Back in ’94, during the heady days of the first Clinton administration, I was bartending at a Ruby Tuesday’s in Towson, Maryland — an okay gig if you didn’t mind wearing black polyester pants (which I did), or making specialty drinks like “The Rubalicious Mudslider!” named by drug-addled corporate marketers soon to find positions in IT. Fact: when an alcoholic beverage recipe calls for a fistful of malt balls and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, the people who came up with that recipe were very likely stoned to the bejesus.
But be that as it may. I was behind the bar at Ruby Tuesday’s ten years ago today, the day Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain ate his gun, and the day my friend Greg Koester stood up on his bar stool, toasted Kurt with a 16 oz blueberry wheat draft and an audible sob, and declared in no uncertain terms that John Lennon had just died all over again — that we’d all just witnessed our generation’s “American Pie” moment, the end to an era in music that would be mourned in perpetuity.
Then he climbed down and ordered hot wings.
Well, I was never really a big Nirvana fan, and I, too, thought Cobain quite overrated as a visionary talent, but now that ten years have gone by, I’ve had a chance to reflect a bit, and here’s what I think Cobain’s legacy is: he doesn’t have one.
Well, other than that every time I see Courtney Love I think, okay, I can see how he’d pull the trigger.
Anyway, today being the 10-year anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death, I thought I’d honor my friend Greg — who later moved to Seattle to work as an assistant manager in a record store (you can’t make this stuff up) — by paying tribute to Kurt.
Which is why for the rest of the day I’ll be wearing a flannel shirt, moping around the house, and accusing my dogs of selling out. Oh. And I’ll only answer to “angst pirate.”
Here’s to ya’, Greg.