When I got the news, 20 years ago, I was at the UW, at the Odegaard Undergraduate Library. I was an undergraduate! :) I guess I was where I was supposed to be. I was an English major, picking around on the UWIN, checking out some thing called USENET. Nirvana were, of course, my Beatles; this might make Sonic Youth my Stones and/or Pixies my VU, I don’t know. I know that I was still in love with their music, even if overwhelming exposure to “Smells Like…” from MTV and local radio had killed my love for that tune.
The news sucked the wind right out of me. It was the fourth major example of grief I’d been presented up to that point as a young-adult (mom in ‘88, maternal grandpa in ‘91, paternal grandma soon after). I didn’t feel like a family member or a “best friend” had died. I didn’t feel white-hot anger, as I did at 15 when mom died. I felt confused and disappointed, in what I’m still not sure. Maybe myself, for getting so wrapped up in following a celebrity’s life in the press while close relatives were dying?
Age 21 seems like a long time ago now and I’m just fine with that. Here’s how I choose to remember “my Beatles”. Rest In Power, KC.