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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 April 2004, 09:11 GMT 10:11 UK
Torment of rock hero Cobain
By Chris Heard
BBC News Online entertainment staff

It is 10 years since the brilliant but troubled Nirvana singer, Kurt Cobain, shot himself. BBC News Online looks back at his life.

Kurt Cobain

A decade after his death, Kurt Cobain is still feted by his many fans as the voice of his generation.

His band Nirvana emerged in the US towards the end of the Reagan era - a conservative period for rock music remembered for big hair, spandex and stadium bombast.

Cobain stripped away the excess, combining the raw simplicity and DIY ethics of punk with powerful yet melodic metal to craft a sound that appealed to millions.

His lyrics were often bleak and uncompromising - whether detailing his personal trials or ranting against corporate America - and delivered in a strained vocal style that could seem like a howl of rage.

The songs articulated an anger, sometimes a despair, that struck a chord with disaffected young listeners around the world, capturing the "slacker" spirit of the age.

Cobain was a complex individual, dogged by self-hatred and debilitated by acute stomach ulcers for much of his short adult life.

Kurt Cobain
"Since the age of seven, I've become hateful towards all humans in general," he wrote in his suicide note.

The frustration he often expressed found ready homes the world over, from inner cities to comfortable suburbia.

His music offered refuge for the dispossessed and the marginalised - but also for the everyday angst-ridden adolescent.

Ten years on, no small town shopping centre seems complete without its moody teenagers spilling out on their skateboards in baggy black Nirvana sweatshirts.

The ongoing love affair with Cobain's records has inspired countless youngsters to take up the guitar and form bands, and his spirit still looms large over the alternative rock scene.

It is there in the nu-metal sheen of Nickelback and Limp Bizkit, and in Franz Ferdinand's measured post-punk savvy.

Kurt Donald Cobain was born on 20 February 1967 in Aberdeen, a logging town 70 miles (110 kilometres) from Seattle, Washington, in the north-western US.

Kurt Cobain
Since the age of seven, I've become hateful towards all humans in general
Kurt Cobain's suicide note

His early childhood was difficult, and at the age of four he was prescribed Ritalin for hyperactivity.

Aged nine, his mechanic father Donald and mother Wendy divorced, and Kurt went to live with his father in a trailer park.

He spent time being moved between his father, grandparents and aunts and uncles, becoming depressed and withdrawn.

He said later: "I remember feeling ashamed all the time. I desperately wanted to have the classic, you know, typical family."

At 12, he saw photographs of the Sex Pistols in a rock magazine. It was the moment he knew he wanted to be in a punk band "before I had even heard any punk music". By 14, he had his first guitar.

But there were sinister portents of what was to come - in his 15th year, he made a short Super 8mm film called Kurt Commits Bloody Suicide in which he pretended to cut his wrists and writhed around in blood.

Courtney Love and daughter Frances Bean
Cobain's marriage to Courtney Love was questioned by some fans
"I'm going to be a super star musician, kill myself and go out in a flame of glory," he told a school friend.

Nirvana were formed in 1987 after Cobain joined bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dale Crover to record a demo.

A debut single and album followed, and by 1991 the band (with Dave Grohl replacing Crover on drums) had recorded the album Nevermind - their masterpiece, containing the band's anthem Smells Like Teen Spirit.

Cobain and Nirvana found themselves leading the media-fuelled Seattle movement known as grunge, the punk-metal hybrid that breathed new life into rock in the early 1990s.

But their sudden success and its spoils only increased Cobain's deep-seated anxieties and his sense of inner conflict.

In his suicide note he wrote: "The fact is I can't fool you. The worst crime I can think of would be to rip people off by faking it."

Cobain's body is led away
For a generation of rock fans, it's our very own JFK moment.
BBC 6 Music's Mark Sutherland

At the same time, his excruciating physical pain had led to a spiralling heroin addiction.

He met Hole singer Courtney Love at a concert in 1991, and the couple were married in Hawaii the following year. A daughter, Frances Bean, was born six months later.

Some fans were wary of Love's influence, but she became a source of strength to the tormented Cobain. According to Hole drummer Carolyn Rue, he "worked out some of his aggression through her".

In the end, though, no-one could save him from himself.

On 1 April 1994, he left a rehab centre in California and was later reported missing. A week later, electrician Gary Smith called at his cottage overlooking Lake Washington to carry out some work, and found Cobain's body on the floor with a shotgun next to it.

Police said he had apparently barricaded himself into a granny flat behind the property, put a shotgun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

Despite a raft of conspiracy theories suggesting he had been murdered, the police report said he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 27.

His death robbed the rock world of a prolific talent. But his legacy shows no sign of waning.


What are your memories of Cobain and his music?

