One day in the summer of 1983, a band called The Melvins put on an impromptu event called The Them Festival in Montesano, Washington. This was near a place called Aberdeen, a town of 17,000 people 108 miles from Seattle. The ‘festival’ consisted of a free performance in the parking lot of a Thriftway supermarket. A teenager from Aberdeen was in the audience, and later wrote in his journal that “the stoners were bored and kept shouting, ‘Play some Def Leppard,’” but this was “what [he had] been looking for.”
In this class, we’ll take a look at the legacy of this teenager, Kurt Cobain, who felt isolated in his hometown - from mainstream society, other youth, and his family. We will trace his participation throughout the underground music community in Washington, from Aberdeen to Olympia to Seattle, while examining his influences and values.
Finally, we will discuss Cobain’s lasting impact 20 years after his death, and why he still resonates with a generation that found what it had been looking for, in Nirvana.
"Nirvana Photographer Charles Peterson Reflects On Kurt Cobain’s Life & Legacy"
"Notes from Seattle: 20 years later, what is Kurt Cobain’s legacy?"
"Kurt Cobain’s overlooked legacy: Guitar teacher for a generation"
"Kurt Cobain’s hometown no ‘nirvana’ 20 years after death"
"Here We Are Now"
"Kurt Cobain, Seattle 1993 Complete Interview"
"Kurt Cobain’s Interrogation of Hegemonic Masculinity"
The Melvins - ”live-in-the-studio, circa 1984”
Beat Happening - ”Our Secret”
The Go Team- "Scratch It Out"
The Go Team - "Bikini Twilight"
Nirvana - "Smells like Teen Spirit" (first time live)
Nirvana - "Live at Reading, 1992" (full concert)