Serving the Servants: Remembering Kurt Cobain by Danny Goldberg (4 out of 5)

I spotted this mentioned in an article somewhere in March. I emailed Cathy S from Harper Collins and asked her to send me an advance. She did one better and sent a finished copy! I was thrilled. This book was released on April 2, 2019, a few days before the 25th anniversary of Kurt’s passing. It’s available in hardcover, published by Ecco, an imprint of Harper Collins. And thank you to Cathy for sending me a copy!

Anytime I see a new bio on Kurt, I cringe. Not from dislike of the subject matter, but from what the author may or may not do to his character. I’ve read many great, good, and ugly books about Kurt, Nirvana, Courtney Love, and his suicide. While many know my thoughts on all of that, any time another book comes out, it’s all dredged back up. Realize, future Kurt biographers, that while he was an unwilling icon, he was still a human being. His wife is still alive, and his daughter is in her twenties now. They have to contend with all of these new things coming out, and that’s got to suck donkey balls. It’s nice when a book comes out that reminds us of the simple truth- Kurt Cobain was a human being first. Danny Goldberg’s book reminds us of that fact.

Danny Goldberg is a well known and respected music industry personality. He was also, more importantly in this context, a friend of and manager of, Nirvana. Goldberg tells us about his history with the members of Nirvana, and extended family and friends of Kurt Cobain. We get to learn Kurt all over again, through the eyes of someone who was considered family, despite being involved with Nirvana in a professional capacity (Kurt’s thoughts on press and media persons were well known to lean toward outright annoyance; some of those instances recounted for us again by Goldberg). You also get the inside view of his relationship with his bandmates, fans, mother, wife, and for an all-too-brief time, his beloved daughter. That’s one of the hardest parts of the last third of the book; the decline of his momentum into heroin again and the sadness overtaking the bright and shining star known as Frances Bean. While you’ve read about it in hundreds of books and publications, it’s somehow hardest to read about when it’s retold from Goldberg, who many regard as a legitimate cog in the Nirvana wheel. It goes without saying that this is one of the more personally felt books I’ve read about Kurt. Goldberg succeeded in taking the focus off of the Kurt & Courtney media circus, murder conspiracies, and the like. It was so nice to just read a book about how much of a misunderstood, lost guy he was, despite having the world at his feet. I would absolutely recommend this to any Nirvana/Kurt fan who wants to get to really know who he was. Goldberg does a hell of a job helping us meet the real guy behind the group. It was nice to be reminded of Kurt’s humanity again, and not the circus sideshow that many made him out to be after he married Courtney. More to him than that, and I’m so happy that Goldberg wrote this book so many get to see that.

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~ by generationgbooks on April 19, 2019.

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