No matter how mainstream it became.
A few weeks ago, my sister (she is 13 years old) and I were surfing the net together when a picture of Kurt Cobain came up. “Hey isnt’it Nirvana? Soooo mainstream!!” she said. I looked at her, speechless. I have to say the word “mainstream” in her mouth sounded really pejorative. My heart just broke. “Why are you saying that? -Well, this band is everywhere: t-shirt, bags, pins… Everybody knows it.”
Wait a minute.
I explained to her that before becoming this hudge industry, Nirvana was a band. It means these three guys made music, and a pretty good one. “All these people that got something with this famous smiley or a picture of the band, do you think they know their music? I asked. -Not sure, I guess not. But we know the visual, she said.”
That was my fear. Seeing Nirvana becoming a brand, a logo, does not bother me that much because it means they are famous and I genuinely believe they deserve to be listened over and over. Sadly, it appears that one can have one without the other.
Being 26, I was too young to live the exciting time when Nirvana exploded. Although I spent my teenage years, like most of my generation, listening to Kurt Cobain in my room, singing with him, crying with him. That is why I wish we would learn to appreciate again how honest and passionate they were, before putting a pin on a jacket. We must not forget that in a way, this fame and craziness killed Kurt, because he could not handle it, and for that he deserves to be heard.
Next time I see my sister, I am going to give her a CD (yes a CD, probably the old one I customised back in the days) and will ask her to forget about the mainstream spirit that goes along in order to focus on the music.