Tag Archives: Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain Murder Conspiracy Lawsuit Cites John F. Kennedy & Marilyn Monroe

Last Friday, Alternative Nation posted Courtney Love and Frances Bean Cobain’s full legal declarations from Richard Lee’s lawsuit seeking the release of photos of a deceased Kurt Cobain to the public. Superior Court Judge Theresa Doyle is set to hear arguments today regarding the case.

Lee also sent Alternative Nation his own legal declaration, which cites photos of the dead bodies of President John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe.  The views of Richard Lee do not represent the views of Alternative Nation.

I, RICHARD LEE, declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of Washington as follows:

  1. I am over 18 years of age and am competent to testify. I make this declaration based on my personal knowledge, my review of Seattle Police Department (SPD) and Seattle City Attorney (SCA) documents, and my professional knowledge and expertise.
  2. I am the person who made the public disclosure request March 20, 2015, which became PDR #14-970.
  1. I have been involved in journalism for almost 40 years, and began my career as a professional at age 18, publishing my first cover story with the Chicago Reader newsweekly for a payment of $750. Since April of 1993 I have been the sole producer of Now See It Person to Person, a weekly newsmagazine seen on King County and Seattle public access television channels to a potential audience of hundreds of thousands of viewers. On April 13, 1994, I aired a program entitled Was Kurt Cobain Murdered? only 5 days after the body of this famous musician was found at his Seattle home. Since that time I have aired over 600 unique editions of this series, focusing on the Cobain homicide and closely related subjects of local police and politics. It is fair to say that I am the world’s leading expert on Cobain’s death, and to my knowledge my program is likely the longest running public affairs television program in Seattle history.
  2. In early June of 1994 I changed the subtitle of the program to the name by which it is known widely today, Kurt Cobain Was Murdered. This was based on almost two months of investigation in which I established through news media photographic evidence of Cobain’s death scene that it was impossible for Cobain to have died as the result of a shotgun blast to his mouth, his official cause of death. My series of tense conversations with the pathologists at the King County Medical Examiner and the leading detectives at the Seattle Police Department resulted in their contention that “all of the shot stayed inside his skull,” which accounted for the apparent complete lack of blood and gore at the scene. Of course, such an explanation defies common sense, within a few days of these officials making such pronouncements to me in June of 1994, a leading forensic pathologist had informed me that such a result of a contact shotgun blast was essentially impossible.
  3. Obviously, my analysis of these circumstances is that these government officials acted with deliberate criminal intent to deceive the public, quite possibly through corrupt arrangements with a person or persons who caused Kurt Cobain’s death, and one such person may have been his wife of 25 months, named Courtney Love, a show business personality widely known for erratic and violent behavior. In any case, the perpetration of a fraudulent death investigation comprises corruption in itself, as the public was deprived of honest services for which they have paid from the King County Medical Examiner and the Seattle Police Department.
  4. My efforts to obtain full disclosure of Seattle Police Department records on Cobain’s death began the week of April 11, 1994, when I handed SPD personnel a typed letter requesting such documents. Later in 1994, I engaged the services of a Seattle attorney, and was successful in gaining release of many of the documents in this case, although there were many highly significant items withheld, including photographs from undeveloped films. That attorney told me we had an excellent chance of prevailing in gaining further releases and damages, but then abruptly refused to continue this representation a few months later, without explanation. Her firm later represented Cobain’s widow in a high-profile matter in King County. My many renewed efforts over the last 20 years have not resulted in the release of the most important public documents in this case.
