How do you pay tribute to your city’s most famous musician? You name a day after him! Yes, that’s exactly what happened in Aberdeen, Washington, hometown of Kurt Cobain, frontman of the legendary grunge band Nirvana.
Cobain’s birthday, 20th February is now “Kurt Cobain Day” in Aberdeen! However, the tribute festivities turned awkward with the unveiling of a bizarre Crying Cobain statue, with its solitary tear, in the town’s museum. Needless to say, Nirvana fans have reacted with a mixture of shock and confusion. Some residents feel the city mostly shunned Cobain for his negative comments about it and his drug addictions. But Mayor Bill Simpson feels his 47th birthday should be celebrated honouring his contributions to music.
Cobain committed suicide almost 20 years ago, and that’s when Randi Hubbard started constructing the cement statue of the singer.The statue sat in her auto shop – Hubb’s Muffler Shop, which Cobain’s grandfather reportedly visited frequently to watch its construction – for the past two decades. Art students from around the area helped her finish it along the way.
Hubbard offered it to the city at one point, but city officials refused it then. Despite its obscure location, the statue was quite famous. People from all over the world came to see it. Nearly 5000 people visit the museum each year now and the museum personnel are hopeful of the number to subsequently increase with the addition of the statue.
Kurt Cobain Day – This was a pretty controversial decision to take given Cobain’s expressed disdain for the town and his arrest for vandalism there. The decision was taken keeping in mind the huge boost in tourism this will result, apart from honouring the rock legend. The local news coverage from network King 5 essentially mocked the entire tribute, making tasteless jabs at Cobain, referring to the rock legend as “the well-known heroin addict who shot himself 20 years ago”.
This generally depressing tribute also has some competition: The city of Hoquiam, Washington, where Cobain also briefly lived, recently announced that April 10th would be known as their “Kurt Cobain Day”, the day Nirvana will join the elite ranks of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.