It's quite amazing, I tried to prevent my daughter from being influenced by this degenerate music and lyrics - it didn't work now I can't stop myself playing his songs whenever I take up the guitar, but I can cope with the smirk from my daughter.
Cliff, Ipswich

There's something strangely romantic about those who die young. I was a massive Nirvana fan and believe Cobain had immense talent. I can't help thinking, however, that were he still alive, would we treat him with the same awe? Would he have become just another media clown, à la John Lydon, who was the Cobain of his day? I'm glad Nirvana ended when it did, it's just a pity it was under such horrendous circumstances.
Mike, Hull, England

I first heard Nirvana's music in 1993 after the release of In Utero, when I was eleven years old. I was immediately taken with the raw energy and powerful sound. At that time I had little knowledge of the problems Kurt was going through as I paid little attention to the music press, however this allowed me to enjoy the music without bias.

Kurt's music was ultimately responsible for turning me into the music fan I am today. Before Nirvana, I was not really into music. They helped me discover the passion and beauty behind a simple melody or chord progression and the powerful effect they can have on a person. Kurt was also responsible for me discovering many bands I would never have even heard of, such as the Vaselines and Beat Happening.

So rather than reflect on the celebrity death cult that is 'Kurdt Kobain', I prefer to remember him as the music lover and the brilliant artist. Thank you Kurt, you changed my life.
Jazz, York

Reading Festival '92, with a million rumours circulating that Nirvana had pulled out of their headline slot, the most common one being that they'd been replaced with Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine. Eventually they took to the stage, Kurt being pushed on in a wheelchair before standing up, singing two notes and collapsing. Kris muttered, "I think he's gonna make it". They played such a fantastic set that night that I almost didn't care that my tent had been washed away when we got back to the site, and I ended up sleeping in Paddington station.
Pat, Essex, England

He was perhaps the purest, most human voice in rock music
Marc, London
Having been brought up on Michael Jackson, Madonna and clean pop, Nirvana were like a breath of fresh air. Going through adolescence the Nevermind album somehow made everything easier.

Kurt's suicide robbed the world of his talent but guarantees Nirvana will live on forever.
Vhora, UK

Kurt Cobain inspired a generation. In the most unexpected backwaters there was a new scene. Our scene was The Squirrel. Just thinking about him conjours up images of underage kids with cheap cider and special brew, throwing themselves off chairs and tables, then throwing up in the car park. They were good times, probably the best. On the day he died, anyone who owned an electric guitar turned up to play (or at least try) Nirvana's songs. Everyone cried, then said goodbye. After Kurt there was no scene anymore. We all moved on, emptily...
Fraser Irving, Sheffield, UK

He let it all out, and so did we. A genius.
Dave, UK

He was perhaps the purest, most human voice in rock music. A man who in his own struggle to understand himself, discovered the means to express, in the most original and authentic fashion, the desperation and emptiness that an entire generation felt plagued by. What's truly sad, is that 10 years on, young people feel an even greater detachment from the society the rest of us engage in, and all of the possibilities it holds for them.
Marc, London, England

Kurt would've hated all this.
Martin Temperton, London, England

I was living in Germany at the time and heard the awful news on the radio. Although the warning signs had been in press for months, there was still that feeling of disbelief. Our generation lost one of its heroes
Jason, Kings Langley, UK

Cobain's suicide was a devastating time for those of us who followed the Seattle sound, I was 19 in 1994, and just starting to realise my own music tastes. I think we too easily forget that Nirvana weren't the only band of the 'grunge' era (no Nirvana fan ever called it that) and that others from that time, including Dave Grohl and Pearl Jam, are making music now that inspires people today.

Kurt Cobain will never know what that's like, and his daughter will never know the kind of father she had. In hindsight, for me, the music he created meant more than the suicide that took him away.
Sarah, London, UK

I know that my sons will see Nirvana as I see Led Zeppelin
Ernesto Lomelí, Tijuana, México
My earliest recollection of Cobain would have had to have been around 1990 when Nirvana played the main stage at the Reading Festival. Twelve months later; a friend of mine who booked up and coming bands to play Liverpool University Students Union managed to tentatively book them as the main act on a Saturday night.

Then unfortunately, the Friday before, Nirvana happened to make their UK TV debut on The Word on Channel 4. When my friend tried to re-confirm them for the following weekend, their booking fee (via there UK agents) suddenly quadrupled thus needing a second mortgage in order to book them!
Paul Laverty, London via Liverpool

There are very few true musical legends, but Kurt Cobain is without doubt one of the greatest. The profound effect that Cobain and Nirvana had in the 90s has moulded an entire generation of 20-somethings like myself, into who they are today.

What makes Kurt a true star, is that as time goes on, memories of him and his music do not diminish. They become stronger, and his legend lives on....I see teenagers of today wearing Nirvana shirts, and I know that Cobain will live forever, as he deserves. Although incredibly upset at the time of his death, I've come to realise that it was his destiny - he will be a true inspiration to generations to come and will never be forgotten.
Jodie, Northampton, UK

Seeing Nirvana in concert in New York shortly after the release of Nevermind was a magic experience. It was the energy and feeling that they put into the music combined with the simplicity of a three piece band that made it so special. He exuded star quality and hated that at the same time, his music has had influence in all areas of popular life. The rendition of Smells Like Teen Spirit that night was absolutely crazy......
Rupert, Caterham, UK

He was indeed a worldwide icon for the generation of the 90s representing the angst and sorrow of teenagers of that time, composing great and eternal sounding music, I know that my sons will see Nirvana as I see Led Zeppelin.
Ernesto Lomelí, Tijuana, México

