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If you follow Alan Cross's essential Ongoing History of New Music series, you'll know he recently did an episode on alt. rock alternate timelines, posing a series of "what if?" questions and hypothesizing on the possible outcomes of hinge moments in the history of alternative rock.

Needless to say, he was pretty much all but required by law to do a "What if Kurt Cobain had lived?" scenario

Which got me thinking of my own alternate timeline for a living cobain

First of all, the biggest difference between Alan's hypothetical and mine, is that Nirvana would NOT have lasted another year, and would have officially dissolved properly in 1994. If we're being really honest with ourselves, the band would've needed to do so, in order for Kurt to get himself together, overcome his addictions, and be able to function in a healthy way, away from the pressures of the business of rock n' roll and having to maintain a certain image.

So, the band goes their separate ways on amicable terms, Dave Grohl forms Foo Fighters and they exist like they always have for the most part, Krist does his thing, and Kurt retreats from public life for the next two years to a house in the mountains outside of Seattle to clean up and plot a quieter, more introspective acoustic solo album, which is showered with critical praise upon its release at the tail-end of 1996. The rest of the decade for Kurt is dedicated to his development as a visual artist, with him becoming an accomplished and acclaimed painter and sculptor.

And let's just say somewhere along the line in these few years that tired of his wife's constant need for spotlight and public antics that he divorces Courtney Love.

This brings us to 2000, and the Foo Fighters gig in Atlanta that was broadcast on Pay Per View. As a special surprise, Kurt and Krist turn up for the encore on stage with guitars in hand, Dave takes a seat behind the drum kit, and they play a four song mini-set, bookended with two previously unreleased tracks, the last song they were working on and ended up completing before they disbanded in '94 (That song being You Know You're Right) and the other being a fully realized, full band arrangement of an old Cobain solo demo called Do Re Mi. The band announce both a box-set of demos, b-sides, and rarities, and a greatest hits package to be released simultaneously during a post show interview. Both will feature the aforementioned previously unreleased songs,the latter being an entirely new recording that the band reunited to work on under a veil of secrecy.

The music press creams its collective pants over all of this, with articles of speculation about possible tours and new material, but Cobain, Novoselic, and Grohl all insist it was a one-off between old friends, and the live appearance a fun and memorable way to announce the new compilations, that fans had been waiting on for a half-decade by that point

Though Nirvana never reunites in any long-term capacity, the one appearance is enough to motivate Cobain back into music, and starting in 2001, he spends the next decade releasing a string of highly-crafted solo albums, that run the musical gamut, featuring everything from traditional orchestration and strings, elaborate and intense acoustic pieces, to elements of industrial music, and the odd experiment with electronica, all of which the music critics love

In 2011, after contributing rhythm guitar to a song on Foo Fighters' Wasting Light album, he is inspired to return to the electric Rock music he was originally known for, and at the beginning of 2013, he releases Broken Songbook, a record exclusively featuring electric guitars and up-tempo songs, Dave Grohl plays drums on the entire album, and Krist Novoselic is featured playing bass on three songs, including the last one on the album "Existentialist Dog and Pony Show".

The highlight of what little promotion is done for the album is a rare live appearance for Cobain, headlining New York City's Radio City Music Hall, with Grohl, Novoselic and former Nirvana touring guitarist and current Foo Fighters guitarist Pat Smear acting as his backing band, this is all announced a month in advance so it is a sell out. The fourteen track record is played live in its entirety, along with a handful of covers. However, the only Nirvana song played is Endless, Nameless, the hidden track on original copies of Nevermind, which is used to close the set. The show goes so well that another one night only date is announced for The Showbox in Seattle, the same set from the Radio City show is used, except Blew from the Bleach album is the lone Nirvana song to close the show. Recordings of both shows are split in half, making one live record GrimeyNoisySweatyPissyFury and a DVD of the full Showbox performance is also released

Finally, in July of 2015, Cobain makes a guest appearance at the Foo Fighters 20th Anniversary show at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C. Sitting in on drums for a performance of the Grohl-penned Nirvana B-side Marigold.

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