Brian’s Nirvana Tour of the U.S. North West Part Three: Aberdeen

Posted: August 25, 2016 in Nirvana Maps and Locales
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As most fans know, Aberdeen was the home of Kurt Cobain during his childhood, in which Kurt stated in interviews that he never felt accepted in, among other negative statements. After visiting, I can tell you that Aberdeen has come around in the past few years in embracing Kurt in various ways. Whether its through its yearly Kurt Cobain celebration, maps to various Kurt related spots in its History Museum, or at “Kurt Cobain Landing,” there are tributes to be found for any Nirvana fan. 
 
The town itself is fairly secluded from the overall population of the United States, and still certainly has its struggles with the homeless population, some boarded up and/or burned homes, run down business, among other concerns. However, perhaps Kurt would have had a slightly more positive perspective of the town if he had grown up in the Aberdeen of 2016. While there are currently no music stores, nor tons of places to really go and hang out for locals, there was an overall peaceful and laid back vibe to be found through much of the city. This is a town that while still in need of more modernizing, was not the gloomy and depressing place (at least not during my visit) that it is often made out to be.
 
1210 East First Street Aberdeen, WA USA (Kurt Cobain’s home from the time he was a toddler until his parents divorced when he was about 8 years old) – nice but dated yellow home, looks just as it has been pictured for some years online. Still up for sale, but not advertised anywhere on the property of the house itself. The curtain was slightly open on the right side of the home where the living room is, so I took a quick look. The interior of home still has the 70’s style, with brown carpeting in the living room where the fire place is. There is a small left side alley as well as rear alley access by car. Street parking also available in front. Only a few blocks from the Wishkah river (Young Street) bridge and Kurt Cobain Landing aka Kurt Cobain Memorial Park.
 
609 West Second Street Aberdeen, WA USA (Melvins former rehearsal space where Kurt Cobain frequented + sometimes slept in a cardboard box on the patio when he needed a place to stay according to stories, and former(?) home of the family of Dale Crover of the Melvins) – red home with no trespassing sign on front of house. Tough to imagine Kurt sleeping in a cardboard box there (no patio in front of home, only steps up to front door), however house is a good size which stretches to the back, where there may be a patio in back.
 
1000 1/2 East Second Street Aberdeen, WA USA (the first house Kurt rented of his own) – building was condemned and torn down in 2009. Short walking distance of a few blocks from Kurt’s Moms’ house (1210 East First Street). Previously sat behind a larger home in a corner where the road curved. Wouldn’t know a home used to be there nowadays without knowing about its history. Now the spot of the building is just an open spot in what passes as a small backyard for the larger home in front.
 
1120 Fairfield Street Aberdeen, WA USA (former Nirvana bass player Krist Novoselic’s home) – down the road on top of a steep hill (aka Think-of-Me-Hill). Very nice large, white and green home. Possible to walk there from the Young Street bridge at the Wishkah River (Kurt Cobain Landing), with the only tough part being the long walk up Think-Of-Me Hill. A big step up from where Kurt was living in Aberdeen.
 
Rosevear’s Music Center Aberdeen, WA USA – now permanently closed. (Guitar store where Kurt got his first guitar) was located in 3 locations over the years – 110 E Wishkah st (now Coastal Print Works), 211 E Wishkah st (now a religious store) & 224 E Wishkah st (now a bank). I looked for the star of Kurt on the Aberdeen Walk of Fame on the sidewalk that was said to be where the store used to be, but could not find it. However, I found many other stars walking the East & West Wishkah St including one of NFL legend John Elway.
 
The Pour House – 506 East Wishkah Street Aberdeen, WA USA – also now permanently closed. Home of Nirvana’s (an early incarnation) only Aberdeen gig must have recently closed. The long blue building is there with the name still on front, but all of the windows are boarded up. Pour House is a bit tricky to find if driving. It is near downtown Aberdeen just over the main downtown bridge. 
 
Nirvana Mural – around 300 East Wishkah Street Aberdeen, WA USA – (Added in September 2014 with Krist Novoselic and former Nirvana drummer Aaron Burckhard appearing at the unveiling) – a great addition to the downtown Aberdeen area, covers much of Nirvana’s history as well as name checks tons of bands Nirvana either played gigs with and/or were influenced by. Shows bass player Krist Novoselic & drummer Dave Grohl in the center with a 1992 concert photo of Kurt with his back turned to the viewer in between. Obviously purposely done to not exploit Kurt’s memory, however a photo is painted of Kurt as a child near the center on the left side as well. Lots of inside Nirvana related messages on the sign that only a dedicated Nirvana fan would be able to pick out the meaning of, including Dave Grohl’s “Chaka” bass drum from the Smells Like Teen Spirit music video.
 