I remember the first time I saw the video to Smells Like Teen Spirit. I was sitting on the couch at home watching MTV and there it was. My jaw dropped and I could not believe how diferent and wonderful the sound was. I have been a Nirvana fan ever since.
Mike Trantham, Oklahoma City, USA

I find it incredible that Nirvana continue to inspire new generations of musicians a decade after Kurt's tragic demise
Sez, Stockholm
He was the rock/pop equivalent of Stravinsky. Cobain's music had a similar effect as Stravinsky's music had in 1913: the return of "dangerous" primal instinct over the safe glossy sheen of the then current.
Jerry Baiden, San Jose; USA

I saw Nivana play live when I was 37 years old. I had grown up with punk and the Sex Pistols and I thought I had seen everything that rock music could deliver and did not hold out much hope that Nirvana could change the dying rock scene.

At that time techo seemed to be everywhere and it was easy to make this kind of music in your bedroom using cheap second-hand electronic instuments. The guitar and guitar bands seemed like a thing of the past until Nirvana came along and breathed the life back into rock music. Their album Nevermind is one that all kids of today should listen to!
Subassa, London, UK

I have memories of being an angst teen dancing like crazy in my bedroom to Smells Like Teen Spirit. Parents rowing and I used to get suicidal. Nirvana was a great band to channel teen angst. Now I have a gorgeous son and partner and I'm 30 and much happier. Cobain's life was a tragic end but his music connected with the turmoils of life that many teens feel. It's just a shame Cobain never worked through that and ultimately was on a self-destruct mission.
Sue, Kent

It's weird to think that I'm now the same age that Kurt was when he killed himself (actually, I'm a little older). I remember so vividly where I was when I found out he was dead. My friends and I were due to see Nirvana in Manchester GMEX on the 31st March. But then Kurt took an overdose in Rome and the date was postponed.

On the 10th April, 2 days after Kurt's body was found, a group of us went to see Soundgarden and Tad at the Manchester Academy. It was a bizarre feeling to walk around and see probably 90% of the crowd wearing Nirvana tee-shirts, knowing that they were feeling equally at a loss as me. The lead singer of Tad reminisced about Nirvana supporting them on tour in between songs (and just before launching his ample body into the crowd he dedicated a song to Kurt). I find it incredible that Nirvana continue to inspire new generations of musicians a decade after Kurt's tragic demise. RIP Mr Cobain.
Sez, Stockholm, Sweden

Your music has inspired so many and carried me through a lot of hard times
Will Handford, Chelmsford, England
Kurt was a fantastic talent, a sublime lyricist and an energetic performer. Seeing Nirvana live was a treat and About A Girl remains one of my favourite songs. Few people subject to music press hype actually cut the mustard, but Nirvana surpassed all expectation.They were superb, without peer. Kurt's death was so poignant as he was so young and apparently unhappy, having given so much artistically, of himself, to others. R.I.P.
Andy Horsman, Wellington, England

Smells Like Teen Spirit made me realise that there was good music to be heard out there. I went through the whole of the 80s not knowing that.
Steve, St. Albans.

Kurt's music supported me through my teenage years. Nirvana is an inspiration to my music and will be for the rest of my life. I can't really find the words to describe how much Nirvana's music touched me. So, I will just say this, we miss you and will do for ever R.I.P.
Guy Combrinck, High Wycombe, England

Your music has inspired so many and carried me through a lot of hard times. Can still remember coming in from a night out and my Dad telling me you had gone. For him it was easy, although a fan himself, he had seen many of his idols go, Lennon, Hendrix, Moon to name but a few. For me it was the first time one of my real music heroes had gone and I was shattered.

You still live on though, through your music, inspiring youngsters to play and probably still helping many through turbulent times. RIP Kurt...Love you always.
Will Handford, Chelmsford, England

Although Cobain was a talented guy (and I like his songs) but he would've faded away just like all other great talents before him. His death gave him and Nirvana a stand point which no one would've dreamed of. Also Nirvana was a final major blow to the hair metal/glam rock/rock music which was alredy going down the spiral. Both Nirvana and Cobain deserve recongnition but not to be mistaken as "rock royalties".
Hasan, NYC, USA

Simply one of the great songwriters of the 20th Century
Tony Burroughs, Tonbridge, England
Like many, I suppose, the "grunge era" was the one I grew up in and Nirvana was a defining part of that. I would not say they were a massive influence on my life but like many teenagers we needed something to help us define our non-conformity, although the irony is that they became so big that they almost became the norm.

