The autumn of 1992 was a difficult one for me. We moved to the other side of town and I started a new school. I had no friends yet and was in a broken family. It would only get worse from there, but there was always music to turn to. To fall into and lose yourself like some would to books. I was only 10 at the time but music was always in my house. I, unfortunately, have no talent to play music, even though I have tried. I remember my older brother listening to all his 80’s hair metal. Twisted Sister and Ratt were as common a soundscape as Led Zeppelin and CCR coming from my parents. While I have love for all of those bands they were from a different time. They didn’t speak for me. They never gave me a feeling of belonging.

I have no clue where it came from. It could have dropped from the musical heavens for all I know. One day there was a cassette tape that came into my possession. It had no cover. It wasn’t even wound to the beginning. Half the text was missing. Rubbed off from continued use most likely. I could make out a few of the track names and one word that I would later find out was the album’s title. “NEVERMIND”

Nevermind CassetteIt looked something like this

I took that tape, popped it into my trusty yellow & black Walkman and headed to the park. I never even rewound it, I just played right where whoever had it before me had left it. The audio assault on my eardrums was like nothing like I have ever experienced before. It was raw and grimy. It was slow & melodic as well as fast & rough. It felt important even though I was too young then to realize it. This was all in just the first song I was listening to.


Being a 10 year old kid I took lyrics way more literal back then. I had a very limited concept of metaphors and searching for deeper meaning never crossed my mind. So when I heard “I’m so happy because today/I’ve found my friends/They’re in my head” I was thinking “Yes, these are my new friends and they are literally in my head singing right now”. At that time the song felt to me about someone coming to terms with being lonely and how it wasn’t going to break him. When I got older I learned about the drug side of it as well as mental health issues, which then made the song take on a whole other meaning in my life experiences.

Lithium was the very first song that I ever heard from Nirvana and yet I still had no clue what the song was called, or even the bands name. I played that tape over and over, again and again. I had it for years and eventually it finally wore out. By then I knew exactly who they were though so I could replace it.

Later that year I would go on to meet what would be my best friend at the time, Paul. He would introduce me to hip-hop and we would bond over Dr. Dre’s The Chronic and Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle. Yet I could never fully give up my thing. Nirvana will stay with me the rest of my life. It wasn’t until high school that I had anyone to even share it with. By then though Kurt had been gone a couple of years and other things moved into their place.

Every so often something happens that brings me back to those times. I go back to listening to Nirvana as well as other bands from that era. Mudhoney, Green River, Mother Love Bone, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, etc… Thanks to the new documentary, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, it brought it all back again.

Categories: Featured, Music, Personal

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