Fifteen years today since we all found out. I wasn’t so upset by the news that I became suicidal or otherwise depressed, but being a teenager in 1994 has, without a doubt, left its mark.
It must have been a Friday because we all had plans to go to the Space Theater that night and see Lazer Grunge (don’t waste your time). We, being the angsty alternative youth, were (that year) anti-prom, but not anti-dressing-up-in-formal-gowns. Particularly if you paired those gowns with Doc Martens. (God, I miss the 90’s.) So we decided to make a formal night of it. Inspired by the theatre crowed at school who had a tradition of “dressing to the nines” on opening night of a show, we wore our formals to school. My green crushed velvet dress had originally been for my 9th grade graduation. I bought it at Hot Topic (a rather pricy splurge) and the washing instructions on the tag said, “Machine Wash Cold. Tumble Dry Low. Not Tonight I Have a Headache. Unless You Have a Porsche.” I loved that dress.
Tory Acosta was a punky little kid who was afraid of me (yes, ME) because he knew all too well that I would beat his ass if he talked shit about Natalie Merchant. I ran into him a few years later and he seemed to have grown into quite a decent guy (and not so afraid of me at that time), but in 10th grade he was still a goofy teenager who lived to irritate me. At lunch he told me Kurt Cobain was dead. Naturally, I didn’t believe him.
But you know how this story ends and of course it was true and it was only minutes later that news began to trickle into the school. I’m not sure how we heard – we weren’t allowed electronics of any sort, and the internet only just barely existed at all, but I suppose big news will travel somehow. Also we all had well-hidden electronics of every sort and that may have played a role.
The school, and indeed the world, was abuzz with the news. People cried. Radio Stations touted suicide lines. We all mourned. We went to Lazer Grunge anyway (it was what Kurt would want?) and the local news was there. They interviewed two of our friends (perhaps because of the formal attire?). We were all in shock. But not too much in shock to use the payphones to call our parents and ask them to record the news that night. The world lost a truly great musician that day.
As time went on, I got sick of hearing about it. I did my mourning and moved on, but the world somehow couldn’t – not for awhile anyway. Today, fifteen years later (which makes me sound old), he is peacefully at rest. Grunge is, indeed, dead. Frances Bean is a woman. Courtney has left sanity behind once and for all. Dave Grohl is a funny-as-hell alterna-pop star. And we still miss what Kurt could have been.
Luckily for you, my faithful readers, I was preparing myself for my future career as Blogger even all those years ago and so you may enjoy these photos from Lazer Grunge. I don’t know why they scanned so crappy, I might try to fix that later, but in all honesty? Probably not.