Although his body was found three days later, autopsy reports say that Kurt Cobain probably killed himself April 5th. Today is the sixteenth anniversary of his death. I know it sounds cliched, but man, has it been that long? I was barely into my twenties and going through the motions of being a college student when I heard he'd died of an apparent gunshot wound to the head: an apparent suicide. Apparent, that all-too important word when reporting these things, though his suicide came as a shock to no one. I'm not going to pretend I was a Nirvana fan. I didn't like much of the current crop of Seattle-based alt-rock. It was too dark, too plodding, for my taste. I was sitting on my parents' aging sofa when I heard the news. I was watching a local news broadcast, I think, when the anchor mentioned that a popular rock star was dead. I knew it was Kurt. I switched over to MTV, where there were already reporting that he'd been found in his garage, dead of a gunshot would to the head. The most selfish thought entered my head. Great, I thought. What a smear on my generation. I brushed it aside and called my cousin, fifteen at the time.
"Hey," I said. "Did you hear?"
"Are you, like, shocked or upset or something?" I asked.
"No," she said. "Nirvana's what the jocks listen to."
It was true, sadly. The people who were probably beating the crap out of Kurt after school where the ones buying his records fifteen or twenty years later. The kids those records were tailor-made for had already moved on. I was one of those "too cool for the room" kids, who didn't listen to his music for years, from a safe distance and with enough nostalgia under my belt. These days I mostly listen to Kurt's music through other artists who've covered Nirvana. Think of this as sort of a mini-tribute: