992 MTV AWARDS when Courtney jokingly asked Axl Rose to be Frances Bean's godfather, and Axl told Kurt "You shut your bitch up or I'm taking you down to the pavement!", and then Kurt turned to Courtney and shouted: "SHUT UP, BITCH!"
II. WHEN THAT BOUNCER DUDE WAS BEING AN ASSHOLE AND KURT HIT HIM IN THE HEAD WITH HIS GUITAR, and then the bouncer tried to beat the tar out of him. The Grohl/Krist reaction is really the coolest thing going on here, howevs.
III. THAT AWESOMELY FUCKED-UP VERSION OF "COME AS YOU ARE" FROM LIVE! TONIGHT! SOLD OUT! Although my favorite Live! Tonight! Sold Out! moment will always be the "twist of lemon" scene.
IV. THE LINER NOTES TO INCESTICIDE. They're here. I like when he says: "I don't feel the least bit guilty for commercially exploiting a completely exhausted rock youth culture because, at this point in rock history, Punk Rock (while still sacred to some) is, to me, dead and gone. We just wanted to pay tribute to something that helped us to feel as though we had crawled out of the dung heap of conformity. To pay tribute like an Elvis or Jimi Hendrix impersonator in the tradition of a bar band. I'll be the first to admit that we're the 90's version of Cheap Trick or the Knack but the last to admit that it hasn't been rewarding."
V. THE KURT/KIM GORDON SPOOF OF THE KEVIN COSTNER SCENE IN MADONNA'S TRUTH OR DARE. This was way funnier when I was 17...but it still gets laughs.
VI. WHEN KURT AND CHARLES BARKLEY PUT THEIR ARMS AROUND EACH OTHER BEFORE THE CLOSING CREDITS OF NIRVANA'S SECOND SNL APPEARANCE. Also: this clip is a gas.
VII. KURT'S SCARY LAUGH AT 3:13 OF "MILK IT." Here, listen to "Milk It"; it's probably my third or fourth favorite Nirvana song and it should totally be yours too. (Other faves: "Lounge Act," "Scentless Apprentice," "Token Eastern Song," "Beeswax," "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter," "Pen Cap Chew," "Floyd the Barber," and their covers of "Here She Comes Now" and "D-7.")
VIII. WHEN KURT TELLS GROHL TO SHUT UP AFTER HE FINISHES PLAYING "PENNYROYAL TEA" ON UNPLUGGED. That's my no. 2 on-camera cigarette drag of all time, btw. Number one's Charlie Watts during the opening credits of Gimme Shelter.
IX. KURT PLAYING DRUMS ON "SEASONS IN THE SUN." Oh, the home video footage. The first time I saw this, I cried for like eight hours/days.
X. "ENDLESS NAMELESS" IN GENERAL. But especially at the Reading Festival in 1991:
And...the time I went to see Nirvana at a hockey rink when I was 15, and at one point between songs Krist started screaming like a lunatic at some asshole in the crowd who was getting all grabby with the girls. And Kurt just sat back and calmly smoked his cigarette and said something about how if they caught anybody messing with girls in the pit, they'd have their goons drag them outside and beat the hell out of them. I loved him so very intensely at that moment.
Tags: Aerosmith, Axl Rose, Charles Barkley, Cheap Trick, cigarettes, coolness, Courtney Love, feminism, Kurt Cobain, lemons, Madonna's Truth Or Dare, not washing your hair, the dung heap of conformity, violence
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