Steve Hyden on Kurt Cobain and Axl Rose

My appreciation of Nirvana, and grunge in general, is one of the things that really sets me apart from most of the writers that I read on the internet. It’s an outsiders appreciation. I was born (barely) in the 90’s, and so much of the cultural hallmarks of that decade: Nirvana, The Simpsons, Daria, Fight Club, are things that I came to later. Even though I’m less than a decade apart in age from the people that were teenagers then, the 90’s are in their own way as remote to me as the 70’s or the 30’s. As the old adage goes, there’s no time more remote from the present as the recent past.
It is partly because of this distance that I’m fascinated by Steve Hyden’s (fairly) new series for the A.V. Club on the ascendency of Nirvana and the Seattle sound, “Whatever happened to alternative nation?” Each column looks at one aspect of that zeitgeist, dancing around Nirvana. The most recent column, “What’s so civil about war anyway?” looks at the relationship between Kurt Cobain and Axl Rose. It’s electric. It’s obviously personal territory for Hyden, and he writes both as a fan, and as a person trying to understand the psyche of their younger self. I highly recommend it.

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