Krist Novoselic’s Mom Maria’s Hair Salon – 107 S. “M” Street, Aberdeen, WA USA – (Nirvana held rehearsals here upstairs on the 2nd floor) – green building near the heart of downtown Aberdeen, is currently with the windows boarded up as well. No business are currently located there. Could pass for a two story home from the looks of it from the outside.
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Aberdeen Museum of History – 111 East Third Street Aberdeen, WA USA – (Museum with various Kurt Cobain/Nirvana related artifacts) – free Museum that covers Aberdeen’s history in nice detail. There are some cool Nirvana related items here. They currently include the couch Kurt used to sleep on when he stay at Lamont Schillinger’s home in Aberdeen in the mid 1980’s. There is also the bench that used to sit in Viretta Park outside Kurt’s residence at 171 Lake Washington Boulevard East in Seattle. The bench in Viretta Park is apparently changed every so often due to the large amount of graffiti and tributes written on it from Nirvana fans around the world. The museum started selling t-shirts of the writing from the bench in its gift shop. In the exhibit there is also a large Kurt poster. Info I’ve never read anywhere online: There used to be a statue of the “Crying Kurt Cobain” that local Raymond, WA sculptor Randi Hubbard made on display in Aberdeen. Randi’s husband Bob & her own Hubb’s Muffler shop at 2208 Sumner Ave, Aberdeen, WA USA where the statue was on display from 1994 to 2014 until the Aberdeen Museum of History took it into its collection in April 2014. However, that statue is no longer there in the museum. I asked about its whereabouts and was told the artist “took it back.” I was then told that a replacement Kurt Cobain statue should be done soon, which will be put on display in the museum. There was a Kurt drawing on display of what the sculpture should look like when it is finished. It is Kurt circa 1993, sitting with his hand against his face, looking bored. The lady said the new Kurt statue is being made by the museum’s curator and spoke highly of him, Mr. Dann Sears. In the gift shop, I found a pamphlet the Museum was giving away to museum goers talking about Kurt related sites in Aberdeen. The Nirvana related items being sold in the gift shop at the time of my visit were a “Nevermind” puzzle, “Nevermind” CD’s and $25 t-shirts of the “Kurt Bench.” 
 
I decided to email Mr. Dann Sears about the new Kurt Cobain statue he is making for the Aberdeen Museum of History. Here is his reply. Outside of a few locals who might be aware of this working at the museum, this is new exclusive info for the Nirvana community. Check it out:
 
“Brian,
Yes we had a large concrete statue of Kurt Cobain here for a short time. Due to circumstances beyond our control, the “Concrete Resurrection”, as it was named by the artist was removed from the museum.
The life size figure, I am now working on will be ready by Kurt’s birthday which is also Aberdeen’s annual “Kurt Cobain Day.”  Considering my schedule and work load the figure is developing nicely. I have attached a copy of the beginning sketch of the figure. I will depict a younger Cobain sitting under the Young Street Bridge with his journal or sketch pad, behind him will be a scrim (Screen), when the light comes on behind the screen the rest of the Nirvana members will fade into view. We are trying to step around a lot of the negativity, and concentrate on his creativity and what he accomplished in his short life span.  
Thank you for your interest in the “Music of Grays Harbor” exhibit.
Dann Sears”
 
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“Welcome to Aberdeen Come As You Are” sign – (Done as a tribute to Kurt Cobain from the residents of Aberdeen, WA USA. Come As You Are was added to the bottom of the sign in reference to the Nirvana song, but as a more subtle reference than just saying “Home of Kurt Cobain”) – sign is on the entrance of Aberdeen furthest from Hoquiam and that leads you through their downtown area if you keep going straight. The sign has a small area you can park just off the road to see it up close. It is not a real parking spot, however. Just a dirt sport in the grass where other cars have previously parked. The sign looks a lot bigger close up than I imagined. 
 
 
Kurt Cobain Landing – under Young Street Bridge separating North & South Aberdeen, WA USA. (Spot where Kurt hung out and immortalized in the Nirvana song “Something In The Way.” Also referenced in the title to the 1996 Nirvana live album, “From The Muddy Banks of the Wishkah.” Now home to Aberdeen’s Kurt Cobain memorial.) Known as Riverfront Park, this spot is very short walking distance from Kurt’s old home (1210 East First Street Aberdeen). If driving up, at the end of a dead end street in a residential area with no real parking spots available. Park where you can. The “park” is very small. Basically a section of land between the last house on the block and the bridge. You will find a green bench near the water, a Kurt Cobain “Jag-Stang” statue with lyrics to the song “On A Plain” attached, a purple metal stand (called Kurt’s Air Guitar), a small table with seating, a plaque on the ground with Kurt Cobain quotes, another sign on a pole with lyrics to the song “Something In The Way,” a sign about the park itself, and the Young Street bridge which you can walk under with fan tributes and Nirvana/Kurt related graffiti with a sign that reads “From The Muddy Banks of the Wishkah” attached to the bottom concrete of the bridge. If you pay attention, you will also find two “Kurt Cobain Landing” signs and “KC Park” written on all 4 sides of a metal enclosure for the trash can. The area is well maintained and had no shortage of Nirvana fans coming to visit every 10 minutes or so during my 2 stops there. In my opinion, the best Kurt related site in Aberdeen.
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