Nirvana did what all great bands do: they made everyone else catch up. Mainstream radio accommodated alternative music's idiosyncracies, in the case of Nirvana the confrontation of Cobain's distorted guitar, vocal roughness, sonic dissonance, and deliberately nonsensical lyrics. Whatever one's view of Cobain, it is undeniable that he set pop music on a new course.
Nirvana remains an influence on all subsections of rock, from alternative to metal, but Kurt Cobain, bizarrely, also shows up frequently in modern hip-hop. In the summer of 2013, Jay-Z sampled some of "Teen Spirit" for his hit song "Holy Grail." But it was pointed out to me that Jay-Z's song is just one of at least a dozen times "Teen Spirit" has shown up in hip-hop or dance music.
It was February 27, 1994 and Nirvana was headed into the fire of the Yugoslav war, no one knowing it would be their second last show. While we waited for our names to be checked at the backstage entrance of a Slovenian arena, we felt a wave of excitement around us as Kurt Cobain and his entourage passed by the glass doors inside.
For a Jewish, middle class, Montrealer, I've spent a lot of my life in the company of the Buddha. I have had an 18-year on-again, off-again relationship with the Buddha. He's been by my side during the ups and downs. I never practiced Buddhism, but I have been a student of the religion for half my life.
The speed with which our world now lives could well put an end to the world of iconic brands. Before all of this connectivity, a great brand could stand the test of time. It now seems like insanity. The Beatles were iconic. Do you believe that any of the musicians today that we admire will be able to leave this kind of legacy? What about companies?