  5. On March 20, 2014, news broke that the Seattle Police Department was releasing some new photographic evidence but likely not re-opening the Cobain death case. Many of the new images were said to be the result of finally developing the old rolls of 35mm film long held by SPD, and their detective Mike Ciesynski went before television cameras to explain that this was something they were doing as a means of marking the twentieth anniversary of Cobain’s death. This was not a re-investigation, instead, it was a public relations gambit that was their biggest effort since SPD and KCME personnel appeared in an edition of Unsolved Mysteries as seen on NBC in 1997. Det, Ciesynski made the deliberate impression that he was the central person coordinating this new effort, and that he had personal distaste for the theoretical release of some photographs they had suppressed, and this carried the implication that Ciesynski might imminently order the destruction of records he felt he did not want the public to see.
  6. I acted to file suit on March 20 as an extension of efforts that I have engaged in for almost a full 20 years, with the understanding that whatever actions I took, the SPD were not going to willingly give over photographs or other records that would help me to prove a case of corruption against their personnel, past and present. I have made many public records requests of SPD, including recent efforts to gain documents related to an attack upon my person by uniformed SPD officers as I attempted to speak to author and murder suspect Raffaele Sollecito, and I know well that their time frame for release of documents that could be damaging to their reputation is lengthy and dilatory. I was concerned at that time by the possibility of destruction of extant evidence by SPD, and also by the possibility of SPD setting up a “straw man” litigant who would file suit for the photographs so as to give SPD an easy victory in re-asserting their case for suppression.
  7. Central to the SPD assertion of exemption from disclosure of crime scene photographs in 1994 and through to this day has been the “highly offensive to a reasonable person” standard. In making this the central argument in their position, SPD is ignoring the reality of the media world in which thy live, wherein crime scene photographs, including those depicting dead bodies, are somewhat routinely released to the media and public and shown as a part of news and entertainment. Many of the following exhibits are provided to establish that media reality.
  8. Attached hereto as Exhibit 1 is a true and correct copy of a photograph I took last week of the June 12, 2015 KONG16 local over-the-air broadcast television schedule as published on the Zap2it website, showing two episodes Forensic Files, entitled “Mistaken for Dead” and “Dew Diligence.”
  9. Attached hereto as Exhibit 2 is a true and correct copy of the top of the Wikipedia website on Forensic Files, describing it as a television series of 400 episodes, in production from 1996 through 2011.
  10. Attached hereto as Exhibit 3 is a true and correct copy of charts from Wikipedia showing the Forensic Files “Mistaken for Dead” episode to have originally aired July 2, 2001, and the “Dew Diligence” episode to have originally aired September 19, 2000, which has an alternative title of “Due Process.”.
  11. Attached hereto as Exhibit 4 is a true and correct copy of a still image from the “Mistaken for Dead” Forensic Files episode aired just three days ago, showing the title of the episode.
  12. Attached hereto as Exhibit 5 is a true and correct copy of a still image from the “Mistaken for Dead” Forensic Files episode aired just three days ago, showing a close-up photograph of the murder victim Ellis Henry Greene.
  13. Attached hereto as Exhibit 6 is a true and correct copy of a still image from the “Mistaken for Dead” Forensic Files episode aired just three days ago, showing the same victim, Ellis Henry Greene, in a crime scene photograph of his head and shoulders.
  14. Attached hereto as Exhibit 7 is a true and correct copy of a still image from the “Mistaken for Dead” Forensic Files episode aired just three days ago, showing the same victim, Ellis Henry Greene, in a crime scene photograph of his upper torso.
  15. Attached hereto as Exhibit 8 is a true and correct copy of a still image from the “Mistaken for Dead” Forensic Files episode aired just three days ago, showing the same victim, Ellis Henry Greene, in a crime scene photograph of his full body length.
  16. Attached hereto as Exhibit 9 is a true and correct copy of a still image from the “Dew Diligence” Forensic Files episode aired just three days ago, showing the title of the episode.
