"She seems to think,
She seems to breath.
She takes a week to get over it."
"That singer you like has been found dead."
My mum is in the kitchen. (I know, what a cliché.) Ironing. (Cliché overload!) I’m walking through to the living-room. It’s a Friday evening. (Little bit of scene setting for you there.)
"What singer?" Me. Curious.
"I can’t remember his name." Continues ironing.
Ok. Slightly concerned now. "Is it Robert Smith? From The Cure?"
"No, I don‘t think so." Ironing continues.
"Morrissey? Is it Morrissey? He's the one with the flowers." I’m holding the counter now for support.
"I really can’t remember his name. I just remember thinking that you like him."
Sighs. This is 1994. Pre-Internet (in my home, anyway – we’d only just got a videoplayer). There’s no hopping online for an instant answer. It must be someone big if they’re putting it on the news. That most likely rules out Mark E Smith and Andrew Eldritch. But I’m going to have to wait the best part of another hour until the 10 o’clock bulletin to find out. Or so I thought.
I actually heard the news of Kurt Cobain’s death just minutes after, when I raced up to my room and dialled through the radio stations. (Yes, dialled – did I mention it was 1994? And we’d only just got a videoplayer?) It seemed every station was running tributes. And wildly speculating about Kurt’s final hours. And then speculating some more. Which still continues to this very day.
It was hard to turn the radio off that night. And when I did, it was only so I could dig in to my record collection and let Kurt’s voice sing out. The weekend continued like this as the first pictures of Kurt’s garage were released and fans held candlelight vigils in Seattle parks.
On the Monday, I had my first day in my very first job. It felt like stepping in to a whole new world. In more ways than one.
RIP Kurt Cobain (20 February 1967 – 5 April 1994)
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