My wife and I have similar taste in music though she has strayed more into 21st century while I still languish in the 20th. I have SiriusXM in my car which has a multitude of music channels to listen too. I listen to basically three, Pearl Jam, Grateful Dead and Deep Tracks which is the classic rock album cuts channel. See, 20th century.
We play a game in the car called what if. What if Duane Allman had lived, John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Gram Parsons, Ronnie Van Zant, what if? I am sure we all have artist we could put on the what if list, but today I am thinking of one in particular because today would have been his 50th birthday, Kurt Cobain.
Cobain committed suicide in 1994 at the young age of 27. He and his band, Nirvana were at the height of their career. Hit records, sold out concerts and money flooding in but for whatever reason it was either too much or not enough for Cobain.
In 1994 I was a 33-year-old father of two, one four-year old and a one year old. My long hair, jean jacket days were well behind me traded in for a coat in tie and a 8 to 5 job. But despite my conformity I could still listen to Nirvana in my car, when I was alone, at full blast and harken back to the days of freedom, the days of being responsible just for me and no one else, days that I gladly gave-up but never really let go of.
So what if, what if Kurt had found the will to live, would he still be making music like his counter part Eddie Vedder is today? Michael Stipe, the lead singer of R.E.M said he and Cobain were talking about working on a project together right before his death. I would have enjoyed hearing that.
We all have our what ifs. In 57 years of living I have a bag full of them and I am sure I will go to my grave with a few more, but what I have learned about life is this, next to every what if is another choice, another direction, another option. Sometimes you can take both, but the vast majority of the times we can’t. We pick the choice, the option that fits best at that very moment, and like everything else, moments change as quickly as the weather.
It’s hard to imagine that Kurt was done at 27 but maybe he had said everything he had to say, maybe he didn’t see the value in playing the what if game. Fortunately I do, I hope we all do. Sometimes we get it right, and those are the times it makes all the difference in the world.