For many, 1994 is memorable for a number of momentous occasions in sports. For the second time in two years -- in an attempt to offset itself from the summer games -- the Winter Olympics were held, taking place in Lillehammer, Norway. Brazil beat Italy in an intense penalty shootout to win the World Cup. And Major League Baseball players went on strike, effectively ending the season.
But for the musically inclined, 1994 strikes a particularly somber note. On April 8, the body of Kurt Cobain was found dead at his home in Seattle, Washington. Cobain, 27, had died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Much like John Lennon, the impact of Cobain's death transcended the music world. Cobain had become the voice of his generation; he was the reluctant hero to a disenchanted youth culture. He represented the early Nineties' ubiquitous turn from the decadence of the previous decade to the stark realism of post-Reagan America. That his death came as a result of the despondency he'd taught a generation to embrace only adds further bitterness to the tragedy.
As one can see from the photo gallery below, grunge had come to infiltrate almost all forms of music media. Even Guitar World could not ignore alternative rock, no matter how minimal the guitar playing. Love him or hate him, Kurt Cobain was an innovator, and the silence of innovation is always a notable loss.