Aberdeen welcome sign

Eleven years after Kurt's death, his hometown embraced the legacy of Kurt. In April 4, 2005 on the anniversary of Cobain's April 5, 1994 suicide, the title of one of Nirvana's signature hits, 'Come as You Are' (it was released on Nirvana's groundbreaking 1991 album, 'Nevermind'), was added below the 'Welcome to Aberdeen' sign near the bluff in East Aberdeen. It's a simple reminder to be themselves.

The sign was paid for and created by the Kurt Cobain Memorial Committee, a non-profit organization created in May 2004 which was founded by author Jeff Burlingame and Aberdeen City Councilman Paul Fritts. It's goal is to of find ways to honor Cobain in his hometown.

'I'm extremely pleased to see our city is willing to shift its focus away from the negative aspects of Kurt's legacy and instead choose to focus on the positive,' Burlingame, The Daily World's Arts & Entertainment editor, said.  'A lack of progressive thinking is what led Kurt and so many others to feel out of place here. This is our committee's first step toward changing that.'

'I think it's a good idea, and it's about time,' Kurt's grandfather, Leland Cobain, told Aberdeen, Washington's local newspaper, The Daily World. 'I drive by there every day and look for it. I have been waiting for it to go up.'

'After getting feedback from Kurt's fans across the world, we settled on 'Come As You Are' because it had dual meanings,' said committee co-chairman Jeff Burlingame, 'Nirvana fans will understand the significance, yet it's vague and appropriate enough that the meaning is applicable to everyone.'

The committee paid $750 for a new 'Welcome to Aberdeen' sign. The old one was rusting and sported a large bullet hole. The sign construction was coordinated through Scott Olsen, the sign technician with the City of Aberdeen.

The committee had originally planned to also incorporate  'Birthplace of Nirvana' into the welcome sign, but decided against it after receiving feedback from hundreds of fans who thought it would be a commercialization of the name.

'Come As You Are' alone is a sufficient tribute to Cobain and his band because 'for diehard Nirvana fans and millions of others who are more casually into the band, it will be easily recognizable upon entering the city, showing Aberdeen acknowledges and appreciates its most popular son,' Burlingame said.