Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Halls of Fame and Halls of Shame...15 years gone.

I was going to wax poetically on Metallica’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Instead, I’d like to point you in the direction of someone who was there and whose opinion of the weekend’s festivities I hold in high regard.
Umlaut is the on-line home to a friend by the name of Brian Lew.
Former Whiplash Magazine editor,
photographer and Bay Area Metal historian, he also spent time on the real Death Star, no shit. So read all about here.

My .02? I thought it was fucking amazing. As a fan of Metallica and music in general I was very proud. It was a good moment for Heavy Metal. Say what you will about either the RnRHoF or Metallica, it was fucking cool. Metalheads don't get too many holidays ya know? This was definitely one of them.

I was a little hesitant knowing Flea was doing the official induction, but all it took was about 30 seconds into his speech to realize he was a great choice. He hit the nail on the head several times and spoke extremely high of Cliff Burton and his contribution and all around bad ass-ness. It was better than I ever imagined it to be.

There were great speeches by the band, Jason Newsted and Ray Burton they played both "Master of Puppets" and "Enter Sandman", two songs that blew the doors open on their career. "Master" was their foot in the door of World awareness and "Sandman" was World dominance.

Good stuff.

Today marks the 15th anniversary of the death of Kurt Cobain. I remember quite clearly being at work on Friday April 8, 1994 another typical day. I remember it was raining out, pretty dreary and like I mentioned in the Mother Love Bone entry, Spring was here.

I was on my way to Andrea’s house and of course wasn’t listening to the radio on my drive. When I arrived to her place I turned on the TV and there it was. Wow! ‘Holy shit, he did it’ I thought. Sick or whatever as it may sound I was actually impressed. Kurt had put his money where his mouth is (or was) and did ‘it’. He was portrayed in the media as a complete whiner and never missed an opportunity to downplay his success.

Never met the guy, never knew him but from what I've read he was a walking contridiction. Hated fame but would call MTV and complain if his/their videos weren't being shown enough...go figure.

However his (true??) feelings on fame were made crystal clear as they recorded and released “I Hate Myself and Want to Die” on the Beavis and Butthead Experience album from several months earlier.
Photo:Kevin Estrada

So when I first heard of his “suicide” I was "impressed". I remember a sort of mexican standoff between Cobain and Eddie Vedder as far as who could come across as more disinterested in the forced upon role of ‘spokesperson for this generation’ or whatever the hell it was called. Well, Vedder definitely won that battle, but that’s not all that important right now, is it?

Later that night I was at home, alone. MTV were playing the ‘Nirvana Unplugged’ show constantly, breaking only to show more clips of what we’d seen already, the electrician who found the body, the kids holding vigil etc.

I remember interviews with David Fricke (Rolling Stone) and Michael Azerrad who had written ‘Come As You Are’ the “biography” of Nirvana which was nothing more than a publicity boosting rewriting of history between Cobain, that disgusting piece of meat he called a wife and Kurt’s handlers.

Fuck David Fricke! He writes about bands his magazine can no longer ignore. Had Rolling Stone done pieces on ‘Bleach’ era Nirvana or ‘Ride The Lightning’ era Metallica I’d have a much different opinion of his work.

Where was I? Oh yeah, at home alone drinking beer and watching the ‘Unplugged’ broadcast for the second time in a row when it hit me. No more songs, no more music, no more gigs, no more…

With this I was bummed out to say the least. I enjoyed the music of Nirvana quite a bit, still do. But this was it. It was all over, just like that, bigger than Jesus for 2.5-3 years and then gone. Sad for his kid. 15 years later and it’s still a WTF moment in music history. If I'm alive I'll be watching their induction in 2014.