Fans remember Kurt Cobain 20 years after his death

by: Natasha Chen Updated:


SEATTLE - A steady stream of Nirvana fans paid tribute to Kurt Cobain at a bench close to the house where he committed suicide 20 years ago.

They lit candles, left flowers, necklaces, messages, cigarettes and beer. A guy named Adam left his shoe.

 “You live in Seattle. This is our home team. It's Seahawks and Nirvana and Jimmy Hendrix and Pearl Jam,” said Jordan Morrison.

 Even as Seattle residents treated this as a hometown ritual, people from all over the world made a pilgrimage to the spot on Lake Washington Boulevard.

 Fans appeared from France, Germany, Australia, Indonesia and from across the United States.

 Ian Miles came from Boise, Idaho.

 “It was a formal culture that was given to me, something that actually felt real for once,” Miles said of Nirvana’s legacy.

 Scott Neth remembers April 8, 1994, when Seattle police found Cobain's body above his garage. Cobain was believed to have been dead for three days.

“The kids were driving around, listening to 'Nevermind,' cruising down the streets of the city I went to college in. And I just remember this girl standing up out of the top of the sunroof, and she was screaming and crying,” Neth said.

Almost everyone who came to pay tribute had also seen the recently released photos of Cobain’s death investigation.

Seattle police had four rolls of film developed for the first time in March. The newly released photos showed Cobain’s suicide note and his heroin kit, found within arm’s reach of his body. The police incident report said Cobain was lying on the floor with a shotgun across his body; and a visible head wound.

Det. Mike Ciesynski told KIRO 7, “The new pictures show more clearly a blister on Cobain's thumb.”

He said that indicated Cobain pulled the trigger. Police believe he first shot up with a fatal dose of heroin before placing the 20-gauge shotgun into his mouth.

Ciesynski said the film was developed in hopes that laying this to rest would benefit everyone.

 While some skeptics still say Cobain was murdered, most fans walking up to the memorial bench Saturday felt the photos were unnecessary.

“I don't want to see Kurt Cobain's sneakers. I don't want to see the drug paraphernalia box. We all know the story,” said Neth.

 Instead, they chose what they described as a more personal way of commemorating the anniversary, by reflecting with others in the park.

 “It's really fascinating, there are messages from people all over the world on the bench,” said Angela Giaever. “I think he'll still be in people's memories and thoughts. I think it will be eternal, or Nirvana, if you want to say that.”