  17. Attached hereto as Exhibit 10 is a true and correct copy of a still image from the “Dew Diligence” Forensic Files episode aired just three days ago, showing the victim, Betty Wolsieffer, dead and nude from the waist down, in a medium-distance crime scene photograph.
  18. Attached hereto as Exhibit 11 is a true and correct copy of a still image from the “Dew Diligence” Forensic Files episode aired just three days ago, showing the victim, Betty Wolsieffer, dead and nude from the waist down, in a cropped version of the same angle of crime scene photograph.
  19. Attached hereto as Exhibit 14 is a true and correct copy of a still image from the “Dew Diligence” Forensic Files episode aired just three days ago, showing the victim, Betty Wolsieffer, dead and nude from the waist down, from her head to knee, showing dark bruising and blood on her face, neck, and shoulder, in a close-distance crime scene photograph.
  20. Attached hereto as Exhibit 15 is a true and correct copy of a still image from the “Dew Diligence” Forensic Files episode aired just three days ago, showing the victim, Betty Wolsieffer, from her chin to waist, showing dark bruising and blood on her face, neck, and shoulder, in a close-distance crime scene photograph
  21. Attached hereto as Exhibit 16 is a true and correct copy of a still image from the “Dew Diligence” Forensic Files episode aired just three days ago, showing the victim, Betty Wolsieffer, dead and nude from the waist down, from her head to knees, in a medium-distance crime scene video image, with the distinctive date stamp of “8 30 1986” in the lower right.
  22. Attached hereto as Exhibit 17 is a true and correct copy of a still image from the “Dew Diligence” Forensic Files episode aired just three days ago, showing the victim Betty Wolsieffer, dead and nude from the waist down, from her upraised hand to mid-thighs, in a medium-distance crime scene video image, with the distinctive date stamp of “8 30 1986” in the lower right.
  23. Attached hereto as Exhibit 18 is a true and correct copy of a still image from the “Dew Diligence” Forensic Files episode aired just three days ago, showing a large ladder behind a white house, in a long-distance crime scene video image, with the distinctive date stamp of “8 30 1986” in the lower right.
  24. Attached hereto as Exhibit 19 is a true and correct copy of a still image from the “Dew Diligence” Forensic Files episode aired just three days ago, showing an image from the “re-creation” of the crime in black-and-white video, with a lack of effort to create precise details, so that the viewer can distinguish the fictional footage from genuine crime scene photos and video.
  25. The importance of the “Dew Diligence” images should be clear: the producers of Forensic Files use real crime scene photos and video, and these exhibit images as a group provide proof of their genuine nature. The images from color photographs precisely match the positions of the body and other objects as seen in the video body images with the “8 30 1986” camcorder date stamp, and that stamp is precisely the same as the more mundane image of the outside of the house. The black-and-white “re-creation” segment is produced to have a distinctly different appearance, with the torso covered in a white, not pink, article of clothing.
  26. I have seen at least 50 of these Forensic Files episodes, and I have observed that this black-and-white “re-creation” footage is a standard of practice for allowing the viewer to distinguish actual evidence from re-creation images. An elaborate effort to “fake” photos and camcorder images on this program would be entirely out-of-character, in what is a program with a serious, scientific, and consistent tone. The use of genuine crime scene and autopsy photographs of violent homicides is seen in roughly half of Forensic Files episodes, as I have observed them. “Dew Diligence” also featured at least three apparent autopsy images.
  27. Attached hereto as Exhibit 20 is a true and correct copy of a still image from the “Dew Diligence” Forensic Files episode aired just three days ago, showing an apparent autopsy photo of the victim Betty Wolsieffer’s hand, with distended fingers.
  28. Attached hereto as Exhibit 21 is a true and correct copy of a still image from the “Dew Diligence” Forensic Files episode aired just three days ago, showing an apparent autopsy photo of the victim Betty Wolsieffer’s hand, with curled fingers.
  29. Attached hereto as Exhibit 22 is a true and correct copy of a still image from the “Dew Diligence” Forensic Files episode aired just three days ago, showing an apparent autopsy photo of the victim Betty Wolsieffer’s closed eye, nose and mouth, in extreme close-up.
