Four years. That is essentially how much time we had with Kurt Cobain. Nirvana released its first album in 1989 and it’s third and final in 1993.
Last night I watched Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the documentary about the Nirvana front man and 90s alternative rock icon.
I hesitate to use the word icon. And not because I don’t think Cobain is deserving of the label. In fact, I, along with many others view him as one of the catalysts for ushering in a new genre of music. Grunge came at the right time, just as music culture was getting over it’s fill of heavy metal and hairbands.
I hesitate to use the word icon, because after watching the film, I realize that label may ultimately be what caused his death. That the pressure of being a voice of a generation is what drove him to suicide.
From what I saw, all he wanted out of life was a stable family environment and a platform to release his creative energy. That is what is so sad about this. That he became so great, but it ultimately led to his demise.
Four years is all he had.
So I ask, would you rather showcase your art to a limited audience for a lifetime; or for millions for a limited time?
In this case, four short years.