I was watching a scene from the Guns n’ Roses 3D concert movie scheduled to be released later this year, and I found myself to be the only person in the room that liked it. Not coincidentally, I was also the only person in the room who wasn’t a native Seattleite, didn’t have a beard, and never thought Kurt Cobain was all that.
Kurt Cobain was like that shithead kid who came in at the beginning of first grade and sanctimoniously and precociously announced that there was no such thing as Santa Claus, and did it with this super-sneery attitude, as if to say, “I can’t believe you cretins haven’t figured it out yet…you were fools for believing it at all.” But then, rather than telling that kid to go screw, everybody just said, “Oh,” and quit enjoying Christmas for the rest of forever.
I was there when it happened, and it sucked.
Just when the rest of us were having a hell of a time wearing black leather and having complicated, asymmetrical hair and standing around clubs looking cool at each other, in mopes Kurt, bedecked in flannel and denim, trudging up to the mic:
“Uh…rock is not supposed to be fun. Assholes.”
The members of the audience looked at each other, then back at Kurt, then back at each other. And there we stood in our spandex and ripped jeans and nose rings, hosed down to the point of flammability in Aqua Net. And people put down beers down and shook their heads: Wow. Shit. Kurt’s right. Rock is not supposed to be fun. We’ve been doing it all wrong. Wipe that smile off your face. Let’s get real and go to the mall and buy a bunch of flannel.
And that was that…for a lot of people. But not for all of us. In some parts of the world, some bold souls stood their ground. They got the memo…they just didn’t give a shit. Never mind what some malcontent junkie in the Pacific Northwest says. Who cares? He’ll be dead in a couple years anyway.
Which he was. Deader than shit. A damn shame, but we didn’t kill him, and we don’t want to mourn. We want to rock. It’s all we’ve ever wanted, and it’s what we’re going to do. Like Dave Grohl.
And like Axl.
Axl, like rock, is tougher than Santa Claus…he won’t go away just because you don’t believe in him. In fact the less you believe in him, the less he goes away. I like that. That rocks.