Nirvana – Bleach (1989)
I lived in the Sluice House on the edge of the Dark Ink, a wild lake on the edge of the Sodium Glare, a town in the midlands of nowhere. Ever since I can remember I appropriated what the Sodium Glare made of me, I didn’t think about it, I just allowed it. That, is the most dangerous thing that you can do. I guess I was seeking my Querenica, but man I sought it out in the oddest places, places where it could never have been, and time was always running out, by the end I was almost all Minotaur. I am not sure where to start, it’s all so confusing, but I think stuff started to go south in around Kurt’s death, April 1994. I feel kind of foolish saying that, because you’re already thinking this guy likes Hemingway and went over the edge because Kurt Cobain killed himself and he’s so naïve and I’m going to stop reading. Hey, I agree, I was naïve, but I was eighteen years of age and I’d loved that guy since I was twelve or something. Jesus. You see I got into Nirvana before anybody, seriously, well before anybody on this side of the Atlantic. I know everybody says that, nobody wants to be the guy who fell in love with Kurt when he was on MTV Unplugged, no, everybody wants to be there from the start, or as early as is possible that they can tell lies about and safely get away with it. Well, get this, my aunt Rudy lived in Boston and used to write to me before she disappeared, she used to tell me all about her life over there, her job, the city, gigs she went to, stuff like that. In one letter she wrote about a gig she went to at a tiny club called Green Street Station on Jamaica Plain and a band called Nirvana. She included a copy of the band’s album – Bleach. Jesus. That was July 1989. She said they weren’t the best band live but that Kurt had no guitar because he had broken it the night before and that the guy filling in for him struggled to keep up. That was Jason Everman, the guy on the front sleeve of Bleach because he paid for it or something. Later I would come to know that I had far more in common with Everman and all the Cellini stuff than Kurt who I thought was like my twin or something. Rudy told me to check out Kurt’s voice, man, I dug that growl. I thought he was going to look like Henry Rollins. I started lifting weights listening to Bleach, ha, what a surprise I got when I eventually saw him at the Top Hat in Dun Laoghaire a couple of years later supporting Sonic Youth. Rudy loved Black Sabbath, so I reckon that’s why she dug Nirvana so much and included their record for me. Man, that record blew my mind. I played it until the tape shredded. Jesus. It was great to hear that record before Nevermind, most people didn’t get to do that. Thanks Rudy, oh, but if you are alive and you get to read this, can you just write to me? Anyway, I’ll tell you a little bit more about Rudy later, it’s interesting stuff, it really is, her and The Pooka. Jesus. Anyways, I loved that record, songs like School, Negative Creep, About A Girl, Love Buzz – Jesus, they really got me, they were like the Everly Brothers gone punk. And get this, I can sing pretty much like Kurt, I’m a crap guitar player but I can sing like him, I really can. So, why am I telling you all this? Well, I’m showing you that I wasn’t some chap who liked Smells Like Teen Spirit and so when Kurt died, cried a little and then tells dudes that he nearly killed himself too. No, man, it was like losing my best pal. Seriously. Jesus. So, maybe you’ll cut me some slack with it and with Hemingway, because I know literary types are not supposed to like Hemingway after you start shaving but man, I was a peculiar kid, you’ll see just how peculiar and I’ll tell you, Hemingway and Kurt, well, they kind of helped to get me through a lot of bullshit.