The city council of Aberdeen, Washington, also known as the birthplace of Kurt Cobain, yesterday rejected a resolution that would have renamed the town's North Aberdeen Bridge after the Nirvana singer. In fact, they voted emphatically against it, to the tune of a 10-1 vote against officially putting Cobain's name on the bridge that was alluded to in the Nevermind closing track "Something in the Way." In denying the resolution, townspeople argued that Cobain's "drug abuse, suicide, and poor opinion of the city" were reasons not to dedicate the bridge in his name.
For decades (maybe longer?), the North Aberdeen Bridge was unofficially called the Young Street Bridge, and Young Street itself was named after pioneer Alexander Young, yet the council also voted against renaming the bridge after Young officially. (Perhaps they're just sick of putting people's names on things?) As consolation, though, the city council agreed to name the patch of land where some of Cobain's ashes were scattered into the Wishkah River "the Kurt Cobain Memorial Landing." "You want to call it Memorial Landing, fine, but leave the bridge alone," Aberdeen resident Tori Kovach said enthusiastically (via KXRO Newsradio).
Aberdeen is already heavily marked with references to Cobain and his legacy, so it's understandable that they wouldn't want to name a bridge after him as well. The road sign greeting visitors (who are most likely people who want to see Cobain's hometown) reads "Welcome to Aberdeen - Come As You Are," a nod to the Nevermind single. The town of Aberdeen also erected a giant electric guitar sculpture in a nearby park, as well as a controversial plaque near the aforementioned bridge that features some of Cobain's more infamous quotes like "Drugs are bad for you, they will f--- you up." Really.
You can see why Aberdeen would be reluctant to give in on renaming a bridge after Cobain, even if it's the bridge that inspired "Something in the Way." The bridge was a breaking point: Give in on this, and then 10 years from now the Aberdeen council is voting on just renaming the town itself "Cobain." Here's a fun fact: John Elway spent a small portion of his life in Aberdeen, but no one ever talks about that. No one is naming football fields after him there. Aberdeen has its own history, and it's not just Cobain.
[Photo: James Crump/WireImage.com]