Over the last few days I’ve been downloading Nirvana songs that I used to have years and years ago when this blog was just a glimmer in my eye.

That band will always hold a special place in my heart, because when Nevermind hit, it was like a perfect storm.  You know, the kind without George Clooney as a grizzled old fisherman trying to prove a point (with disastrous results!).

Here I was, a 12-year-old kid just trying to fit in and desperately hoping for facial hair to sprout, and along comes a band that doesn’t give a fuck about anything, and in fact, hates everything that most people give a fuck about.

It was love at first listen.

When my friend showed me his tape of Nevermind, we sat down at his desk, popped it in his yellow (yellow!!!) Sony Walkman and that was it – I was a fan.  And lucky for me, I met all the requirements for being a Nirvana fan.

Poor Enough That You Already Wear Gross Flannel Shirts? Check.

Angry About Things? Check.

Enjoy Being Dirty? Check.

Within days of first hearing their music, I had used whatever money I could steal from my Mom’s purse (don’t judge me!) to purchase Nevermind and Bleach on tape and I listened to them until I knew every word of every song.  I would sit for hours in my room, listen to the tapes, write angst filled poems about how chores were oppressive and love every minute of it.

Sadly, by the time In Utero rolled around, Nirvana had become so popular that of course I had to tell everyone I didn’t like them anymore.  I even told this lie to my best friend who was, and probably still is, the biggest Nirvana fan ever.  It was something I felt I had to do, along with smoke excessive amounts of pot all day every day. What?  Growing up is hard.

But now that I’m older, and have a clearer outlook on life, or at least as clear as it’s ever going to get – I have come back to Nirvana, and it feels great.  Because when I think about it, I might not wear green and black flannels anymore, but I’m still Angry About Things and I still won’t shower until someone says, “Dude, I think I can smell you.”

Life is circular my friends.


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45 responses to “roots

  1. rachel

    I LOVED my yellow Sony walkman.

    I may or may not have stolen it.

    Which is worse than money from Mom’s purse–I would never judge you.

    I hope you did steal it.

  2. i just brought my Nirvana MTV Unplugged CD on a walk to work the other day. It’s still amazing…one wonders what that band could’ve done. fucking Cobain. The night the story broke that he died I was at a Poetry reading done by Allen Ginsberg. fuckin Ginsberg.

    I feel like if they would’ve kept going it would’ve ended badly.

  3. Plus, Kurt Cobain is hot.

    Yeah, I may or not have a crush on a dead person. No it’s not necrophilia.

  4. Did you read the article about the naked baby on the cover of the Nevermind album? That kid is like 18 now. Now that is enough to make me stop showering and wear strictly flannel again.

    Wow, really? Jesus I’m old.

  5. I won my Walkman (like, cassette Walkman) in a Neatest Notebook contest at school. It was also yellow. I still have it, only because it’s still the best thing I’ve ever won.

    Only thing I’ve ever won.

    My notebook was messy. I stole it from the winner.

    Well done!

  6. I remember “Smells Like Teen Spirit” being pumped constantly. Damn, I was so uncool back then. Where’s the pic of 12-year-old Chris?

    If I find one I’ll post it.

  7. Ah… Nirvana. Beautiful.

    I can’t wait for flannels to come back. I will once again wear them over fuct t-shirts that say dumb things like, “Wimpy.” I wish I knew where that shirt was…

    Oh, fuct shirts were so rebellious!

  8. Matt

    Come as you are makes my top 10 songs ever list.

    but I could never understand why there was a naked baby on their album cover. Why?

    Something inspired by watching a show on babies being born in water, which brings a better question – why were they watching a show about babies being born in water? Oh, right – they did a ton of drugs.

  9. I think you’re officially getting old. This sounded an awful lot like a music-back-in-my-day-was-so-much-better-than-that-noise-them-kids-listen-to-today post.

    You’re right, of course. And they should get off your lawn.

    No, no, just reminiscing. I like a ton of music now.

  10. charmcitykim

    Yes! I remember loving Nirvana when I was in middle school. Their Unplugged album is still one of the best unplugged albums I know.

    Not many to go up against – I’d say Jay-Z’s was the best though.

  11. I missed the whole Nirvana thing.. because I was young and had just moved to the states a few years prior and could only recite every German pop group known to man.

    I was awesome.


  12. I’m having the same Nirvana redux at the moment 😀


  13. I had a yellow sony walkman. Someone at school stole it. So may parents got me a new one. And all was right with the world again.

    I was one of those kids stealing walkmans – hey, I was poor, I couldn’t afford one of those.

  14. Dude, I think I can smell you.

    Shower tonight I guess.

  15. I think I’ll have to dig out my old, worn-out copy of “Nevermind” now. Thanks!

    It’ll be fun, trust me.

  16. CapriceClassic

    They can’t smell YOU, it’s Teen Spirit they smell! ‘Tis STILL my all time favorite Nirvana song! And yeah, showering is overrated.

    Oh man, but there are much better songs than that by them.

  17. I feel the same way about the Foo Fighters.

    But not the Counting Crows. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking.

    I too, made the mistake of purchasing the Counting Crows. We are better people now.

  18. I did that with Collective Soul and STP the other day.

    It’s not the same without the drugs.

    STP was a favorite too.

