Half My Life Listening to Nirvana
I bought my first copy of Nevermind after Kurt Cobain was already gone. I’m a little too young to be a Generation X slacker. I don’t even know if Generation X still exists.
My early CD purchases were pretty hit-and-miss. I bought a lot of crap. It was part of the game, in those days. Nirvana is one of the ones that stuck. From Smells Like Teen Spirit to Something in the Way, and passing through In Bloom and Territorial Pissings, the album spoke to my angsty teen heart in a way that few others did.
One of my main criteria for music when I was in my early teens was abundant profanity. That was Nirvana’s only weak point. As far as I could tell, they weren’t using the word “fuck.” I’d spend hours listening to a single song over and over, trying to pick out the lyrics. There was no internet in those days, we just spent a lot of time with our headphones on, listening to lines on repeat. Nirvana was, at least, easier than Tool.
When I was in Improv class in 8th grade, my teacher didn’t want to let me do my final project lip-synching Come As You Are. He made some allegation of the people from Nirvana being less-than-exemplary citizens. I did it anyway. I was pretty satisfied with my rebelliousness, with or without the word “fuck.” So what if the lyrics didn’t make sense.
I even read a couple of biographies of Kurt Cobain. I bought the t-shirt (it said “The sun is gone, but I have a light” on the back).
I bought all the rest of the albums.
I bought the Outcesticides!
I felt the pain of a guy with no life skills, suddenly being enormously successful at the old old age of 24. I was only 16! Twenty-four to me was a lifetime away.
Now I’m 28 and feeling lucky that I didn’t actually become a rock star. I kind of dodged the bullet there.
Now I can be a mediocre guy with no addictions to speak of, no groupies and nobody from MTV who wants to turn me into a worthless pathetic sell-out. And I know I can keep it up for decades.
Generation X, do you still exist?
Generation X, are you out there?