Kurt Cobain was not built to last. If someone had somehow prevented his suicide, which happened 18 years ago today, it’s still hard to imagine any scenario in which he’d still be alive today. He’d already tried suicide once. With his addictions, his depression, his stomach problems, and his general inability to deal with his own sudden fame, it seems likely that he would’ve tried it again, or let something else take his life. Cobain was never a Keith Richards type; he never took any visible joy in his own excesses. And with everything we know about him today, it’s possible to read just about every Nirvana song as a cry for help, or a signal that he didn’t much care for sticking around. But with the news that Will Fetters, the screenwriter for Clint Eastwood’s forthcoming A Star Is Born remake (which may star Tom Cruise), is reinventing the role and making it about an aging Cobain-type figure, the question comes up: If Kurt Cobain had somehow figured out a way to survive until 2012, what would his life look like? Courtney Love has some thoughts on the subject.
In Spin, Mark Yarm, writer of the recent grunge oral history Everybody Loves Our Town, writes that Love gave some unsolicited images of a 45-year-old Cobain in their interviews together: “We’d probably live on the Upper West fuckin’ Side now and have three fuckin’ kids. We might even have a divorce, like both be on our third marriage. I don’t fuckin’ know. He might be a playwright, [or have] his latest show in MoMA… I’d have a 16-year-old son and be his model wife. Given the money that is involved here, we could probably have had a fuckin’ yacht. We could have gone open marriage at some point. I don’t fuckin’ know.”
Courtney Love, of course, is not the most reliable source for anything at this point. Still, that image (other than the “model” part) seems as likely as anything else. What do you think the current-day Cobain would be doing? Let us know in the comments section.