Casey McCurry (of Sunset Hearts) wrote something about Nirvana (and—insanely tangentially—their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame) that summarizes exactly how I feel about the band and their impact on my life:
Nirvana was a great band, and probably was even more so to my teenage self (before the decade-long flood of weak imitators). But what they meant to me transcended being just “a band I love”; Nirvana was the first band to introduce me to feminism (and while I couldn’t give less of a fuck about anything Hall of Fame-related, this was highlighted by Nirvana’s choice to employ only women to replace him at the recent induction) and an extremely long list of artists that shaped who I would become, both musically and otherwise. You probably wouldn’t guess by listening to my music, I suppose. I rented the Markey film on the strength of Nirvana and then Sonic Youth became my favorite band of all time. I read an interview with Kurt and discovered Big Black. I saw tee shirts he was wearing and discovered Daniel Johnston and Sebadoh, Vaselines, ABBA, Dinosaur Jr, Shonen Knife, Polvo, Bikini Kill, the list goes on forever. I could list 500 bands I wouldn’t have heard without him. And what is so amazing is that this isn’t even sort of a personal story, this happened for millions of kids on the geographical fringes of art culture. In this way Kurt Cobain should be firstly remembered as a Sagan-type figure in music, a great popularizer and champion of women and underground artists around the world.
I interviewed McCurry last year. You can check that out here.
Photo of McCurry by way of Matt Barnard’s Facebook page