It's April 8. It's been 20 years since Kurt Cobain shot himself. Unlike the O.J. Simpson chase or 9/11 or the Challenger explosion, I can't exactly remember where I was when I heard the news, though I do remember MTV solemnly covering it all that weekend. A friend pointed out that Cobain was, at the time, the biggest rock star in the world. I threw out names to prove my friend wrong. Eddie Vedder? Michael Stipe? The Crash Test Dummies guy?
Twenty years later, there's no contest. Vedder's output sounds dated. Trent Reznor is a mogul for music streaming services, the Red Hot Chili Peppers lip-sync at the Super Bowl, and Axl Rose is whatever Axl Rose has become. But Cobain is and always will be 27 and too pure for a world that mixed rock 'n' roll with commerce.
"I wish I was like you/easily amused" sounds so much more profound knowing his fate than it would if Kurt was still around to do guest vocals on a Foo Fighters album.