GLM's Producing Artistic Director Reflects on Kurt Cobain and the Music of Nirvana
I was a HUGE Nirvana fan. My favourite item of clothing was this really weird Nirvana T-shirt that I have never seen anywhere else since, I found it in my local record shop in my home town of Pontefract, West Yorkshire. It was way, way too big for me but I wore it anyway, because you know "fuck the man and his clothes that conform to specific sizes" - yep that's how pretentious I was/am. I wore that thing until it literally fell apart when I was about 17. This record shop was also the place I purchased my first ever tape - Nirvana All Apologies single. Most of the music I had I got from my sister who is 4 years older than me and her friends who were Nirvana fans back in the early 90s.
I can remember the first time I ever heard Nirvana. I was about 10. My sister came home from High School and put a tape of Nevermind in the stereo in our front room (living room). I sat on the arm of a chair listening and we just kept flipping the tape over and re-listening. I couldn't wrap my head around what I was hearing - just like Jake in this play when he first hears Nirvana.
My favourite Nirvana song was Big Long Now from Incesticide, because I wasn't a poser :)
I had just started learning to play the guitar during this time so I was obsessed with trying to learn Nirvana songs... somewhere I have a CD of music I recorded with my Dad, where I'm singing Nirvana songs at age 11 or 12 with a super high nasal voice haha - I will try find it, although it would be pretty mortifying to allow people to hear it, I will let that happen, for the art man...
I remember the exact moment I heard about Kurt Cobain's suicide. I was at school, walking from the main block, passed the gym towards the annex (music block) to meet up with my other music minded friends (huh, weird I've never really thought about that...), wearing our awful school uniform. A friend of mine, Michael Atchinson shouted to me across the yard and then came over and told me "Kurt Cobain topped himself". Of course we were 8 hours behind the news and it was really before the internet and cable news is what it is now. I didn't believe him. When I found out it was true I was devastated. For the next few days I played my All Apologies tape over and over again... Huh I guess that's how fans of one direction probably felt when that dude quit.
In the mid 90s my parents were going through a protracted and pretty shitty divorce so Grunge music spoke to me in exactly the same way as the characters in this play. That's why I love this play so much so much. I had some of these exact same conversations.