But his music was the music of a generation and that will never change and I have made many friends through his music and that of his peers for which I will be forever grateful. And the first song I learned on the guitar? Of course, Smells Like Teen Spirit. I doubt I am the only one.
Gareth, UK

I was living in Italy at the time. I remember getting into school and a friend of mine giving me the news with the teary eye. A few days later I saw a picture of him in Time magazine with a brief comment about his death. I never was a fan but I still have that magazine for some reason.
Stephanie, Manchester

I saw Nirvana play at the Palace in Sydney on their only tour of Australia. I was 14 and had gained entry with my fake id. I've never seen anything like it since, and remains my benchmark for true live performances. The raw, ad-lib, roughness captured my attention the most. That gig alone prompted me to become the music writer I am today.
Julie Peard, Australia

Simply one of the great song writers of the 20th Century. He put his emotions into his song writing and created some of the most amazing music of all time. One can only wonder how Kurt's music would sound today.
Tony Burroughs, Tonbridge, UK

Nirvana is the reason that I started to listen music with my soul not only with my ears
Sebo, Osijek, Croatia
Modern musicians look ridiculous when compared to an artist like Cobain.
Juan, Berkeley, CA

The impact his music had was extraordinary. Nevermind was the very first CD I purchased and it made me take up drums in high school.
Rafal Rutkowski, Melbourne, Australia

He reminded me of me...
Alan B, Cape Town South Africa

We can all remember where we were when we heard the news, and every April we think back to that time and the emotions come flooding back like it was yesterday. So much has happened in these 10 years - I've been to university, got engaged, bought a house. And yet, when I put on a Nirvana record, the music transports me back to being a teenager - the raw energy in all its glorified beauty. Kurt gave us so much - set our minds free. He's been gone for 10 years. Yes, I'm now a 25 year old "adult", and yes, it still hurts.
Nickey, Mansfield, Notts

Kurt Cobain was just another rock star. He got caught up in himself, drugs and ultimately, firearms. Not much of a role model for anyone really. Great music though.
Matthew Walters, Bath, UK

Nirvana is the reason that I started to listen music with my soul not only with my ears.
Sebo, Osijek, Croatia

I didn't understand the anger and hopelessness I felt as a teenager. But Kurt did. I want to thank Nirvana for making it okay to be angry and sick with life without always understanding why. I am sure many others do too!
Vicky Harrison, Nuermberg Germany

Kurt Cobain wasn't just a rock star. He was a more than that - a spokesperson for youth everywhere. Even 10 years after his death, his spirit and music lives on and I hope that future generations discover and enjoy Nevermind and In Utero like I have.
Tim Woodward, Bristol, UK

Kurt Cobain was a modestly gifted chap whose rise to the forefront of the so-called alternative music scene was less a product of his own originality or vision and more to do with the dreadful state that rock music was in back in the late 80s/early 90s. He must not be deified. It's sad that a young man is so driven by despair and sickness that he takes his own life, but that - and a handful of decent songs - is where the story ends.
Schubert Machiavelli, Kent UK

I saw Nirvana in New York on the In Utero tour. At the time, I was a bit critical of Cobain's tortured stance. I figured he had fallen foul of the rock star posturing he had become famous by avoiding - that he was starting to believe his own myth. Imagine how stupid I felt a few months later when my cynicism was proven tragically wrong.
Sanford Santacroce, New York City, USA

My first day at Uni back in '91 and into my Philosophy class came a beautiful girl wearing a T-shirt of a band I'd never heard of - Nirvana, I soon found out that they would be playing at the Student Union in a few weeks, but they sold out before I got a ticket. Kurt Cobain killed himself on my 21st birthday. I never got to see Nirvana and I never got the girl - oh well, whatever, nevermind...
Robert, Zürich, Switzerland

The work of Kurt Cobain was one of the reasons that I, as a thirteen-year-old chick, dared to go out and buy a guitar. His influence also ensured that I kept practising on it, despite the ridicule of the guys around me who couldn¿t understand why a girl would want to play heavy rock.

For me, listening to Kurt's music was one of the first times I experienced the powerful, visceral connection that music can affect in the individual. Nirvana provided an education in the way in which a band could override the glossing effect of the industry and still grab the audience.

Thanks Kurt, I promise to honour your memory by never giving up on the (naïve) idea that music can still change the world. Despite corporate control, apathy and nepotism, the good will out.
Sma5h tv, London

One main thing stood out for me that day he died, I had an articulate conversation with my sister and my mother about Nirvana, with my sister saying this is exactly like the untimely death of Marc Bolan, I was amazed and quite taken back because my sister was not into Nirvana at all. But she could see the waste of it all, and the impact he had on anyone's life (including my mother's!) Strange days indeed.
Hollis, Bristol, United Kingdom

Just shows the power of the man's songwriting that people are still being turned on to Nirvana and keeping him and his music relevant. Great to know that it wasn't all in vain.
Tom, London UK

Kurt was a genius. He was a poet, a brilliant songwriter. Too bad he couldn't cope with himself, but he left a legacy to be explored and found over and over again for years. Every generation can identify with Kurt's lyrics, not just the one grown in the 80s and 90s.
Miroslav, Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Kurt Cobain quite simply saved rock music. Without him we would all be listening to packaged junk rather than his legacy of creative, angry and ultimately social music
Pete M, Bristol

There is not a day that goes by, that I don't feel the pain or absence of his loss, but when the 5th of April comes around, the wound just seems a tad deeper. In the last words of his suicide note, Cobain said that he wanted us all to remember that, "it's better to burn out, then fade away." You got your wish Kurt, your music, your voice, and your story has left an eternal scar on all of our hearts.
Jennifer Manalili, San Diego, California, United States

Well, it's nice to see such messages of support. The fact is however, that we are great at making icons out of dead people. Nirvana may have popularised grunge music, but they didn't invent it. Kurt may have been an icon for something, but his lyrics promoted despair. Where's the hope in killing yourself?
Andy, Bury, UK

I still remember watching the dancefloor empty of "normal" people, as the DJ looped the first chords of Smells like Teen Spirit and as the bright and happy people left, the goths, punks and slackers stepped up to fill the void. After 5 minutes of this the tension was incredible, and when the looping stopped, a kind of ferocious energy exloded, one I have never seen or felt since. Thanks Kurt, sad to see you go.
John, Germany

He had something to say and always wrote from the gut, even now Smells Like Teen Spirit still sounds as amazing as it did back in 1992. There is a huge space that Kurt left that is yet to be filled
Emma Crisp

I wonder that a man of immense talent should end his life the way Kurt did. Perhaps the immense talent was part of the torment that continually haunt his soul. He could be aptly remembered as The Man Who Sold The World...
Ingudam, Imphal, Manipur, India

Kurt was a genius. For me, it was his ability to communicate what we were all feeling that set him apart from the rest. His music and lyrics gave me something to identify with and showed me that I was not alone, that there were millions of others feeling just as disenchanted and disenfranchised. He will always be remembered for that ability to inspire.
Gareth Davies, Bristol, England

I would have been four when the tragedy happened but his music has since become a part of me. He's a true genius and will never be forgotten.
Gracie, Cheshire, England

Kurt Cobain quite simply saved rock music. Without him we would all be listening to packaged junk rather than his legacy of creative, angry and ultimately social music.
Pete M, Bristol UK

I always remember Kurt's death as I was just about to turn 17 when he died, and will be the age he was when he died, 27 this wednesday. His music and influence are so clearly seen in the charts and on t-shirts that kids wear today, who were probably less than 10 when he died, but it shows how amazing his legacy is and how much he changed the face of music in the early 90s and still does today.

For me when I was a teenager his music was prolific and just had so much raw emotion that was lacking in alot of the music at the time. He had something to say and always wrote from the gut, even now Smells Like Teen Spirit still sounds as amazing as it did back in 1992. There is a huge space that Kurt left that is yet to be filled.
Emma Crisp, UK

Hendrix... Janis... Morrison... Lennon.... Cobain. An incredibly sad waste of truly amazing energy. But thank whoever that they lived in the first place and gave us so much. They will always be remembered as the pinnicles of 20th century music!
Nick Fairhead, Singapore

Kurt, you don't know it, but you taught me to play the guitar. 12 years on, I'm still playing that and other instruments too. I'd love to be able to thank you in person for what you did for me, but I'll never have that chance. Rock on my friend, I miss you.
Darren, Birmingham, England.

There is no doubt that Kurt Cobain was a significant contributor to the music of the early 90s, however I question the extent of this. Many of the comments submitted suggest that it was Cobain alone who revolutionised the music scene of the time, but let us not forget the many other seminal bands signed to Sub Pop records (Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Mother Love Bone) all of whom instigated change on a massive scale.

A death of equal magnitude that seems to have gone completely unnoticed is that of Layne Staley from Alice in Chains - His influence was just as significant to that of Kurt Cobain.
Matt, Bournemouth, UK

Songs like Come as you are, Lithium and In Bloom would only come from a genius like Cobain
Kurgan, Norwich
We continue to listen to Kurt Cobain's voice every day, through the countless garage bands and successful artists he influenced. That growling, tortured vocal style has been perfected by a generation of musicians. Sadly, many of them can only imitate, through words and all-too-familiar guitar chords, the thoughts and pain Cobain felt.
Roger Gant, Yorktown, VA/ USA

As a performer 10/10, as a writer 10/10, as a role model, well 1/10, but Nirvana opened my eyes, changed me and offered a different direction to my life. The sounds produced by all three, lest we forget, were unrivalled, unbelievable and still unchallenged. Yes we have angst filled bands nowadays, tourtured souls, but they're all manufactured. Cobain, Novaselic and Ghrol were real, raw and on a rush.

No imitators will match them, no innovators will surpass them for what Nirvana is and was: the one and only King of Grunge and all things to a whole generation of 23-35 years olds.
Alec Johnson, Bristol, UK

Songs like Come as you are, Lithium and In Bloom would only come from a genius like Cobain. I wish he could have stayed with us a bit more. Nevermind was the first CD I ever bought, so expressive, so perfect.
Kurgan, Norwich

Like so many people in their mid to late 20s, Nirvana changed my life. They gave me something that made me different to all the other Top of the Pops loving idiots at school/college, at least somebody knew how I was feeling. Kurt chose death over pain, I'm sure his daughter wishes he'd made a different choice.
Dave, Stockton-On-Tees, England

Kurt Cobain was neither a good singer nor a good guitarist. He was however an exceptional songwriter
Steve Karrine, New York
We all acknowledge Kurt as one of the most influential musicians of recent times. But we also need to remember that Kurt's selfish act of suicide, deprived one little girl of her father and his love. Our thoughts should be with Francis Bean and what she has had to endure over the last ten years.
Tony K, Luton, UK

