“With the lights out, it is less dangerous.” – Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain never travelled far without the safety of his sunglasses. For him they seemed to be a protective layer, shielding him from the prying eyes of the public. A troubled soul, this famous singer/songwriter was inadvertently thrust into the music mainstream as his Grunge styled music was picked up and devoured by millions of fans around the globe. Cobain never seemed comfortable with the fame and spent a lot of his time attempting to avoid the media frenzy which seemed to envelop his very existence. His sunglasses played a large role in his attempts to avoid eye contact with the world.
Nirvana was conceived in 1987. They released their first album “Bleach” in 1989, for which they received recognition from within the Seattle grunge scene and further afield. It was however their second album “Nevermind” released in 1991, complete with the legendary “Smells Like Teen Spirit” which ensured their rocket ride to stardom. By January of 1992, the album had ended Michael Jacksons’ run at the top of the charts, knocking the King of Pop’s “Dangerous” off its perch. Only one more full-length studio album was released in the form of “In Utero” which, although not as financially successful as its predecessor, was a huge success both critically and commercially. “MTV Unplugged In New York” (1993), was the bands final substantial offering, released posthumously to Cobain’s suicide in April of 1994.
Despite Kurt’s troubled journey, his angst and anti-societal views made him an unwitting spokesperson for a generation. Everything from his clothing, to his hairstyle, to the way in which he carried himself was recreated by his legions of fans. One of the most prominent aspects of his style was his choice of sunglasses. Many would claim the styles he chose were feminine in nature, yet another way for the non-conformist to break societal norms. Cobain’s eyewear of choice was the 6558 series cat-eye style in white, black and tortoise shell and the 6556 series round frames, created by Christian Roth.
Kurt’s Face shape best fits into the oval category, despite his chiselled chin. This is quite a versatile shape when it comes to sunglasses and glasses. Frame shapes of choice for this facial type are certain rectangle, round, square, cat-eye, wayfarer and aviator styles. Cobain was partial to both the round and cat-eye frames and donned his trademark choices in various colours. Often insisting on wearing them during photoshoots, they have become a cemented part of his lasting image, burnt into the memories of music lovers everywhere.
With 75 million records sold worldwide Nirvana is one of the bestselling bands of all time. Their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, in their first year of eligibility, is testament to the talent of these men and makes one wonder what else the band could have produced if Cobain had managed to conquer his inner demons. The world lost a true music icon at the peak of his career.