Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain

Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain

On the twenty-fifth anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death comes a new perspective on one of the most compelling icons of our timeIn early 1991, top music manager Danny Goldberg agreed to take on Nirvana, a critically acclaimed new band from the underground music scene in Seattle. He had no idea that the band’s leader, Kurt Cobain, would become a pop-culture icon with a legacy...

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Title:Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain
Author:Danny Goldberg
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Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain Reviews

  • Nick Younker

    Goldberg reminds us that massive success for an artist isn't the only thing that goes down as legend. It's the view from just outside, that person breathing fog rings on a window and sucking them away, listening through the aging panels that do little good keeping the noise in. A rare glimpse inside the mind of a cautionary tale: Too big, too fast.

    He didn't need to have serious chats with Kurt to know how he struggled, why he struggled or how intense his struggle was. He lived alongside another

    Goldberg reminds us that massive success for an artist isn't the only thing that goes down as legend. It's the view from just outside, that person breathing fog rings on a window and sucking them away, listening through the aging panels that do little good keeping the noise in. A rare glimpse inside the mind of a cautionary tale: Too big, too fast.

    He didn't need to have serious chats with Kurt to know how he struggled, why he struggled or how intense his struggle was. He lived alongside another human being, empathy strong as ever, feeling a hint of his pain, seeing a glimpse of his vision. Vice-versa.

    No one's gonna accuse him of being his brother or his father. But he was there, helping him get it done. I think I appreciated Goldberg’s own point-of-view and his own happenings as much as I did Kurt's. It's not always the star that goes down in history, ‘cause in this book, this is Goldberg, this is HIS-story.

    Respect.

  • Kristin

    Serving the Servant by Danny Goldberg is a first-hand account on the Seattle grunge movement that catapulted a contemplative Kurt Cobain into superstardom. And, suicide. Deeply damaged by his meteoric rise to fame and drugged out of his mind, Cobain’s tragic death 25 years ago has forever changed the music industry and remains a cautionary tale for all seeking the seductive spotlight. While Goldberg’s intimate insight on Cobain’s mental instability is painful to read at times, especially for thi

    Serving the Servant by Danny Goldberg is a first-hand account on the Seattle grunge movement that catapulted a contemplative Kurt Cobain into superstardom. And, suicide. Deeply damaged by his meteoric rise to fame and drugged out of his mind, Cobain’s tragic death 25 years ago has forever changed the music industry and remains a cautionary tale for all seeking the seductive spotlight. While Goldberg’s intimate insight on Cobain’s mental instability is painful to read at times, especially for this Grunger, I’m still left wondering…what if? And, it sucks.

  • Jenny (Bookbookowl)

    I was fifteen years old when Kurt Cobain died.  I still remember exactly where I was, who I was with and what we were doing the very moment the news came over the radio.  In a short time, Nirvana had shaped much of the music I adored in my teenage years, and still love today, so when I received Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain from Hachette Australia for review, to

    I was fifteen years old when Kurt Cobain died.  I still remember exactly where I was, who I was with and what we were doing the very moment the news came over the radio.  In a short time, Nirvana had shaped much of the music I adored in my teenage years, and still love today, so when I received Serving the Servant: Remembering Kurt Cobain from Hachette Australia for review, to say I was excited would be an understatement. 

    I found a lot of the intricate ins and outs Danny Goldberg laid down about the music industry a little tedious at first, but once I got into the swing of the stories and heartfelt descriptions of Kurt's personality, I was hooked.  There was so much about Kurt Cobain that I didn't know, and I thought I knew a lot.  As a fifteen year old in the early nineties, I didn't take much notice of the fact that he was a feminist and a supporter of gay rights - it just wasn't something on most teenagers radar then (although nowadays teens seem much more worldly and outspoken about important issues).  I loved reading about his views and the way he rejected other rock stars who showed racist, sexist and homophobic viewpoints in their lives and music.  If I thought I couldn't love Kurt any more than I already did, this alone proved me wrong.  

    The explanations surrounding Kurt's viewpoints on 'reverse snobbery' in the underground indi music industry really resonated with me too.  That's something that certainly still goes on today but Nirvana were instrumental in bridging that gap between so many different music lovers.  

    Danny Goldberg writes about Kurt in such an endearing way, almost like an older brother would lovingly describe his rascally younger sibling.  He admits on several occasions in the book that he is biased when it comes to thoughts about Kurt, because he loved him so much and his pain when discussing Kurt's addiction is obvious.  He doesn't hold back on talking about the sadder parts of Kurt's life and personality, but he does such a great job of celebrating the intelligent, incredible music genius that resided inside him. 

    Danny's description of Kurt as a quiet, funny person, who could switch to depressive episodes so quickly, showed the obvious mental health challenges he faced.  It was devastating to read how the pressures of instant stardom and media witch-hunts took such a toll on both Kurt and Courtney and inconceivable that it was only 3 years from the time Nevermind was released to Kurt's death.  The ripples Nirvana made in the music world have lasted well into the current day and I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who loves their music.

    ~

  • britt_brooke

    I honestly can’t believe it’s been 25 years since Cobain’s death. I was 12, and can remember my older brother’s utter devastation. Cobain’s friend and former manager has penned an intimate look at the brilliant, but troubled artist during the peak of Nirvana’s fame through his tumultuous last days. This is an honest and touching tribute, though admittedly biased (naturally). It’s an excellent companion to the extremely detailed Michael Azzerad biography.

  • Tony

    The first 2/3 read like a Wikipedia page. I suspect John Silva would be able to fill in many of blanks encountered here. I grew tired of reading other people’s accounts, largely already known, about the past.

    The book redeems itself once the Vanity Fair interview is discussed. From that point forward, the book is engaging and provides many unknown details without devolving into a gossipy tabloid. My main gripe is that it took so long to hit its stride.

    The last third of the boo

    The first 2/3 read like a Wikipedia page. I suspect John Silva would be able to fill in many of blanks encountered here. I grew tired of reading other people’s accounts, largely already known, about the past.

    The book redeems itself once the Vanity Fair interview is discussed. From that point forward, the book is engaging and provides many unknown details without devolving into a gossipy tabloid. My main gripe is that it took so long to hit its stride.

    The last third of the book is essential for Nirvana fans, but those same fans will likely be uninterested in the early chapters.

    Oh, and Danny, Ozzy doesn’t have “famous” tattoos of ‘love’ and ‘hate’ on his hands. The tattoo on his hand is literally OZZY — Kurt and Dave were paying homage with the same exact thing. How something so easily verifiable slipped by the fact checkers, I’ll never know.

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