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Discussion Club Intermediate: Kurt Cobain

Discussion Club Intermediate: Kurt Cobain
ex. 1 Before listening study the vocabulary and read the difficult sentences. 
  • ancestry – родословная, предки
  • coincidence – случайность
  • to be in tears – быть в слезах
  • divorce - развод
  • oppressed – притесненный, угнетенный
  • to piss off somebody – раздражать, злить, бесить
  • alienation – одиночество, отчужденность
  • homophobic - гомофоб
  • scoliosis - сколиоз
  • to be grateful for something – быть благодарным за что-либо
  • within the last year – за последний год
  • They would vote me "Most likely to kill everyone at a high school dance".
  • She had been researching our family history.
  • I'd never felt more spiritual in my life.
  • I desperately wanted to have the classic, typical family: mother, father.
  • I ended up hanging out with the girls a lot.
  • It had to do with sexism.
  • It just fit together like a puzzle.
  • It was real devastating, because finally I'd found a male friend who I actually hugged and was affectionate to.
  • Every time I've had an endoscope, they find a red irritation in my stomach.
  • My whole mental state and my physical state has almost improved 100 percent.
ex. 2 Listen to the audio. Do the following exercises:

Complete the sentences
  • to leave somebody alone
  • to research
  • to be in tears
  • spiritual
  • desperately
  • to be compatible with somebody/something
  • to piss off
  • alienation
  • to experiment
  • to hug
  • affectionate
  • grateful
  • to improve
  1. This pain adds to the anger in the music. And I am kind of ______ for it.
  2. I felt different from everybody and I just wanted to be ______.
  3. I ______ wanted a normal family: father and mother.
  4. I even thought I was gay. But I never ______ with it.
  5. When I walked in that town, I was almost ______.
  6. My metal and physical state has ______ 100 percent. I haven't felt this optimistic since the divorce.
  7. Being in the hometown of my ancestors I felt more ______ than I had ever felt before.
  8. It was difficult to find male friends who I would be ______ with.
  9. When I understood what their songs were about, I realized what had been ______ through all these years.
  10. I just wanted somebody who I could ______ and talk about things that concerned me.
  11. I needed somebody who could be ______ and caring.
  12. I tried to express in my songs the anger that I felt and the ______.
  13. This lady ______ our ancestry and told me that our family was Irish.
Finish the sentences
  1. My mother has always tried to keep a little bit of ...
  2. I had a really good childhood until the divorce...
  3. Because I couldn't find any friends, male friends that I felt compatible with, I ended up...
  4. Although I listened to Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin, it took me so many years to realize that...
  5. Although I never experimented with it, I had a gay friend, and then my mother...
  6. So it gives me a back pain all the time, you know. I'm always in pain, too, and that really...
True or False
  1. People in high school thought he was crazy and weird.
  2. He is of an English ancestry.
  3. He never was to the town where his ancestors had lived.
  4. He preferred the company of girls who he felt were always oppressed and disrespected.
  5. He enjoyed the songs by Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin.
  6. His mother forbade him to hang out with his gay friend.
  7. He had a physical defect that he developed because of the weight of his guitar.
  8. He was single during the time of the interview.
Answer the questions
  1. Did he have any problems in high school?
  2. What do you know about his family? Did he have a happy childhood?
  3. What did he say about girls and women in general?
  4. What did he say about his gay friend?
  5. What does it mean "I sing right from my stomach"?
ex. 3 Read the text and answer the questions:
The 27 Club
When famous people die, the circumstances are often complicated until mysteries arise. This is common with the 27s, and it goes back a long way. After Robert Johnson died in 1938, his life was turned into a supernatural legend involving a pact with the Devil. The fact that Johnson and Brian Jones died at the same age as a series of other great performers has encouraged mythologizing. Theories entwine around these unhappy lives, until it becomes difficult to make out what actually happened. Conspiracy theories and mystical explanations have been around for years: Wife Courtney Love hired someone to kill Cobain, the Mafia murdered Jones, astrological influences ordained that they'd all die at 27.
Howard Sounes, the author of the book 27: A History of the 27 Club, says, "That all of them die at 27 is pure coincidence. But you'll find that all six ("The Big Six": Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones) had difficult childhoods. They'd all been doing drugs since they were teens, and most of them showed signs of personality disorders from when they were very young. When fame came, it came fast."
While Cobain was the only member of the six to literally pull the trigger and end his life, the rest of them had been playing Russian roulette for years. "They all had a death wish. Jones suffered from bipolar disorder, as did Joplin. They'd overdosed, been warned that they were putting their lives in danger, but they kept going," Sounes says. "Both Morrison and Cobain were obsessed with suicide, and Winehouse was into self-harming, which is closely linked to suicide and self-destruction."
None had supportive romantic partners. "Not only were their partners weak, but dishonest. The artists were surrounded by the worst kind of people, usually other drug users," Sounes says. "Morrison's girlfriend Pamela Courson lied to the police to cover up her own drug abuse."
Fans find it hard to believe it and they come up with improbable schemes. "When you give your money for an artist's music, or go to support them at concerts, it's an act of love," says Sounes. "When that artist dies, that contract is broken. It's hard to accept that tougher truth."
  1. What do you know about the 27 Club? Do you think it’s pure coincidence? Do you believe it?
  2. What triggered most of these deaths? Do you agree with Sounes about the fact that these musicians were surrounded by the wrong people?
  3. What makes talented people (artists, musicians etc.) do drugs and abuse alcohol? Is it some kind of fashion?