Oct 16, 2013

Kurt Cobain in a Used Bookstore

More than just information, a good experience goes a long way to making a story resonate. Prior to leaving on our road trip of the Pacific Northwest I was already a casual fan of Nirvana and Kurt Cobain, but I wouldn't have said I was all that informed. Somewhat unknowingly that began to change over the course of our trip between Portland, Aberdeen, and Seattle.

In this used book store in downtown Portland I stumbled onto an original copy of Cobain, a book that was published by Rolling Stone magazine just after Kurt Cobain's suicide in 1994. In the book there were stories, pictures, and lots of talk about the influence of the group and what it meant to so many. I bought it hoping to get a closer look at it in the days ahead, especially because of some of the stops I knew we'd be making.

What was most interesting about this find was that even though I didn't get a chance to read the book until I got back to Canada, I had it with me when we drove up the coast and visited the memorial in Aberdeen, WA (Cobain's hometown). I had it in my backpack as I snapped pictures of the Nirvana graffiti under the bridge along the muddy banks of the Wishkah River. It was also with me in Seattle when we visited the EMP Museum and toured the massive collection of Nirvana memorabilia. 

Going through the book when I got back then wasn't just an eye-opening read, it felt a bit surreal knowing that I'd just seen many of the things in person that I now had pictures of in this book. The shots of I took in Aberdeen seemed especially meaningful after the fact knowing more about Cobain's life there. For that reason, this book became an increasingly valuable memento - it ended up symbolizing the experience for me.

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