I witnessed Nirvana's last ever concert in Rome's Palagiaccio, after which he overdosed, went back home, and took his own life. I liked his music when I was 16, and thought it was sad that he was not there anymore. But when people in my school wore black for three days in 'his honour' I was rather put off by that sort of behaviour making him some sort of demi-god. It set off 'some revolution' of I-don't-know-what exaclty but probably something against the system and a lot of self-pity. He was an unhappy man, but there are other unhappy people out there which would deserve just as much attention as he would have needed.
Pieter, Oxford, UK (Belgian)

Kurt Cobain was neither a good singer nor a good guitarist. He was however an exceptional songwriter. Regardless of his lyrics, his image, his messages or his peronal life, let us not forget his greatest contributions were his compositions.
Steve Karrine, New York, USA

OK, his guitar technique may not have been extravagent or lavish and the lyrics may have been pessimistic and brooding but THAT was the whole point. Sometimes less IS more. The man and the band did represent what was going down underground. His personality shouldn't become a cult but those times should be remembered. Kurt did this. RIP.
Doc Who, Suburbia, Middle England

Unfortunately, Kurt and Nirvana were never part of my life back in the early nineties. Oh how I missed out! Still, better I became a fan in later years than never. Kurt's life story could not be more poignant. Something about who he was and what he achieved has really touched me. The fact so many people feel the need to pay tribute to him ten years on speaks for itself. His music is a legacy, he should be proud of and a form of comfort that I am grateful for.
Michelle C., Warrington, England

Kurt Cobain was a musical genius. The whole grunge scene was a breath of fresh air from the over-the-top rock scene of the 90s. Nirvana, as well as other bands such as Alice in Chains (RIP Layne Staley), Soundgarden and Pearl Jam made some of the greatest rock music ever.

What do you say about the man who taught you to play guitar?
David Wickes, Wisbech, England
The influence of Cobain and grunge can still be seen and heard today, but nothing can compare to those years in the early '90s when the music coming out of Seattle was some of the most amazing I have ever heard in my life.
Alex, Athens, Greece

He simply was the voice and words for a whole generation's feelings. He's gone, but that generation is still (and will be) here, feeling the same, without voice.
Javi Loureiro, Barcelona, Spain

Cobain was indeed a great musician, but the main thing to be learnt from his death is that drugs will get to you in the end. Leading a revolution and a generation etc etc, don't be silly. He led and died the life of a drug addict, the only difference from the ones on the street was Cobain was famous and had money.
Lee, Blackburn

What do you say about the man who taught you to play guitar? Months in my bedroom with a cheap electric guitar, tinny amplifier cranked up all the way, listening to Nirvana/playing Nirvana, listening to Nirvana/playing Nirvana, over and over until my finger-tips ached and I couldn't speak for screaming. Playing guitar gives me joy; Kurt Cobain taught me. That's all there is to say.
David Wickes, Wisbech, England

I always felt that Kurt was speaking to the older generation on my behalf - articulating his emotional distress and spiritual anguish with such fluency that bo-one could compete with him. He was, and will always be, an ambassador for those who feel disaffected, disenfranchised from the material world and alienated from the corporate hell of western life.Requiet in pacem.
Ali Mansoor, London, UK

I will never forget the way Kurt and Nirvana made me feel all those years ago, the way that music penetrated my soul
Claire, London
Nirvana were the band who got me into rock music, and it is a shame that it's now fashionable to pretend that Nirvana were not a great band, and that people tend to focus on their demise (13 year olds with Kurt RIP on their shirts really annoy me)rather than the exciting incendiary music they created towards the beginning of their career.
Natalie, Middlesbrough, UK

Kurt and Nirvana were and still are the soundtrack to my life. He came and went far too quickly, I don't think he realised exactly how much of a difference he made to millions of people. The greatest sadness is that his daughter never got to know her dad. From all those people who made your life a living nightmare - All Apologies.
Simon, Ealing, London.

Kurt Cobain is grunge. No one comes near him in that aspect. He is the poster-boy for angst-ridden adolescence. And I am happy to say that I belong to the generation that he voiced his anger out for. He once said, "It's better to burn out than to fade away!"
Herbert, London, UK

Unfortunately, untimely deaths tend to distort an artists true importance. Without wishing to denigrate anyone in particular, the history of rock music is littered with examples.