  19. would you make fun of me if i told you that when he died when i was a sophomore? junior? in high school i cried?

    Haha – you cried??? Hahaha!

  20. Like Nirvana, it’s time to bring the flannel back. Was there a more versatile trend? I went to HS in rural South Dakota and we wore flannels WELL into 1996 (soooo cool)…I only stopped at the threat of public ridicule when I moved to MN.

    Who would think that MN is actually more cosmo than another place? (sorry Mindy)

  21. i wrote a rhetorical criticism term paper on kurt cobain’s suicide note and still consider it one of my best works.

    my “peer review” partner thought otherwise.

    Fuck them, peers are overrated.

  22. I, too, was at the appropriate age and time to think “Nevermind” was brilliant, and I dreamed of one day getting paid to scream things.

    But I still cut off the sunshiney “o” from a “Dole” sticker on a banana and stuck it on the baby’s wang on the cover, because I was not comfortable with seeing baby wang everytime I wanted to rock out.

    Cobain said that anyone who found it disturbing about the baby penis probably was a closet pedophile. Just saying…

  23. To which you should respond “smells like teen spirit.”

    That was lame. I tried.

    It’s Friday, I forgive you.

  24. Blah, blah, blah, blah, George Clooney, Blah, blah…

    Um…what were you talking about again?

  25. Not cool dude… NO TALKING BAD ABOUT MN!
    Or at least Minneapolis, those outstate peeps are pretty douchey.

    Have you been to Minneapolis???? Seriously, we are awesome. Our music scene is killer. We have the best bar in America – Google it, Nye’s Polonaise! The Twins! The people! AND we have lakes! In the city!

  26. it’s ok to admit that you cried when Kurt died.

  27. “Here I was, a 12-year-old kid just trying to fit in and desperately hoping for facial hair to sprout, and along comes a band that doesn’t give a fuck about anything, and in fact, hates everything that most people give a fuck about.”

    You just described 4 years of my adolescence. I even had the “Kurt” hair cut.

  28. It took me a long time to admit to anyone that my first love was Bobby Brown. Don’t you judge me! ‘My Prerogative’ was the hotness and you know it.

  29. Nirvana was a rare band that got hyped like mad but was worth every bit of it. And when Dude killed himself, he spared us all the indignity of the inevitable downslide and the Fat Elvis years.

    Although Elvis sucked from the get-go, so that’s not exactly the most apt comparison.

  30. The longest I didn’t shower was for a week.

    And Nirvana=awesome!

  31. Come as you are is probably one of the greatest songs ever.

    You are right, life is indeed circular.

  32. Flannel shirts? what about all the lingerie and cross-dressing? I was aware that Cobain liked to cross-dress but thought that was a private life thing; but I sure didn’t know they performed in drag! I am so out of the loop a decade later … however, I used to work for Courtney Love’s attorney — the one who had to call her to tell her that Cobain had permanently renovated his skull.

  33. bwp

    I still own a flannel shirt and have to be forced into showering.

    I hate myself.

  34. Hahaha – thanks for sharing. That made me laugh and brought me back to my own angst filled teenage years in Seattle. Good stuff.

  35. I so loved them too. Now I wish I still owned my dr matrens. I still remember where I was when I heard Kurt Cobain had killed himself. So sad.

  36. Kez

    OOOH! Yellow Sony walkman!!!!
    Me too!!!!!
    I liked how my art teacher in primary school would play Nirvana Unplugged during class for us.
    Such a cool time.
    I later did a drama skit based on a “grungey” character in high school and got top marks…Nirvana is educational!

  37. I LIKE (not love) Nirvana too…but..ermm
    I do shower.
    Twice a day when it’s Summer.

  38. HAHAHA have you showered today?

  39. puckgrrl

    I loved Nirvana. I, unfortunately, found them after he was already dead but I loved them anyway. I still do, and get made fun of for it. I don’t care. Jam out to whatever you want. I’ve had my Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness CDs for like…..a long time. Rock On.

  40. do you have any of this angst-filled teenage poetry that you can share?

    i never really got into nirvana other than to try and seem cool when i was a heinous little 10 year old.

  41. Nirvana may be the only thing I didn’t abandon when it became mainstream. That might possibly be because I was, and still am to a certain extent, obsessed.

    Plateau? BEST SONG EVER!

  42. Red

    When they came out, I couldn’t stand them. Then they released “Come As You Are” and I thought (and still think) it’s okay. But I never really got into them and the number of bad bands trying to be them was truly awful. I wasn’t glad when Cobain killed himself or anything, but I wasn’t sorry there would never be another Nirvana album.

  43. I’m still a Nirvana fan. I get excited anytime I hear one of their songs on the radio.

  44. tia

    i EFFING LOVE nirvana.

  45. Je

    Oh wow. Nirvana holds a very, very special place in my heart. I too, bought all the CDs and listened to them over and over again until I knew all the words. I remember the day Kurt died and it was ALL OVER the front pages of the newspapers in Seattle. And in junior high, I made a ceramic tile Nirvana sign in pottery class to solidify my love for them.
    Posters…flannels…the whole gig. And I’m a girl. 😉
    I missed the generation who were lucky enough to see them in concert, dammit. But one thing I love about Seattle is that Nirvana is played somewhat regularly in local establishments.
    Go angst! 😉

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