Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain

Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain

by Charles R. Cross
     
 

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In Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain, Charles R. Cross, author of the New York Times bestselling Cobain biography Heavier Than Heaven, examines the legacy of the Nirvana front man and takes on the question: why does Kurt Cobain still matter so much, 20 years after his death?

Kurt Cobain is the icon born of the 90s, a

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Overview

In Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain, Charles R. Cross, author of the New York Times bestselling Cobain biography Heavier Than Heaven, examines the legacy of the Nirvana front man and takes on the question: why does Kurt Cobain still matter so much, 20 years after his death?

Kurt Cobain is the icon born of the 90s, a man whose legacy continues to influence pop culture and music. Cross explores the impact Cobain has had on music, fashion, film, and culture, and attempts to explain his lasting and looming legacy.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/31/2014
As editor of Seattle's alternative newspaper, The Rocket, Cross had a front-row seat as Nirvana and other artists lumped under the category of "grunge" burst onto the music scene. This unique perspective, which informed Heavier Than Heaven, his excellent biography of Kurt Cobain, is again at work in this insightful volume, published to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the death of Nirvana's front man. Fans of that work will notice a few similarities as Cross inevitably revisits topics such as Cobain's formative years in the small town of Aberdeen, Wash., but these are used as jumping-off points to examine the many ways Cobain's influence on music, culture, and even fashion. In a micro sense, Cobain's addiction to opiates had a ripple effect through the Seattle music community, Cross points out, noting that a handful of musicians were scared straight. In a macro sense, it led to a more holistic understanding of how addiction should be viewed and treated. His suicide, which many feared would inspire a wave of copycats, in reality helped raise awareness about depression. Cross's latest is an excellent companion to his previous work with wide appeal among music fans. In addition, crisis and addiction counselors may find the book worth visiting. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-23
Routine assessment of Kurt Cobain's cultural influence. Editor of the now-defunct Seattle music magazine The Rocket at the height of the city's music scene in the 1990s, Cross (Led Zeppelin: Shadows Taller than Our Souls, 2009, etc.) has written several biographies of local heroes, including the best-selling and critically acclaimed Cobain life story Heavier than Heaven (2001). In this slim book, the author sets out to make the case for six areas in which Cobain's influence was most strongly felt: music (primarily rock, not surprisingly, but also hip-hop); popular culture and media; fashion; the cities of Seattle and Aberdeen, Wash. (the depressed community where Cobain was born and raised); the ways addiction and suicide are prevented or treated; and his legacy among family and peers. The divisions among these areas are not always sharp, and in many cases cited by the author, Cobain can't be credited solely or even primarily. For instance, though the phenomenon called grunge takes up a major part of Cross' attention, he admits that Cobain never considered himself part of that alleged movement, the name of which was popularized by Mark Arm of the Seattle band Mr. Epp and the Calculations. Also, was it Cobain or Nirvana as a whole that was responsible for practically inventing the category of alternative rock for record stores and radio stations? It was, however, undoubtedly Cobain who, with his dirt-poor taste in thrift-shop cardigans, Army surplus plaids and generic ripped jeans, influenced a whole generation of fashionistas like Marc Jacobs and Hedi Slimane. Every so often, fashion resets with a new grunge period of anti-style, and Cross convincingly argues that we have Cobain and his widow, Courtney Love, to thank for that. A perfunctory accounting that reads like a stretched-out Sunday supplement article.
Library Journal
★ 04/15/2014
The "legend" of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain (1967–94) has been studied, theorized, debated, and written about over the last two decades since his death. The irony of the "legend" label and the expectations that come with it is that it is somewhat anathema to the behavior, beliefs, and lifestyle that created Nirvana. While Cross's narrative is not a biography (his 2001 title, Heavier Than Heaven, is), readers will still come to know Cobain through the context of his ubiquitous legacy and its influence on popular culture. This short but intriguing book explores the troubled musician as a kind of muse for seemingly unrelated fields (modern hip-hop, medical studies, high-end fashion) as well as a champion for gay and women's rights and racial equality. Although Cross concludes that Cobain's impact is largely a personal one, this title answers "how" and "why" 20 years after his death Cobain continues to resonate with those old enough to remember him at the height of fame and those young enough to be their children. VERDICT Recommended for long-standing Nirvana and Cobain fans and those who have recently discovered the artist and his band.—Tamela Chambers, Chicago Pub. Schs.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062308214
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/18/2014
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
482,867
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 7.20(h) x 0.90(d)

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