Nirvana deserves its place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its annual list of nominees on Wednesday (October 16, 2013),with grunge legends Nirvana the most notable of the 16 potential candidates. Almost 20 years after frontman Kurt Cobain's death, the Seattle rockers will almost certainly take their place alongside Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley in the hallowed halls of the famous museum in Cleveland, Ohio.
Kurt Cobain with Nirvana
Others considered for entry this year include Peter Gabriel - surely deserving of the honor - Hall and Oates, Yes, The Zombies and the iconic rockers The Replacements. Those who face the ignominious title of being rejected by the Hall of Fame on more than one occasion include Kiss, LL Cool J, NWA, Deep Purple, The Meters, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic and poor old Cat Stevens.
However, it is Cobain's band - now eligible for entry owing to 25 years since the release of their first record - who should and will be crowned hall of famers when Tina Turner judges the nominees next in New York next April. Cat Stevens will look on with feigned grace when Dave Grohl collects the prize. Hall & Oates will be licking their wounds in the corner - The Paul Butterfield Blues Band will just be happy to be there.
As The Guardian's Erin McCann points out, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a popularity contest. It just is - always has been. That's why Nirvana will gain entry and why Nile Rodgers and Chic probably won't. Of course, the disco legends fully deserve their place amongst rock royalty, but the majority of votes will be for Nirvana. This shouldn't take away from the fact that most of the recipients of the hall aren't fit to re-string Cobain and co's guitars.
Emerging from the Seattle music scene and releasing debut album Bleach on Sub-Pop in 1989, Nirvana retain a prominent place in rock myth and legend. After signing with major label DGC Records, the group found immediate breakthrough success with Smells Like Teen Spirit, a single from second album Nevermind (1991).
Cobain was hailed as "the spokesman of a generation," though the attention would dramatically affect his state of mind and the songwriter believed is message and artistic vision was severely misinterpreted by the public.
Nevertheless, the success of the second record provided a platform for Seattle bands Pearl Jam and Soundgarden to wider audiences, though Cobain - unwilling to give the label another Nevermind - challenged his own fans with Nirvana's third record, In Utero. It failed to match the sales figures of its predecessor though was still a critical and commercial success.
Following a tour stop in Munich, Germany, in 1994, Cobain was diagnosed with bronchitis and flew to Rome for medical treatment. The next morning, Courtney Love awoke to find Cobain had overdosed on champagne and Rohypnol. He spent five days in hospital. Love maintains that this was his first suicide attempt.
Later that month, Love phoned Seattle police to inform them that Cobain was suicide and had locked himself in his room with a gun. Police arrived and confiscated several firearms and a bottle of pills.
On April 8, 1994, Cobain's body was discovered at his Lake Washington home by an electrician who had arrived to install a security system. He had used a shotgun to kill himself. A note addressed to his childhood imaginary friend Boddah stated that Cobain had not "felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music, along with really writing . . . for too many years now."
Reflecting on Cobain's death over ten years later, MSNBC's Eric Olsen wrote, "In the intervening decade, Cobain, a small, frail but handsome man in life, has become an abstract Generation X icon, viewed by many as the 'last real rock star'.a messiah and martyr whose every utterance has been plundered and parsed."
Nirvana, easily one of the most influential bands of all time if not THE most influential, should comfortably make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but just in case, we're campaigning for the group to the votes they require. Use the #votenirvana hashtag to spread the word and don't forget to visit one of the three websites below to cast your vote.
According to the Los Angeles Times, as of noon on October 16, nearly 300,000 votes had been cast and Nirvana was leading the field with almost 44,000, just under 15% of the total vote. Not far behind is KISS with 42,000 votes or 14% (that's far too close for comfort) and Deep Purple with 34,000 (11.7%).