I had a friend named Greg who lived in the neighborhood. Greg was a year or two older and was absolutely obsessed with Nirvana. He had every b-side (even the super rare Hormoaning EP), poster, shirt and even a powder blue Jag-Stag guitar.
The day Kurt died I happened to be next door at another friends house just hanging out. They lived in a duplex and I remember going outside and seeing Greg sitting on the step red-faced and crying. I asked him what happened and he told me the news. It was shocking to hear but not unexpected. Later that evening my dad took me and my brother to the mall and we picked up some Nirvana memorabilia.
At this point in my life I mostly listened to metal. The only punk that interested me was the Sex Pistols and maybe Rancid. I was still figuring out whether or not I liked the whole grunge thing. But Nirvana...I liked Nirvana, a lot. I didn't realize it at the time but Incesticide and all those b-sides Greg owned more or less introduced me to punk.
I remember sitting in study hall with my best friend Josh in 7th grade singing "Sliver" for no good reason. The very first song I learned on bass was "Lithium". I will never forget the Nirvana 1992 VMA performance - Krist's bass-to-head smash, stage diving, guitar smashing, "Hi Axl, Hi Axl" (video below) - it was the most punk rock thing I ever saw.
By high school, about a year after Kurt's death, I was rocking full on Cobain gear - One-Stars, flannel, band shirts and I even grew my hair out. For a few years if someone asked me my favorite album my answer was Bleach.
In 9th grade I started my first band, coincidentally it was the last year I played sports for my school. It wasn't solely because of Kurt but he was a huge factor in my transformation. That first band eventually became a metal band but it started out punk. We sounded a whole lot like Incesticide at first. In fact I'd say that Nirvana was that band that made my generation go, "I can do that". For the punks in the 80's that band was The Ramones. For people my age I'm going to have to say that band was Nirvana.
I never saw Nirvana live and that's a tragedy. I started going to shows about the same year he died so it bums me out that if he hung in there one more year I would have seen them play. I have never stopped listening to Nirvana and I never will. It's cool to see new bands coming out that are clearly inspired by Nirvana (whether they know it or not). JEFF The Brotherhood is one of those bands and the guitar reminds me of Kurt every time I hear them.
Most bands from my youth I've lost interest in, or at least I'm not as rabid about them as I used to be. However, Nirvana is one of those bands that I learn to appreciate more and more as I get older. I hate to be another asshole that compares them to The Beatles but it's true. The impact they had and the simplistic beauty and timelessness of those songs can only be compared to The Beatles.
Well, that's all I got. RIP Kurt.