Kurt Cobain: The JournalsHardback
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- Publisher: VIKING
- Format: Hardback | 288 pages
- Dimensions: 222mm x 274mm x 32mm | 1,220g
- Publication date: 4 November 2002
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0670913707
- ISBN 13: 9780670913701
- Illustrations note: Ill.
Kurt Cobain filled dozens of notebooks with lyrics, drawings and writings about his plans for Nirvana and his thoughts about fame, the state of music and the people who bought and sold him and his music. More than 20 of these notebooks survived his many moves and travels, and have been locked in a safe since his death. His journals reveal an artist who loved music, who knew the history of rock, and who was determined to define his place in that history.
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Kurt Cobain was the singer and lead guitarist of Seattle-based rock group Nirvana. He committed suicide in 1994.
'Don't read my diary when I'm gone,' begin this alternately - or perhaps simultaneously - compelling and juvenile journal. Of course Kurt didn't mean it. Why else keep a diary? Indeed, in the very next line, he says, 'I'm going to work now. Please read my diary. Look through my things and figure me out.' The sense of self-importance mingled with self-loathing pervades these 20-odd (sometimes exceedingly odd!) notebooks. Here was an artist who loved music, who knew the history of rock, and was determined to secure his place in the pantheon, even if he had to blow his brains out to do it. The hand-written, ring-bound pages are filled with crossed-out drafts of songs, set lists, drawings, writings about his plans for Nirvana, his thoughts about fame, the state of music (it sucked), heroin addiction (that sucked too), the people who bought and sold him and his music (they sucked), and, touchingly, lists of his favourite songs and bands (Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Gang of Four, the Stooges and so on) which at least reveal a side we can all relate to. Frankly, the spidery scrawl is a bit wearing on the eyes, but printing the ramblings of a smackhead in legible typeface might have revealed it for the banal navel-gazing it is. 'Words suck,' says Kurt. 'I mean, everything has been said.' But he says it anyway, just in case. Occasionally, a barbed arrow strikes its mark. But then what does the strike rate matter? If you're a Nirvana fan, you're going to buy it. If not, there's probably a real-life Donnie Darko living next door who would appreciate it (it's even got a black cover). The last word belongs to Kurt: 'I made about five million dollars last year.' Oh well, might as well shoot yourself then. (Kirkus UK)