The travel section of this past Sunday’s New York Times (March 30, 2014) had a great piece on tracing Kurt Cobain’s footsteps through Washington State. Author Dave Seminara travels through Seattle, Aberdeen, Hoquiam and all the points in between, looking for past homes, past hangouts and places where Kurt used to retreat to shoot up. It’s good.
Because there are no organized Nirvana tours, I created my own, using “Heavier Than Heaven,” Charles Cross’s masterful Cobain biography, to create an itinerary that I hoped would give me a better understanding of Cobain and his music.
I started my Cobain trip at the Marco Polo, a no-frills motel on the gritty periphery of Seattle that Cobain frequented in his final days, when his heroin addiction controlled his life. According to the 2007 BBC documentary “The Last 48 Hours of Kurt Cobain,” Cobain used to duck out of his mansion in the exclusive Denny-Blaine neighborhood to meet one of his preferred heroin dealers along Aurora Avenue. He would then retreat to room 226 of the Marco Polo to shoot up.