I’ve been missing the point of Nirvana for years. They were punk rock in disguise, or not in disguise at all. I was a punk fan and I did not know it.
Kurt Cobain and his widow Courtney Love continue to baffle me. Especially Courtney, it seems during every interview she reveals something new. Something once undiscovered is brought to the fore. Recently, she was on Opie and Anthony’s show on SirusXM. I think she truly has lost her soul mate. I didn’t realize how close they were. I don’t know what that feels like, but I can see she has been floundering for years and years. I think we have all seen this with regard to her. Courtney was completely her true, sober-ish self during the morning she spent with the boys. They were ever so good to her, despite the shit they talked before her arrival. They were only talking shit because she was talking crap about them on another radio show down the hall. In their defense, I must state these facts about the situation around her inevitable arrival on the show. It was a revealing and wonderful interview that they did. I was proud of them for the work they did and the love (pardon the pun) they provided to her. She talked about Kurt’s guitars that were no longer in her possession, some in storage, some that were sold, others that were in places unknown. All of this information was upsetting to me. Love sounded good though. She had reconciled some of her relationship with her daughter, Frances. Their lives have not been an easy ones. I feel for both of them. I know the difficulties of relationships and how that taxes the emotions. Though I have not walked in their shoes, I have stepped out in similar ones.
Another person that developed a close relationship with Cobain is someone quite unexpected. During a Podcast hosted by Joe Rogan. he interviewed Bobcat Goldthwait, Goldthwait opened for Nirvana in their early days on the road. He spent some serious time with Kurt one on one. I wish he would tell more of those stories. Bobcat has been interviewed by Marc Maron, as well, but he seems to begin his stories about Kurt and then bail on them. Bobcat is afraid to let out too much information on Cobain. I respect and understand where he is coming from as a person. He wants to protect the innocent and respect the dead. I protect peoples’ secrets for a living. I am firm believer in the person speaking for themselves. It seem Goldthwait subscribes to the same philosophy. It is important that people feel protected, safe in the skin in which they inhabit. We all deserve that assurance as does Ms. Love, and all others in the public eye.
With all this talk about Cobain, and upon flipping the channels one day months ago, I watched a Nirvana concert from 1992. It appeared on the VH1 Classic channel. Nirvana’s punk rock element became so clear to me. My mind was completely blown. I listened to the concert, and everything that I believed when they played together in the 1990s just melted away. Up was down, right was left. I was wrong about their music. They were far from alternative. Immediately I thought, I had to get Cobain’s journals from the library.
Last night I finally borrowed the book that contained his journals. I am sure that he would have never approved of the decision to publish these private musings, mixed with drawings, and lists of music that inspired him (the Melvins, Beatles, Fleetwood Mac and Ice Cube). The handwriting appeared slightly different from entry to entry. The images he drew are also compelling. He was quite an artist and cartoonist. He is quite good at depicting his moods, his guitars, describing musicians, bands, etc in cartoon form. He took the world heavily and lightly in these journal entries. There are letters and lots of details to unpack, not unlike any other person’s journals or diaries. It was all over the place, yet in the same place at the same time. In other words, it was just right.
Who’s decision was it to reveal what should not be revealed, and betray Kurt’s trust? That was Cobain’s story to tell, and he did not have the ability to make the decision to publish this tome.
So I know what you are thinking, what right do I have to read this book? You are not abiding by your own beliefs in privacy? Well, you are most definitely right, dear reader. I am no better than the publishers of the book, nor those that made money from it.
We are all walking contradictions.
I am seeking and searching for some meaning in this world, where I feel like a tumbleweed blowing in the wind. I am a seeker. I will leave no stone unturned. I am a creative type. I want to know the why and how behind what people like me feel or felt. I want to know how they channeled their creativity, so I can find ways to channel mine. I do not plan to share what I have read in Cobain’s journals to anyone. I am a keeper of secrets, as I said above, in a previous paragraph. I just need to know what made him tick, because we have so much in common (debilitating stomach conditions, feeling and being different, and a bunch of other things which I choose not to elaborate on). I journal too. I kept my journals from elementary school, much to my mother’s chagrin. (Where are you going to put those, Kara?) It is my personal archive. I don’t know if people will read my journals. Certainly, i will place something in my will so they are sent to the appropriate repository, whether it be with my dear brother, or with an institution, for safe keeping. If they are made available, I hope they help someone.
I hope that Kurt rests in peace, as always. I wish that Courtney find peace. Bobcat has found his voice, and his peace through his work as a director and filmmaker, in spite of a early self-destructive career path (see also: setting couches on fire on late night TV). Check out Bobcat’s new movie Willow Creek . It is about Sasquatch.
I will continue along the road to seek my peace, keep privacy alive, love, and learn from others.
Thanks for reading my words, and putting up with my contradictions. Alas, I am only human and cannot live up to everyone’s expectations.