There's a line from Knocked Up I think of often these days, when the doorman of a swanky nightclub tells big sister Debbie, "I can't let you in 'cause you're old as fuck... for this club, you know, not for the earth." I know I'm not old - you know, for the earth - but I have felt old as fuck on two separate occasions this year, and both involved Nirvana.
The first occurred on a Wednesday night in March, when my curiosity to see what kind of judges Steven Tyler and Jennifer Lopez made on American Idol outweighed my general dislike of the show. The remaining hopefuls were asked to choose a song from the year they were born, and the performances were all '80s fabulous and predictable until Casy Abrams, a little, bearded redhead with a crazy look in his eyes, hopped onstage with a guitar and began to sing those familiar words, "Load up on guns, bring your friends it's fun to lose and to pretend..."
And that's when it hit me. Children born the year Nirvana released "Smells Like Teen Spirit" are not only old enough to compete on American Idol, the are also capable of growing massively thick, wooly beards.
And I experienced a similar sensation this week when I stumbled upon the Web site of French fashion designer Hedi Slimane and some white-hot, sexy shots of Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain's little girl, looking very grown-up, grunged out, and covered in ink.
Rock stars with beautiful progeny are nothing new, a phenomenon most likely due to the fact that they have a thing for models, you know, "really, really ridiculously good-looking people" that produce equally ridiculously good-looking children. But none, save maybe Stephen Tyler's daughter Liv or Lisa Marie Presley, have remained such a constant source of public fascination.
Perhaps it's her pedigree, nothing short of rock and roll royalty, the daughter of not one, but two hardcore musicians credited with altering the landscape of modern music. Many Nirvana fans in their 30s and 40s, myself included, remember the day she was born, and later, the wide-eyed, cherub-faced toddler being toted around to premieres and events.
And the kid got a pretty raw deal right from the get go. She was jjust 20 months old when Kurt committed suicide, left to be raised by a mother with well-documented struggles with drug abuse and other forms of addiction.
Those struggles have continued over the years, the most recent involving a predictable spat over Frances gaining control of a multimillion dollar trust fund on her 18th birthday.
Love lost custody of her daughter for the second time in December 2009 to Kurt's mother Wendy O'Connor and sister Kimberly Cobain, who have reportedly been a stable source of support throughout the years, and these days the only contact between mother and daughter is said to be by way of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.
But regardless, she seems to have turned out relatively normal, considering the circumstances under which she was raised. And next Thursday, August 18, little Frances Bean will turn 19 years old. Even though that makes me feel old as fuck, it's nice to see a part of Kurt Cobain that lives on, a familiar reminder of her famous father, forever sealed in her piercing, ice-blue eyes.
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