On the other hand, even today, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin are influencing the next generation of budding rock stars. Kurt Cobain's importance may have been exaggerated by his sad and premature demise, but who knows how great Nirvana would have become - maybe as great as Led Zeppelin, but maybe no greater than Guns 'n' Roses.
Mike, Bath

Kurt Cobain, was in his own right, the voice of teenage angst, and the hurt teenagers go through, he put those emotions into meaningful, deep songs. I just wish I could seen them live, and that I was born 10 years earlier.
Maryam, London

Ten years on, the enormous poster of Kurt I treasured as an angst-ridden teenager still hangs in my home. I will never forget the way Kurt and Nirvana made me feel all those years ago, the way that music penetrated my soul. Our memories of Nirvana will never die and the image of Kurt's face and the sound of his voice will live with me for a lifetime.
Claire, London, England

I was 13 years old when Kurt passed, so I don't share the "pain" and sentiment of those who were older at the time. But now I enjoy Nirvana's music, and Kurt's lyrics, every day as loud as I can turn the dial. He didn't save the world, he didn't save music (see Busted or The Spice Girls) and he wasn't meant too! He rocked, and he rocked hard. By all accounts a nice guy despite his "hatred of all humans", I only hope he rests in peace now. Men like Hendrix, Morrison and Cobaim never truly die anyway! Rock on in their names....loudly!!
Chris McKeating, Portaferry, N. Ireland

To me, Kurt Cobain and Nirvana represent the cop-out, loser generation
Joakim LLoyd Raboff, Sweden

We've heard it all before: voice of a generation, troubled soul, rock legend, etc. To me Kurt Cobain was all of those things and so much more. I was in a depression, a pain, and he was the one who voiced his feelings, feelings that mirrored mine. He reached up and flipped the light switch on, for legions of teens lost in their own pain.
Jennifer Manalili, San Diego, California, United States

Talk about an icon for the 90s, this man was a god of rock and a voice for everyone who needed to express their feelings of the time, as mentioned above. Kurt was the change that the generation needed, yes it was a shame he committed suicide but hey look a decade later and were still talking about him........rock on Kurt Cobain!!!
Julian Priestley, Watford, UK

Kurt Cobain was responsible for an interesting trend in post-80s rock. While his music may have been marginally creative (nothing extremely special to it), the bleakness, the broodiness, and the negativity with which it was wrought and which captured popular following as a fashion of sorts was rather off-putting. This sort of sheer pessimism I've had witnessed taking over some of my usually optimistic happy friends and have turned them into rather broody, non-productive individuals during my university days.
Heman, Brisbane, Australia

Kurt and Nirvana were the most important thing ever to happen to me and they still influence me today. Ten years ago his death was the biggest event in my life and nothing has changed. Imagine what could have happened.
Tony, England

To me, Kurt Cobain and Nirvana represent the cop-out, loser generation. His angst filled, self-pitying lyrics and mediocre musicianship influenced the already lost, misguided and disenchanted - giving followers even fewer reasons to get off their asses, break away from social constraints and help themselves (and society) to a better life.

His cult-like following just proves how cynical marketeers and silly journalists have succeeded in popularising (and commercialising) the trash culture that bands like Nirvana represent.
Joakim Lloyd Raboff, Sweden

He was always a tortured soul and perhaps what he did was for the best. At least he will be in peace now.
Sean Townsley, Nottinghamshire, England

Excellent music. Utter waste of a life
Tim Shaw, Munich, Germany

Kurt, I love you more than you could ever know. I just can't believe its 10 years now, I'm so sad. RIP my friend, I hope you're happy now. In Bloom In Utero In Memoriam.
Dan, London, UK

He became an unwitting spokesperson for those who didnt fit it. I don't believe he did take the easy way out. He suffered from manic-depression which possibly made his regular periods of depression even harder to take. His wife got wrongly criticised, when in fact she supported him in his darkest moments.
Paul, Northampton, UK

Ten years! I'm getting old. I think for some people of my generation (29 years old) it's similar to the Kennedy killing; you remember where you were and what your were doing.
Craig, New Zealand

The way he died reflected the way he lived. The man and his music will always be remembered, it's a part of history now. He was the best role model the kids ever had.
James, Bristol, England

A tormented genius, frustrated within and without. A definite turning point in music after the likes of punk. Like all brilliance, an abrupt and tragic ending, nevermind.
Jim Georgiades, Gothenburg, Sweden

I recall the hype around his death covered by every media source you could think of. I however don't recall so many of these outlets covering the band before the oh so cool Smells Like Teen Spirit.
Gavin Jones, Perth, Scotland

Nirvana changed more than my music taste. It changed my teenage behaviour and lifestyle. Even though I don't worship the guy anymore, I wish everyday that he would be alive so I could attend one of his concerts or watch him live on TV
Sepand, Toronto, Canada

Excellent music. Utter waste of a life.
Tim Shaw, Munich, Germany

Kurt Cobain influenced me to become a musician. I remember one of my friends giving me the nevermind record and I couldn't stop playing smells like teen spirit on my system, and a later on learning the whole album on the guitar.

