Grunge rock legend and Aberdeen native Kurt Cobain would’ve turned 50 on Monday. Celebrating the birth of the local man who became the voice of Generation X while fronting his band Nirvana, the Aberdeen Museum of History invited the public to view a display featuring Cobain, local artwork in his honor, and a huge plywood birthday card for all to sign Saturday.
The local artist was Tammy Franson of Ocean Shores. Her work included several canvas pieces and a large mural that featured images of Cobain and some of his more colorful lyrics and quotes. With her was her cousin, Dolores Erickson of Longview, who just happened to be the whipped cream covered woman on the unforgettable album cover for Herb Alpert’s 1965 release “Whipped Cream and Other Dreams.”
The birthday greetings written by guests were generally short and sweet. A local couple, Nathan and Katie Conner, simply wrote “Happy Birthday” above a heart and their names. Troy Richart of Boomtown Records in Aberdeen signed the giant cardboard card, as did local music scene promoter Wil Russoul and many others.
Cobain founded Nirvana in the late 1980s with bassist Krist Novoselic — who currently resides in Wahkiakum County — and drummer Dave Grohl. The band’s debut album Bleach premiered in 1989, but it was the 1990 release of their second album Nevermind featuring the Gen X anthem “Smells Like Teen Spirit” that vaulted the band into the popular music mainstream, selling more than 31 million copies worldwide. After years of struggling with depression and addiction Cobain was found dead in his Seattle home in 1994 of an apparent suicide at the age of 27.