  30. Attached hereto as Exhibit 23 is a true and correct copy of a photo from the autopsy of U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s head, neck and chest, with obvious neck wound, in a widely disseminated photo first published more than twenty years ago.
  31. Attached hereto as Exhibit 24 is a true and correct copy of a photo from the autopsy of U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s head, in a left profile view, in a in a widely disseminated photo first published more than twenty years ago.
  32. Attached hereto as Exhibit 25 is a true and correct of a photo from the autopsy of U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s head and neck, with obvious bloody head wound, in a in a widely disseminated photo first published more than twenty years ago.
  33. Attached hereto as Exhibit 26 is a true and correct copy of the cover of a publication called Marilyn & Diana: Sex, Lies and Murder! by the National Enquirer, dated as “Display until Sept. 29, 2014.” In the upper right is a claim the magazine contains “Over 150 Shocking Photos,” and in the lower left is a crime scene photo of Marilyn Monroe’s body’s nude upper torso, face down in her bed. This magazine was openly sold in retail chain stores, in fact, I obtained this copy at a Seattle Safeway.
  34. Attached hereto as Exhibit 27 is a true and correct copy of interior pages of a publication called Marilyn & Diana: Sex, Lies and Murder! by the National Enquirer, dated as “Display until Sept. 29, 2014.” These pages feature a larger version of the cover crime scene photo of Marilyn Monroe’s body’s nude upper torso, face down in her bed.
  35. Attached hereto as Exhibit 28 is a true and correct copy of interior pages of a publication called Marilyn & Diana: Sex, Lies and Murder! by the National Enquirer, dated as “Display until Sept. 29, 2014.” These pages feature a larger version of a famous autopsy photo of Marilyn Monroe’s body’s head, with a headline “Autopsy: Unexplained Bruises.”
  36. Attached hereto as Exhibit 29 is a true and correct copy of interior pages of the National Enquirer, dated as August 18, 2014. These pages feature a small version of a famous autopsy photo of Marilyn Monroe’s body’s head, and directly next to the Monroe material is a crime scene photograph of Kurt Cobain’s foot, and a paragraph describing his “deemed suspicious” death. The headline on these pages reads “Getting Away With Murder! The unexplained deaths that remain a mystery to this day.”
  37. Attached hereto as Exhibit 30 is a true and correct copy of a tee shirt featuring Kurt Cobain’s so-called suicide note with “All Sizes Available,” from a seller on eBay. Shirts featuring leaked copies of the so-called Cobain suicide note have been available in various forms since 1994, and to this date, the version that appeared on a shirt in 1994 is still the best-resolution version that has been available for serious study, especially in light of allegations of forgery.
  38. Attached hereto as Exhibit 31 is a true and correct copy of a publicity image from packaging of Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, wherein it is called “The most intimate rock doc ever.” The film was released and shown on the HBO channel in May, 2015, and makes extensive use of Cobain’s personal journals, home video tapes and unpublished private audio cassettes, all provided by Cobain’s family members.
  39. .Attached hereto as Exhibit 32 is a true and correct copy of of an email to Lee from Matthew C. Jaeger of the Seattle City Attorney’s office, from March 13 of this year, 2015, providing a link to a site called Hightail for a new release of records in my Cobain records requests.
  40. Attached hereto as Exhibit 33 is a true and correct copy of a search I conducted in recent days finding four different occupants of the precise address used by the mysterious Javier Alvarado of Malibu, California, who requested SPD records on Cobain in 2013.
  41. Attached hereto as Exhibit 34 is a true and correct copy of my email to Seattle City Attorney Peter S. Holmes on July 23, 2014, entitled “Unethical Noncompliance in Public Disclosure, “ discussing Mary Perry’s claim that Cobain family members were “parties” to the suppression from release of Cobain case documents.
  42. Attached hereto as Exhibit 35 is a true and correct copy of a document titled “On the Suicide of Her Husband” from a dot-edu website. I was present at Seattle Center on April 10, 1994, when this tape was first played, and consider this a highly accurate transcript of most of Cobain’s so-called suicide note and his widow’s interspersed, sometimes vulgar commentary as she read the note.

