Saturday, April 5, 2014

Kurt Cobain: 20 Years Later

I can still remember where I was when I first heard that Kurt Cobain had shot and killed himself 20 years ago today. With the benefit of hindsight, the fact that an indie band like Nirvana knocked Michael Jackson off the top of the Billboard charts back then doesn't seem so much like a music revolution, as part of a temporary fad for 'grunge.'

Nonetheless, THIS article from CNBC suggests that Cobain's estate is worth over $450M today, in part because Nirvana's music has apparently had more staying power than that of other acts.  They sold 350,000 albums in 2013, and 900,000 singles. An emphasis of this article is the delicate, and sometimes subjective, balance between commercializing Cobain's music and image without undercutting his anti-corporate, anti-celebrity persona.

Below is the new TV commercial for Bavaria beer referenced in this CNBC article, the premise of which is that Kurt Cobain, along with other dead celebrities including Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, and Tupac Shakur, are all secretly hiding out together on a desert island. (I'm not sure that any of them would've loved this.)

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