Kurt Cobain Day was celebrated for the first time in Aberdeen, WA on Thursday, February 20 on what would have been Cobain’s 47th birthday. The late grunge musician was finally awarded his first posthumous “day” 20 years after his April 1994 death from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The city also acknowledged a statue that had begun being built from concrete in 1994 by local truck driver and muffler shop owner, Randi Hubbard. Hubbard began constructing the statue shortly after Cobain’s death in 1994. KOMO is reporting that the city is “finally accepting and dedicating a statue that it refused 20 years ago.” The statue will now go on display in the Aberdeen Museum of History.
Initially the reasoning for the delay in honoring Cobain was thought to be due to his sometimes disparaging comments about his hometown, as well as his drug use. While growing up in Aberdeen, Cobain’s parents divorced when he was seven years old which had a major effect on him.
In a 1993 interview with British rock journalist Jon Savage for Guitar World magazine, Cobain was quoted as saying:
“I remember feeling ashamed, for some reason. I was ashamed of my parents. I couldn’t face some of my friends at school anymore, because I desperately wanted to have the classic, you know, typical family. Mother, father. I wanted that security, so I resented my parents for quite a few years because of that.”
Aberdeen mayor Bill Simpson officially announced the celebration of Kurt Cobain’s life with a day dedicated to him earlier this year and has recently expressed his thoughts on why now is the time.
Simpson told KOMO: “We want him to be known for his music. This has been a long time coming; we should have done it long ago.”
According to The Independent: “Aberdeen residents may justifiably take pride in the role our community played in the life of Kurt Cobain, the international recognition our community has gained from its connections with Kurt Cobain and his artistic achievements.”
At one point after he had achieved rock stardom, Cobain referred to his hometown as “Twin Peaks without the excitement,” referring to ABC’s critcally acclaimed drama that ran concurrent to Nirvana’s success in the early 1990′s. Nirvana found its roots in the town of roughly 16,000 people when Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic had their first reheasal together. They would later add drummer Dave Grohl after leaving Aberdeen and eventually ending up in the burgeoning grunge music scene of Seattle.
Kurt Cobain was voted as the 12th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone rock critic David Fricke who said: “‘Grunge’ was always a lousy, limited way to describe the music Kurt Cobain made with Nirvana and, in particular, his discipline and ambition as a guitarist.”