In Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain, Charles R. Cross, author of the New York Times bestselling Cobain biography Heavier Than Heaven, examines the legacy of the Nirvana front man and takes on the question: why does Kurt Cobain still matter so much, 20 years after his death?
Kurt Cobain is the icon born of the 90s, a man whose legacy continues to influence pop culture and music. Cross explores the impact Cobain has had on music, fashion, film, and culture, and attempts to explain his lasting and looming legacy.
As editor of Seattle's alternative newspaper, The Rocket, Cross had a front-row seat as Nirvana and other artists lumped under the category of "grunge" burst onto the music scene. This unique perspective, which informed Heavier Than Heaven, his excellent biography of Kurt Cobain, is again at work in this insightful volume, published to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the death of Nirvana's front man. Fans of that work will notice a few similarities as Cross inevitably revisits topics such as Cobain's formative years in the small town of Aberdeen, Wash., but these are used as jumping-off points to examine the many ways Cobain's influence on music, culture, and even fashion. In a micro sense, Cobain's addiction to opiates had a ripple effect through the Seattle music community, Cross points out, noting that a handful of musicians were scared straight. In a macro sense, it led to a more holistic understanding of how addiction should be viewed and treated. His suicide, which many feared would inspire a wave of copycats, in reality helped raise awareness about depression. Cross's latest is an excellent companion to his previous work with wide appeal among music fans. In addition, crisis and addiction counselors may find the book worth visiting.