Kurt Cobain's 'journals' Reveal Troubled Rocker

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Postby dazed410 » Sun Oct 27, 2002 10:43 pm

Ernest A. Jasmin; The News Tribune

Last month, a whirlwind of speculation and controversy swirled around the "new" Nirvana song "You Know You're Right."

A few weeks ago, that song - recorded just months before lead singer Kurt Cobain's 1994 suicide - mysteriously surfaced on the Internet and quickly made the leap to FM radio. It debuted after months of legal wrangling between rocker Courtney Love - Cobain's widow - and the surviving members of Nirvana over how the material should be released.

Just as the furor around that song settles - and Universal Music Group prepares to officially release it on a greatest hits CD next Tuesday - Cobain's legacy has again become a source of contention, this time because of a book.

"Journals" (Riverhead Press, $29.95) is due in bookstores Nov. 4. It is a raw collection of journal entries, rough song lyrics, letters and sketches - unedited and reproduced in the singer's original handwriting.

The Oct. 28 issue of Newsweek contains excerpts from "Journals," as does the Web site for the British magazine The Observer (http://www.observer.co.uk).

"I like punk rock," reads one entry. "I like girls with weird eyes. I like drugs.

(But my Body won't allow me to take them.)

"Hope I die before I turn into Pete Townsend," reads another.

Love loaned the notebooks from which "Journals" was distilled to Seattle author Charles Cross as he researched the Cobain biography "Heavier Than Heaven" (Hyperion, $24.95) - which kicked off the resurgence of Nirvana mania when it was released last year.

"No one had really looked at the journals prior to me looking at them," Cross said this week. "So I bear some responsibility in this outcome."

He wondered how valuable fans will find the uncut material, which ranges from coherent descriptions of events to stream-of- consciousness ramblings and simple lists. "I think the thing that people need to understand is they're not diaries like some teenage girl would keep locked in a drawer," he said.

The most poignant parts of the journals detail Cobain's struggle with heroin addiction. "Drug use is escapism, whether you admit it or not," Cobain writes.

"That was heartbreaking," Cross said. "Anybody who thinks drug addiction is something you'd wish on your worst enemy won't when (they) read what Kurt has to say about it. ... It certainly doesn't glamorize it."

Newsweek reports that Love likely received around $4 million for the rights to publish Cobain's journals. The sale quickly became controversial among some fans and friends of the late singer.

Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic distanced himself from the book. His manager, Corey Moore, told Newsweek, "He just feels it's wrong to talk about something this private. He doesn't want to be involved with these diaries on any level."

Rasmus Holmen - who runs the popular fan Web site Nirvanaclub.com - plans to buy the book, but he said he has mixed feelings.

"On one hand, I think it's great that we get to read these journals, get a better understanding of Kurt, and learn a lot of new facts - not only about him but also about Nirvana," Holmen wrote in an e-mail.

"Then, on the other hand, I think it's wrong that Courtney is releasing his personal journals. Who knows whether he would have approved of that? After all, he wrote down a lot of private thoughts that weren't intended for millions of people around the world to read."

Ernest Jasmin: 253-274-7389

Fans favor book's release

• The fan Web site Nirvanaclub.com recently ran a poll asking, "Do you think it's a good idea to release a book containing Kurt Cobain's journals?" Out of 16,318 votes, 72 percent said yes, while 28 percent said no.

On the Web

•You can read excerpts from Kurt Cobain's journals on the Web site for England's The Observer magazine (http://www.observer.co.uk) and in the Oct. 28 edition of Newsweek.


<_< I kinda feel bad, I would hate it if someone published my journal after I died. I think I might die again :blink:

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Postby skulking » Mon Oct 28, 2002 7:41 pm

Yeah, im with you on that Dazed410. I wouldn't want people to look at my personal thoughts, but from what i know about him and how Kurt loved Courtney. I don't think he would mind so much. Especially after the way he left her and Francis with his suicide.

The fans might appreciate reading more into his life, but i find that his music speaks volumes to us still today. If you don't believe me just get out one of their records and listen to it. You might be surprised as too how awesome the music is for being done back in the 90's . That's the thing about great music, no matter what it never dies. It almost seems to get better wih the ages!

If Kurt didn't want to write it down, he wouldn't of. So if people do see it they should be considered lucky for getting a chance to look into the mind of a misunderstood music genius.

Truely a bummer.

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Postby dazed410 » Mon Oct 28, 2002 7:54 pm

yea, I totally understand what you're saying. I know that Kurt really loved all his fans, and you're right, the way he was always coming off to his fans was very personal. He might really not have minded, but I still, it just feels wrong whenever someone's real journal is published because to me it seems so wrong.

I know this has nothing to do with Kurt, but even with someone like Anne Frank, I felt guilty reading her dairy, especially the personal parts where she is describing her body. I mean, sometimes people right down very personal and private things for one one person to ever read, that person being themselves.

So yes, I see both sides, and I myself, being a huge Nirvana and Kurt Cobain fan, am kinda of intrigued by what the journal pages might reveal to the public, I see your point about the music a lot stronger. For me, music is really the most cleansing and wonderfull tool of all and I don't know what I would do if someone told me I couldn't have that anymore. I express myself through music and I feel like it almost expresses me as well.

Okay, I won't go on forever, although I could easily, I just wanted to say I agree with you; old music never dies; Nirvana, the Beatles etc. will live on and continue to morph and change the world of music forever more.


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Postby MoRtiCia13 » Tue Oct 29, 2002 8:37 pm

kurt expressed himself best through words...i'm sure he's not in nirvana pissed off that those who cared so much about him and his music are reading his thoughts and feelings of those moments in his life. words and music...music and words...u can feel his pain when u hear his songs and u can feel it just as strong when u read his words.

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Postby angeleyezBSB » Wed Nov 13, 2002 7:35 pm

It says right on the cover, of the actual notebook "If you read this, you will judge". I thought that was so true.
I read some of the entries and I thought it was amazing, yet sad.


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Postby dazed410 » Wed Nov 13, 2002 10:58 pm

angeleyezBSB wrote:"If you read this, you will judge".

oooh that's kinda nice, I like that quote. I acutally just wrote that on the inside flap of my journal.... :blink:

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Postby renee » Wed Feb 12, 2003 2:27 am

has anyone read his biography? i found it a great insight to what motivated his songs.....from living w his dad and feeling out of place up to the days of him learning the guitar and finding his own sound......to the drugs that put him in a state where his writing was 'out there' but at the same time went deep into things most people wouldn't talk about let alone write out......

if you read the lyrics to some of his songs there are lines that just don't seem to make sense as far as word to word and the whole concept, but there was just something about his voice and the melodies and rhythms of his songs that i loved......

but the drugs really took over his life no matter how many times he tried to stop....and he would plummet into depression alot......it's a sad story

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