DATED this ___ day of June, 2015, and signed in King County, Washington

New Kurt Cobain Track Featuring Falsetto Set For Release: “I’m A Bad Man”

Billboard reports that a previously unreleased Kurt Cobain demo will be added to the August 7th theatrical release of Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck. Director Brett Morgen refused to reveal when in the film the track would appear due to fear of fans filming it with their cell phones, but he did reveal that Cobain sings in a Beach Boysesque falsetto. The song doesn’t have a name, but was likely recorded in 1991 because it appears on a tape “on which he was also working on ‘Old Age,'” which was written during the Nevermind sessions and later rewritten and recorded by Courtney Love and her band Hole.

The lyrics in the track are unclear but it sounds like Cobain sings “Wonder how I breathe” and “I’m a bad man.” There are 30 to 50 demos from 107 cassette tapes featuring 200 hours of audio that Morgen had to work with.

“Kurt played around with sound collage, particularly with panning effects,” in which the record appears to move from one speaker to another, Morgen says. “And it’s a sensory experience that really envelops you.”

Morgen did not give an update on the Kurt Cobain solo album that was previously announced to have been in the works featuring unreleased material, but this track seeing the light of day is a positive sign.

Ex-Seattle Police Chief Wants Kurt Cobain Death Investigation Reopened: ‘It’s About Honor’

Former Chief of the Seattle Police Department (1994-2000) Norm Stamper was interviewed in the new Kurt Cobain murder conspiracy docudrama Soaked in Bleach, and he discussed his regrets surrounding his department’s investigation of Cobain’s suicide, and he revealed that if he was still Police Chief today, he would reopen the investigation.

“We should in fact have taken steps to study patterns involved, in the behavior of key individuals who had a motif: to see Kurt Cobain dead.”

He added, “If in fact Kurt Cobain was murdered, as opposed to having committed suicide, and it was possible to learn that, shame on us for not doing that. That was in fact our responsibility.”

He then discussed why he’d reopen the investigation, “It’s about right and wrong, it’s about honor. it’s about ethics. if we didn’t get it right the first time, we damn well better get it right the second time, and I would tell you right now if I were the Chief of Police, I would reopen this investigation.”

As we previously reported, Courtney Love has sent legal threats to theaters screen the Kurt Cobain murder conspiracy docudrama Soaked in Bleach. Deadline.com has published a cease and desist letter, which you can read below.

Our firm represents Courtney Love Cobain. It has come to our attention that —— plans to exhibit and promote the motion picture “Soaked in Bleach” (the “Film”) on June 11, 2015. This letter shall serve as notice to that the Film portrays Ms. Cobain in a false light and contains defamatory statements that exposes to substantial liability. We demand that you immediately cease and desist from infringing on Ms. Cobain’s rights in any manner whatsoever, including but not limited to completely halting the Film’s planned exhibition and promotion.

The Film falsely presents a widely and repeatedly debunked conspiracy theory that accuses Ms. Cobain of orchestrating the death of her husband Kurt Cobain. A false accusation of criminal behavior is defamatory per seunder California Civil Code Section 45a, which entitles Ms. Cobain to both actual and presumed damages.

There is simply no credible evidence to support any of these defamatory claims, as has been publically known for years. In 1994 the Seattle Police Department (“SPD”) investigated the tragic event of Mr. Cobain’s death and concluded the case a suicide. In the 20 years following Mr. Cobain’s death, no one has presented any colorable case of involvement of our client. Finally, SPD re-examined Mr. Cobain’s death in 2014 and, again, concluded it was a suicide. (See SPD Case Investigation Report, available at: http://static.ow.ly/docs/SPD_policefile_27df.pdf.)

Any accusation that our client was responsible in any way for Mr. Cobain’s death thus cannot have any credibility. Any alleged factual representation to the contrary would be knowingly false, and hence intentionally and maliciously defamatory. Such a finding would then expose to punitive damages as well. Even though —- did not produce the Film,
distributors of defamatory material can be held liable if they “knew or had reason to know that the material was defamatory. (Grace v. eBay Inc. (2004) 16 Cal.Rptr.3d 192, 198-199.) This letter puts Crest on such notice.

In addition to defamation per se, the false accusations contained in the Film provide Ms. Cobain with valid claims for negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress, false light, and tortious interference with business, among others. For years Ms. Cobain has been publically subjected to threats based on the same kinds of baseless theories that appear in the Film, and dissemination of the Film would only exacerbate the risk that she will suffer further emotional and financial harm. Furthermore, it has been widely reported in the press that Ms. Cobain has business opportunities underway that accurately chronicle the image and likeness of both herself and Mr. Cobain. With this letter, you are now on notice that, as appears to date, the Film will interfere and disrupt such opportunities.

We hereby demand again that you immediately cease any and all plans for exhibition or promotion of the Film. If we do not hear from you within five days, we are required to immediately pursue all available civil legal remedies on behalf of our client against you, as well as any and all other entities or individuals associated with the production,
promotion, distribution, or exhibition of the Film.

This letter does not constitute a complete or exhaustive statement of all the facts or of Ms. Cobain’s rights or claims. Nothing contained herein shall be construed to waive, limit, modify, or abridge any right, claim or demand available to our client, at law or in equity, all of which are hereby expressly reserved.

Very truly yours,
Marc Gans
of
DONGELL LAWRENCE FINNEY LLP

Alternative Nation Review Of Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck

above: Kurt Cobain with daughter Frances Bean.