Thank you Kurt, You're gone but not forgotten, you live through your music, we remember and learn from your legacy.
Varun Kumar, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

A good portion of my teenage days were spent worshipping Kurt Cobain and his music and to this day, I still can't understand what drove me to become so drifted in his lyrics and his personality. Nirvana changed more than my music taste. It changed my teenage behaviour and lifestyle. Even though I don't worship the guy anymore, I wish everyday that he would be alive so I could attend one of his concerts or watch him live on TV. Rest in Peace, Kurt.
Sepand, Toronto, Canada

During undergraduate studies in India, I lived on Nevermind. I felt like such a rebel listening to the album. I'll always experience that feeling when I hear Nevermind no matter how old I am.
Chandani Thapa, Nepal

For those of us Cobain's age or older, his peers who participated in the pre-Nirvana punk/hardcore scene in the US, it was sort of a let down when Nirvana broke. Our sound, our aesthetic, our scene finally became fully mainstream. We had been the dorks and nerds and outcasts in our high schools; now the "cool kids'" of the next generation wanted to imitate us. Those kids, 10 or 15 years older, would have been jocks who picked on us real punks at school. Anyway, Kurt Cobain was just a middle-sized talent, he didn't invent anything new, he just synthesized the pop-friendly elements of what had come before. Nirvana were powerful, but not great like Mission of Burma, Black Flag, Husker Du, Minutemen, Minor Threat, early Sonic Youth, etc.
T Jordan, Minneapolis, USA

Kurt and his influences influenced me, and I will be forever grateful for the struggle and satisfaction that this has imbued to me. Corporate rock still sucks
William Milasauskis, Seattle, Washington, US

And then suddenly the news was everywhere: one of our own was dead, and though never had we met beyond the loud sharing of our pain, nevertheless he was a true daybreak boy: imperfectly, indisputably, overwhelmingly. Angry, yes, but more, oh so much more than angry: intelligent, heavy, fierce.

As rock stars of the past had assumed idolic roles for both he and us, he was to us an idol, an image of perfection in our less than perfect lives, however unwillingly. His unwillingness, we knew, was merely a rouse to ruffle the feathers of the vulture media, and besides he knew that thrusting crowns away only makes those who would bestow them more resolute.

He sang his confusion; his fury calmed us. Hang in there, Kurt, we would say to his frown on television when perchance we glimpsed his angelic form. We love you.

Never did we think our sorrows could surpass our ecstasies, but suddenly the news was everywhere: the mighty Kurt Cobain was dead. Our reluctant god. Not do or die but do and die. And now it's 10 years later, and now only do I realise that, much like an eternal flame, I have been crying this whole time.
Erik Leif Nelson, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Nirvana changed the way I approached music and gave me a great appreciation for the power of emotion as the greatest driving force behind anything worth listening to. Kurt and his influences influenced me, and I will be forever grateful for the struggle and satisfaction that this has imbued to me. Corporate rock still sucks.
William Milasauskis, Seattle, WA - United States

Nirvana were by far my favourite band at the time, as they expressed all the frustration a 13-year-old feels in his life. In retrospect, it was to be the first lesson I learned upon becoming a man; that life is short, bitter, and sweet
Ron, Ottawa, Canada

Morrison, Hendrix, Moon, Bonham, Cobain. Talk about the death of rock and roll. Kurt Cobain was one of the last rock legends to roam the earth - possibly the very last. Nobody since has come along with that same kind of raw, honest soul that Kurt lived through his music. Will the world ever see another self-destructive brilliant rock martyr? I doubt it.
Connor Finnigan, College Station, TX, USA

Hope you found peace, thanks for sharing your talents with us and for always being true to your words. Sorry we couldn't look after you better.
James Weston, Bangkok, Thailand

Kurt Cobain is up there with the best of the best. There will never be anyone like him ever again, there will never be another Nirvana, they can pretend, but no one can leave a mark that he left upon millions of people. His persona and his music will be remembered for centuries, it is frozen in time like the classics.
Paul Dobrynin, West Hartford, CT

I remember the day news broke of his death, 8 April, 1994 very well, as it was the day of my Bar Mitzvah. Nirvana were by far my favourite band at the time, as they expressed all the frustration a 13-year-old feels in his life. In retrospect, it was to be the first lesson I learned upon becoming a man; that life is short, bitter, and sweet.
Ron, Ottawa, Canada

There are certain moments in one's life that are remembered with perfect and utter clarity. And I remember where I was when I heard that Kurt Cobain had killed himself - Friday, 8 April, in the car on the way home from school. I was 15 and sat in front of the television the whole weekend, watching MTV's news coverage.

He was a sad, tortured soul, unable to cope with life, and the potential happiness that surrounded him. He was cowardly in taking the easy way out, though I prefer to remember him during Nirvana's MTV Unplugged performance, with a small, wry smile on his face as he sat there with his acoustic guitar. He seemed almost peaceful. Here's hoping he found in death what he never had in life.
dave golbitz, Omaha, Nebraska - USA

He brought a change, a revolution, reminiscent of what my father experienced at the same age...too bad the momentum was cut short.
J.J. Wallace, Calgary, Canada

In my eyes Kurt Cobain was like the Jesus Christ of rock. You would see everyone listening to the same old glam rock over and over again with nothing ever changing. Kurt broke that chain of repetition. It's sad he isn't with us anymore, but in a way there's a strange beauty to it.
Al Farhoodi, Venice, California, United States

Kurt Cobain won't be remembered for his singing, or his guitar style as both were nothing special. Instead the Nirvana frontman will be remembered for his ability to sum up the angst of rebelious youth in his words. His music was angry and raw, and still attracts new audiences today. I would give anything to have seen them live.
Paul Pizzey, Kent, UK




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