On April 8, 1994, Kurt Cobain was found dead in the greenhouse above his garage at 171 Lake Washington Boulevard in Seattle.
But even 18 years later, he remains the most vital icon to emerge from the whole overhyped and oversold '90s grunge craze. Maybe Cobain really was "The Last Real Rock Star."
He's inspired two decades of copycat haircuts. Even more copycat bands. A billion pages of published rock 'n' roll journalism. A monument in his hometown that reads "Welcome to Aberdeen - Come As You Are." Even a quasi-biopic by indie auteur Gus Van Sant.
And next month during Art Basel Miami Beach week, the forever-young Nirvana leader will serve as the inspiration for KURT, "a multi-discipline exhibition and study of the late Kurt Cobain," headlined by Thurston Moore.
As the main member of Sonic Youth, a central figure on the SST Records scene, and a contemporary of post-punk gods like Black Flag, Dinosaur Jr., and Meat Puppets, Thurston was bigger to Cobain than Elvis and Kiss combined.
And eventually, they became friendly acquaintances, even co-starring in essential early-'90s rock doc 1991: The Year Punk Broke.
So it's entirely fitting and eminently awesome that Moore will be closing out KURT.
Earlier in the evening, though, the exhibition will also give arty types and indie vets the opportunity to witness the world premiere of a 12-minute short film entitled KURT, created by contemporary artist, Seattle native, and James Franco collaborator Adarsha Benjamin.
Then before segueing into Thurston's set, there will be a 15-minute reinterpretation of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video by bad boy Los Angeles choreographer Ryan Heffington, all set to an original soundtrack composed by Guy Blakeslee of L.A. indie band The Entrance.
In his final message to the world, Cobain wrote, quoting another of his heroes: "It's better to burn out than to fade away."
But it seems Kurt's still burning.
KURT. With Thurston Moore, a dance performance by Ryan Heffington, and a short film by Adarsha Benjamin. Presented by the Friends of Gusman-Red Curtain Series, Olympia Theater, and Onward Forward. Thursday, December 6. Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 E. Flagler St., Miami. The event begins at 8 p.m. and tickets cost $25 to $50 via tickets.gusmancenter.org. Call 305-372-0925 or visit gusmancenter.org.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.