Digging up Kurt Cobain

Kurt CobainIn an article in the recent Music Issue of the New Yorker, Robert Christgau reviews Heavier Than Heaven by Charles R. Cross, a new biography of Kurt Cobain. It sounds like it’s a pretty well-researched book and apparently the author had access to Cobain’s “drawings, journals, and numerous unsent letters.”

Christgau mainly praises the book, but he voices two complaints. First, Cross “inadvertently shortchanges” the music of Nirvana by concentrating too much on the life and history parts of the story. And second, it sounds like Cross might have worked a little too hard “augmenting the already plentiful evidence of Cobain’s attraction to stardom,” and didn’t spend enough time trying to figure out the alienated punk philosophy that states that mainstream = shit:

Unlike the indie-rock ideologues Cobain so admired, Cross doesn’t believe that rock’s aesthetic value stands in inverse proportion to its mass appeal. Neither do I, but his argument might have been sharpened if he’d spent more time with the opposition: people like Calvin Johnson, the doyen of indie rock in Olympia, Washington, where Cobain moved to live with his first serious girlfriend; Tobi Vail, the riot-grrrl theorist who became Cobain’s second girlfriend; Steve Albini, who produced “Nevermind” ‘s followup, the raw, cold, edgy “In Utero”; and Bruce Pavitt and Jonathan Poneman, the owners of Nirvana’s first label, the Seattle-based Sub Pop.

Of course, everybody knows it’s not cool to want to be a rock star. You’ve got to create art because it’s just bursting out of you, and you can’t hold it inside anymore, right? Well, apparently that’s not how it was for Kurt Cobain. He actually practiced his guitar. A lot.

So I’m not sure what that really means to anybody. But it’s fairly obvious that he ended up hating being famous. He blew his own head off. It’s better to burn out than to fade away, right? Well, maybe the heroin had something to do with it too. “The official version of Cobain’s heroin addiction described it as off and on, spurred by chronic stomach pain,” writes Christgau. “Cross establishes that this story was a coverup. Cobain was a big-time junkie for all but a few stray weeks of his season in the public eye…”

I remember when I found out that Kurt Cobain was dead that I knew that everybody was going to end up blaming it on the drugs. But I was convinced it was the pressures of fame that did him in. That seemed a lot cooler to me when I was 22. More punk rock for sure. Taking a stand against the Man right up to the end. But now I’m not so sure. Both explanations (fame and/or drugs) seem pretty lame to me now. As the character Nate said in the season finale of “Six Feet Under,” people have to die to make life seem more important. Well, so what do we do with that?

13 thoughts on “Digging up Kurt Cobain”

  1. kurt killed himself because his parants had split up his hid got taken away from him he had fallen out with his wife he got no plesure from the crowd chearing and he was on drugs but the drugs part wasn’t part of it i dont think.

  2. I think Kurt Cobain was a great man and he has been dead for about ten years and he is still selling alot more cd’s than alot of these new rockers and rappers. He just got overwelmed and thats why he killed himself.

  3. I think Courtney Love did it. And I thinks hes a stupid bitch and she deserves to die for doing that to someone as talented as Kurt. I hate her for doing it, if there was a way to prove it I would. And all these stupid opinions on he did it really SUCK. Because look at the facts and figure it out. Courtney Love is stupid. And Kurt wasn’t happy with her crazy ass anyways, he was even going to divorce her dumbass.

  4. I think that Courteny love is a tramp with no soul and that she killed Kurt. I feel so sorry for their daughter Frances that she has to grow up without her father and watch how of a slut her mom is. If you go to

    justiceforkurt.com you will se a lot of evidence that Kurt didn’t comit suicide. If he killed himself then why weren’t there any hand prints on the gun or on the pen that he supposedly left with his “suicide note”.

    I think this is all a scam and there should be justice for KURT.

    Courtney you are a: skank, whore, empty tramp, killer, liar,slut no soul fake ugly bitch dirty an a money whore we know your secret kurt killer. killer.

  5. iused to think that cobain killed himself because i so desperately wanted to believe it. after reading his journals and any other piece of info with his name on it i definatetly think he killed himself. its stupid to say that he was murdered. anyone who still believes it obviously doesn’t know a lot about kurt. read his journals. get inside his head. all of the “evidence” like no fingerprints on the gun is false. there were fingerprints on his gun, they were just smuged. and that crazy fucker who claims courtney paid him to murder kurt was just looking for media attention. i think he died a while ago when he got drunk and choked in his own vomit or something. Bottom line is: he was a very depressed and gifted man who was tired of being raped by the music buisness.HE KILLED HIMSELF.let him rest in piece.

  6. OK so i can see where all this so called “evidence” points to him committing suicide and where others viewpoints and comments lead to that as well, however, they also said that his credit card was missing when they found him and that it was used 2 days after his death when they checked the records…the seattle police also ignored part of the evidence there that day and failed to mention it in their reports.. also why didn’t courtney want to go home when she heard that her husband was missing and claim that she had “business” to take care of in L.A.? that’s bullshit…in light of all these things i think she definitely had something to do with it.

    Although, yes if you read his journal he was miserable…big deal it happens sometimes to a lot of people… yes,he was a junkie, again also happens to a lot of people…yes, he was a bit depressed, and yes he was thinking of leaving the music scene however i don’t think that this was the way of leaving that he had in mind. And if you have read both of the biographies Love and Death and Heavier than Heaven it is as clear as plain daylight to see they are totally different. HTH is mostly about how courtney was a saint for Kurt how she tried to save his life numerous times thus making this book totally bias because the man who wrote it was being paid to write it… and in Love and Death they directly point out her intentions.. and when she read his “suicide” note to all the fans she sounded as if she didn’t give a rat’s ass about it….There is just so much to analyze in this case and i think the cops believed it would take too long and didn’t want to do the work that they should have so they called it a suicide and BAM case closed. It’s bullshit….this was a staged murder and even if the fingerprints on the gun where smudged they will still never know who’s they are…if they don’t know they can’t pin it on suicide or murder but i still think that since the credit card was used days after he died that it leads me to think that this IS a homicide case….with some definite foul play…

  7. I’d love to take credit for the insightful comment above but it is an IMPOSTER–DAH! DAH! DAH! Serves me right though for all my kooky shenanigans. However I have never posted under someone else’s user name. That’s just WRONG unkay?

  8. i dont no what happend to kurt im kind thinking courtney did it but then again im not i hope that she does confess so everyone can live and no what the fuck happend, but whatever kurt rocks

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