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Axl and Kurt: More alike than they were different


Vincent Vega

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In the 90s as we all know there was a massive feud between Kurt Cobain and Axl, and thus also between GN'R and Nirvana. This occurred both in the public and behind the scenes. Initially, Axl LOVED Nirvana, even before they were famous, and tried to promote them (wearing a Nirvana cap in the Don't Cry video, asking Nirvana to open for GN'R, inviting them on the GN'R/Metallica tour, asking them to play at his birthday). He went public and said that Nirvana's music had helped save his life.

Kurt responded by deriding Axl and GN'R for their sexist, racist and misogynistic lyrics, for their excesses, and went on to attack their music, saying that GN'R's music in and of itself sucked. He became obsessed with bashing Axl, bringing up Axl's name in interviews that had nothing to do with Axl and doing things such as he and Courtney registering in a hotel under the name of "Bill Bailey" and ringing up thousands of dollars in services at the Hotel, mocking Axl's dance moves on stage and even telling fans that they couldn't be fans of both GN'R and Nirvana; they had to pick a side.

Axl of course went nuts and reactionary, burning his Nirvana cap on stage, blasting Alternative music and the whole concept of it, blasting Kurt Cobain and their "bitch junkie wives", Slash even got in on it with jokingly playing the riff to Smells like Teen Spirit live briefly.

Both lit up the music scene from the late 80s to mid 90s and then suddenly left the public in 1994, Kurt by suicide, Axl by chosen reclusion. Both men left the music scene right as they were hitting their musical stride...Right at their peak, and robbed the world of their musical prime. Both of them altered music in fundamental ways in their time, although Nirvana's effect was longer lasting. Both were huge in their times, both inspired and were beloved by millions of kids and young people all over.

But beyond that, I think Axl and Kurt were more alike than either caused to realize. Both were social rejects before becoming famous. Both were bullied and mocked for who they were, raised in environments that didn't accept people who were different. Both were the losers in high school, or the outcasts, or the weirdos. Kurt was often insulted by jocks as being "gay", and Axl was considered such for liking the Rolling Stones after Mick and Keith french kissed on Saturday Night Live. Both came from messed up homes, dysfunctional homes; Both dealt with severe depression and flirted with suicide--sadly Kurt succeeded. Both were tortured guys who took things to heart and had the weight of personal dysfunctions and fame get to them--Kurt became more and more depressed and suicidal, Axl withdrew from society. Both had a disdain for fame in certain ways and both hated the image of the rock star even in spite of both making millions espousing that image. Look at Axl's rant in Chicago in 1992 for his views on being a "macho man rock n' roller"--He hated being pigeonholed into that and wanted to grow beyond that. Kurt hated the whole idea. Axl always--even as early as the late 80s--loved the undedog. He was championing bands such as Faith No More, Soundgarden and Jane's Addiction as the "future of music" as early as 1989, going so far as to try to get Jane's Addiction signed to Geffen; identified with and admired Nine Inch Nails as early as the very early 1990s, when most Rock N' Rollers were still listening to AC/DC and Metallica.

I could go on but I'm tired but I believe the loss of Kurt--forever--in 1994 and the loss of Axl from the public eye in 1994 at the height of his fame and creative powers--is a cultural loss, akin to when Morrison, Hendrix and Joplin died. Axl and Kurt's music was very different, no doubt, but I believe both were equally as brilliant as the other and might've come to understand each other better as time went by if Kurt had lived.

I don't think we'll ever see rock stars as gifted as Axl and Kurt for a very long time, and I believe that Axl's descent into seclusion and bitterness and Kurt's death both hammered nails into the cotton of Rock Music...Axl and Kurt were truly among the last rock tragedies, both ripped away, in different ways, when they had immense talent and something more to say....

Edited by Indigo Miser
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the problem with kurt is the guy had no respect at all

axl tried to help nirvana before nevermind hit and when it did offered them a place on the bill with metallica

i cant help buy feel axl tried to help nirvana as much as he could and kurt being a childish drugged up lost soul just used it all as a joke to try and get himself in the papers

for a guy who claimed to hate the spotlight he sure did love to fuck with the media

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the problem with kurt is the guy had no respect at all

axl tried to help nirvana before nevermind hit and when it did offered them a place on the bill with metallica

i cant help buy feel axl tried to help nirvana as much as he could and kurt being a childish drugged up lost soul just used it all as a joke to try and get himself in the papers

for a guy who claimed to hate the spotlight he sure did love to fuck with the media

The point is Axl and Kurt are/were lost souls.

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the problem with kurt is the guy had no respect at all

axl tried to help nirvana before nevermind hit and when it did offered them a place on the bill with metallica

i cant help buy feel axl tried to help nirvana as much as he could and kurt being a childish drugged up lost soul just used it all as a joke to try and get himself in the papers

for a guy who claimed to hate the spotlight he sure did love to fuck with the media

First Cobain never wanted to have the spotlight. So it is no surprise that he opted not to tour with Axl.

Secondly, I think Cobain never respected Axl. I think he saw Axl for who he is; a narcissist asshole. Cobain didn't like it, nor did he like Gn'R musically so I can't blame his decision to opt out. If anything I respect him for doing that. There's no point in opening for a band you don't think are good anyway.

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Guest Len B'stard

I think it's a load of shit. If you wanna find parallels in people, ones that do similar jobs are similar ages come from similar backgrounds with similar racial thingiemajiggies then it ain't too fuckin difficult...but no, chalk and cheese, Kurt was an important artist on a level that Axl can never approach.