On Thursday, I was lucky enough to catch a screening of Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck at Seattle’s Egyptian Theatre, just a block from Linda’s Tavern, where Cobain was last seen alive. The film, which will premiere on HBO on May 4, is directed by Brett Morgen, who was granted access to a private archive of Cobain’s belongings by his widow Courtney Love in 2007. The previously unreleased material that Morgen found – revealed in an untouched storage unit of Love’s – makes up much of the film’s content. Montage of Heck is appropriately named: while it references a mixtape Cobain made as a teenager, it also describes the constant stream of videos, drawings, and recordings that drive the film.

Montage is set apart from other Cobain documentaries by its deeply personal experience, in contrast to more historical, musical, or biographical perspectives. The presence of Cobain’s often-intimate audio and visual art, as well as the sparse, family-oriented use of interviews, aids this personal touch. With vivid quality, we’re introduced to the various periods of Kurt’s life through family videos, acoustic or vocal recordings, diary entries, and much more. It’s a complete immersion into Cobain’s art and worldview, or as executive producer Frances Bean Cobain put it to Rolling Stone, “it’s the closest thing to having Kurt tell his own story in his own words — by his own aesthetic, his own perception of the world.”

It’s also clearly a Kurt-centric, rather than Nirvana-centric, documentary. The freedom Morgen has with Nirvana’s discography is noticeable, and tweaked versions of “All Apologies” and “Something in the Way” define some great scenes detailing Kurt’s childhood. The band’s rise to fame is represented by lively and immersive concert and behind-the-scenes footage, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle for Montage, and not the priority or focus. Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic is introduced by a title card as “Kurt’s Friend” rather than as his bandmate, and Krist’s interview is oriented more towards Kurt’s personality and psychology than his musical development. Additionally, an interview with Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl didn’t make it into the film in time for the Sundance Festival. For director Brett Morgen, this positioning of Nirvana was intentional. “This isn’t a film where I wanted to go interview everyone who played with Nirvana, nor is it a film where I wanted to interview any more than the base minimum of what I had to do, so it was almost like primal,” he told Consequence of Sound. “Like the mom, the dad, the sister, the first love, the wife, the best friend.”

The interviews that Morgen did include in the documentary, however, are certainly revealing. Courtney Love admits that she did heroin while pregnant with Frances Bean, although she and Cobain aggressively denied the notion in 1992 after a damning article was published about them in Vanity Fair. One of Kurt’s diary entries is also shown on screen, with Kurt noting his ten experiences with heroin between 1987 and 1990. Tracy Marander, Cobain’s first serious girlfriend, says that he never told her about doing heroin and that she never saw any evidence of it. Kurt’s mom Wendy O’Connor shares an emotional story about noticing her son’s weight loss and sores and confronting him about his heroin usage. O’Connor says that when she asked him about using needles to inject heroin, Kurt was too emotional and couldn’t respond.

Kurt’s father Don Cobain is interviewed for the first time about his son, alongside Kurt’s stepmom Jenny. They recall Kurt’s attitude and resentment towards them as well as the difficulties they had with Kurt after he was kicked out of his mom Wendy’s house. Meanwhile, with the help of surpisingly decent animation sequences as well as never-before-seen family videos, Kurt’s childhood is vividly reconstructed. Morgen constructs a nostalgic narrative in which the idyllic, hyperactive childhood of Cobain and the idealistic era of the 1960s were shattered by Don and Wendy’s divorce, resulting in Kurt’s social withdrawal. There might be some understandable mix of nostalgia and revisionism when Wendy O’Connor describes the picturesque nature of Aberdeen, WA, Cobain’s small hometown that was hit hard by the decline of the timber industry in the area in the 1970s and 1980s. Still, his perspective of social alienation, family rejection, and affinity for punk rock is made apparent and personal.

Beginning with the turbulence of his post-divorce childhood, Morgen draws out several incidents in Cobain’s life that reveal recurring elements of shame, and subsequent social withdrawal and depression, or rebellion and rage. One revealing story – told by Cobain in a previously unheard recording and put to life with animation – describes his awkward first sexual experience with a girl he describes as “not retarded” but “slow and illiterate.” After her father revealed the secret to their high school, Cobain felt so embarrassed that he got high and drunk and laid down on train tracks, waiting to be killed. The next train that came happened to be one track over, and Cobain was spared. It’s clear that Morgen wants the story to illustrate some common feelings of shame and its link with suicidality in Cobain’s life.

