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When I was a six-year-old boy, I had a neighbor who had a lot of musical gear that his dad protected like it was part of his body. One day, we got into an argument and he told me he would shoot me with his dad's shotgun. I ran home screaming and crying for my mom and she spoke with his Mom and our friendship was ruined forever.
Along the next few years of music classes and DJ gigs and junk, my mind could never escape music even though I hadn't practiced an instrument consistently. I secretly loved to sing but was scared of being called a faggot or something. The funny thing about that is I was named after my dad and my dead uncle, who was a singer in the Navy and unfortunately died of AIDS.
Every time I talked to my Dad about Nirvana, he would spew out the regular ropes of conversation told about the man, being he was a dirt bag and absolutely devoid of any worthiness to mention. I would go along with this thinking, but something always told me there was more to this story and that he would eventually play a huge role in my influences.
Something I really loved to (and still do) is go into head shops or music shops and flip through the poster selections. It always gives my imagination that little extra spark. Of course, many pictures would pay homage to Kurt's impact on music. This one particular shop in Lake George, NY called Silvermine North was a big influence on me. Being a kid in a head shop, it wasn't about searching for ways to get high or anything. It was more about loving the incense, candles, and buying patches for my patchwork coat.
There was a point in time where I found this mound of wax in the store and it had been a conglomerate of candle melting that was brought together by the Death of Jerry Garcia and that made me mighty intrigued. I wanted to do the same thing, except mine resulted in pretty much burning the upstairs of my house to a degree. This was a fright that put a lot of my art on a standstill and it ate me up inside. I was gifted a guitar that Christmas and I tried to learn but my attention span couldn't get me to stay focused, so I used to just wail on the thing and make it as noisy as humanly possible.
After doing a few lessons, but eventually getting pulled because I was so uncoordinated, I watched the v-wing collect dust as I experienced a grueling battle between my parents divorce.
Just around seventh grade, I started to listen to a lot more heavy punk rock and ska like GG Allin, Mustard Plug, The Toasters, the Aquabats, and Black Flag. That was curated by hanging around with the "Bad Kids" and damn did I love those times because they were a lot older than me and seemed to really understand the pain. There was this one moment where I had a sort of punk rock moment where this kid told me I didn't make the baseball team and I smashed a milk carton in his face. Then I proceeded to cry and attempt to beat up another kid. I bet it's way more strict for kids in that school and that sucks because that aggressive fuel made me who I am today haha.
I vividly remember this boat cruise where my Dad played "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and he had to cut the music 'cause the kids were moshing too hard. Silently, I wanted to join in and tear people apart with the power I knew I had within.
Then high school ended. I went to college and had a hard time and the real moment things started to happen was at Boston Calling Music Festival in 2015. Some passing kid told me I looked like him and then the glass broke. I brushed it off for a while until it happened again at the Oneonta Bagel Companies' shop. I was leaving and this girl told me I looked like Kurt and at that exact moment "Lithium" was playing on the radio. I rushed home like Charlie after he found the last golden ticket and searched up the documentary by him and was absolutely memorized by the distinct similarities. I had gone to Oneonta to study Audio Engineering and Music Production so this kind of puzzle piece was not to be met lightly.
As any new Nirvana fan, I became completely obsessed by the idea of being possessed by the Dude. I consistently watched interviews, listened to different cuts, taught myself everything there is to know, and I still know it goes deeper but it really gives me a whole-hearted sense of satisfaction to really get to know Kurt through this informational medium and how we shared so many insecurities.
It goes without saying that I have some sort of personality disorder but in that sense this man's life helps me hang on and bring about a sense of worthiness to my own life and to figure out how to break barriers in any field I choose to plow through.
This experience really influences me to listen to people when they talk to me and see what kind of art they can conjure up or even if they care to because I feel everyone is intelligent, everyone has a passion, everyone is artistic and Talent is an absolute fallacy.
If I had to say anything, I would say thank you to him and hopefully when old age/ death strikes or some kind of schizophrenic hallucinations lets me talk to his spirit further, I say with all my heart, thank you Kurt for helping people like me.