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the problem with kurt is the guy had no respect at all

axl tried to help nirvana before nevermind hit and when it did offered them a place on the bill with metallica

i cant help buy feel axl tried to help nirvana as much as he could and kurt being a childish drugged up lost soul just used it all as a joke to try and get himself in the papers

for a guy who claimed to hate the spotlight he sure did love to fuck with the media

First Cobain never wanted to have the spotlight. So it is no surprise that he opted not to tour with Axl.

Secondly, I think Cobain never respected Axl. I think he saw Axl for who he is; a narcissist asshole. Cobain didn't like it, nor did he like Gn'R musically so I can't blame his decision to opt out. If anything I respect him for doing that. There's no point in opening for a band you don't think are good anyway.

I dont think thats true at all. Kurt definitely wanted the spotlight or he would of pulled a Pearl Jam and opted out of videos, and the whole MTV cycle of that era, but he didnt. He was just as much in it with In Utero as he was with Nevermind. Just as much as GnR hated everything about sunset strip and all the Poisons, Faster Pussycats to set themselves apart from that scene. so did Nirvana with what they saw GnR as when they exploded. It's a smart move to act like you dont give a shit, but when you're doing whatever your publicist and MTV tells you to do its kinda hard to act like you ont give a shit to me..

Pearl Jam exploded and were all over the place with 10, but Eddie Vedder quickly realized it wasnt for him and you never saw another video again

Edited by Download
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I think it's a load of shit. If you wanna find parallels in people, ones that do similar jobs are similar ages come from similar backgrounds with similar racial thingiemajiggies then it ain't too fuckin difficult...but no, chalk and cheese, Kurt was an important artist on a level that Axl can never approach.

That is one thing you and I will always agree on. Cobain was miles ahead of what Axl will ever be.

Edited by arnold layne
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One big dissimilarity between the two is Axl beat his drug addiction, Kurt didn't.

For all of Kurt's criticism of Axl, he eventually came to embody the very same rockstar cliches and stereotypes he had eschewed for so long.

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I think it's a load of shit. If you wanna find parallels in people, ones that do similar jobs are similar ages come from similar backgrounds with similar racial thingiemajiggies then it ain't too fuckin difficult...but no, chalk and cheese, Kurt was an important artist on a level that Axl can never approach.

Also, Axl had well and truly past his peak by 1994. -_-

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We had the Cobain discussion months ago. And the thing is- Axl fucklng hated Nirvana & Cobain big time. Nirvana sucked and Axl tore them and "alternative" music apart. In fact- Axl may hate Nirvana/Kurt as much as he hates Slash.

Edited by Snowmass
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We had the Cobain discussion months ago. And the thing is- Axl fucklng hated Nirvana & Cobain big time. Nirvana sucked and Axl tore them and "alternative" music apart. In fact- Axl may hate Nirvana/Kurt as much as he hates Slash.

:rofl-lol:

Axl didn't 'tear him apart', more like Cobain tore himself up. I would also say that Nirvana certainly did not suck and eventually alternative killed Gn'R. You sound bitter.

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We had the Cobain discussion months ago. And the thing is- Axl fucklng hated Nirvana & Cobain big time. Nirvana sucked and Axl tore them and "alternative" music apart. In fact- Axl may hate Nirvana/Kurt as much as he hates Slash.

:rofl-lol:

Axl didn't 'tear him apart', more like Cobain tore himself up. I would also say that Nirvana certainly did not suck and eventually alternative killed Gn'R. You sound bitter.

I'll find the audio/video of Axl ripping them when I get to a computer. Bitter- no. I just hated the whole grunge deal and am glad metal (and Axl) still live. Grunge was a passing deal for a few years. PJ is decent. The rest of em....not so much.

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Axl was just mad because Cobain didn't want to deal with his shit. He doesn't really hate Cobain.

Didn't wanna deal with Axl's shit? Isn't Cobain (grunge) the one who constantly bitched about GnR, and life. Listen to grunge lyrics- life sucks, respect women hug a tree, go green, everything sucks.......! Pretty sure Cobain hated the fact that Axl had hot models everywhere and total party 24/7.

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Axl was just mad because Cobain didn't want to deal with his shit. He doesn't really hate Cobain.

Didn't wanna deal with Axl's shit? Isn't Cobain (grunge) the one who constantly bitched about GnR, and life. Listen to grunge lyrics- life sucks, respect women hug a tree, go green, everything sucks.......! Pretty sure Cobain hated the fact that Axl had hot models everywhere and total party 24/7.

Cobain may have been depressed but he didn't punch people with cameras or start riots.

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We had the Cobain discussion months ago. And the thing is- Axl fucklng hated Nirvana & Cobain big time. Nirvana sucked and Axl tore them and "alternative" music apart. In fact- Axl may hate Nirvana/Kurt as much as he hates Slash.

Oh, FFS, not this again? Axl LOVED Nirvana and wanted to befriend Kurt, all the negativity he ended up spewing was a result of Kurt rejecting him and hurting his feelings. The end.

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We had the Cobain discussion months ago. And the thing is- Axl fucklng hated Nirvana & Cobain big time. Nirvana sucked and Axl tore them and "alternative" music apart. In fact- Axl may hate Nirvana/Kurt as much as he hates Slash.

Oh, FFS, not this again? Axl LOVED Nirvana and wanted to befriend Kurt, all the negativity he ended up spewing was a result of Kurt rejecting him and hurting his feelings. The end.

Pretty sure Axl didn't boo hoo when Cobain "rejected him". WTF- more Axl vomited Cobain up. Cobain/Nirvana were the anti Axl/GnR. Get over it....there was no love affair.

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All that talk of Axl championing those alt rock bands early on makes me more disappointed that we never got music from him in the '90s when he was still really influenced by that shit. I think it would've been awesome to hear a NIN/Nirvana/alt rock in general influenced GNR album.

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