I’ve had friends and editors ask if I’m writing a Nirvana blog because PLEASE, PRETTY LIGHTS is set in Seattle. Two of the main characters are in a 90s cover band. When readers first meet Matt (on bass) and Nick (behind the drum kit) they’re on stage performing Nirvana’s “Breed.” Nirvana means a lot to them because I am their author, and Nirvana means a lot to me.
Yes, I have written a blog – two actually. I wrote one with links to my favorite Nirvana songs from Bleach, Nevermind and In Utero. But, it felt off. It bummed me out. I wrote another about how Nevermind came out the same week I moved into the dorms at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash. And, how the strained and soulful voice of Kurt Cobain resonated with something inside me; something lost, something fundamental. How Nevermind launched my sense of independence before it crashed hard and fast; totaled by my Seattle-sound snobbery. Posting it now feels disrespectful. After 20 years as a writer, I’m still learning the difference between stories that should be shared, and those ultimately meant for an audience of one.
For now, I’ll share a clip I hold near and dear. It’s my offering on this, the 20th anniversary of Cobain’s death. I’ve heard people are gathering at Viretta Park in Seattle. It’s not much of a park, just two acres, but since April 8th, 1994, it has become sacred ground because it provides a view of the house. You can see it from a graffiti-laden bench under a towering Evergreen. It’s where Cobain fans sit and wonder what could have been. Maybe they feel close to him there, though I can’t imagine why. It’s a house he barely even lived in. He died there, that’s all. Perhaps fans sit and stare, and try to catch his ghost lurking behind a curtain. But, to me, he’s not dead. He’s still here. I say this not in an Elvis-is-alive way. He lives in his music, which is enough for me. He’s in the music. He’s infused into every note, and rests in the silence in between. Just listen.
I hope you enjoy “Seasons in the Sun.” It’s not their best, but not too shabby considering they have switched instruments. It is number 81 on Rolling Stone’s ranking of the 102 known Nirvana tracks in existence. It’s definitely worth checking out. The sentiment of the accompanying home video is what gets me. I am also including a link to information on the new movie Sound City, which I watched today. It’s on Amazon, Netflix and the website I’ve linked to. It’s the story of the studio where the Nevermind album (and dozens of others) was born. I must say, I thought it would be impossible to respect Krist and Dave even more, but now I do. Also, I think the details the two have kept private, and the things left unsaid about their friend, speak volumes. Bravo.
Rolling Stone Ranked 102 Nirvana Songs – Seasons in the Sun
Sound City movie