Danny Goldberg, his former manager, launches the book “Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain” (Serving the servant: remembering Kurt Cobain) in which he reflects on the legacy of the singer and the Nirvana group.
Decades after the unforgettable husky voice of Kurt Cobain haunted the world’s radio waves for the first time, the leader of Nirvana continues to delight generations of young people who had not been born when he died. (File: Kurt Cobain, the life of a nonconformist ).
25 years after the devastating suicide of the counterculture symbol of the 90s, his former manager Danny Goldberg affirms that he is finally ready to publicly reflect on the legacy of the pioneer of the so-called grunge rock.
In his book ” Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain ” (Serving the servant: remembering Kurt Cobain) -published this week to mark the anniversary, this Friday, of the death at the age of 27 of the original singer from Seattle- Goldberg remembers a Cobain ahead of his time, whose wit and tender humanity shone through his melancholy and somber personality.
” Her image in the media became a bit distorted and focused disproportionately on her death, and not so much on her life and art ,” Goldberg said.
“He was an incredibly moving singer, his voice conveyed a vulnerability and an intimacy that is rare,” said the manager.
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On 05/04/1994: Kurt Cobain, leader of the band Nirvana, commits suicide at the height of fame with a shotgun shot in the head, being found only about two days later. The body was found by an electrician hired to install safety equipment that broke into a window after he suspected something was wrong. Beside the corpse was found a suicide note written in red ink, addressed to the woman Courtney Love and her daughter Frances. The large amount of heroin found in his body leads a group more suspicious to suppose that Kurt was murdered (because it is not possible for someone so doped to put the gun on the head and pull the trigger). Follow: @gods.of.rock #27club#cobain#90s#1990s#punkrock#patsmear#pat#kurtforever#longlivenirvana#kurtcobainedit#kingcobain#comeaskurt#90sband#jasoneverman#courtneylove#hole#seattle#rocklegend#90srock#alternativerock#nineties#grungemusic#grunge90s#nirvanafan#grungebible#nirvana#kurt#grunge#liveatreading
According to Goldberg, Cobain “tuned into something that helped people feel less ‘freak’ (less), less alone.”
Precisely, that’s why his work is still relevant, Goldberg said, even for teenagers who live in a world very different from the anguished scene of the northwest Pacific coast where Cobain was born.
“He integrates a handful of artists whose art transcends his time,” said the manager, who even indicated that there are young people who today recognize him on the street as a member of Cobain’s inner circle.
The cult of Kurt
The depressing but unique talent that grew up in the humid forests two hours west of the city of Seattle became a rock god suddenly when ” Nevermind “, the second of Nirvana’s three studio albums catapulted the rock band alternative to stratospheric fame and spawned Kurt’s cult.
Goldberg met the guitarist Cobain in 1990, when Nirvana was still not very well known and hoped to win more success with his unique mix of untidy punk, raw metal, and melodies inspired by the Beatles.
” Nevermind ” achieved just that, and it transformed into one of the most successful albums of all time, evicting the late pop star Michael Jackson from the top of the American rankings and making Nirvana divert the direction of pop culture, with new inspiration not only in music but also in fashion and behavior of young people.
In the three and a half years he worked with Cobain, Goldberg witnessed Nirvana’s leap to fame, from Cobain’s wild but warm relationship with stormy punk singer Courtney Love, and from interventions designed to try to make him leave his addiction to heroin.
” I have no idea what unleashed the last weeks of Kurt’s desperation, ” writes Goldberg in his book. “Perhaps it was an intense crystallization of the depressions that had plagued him for a long time,” he said.
” I no longer have the passion, so remember, it’s better to burn yourself than to go out slowly, ” Cobain wrote in a letter found next to his corpse, citing the lyrics of a song by Canadian folk rocker Neil Young.
“Musical genius” But Nirvana’s former manager, whom Cobain considered “a second father,” emphasized that after drug use and depression there was “a musical genius.”
He was also a romantic fool, Goldberg said, adding that he owned not one, but four copies of “The Chipmunks Sing the Beatles Hits,” with the quick voices of cartoon squirrels singing Fab Four songs.
Cobain’s blond, disheveled hair , clear eyes like a swimming pool, and his legendary, ragged brown sweater gave him a slacker look, and Goldberg says that “hid a highly sophisticated intellect.”
“I always knew there was a depth in the energy and the feelings with which I played, it was deeper than just a great refrain, although he wrote great choruses,” he said.
The manager gives credit to Cobain for the defense of women and for helping to “redefine masculinity” in the world of music.
“He could be very powerful and convincing, and at the same time, sensitive and loving, that was a break with the rock orthodoxy of the time,” Goldberg said.
In his memoirs, Goldberg recalls a show in Argentina in which Cobain was infuriated because the crowd booed the band composed of women Calamity Jane, who opened his act. The leader of Nirvana took revenge by refusing to sing the hit of the band ” Smells Like Teen Spirit “.
“The audience did not deserve to be touched,” Cobain said then.
“I was committed to a feminine ideal and respect for all, a sort of antimacho,” said Goldberg, who also highlighted Cobain’s commitment to defending the rights of homosexuals.
“I had a truly alternative version of what it meant to be a rock star, ” the manager said.
The brilliant supernova star that was Nirvana was extinguished with the death of Cobain, but echoes of his brief life persist, and he is placed on a list with great musical icons such as the rocker Bruce Springsteen, the late Beatle John Lennon or the musician and composer Bob Dylan, according to Goldberg.
Goldberg does not want to speculate what Cobain would be doing now if he lived, but it would certainly be something innovative, since “he was always evolving, not just copying himself”.