The New York Times bestseller and the definitive portrait of Kurt Cobain--as relevant as ever, as we remember the impact of Cobain on our culture twenty-five years after his death--now with a new preface and an additional final chapter from acclaimed author Charles R. Cross.
It has been twenty-five years since Kurt Cobain died by his own hand in April 1994; it was an act of will that typified his short, angry, inspired life. Veteran music journalist Charles R. Cross fuses his intimate knowledge of the Seattle music scene with his deep compassion for his subject in this extraordinary story of artistic brilliance and the pain that extinguished it. Based on more than four hundred interviews; four years of research; exclusive access to Cobain's unpublished diaries, lyrics, and family photos; and a wealth of documentation, Heavier Than Heaven traces Cobain's life from his early days in a double-wide trailer outside of Aberdeen, Washington, to his rise to fame, success, and the adulation of a generation. Charles Cross has written a new preface for this edition, giving readers context for the time in which the book was written, six years after Kurt's death, and reminding everyone how fresh that cultural experience was when the interviews for the book were done. The new final chapter will update the story since, regarding investigations into Cobain's death, Nirvana's induction into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, and how their place in rock history has only risen over the decades.
"And there had never quite been a rock star like Kurt Cobain," Cross eulogizes in this celebrity biography. Unfortunately, Cross, former editor of the Rocket, a Northwestern music and entertainment weekly, never proves his claim. Instead, Cobain's story, culled from more than 400 interviews with friends, family and colleagues and exclusive access to Cobain's unpublished diaries, sounds wholly ordinary, from boilerplate adolescent bitterness about his parents' divorce ("I hate Mom, I hate Dad. Dad hates Mom, Mom hates Dad. It simply makes you want to be so sad") and malt liquor, punk rock adorned angst to the tawdry details of his drug addiction. "Even in this early stage of his career, Kurt had already begun the process of retelling his own story in a manner that formed a separate self," writes Cross as he carefully dispels some of Cobain's self-made myths, including claims of living under a bridge, "tales... about his constant abuse at the hands of Aberdeen's rednecks" and harboring an aversion to fame. The many unenlightening observations are often painted thick with sensationalism; other times, Cross trawls the bottom for sources whose credibility and relevance are dubious at best. (For instance, he interviews Cobain's drug-addicted ex-babysitter, Cali, and some of her girlfriends, yielding a depressing she-said-he-said of Kurt's final days.) Conspiracy theorists will speculate about the conditions under which Cross gained access to Cobain's private journals. Complete with gossip and meticulous references, the biography will catch the devotees, though, like junk food, it may leave them feeling unnourished. 16 pages b&w photos.
Customer ReviewsSee All
If you’re a huge fan, and have seen every interview, every concert, every piece of rare footage you can get your hands on, this book is it. This book pieces everything together. So good to the point I feel it should be a movie. A little sad I finished it
Reading this took me back around to my early teen years; you really feel the forgotten angst of the early nineties. I never "knew" Kurt but we all knew those emotions. I still miss the man I never knew even today.
I was born after Nirvana's reign. As never having lived through Seattle grunge era, this book opened my eyes to the heartbreaking life of Kurt Cobain. It is poignant and honest. The ending will put his short life in prospective and change your opinion of this musical icon forever.