2/20/2014—Aberdeen, WA, USA
Aaron Burckhart, 51 (left), Nirvana’s first drummer sits with Aberdeen, Washington Mayor Bill Simpson at an event to unveil a statue of Cobain at the Aberdeen Museum of History.
Despite referring to Cobain as a’druggie’ several times, Mayor Young feels it is time for the city to embrace Cobain and his legacy. The event was held on what would have been Cobain’s 47th birthday.
Aberdeen, located in Grays Harbor County, near the Washington State coast, is the birth place of rock legend Kurt Cobain, lead singer of Nirvana. Aberdeen and the neighboring town of Hoquiam, have had a difficult relationship with Cobain’s legacy, with his drug use and suicide causing many in the community to believe he should not be honored. In recent years though, as the 20th anniversary of Cobain’s death approaches and Nirvana is set to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a steady stream of tourists and travelers are coming to the town to see Cobain’s childhood home and other sights. Many in Aberdeen – a place Cobain once mocked as “Twin Peaks without the excitement” – are now embracing him and the city held its first annual Kurt Cobain Day on Thursday, February 20th, 2014.
Aberdeen though, has fallen on hard times. With the slow death of the logging and fishing industries, its downtown is filled with abandoned shops, storefront churches and a steady stream of drug addicts, homeless kids and prostitutes. Most cars pass through the city’s main street, Wishkah Street, without stopping, heading to resort hotels and vacation homes on the Washington coast. Unemployment is high, many homes are falling down or abandoned.
Photograph by Stuart Isett
©2014 Stuart Isett. All rights reserved.