This might irritate some Cobain conspiracy types, who would argue that Montage of Heck is the product of a Courtney Love agenda. Love played no part in the artistic direction of the film, whereas Frances Bean, who loved the film, served as the executive producer. According to The Stranger, a woman at the Seattle director Q&A session Wednesday night “shouted her displeasure that the documentary was all ‘from Courtney [Love]’s point of view.’ As Morgen began to defend himself, the woman said she knew both Kurt and Courtney, and reiterated her point.”

Frances Courtney Brett Morgen
Frances Bean Cobain and Courtney Love with director Brett Morgen at the Sundance Film Festival.

Towards the end of the film, as Courtney is discussing Kurt’s hypersensitivity, she says that she never cheated on Kurt, but that the one time she thought about it and had the chance to do it, he could sense what she was up to. She then implies that this led to Cobain’s apparent suicide attempt in Rome in March of 1994. It’s another interesting and honest admission from Love and a revealing glimpse into Cobain’s last days. Cobain’s suicide is only addressed by a title sequence at the end of the film that states that he took his life one month after the Rome attempt at age 27.

Still, it’s clear from watching the film that Morgen’s initiative, rather than the family members’ agenda, are driving the film. A scene that Wendy O’Connor asked not to be included in the film was actually included in the final cut by Morgen. It’s difficult to watch: Cobain is clearly high on heroin while playing with Frances during her first haircut.

Although I missed the Q&A with director Morgen later that night, the Egyptian’s theater setting was a great way to experience the Montage of Heck. Never-before-seen footage, including extensive home videos from Kurt and Courtney’s time living in Los Angeles in 1992, is really valuable throughout. It humanizes Cobain like no other work has and I think many will get a fuller, although not any less confusing, understanding of Cobain’s life. Like executive producer Frances Bean, who labeled the project “emotional journalism” and wanted to avoid the “mythology” and “romanticism” of her father, Morgen produces the most intimate documentary about Cobain yet. With this goal in mind, as well as unprecedented access to Cobain’s personal art, notebooks, and tapes, Morgen produces a film richer in detail and more honest to its character than any previous Cobain doc.

Montage of Heck will premiere on HBO on May 4. You can check out the film’s limited theatrical screenings at HBO.

Courtney Love: Kurt Cobain Was “Desperate To Be The Biggest Rock Star In The World”

National Geographic’s upcoming TV mini-series The ’90s: The Last Great Decade? examines the popularity of Nirvana and its frontman Kurt Cobain. In a new interview, Cobain’s widow Courtney Love attempts to dispel the “myth” of Cobain’s reluctance to become famous and his avoidance of the spotlight.

Love states that Cobain: “wanted [fame] bad. He wrote to every major, minor, any label, ‘We’ll pay. Let us be on your label.’ He was desperate to be the biggest rock star in the world. Absolutely desperate. But he made it look like it was thrust upon him.”

The upcoming mini-series also documents Cobain’s stances on sexism and homophobia and the pressures of the media on the marriage of Love and Cobain. Legendary Nevermind producer Butch Vig discusses Nirvana’s idealistic themes in the post-Reagan era. The three-night series will premiere on Sunday, July 6.

Below, watch a preview of The ’90s: The Last Great Decade?, including archived interviews of Cobain as well as new interviews of Love and Vig:

Courtney Love Talks Kurt Cobain’s Songwriting: ‘It Came To Him Like Like God Was Speaking Through Him’

Speaking with BBC Radio, Courtney Love discussed rockstardom, helping Kurt Cobain write lyrics, and singing love songs.  “I’ll always be in rockstardom until all my teeth are out,” Love explained, “it’s just part of who I am.”

“I did watch [Kurt] write the songs ‘Dumb’ and ‘Rape Me’ in subsequent order in Amsterdam in about twenty mintues,” Love recalled, “I kind of got pissed. I went and bought him ‘The Drunked Boat,’ I bought him a thesaurus, I threw them at him and went ‘You’re gonna have to up your game on your lyrics, son!’ I had him in the lyrical department, but not in the tune department, it came to him like God was speaking through him.”

Love was asked if there were any subject that she shouldn’t write a song about: “I’ve a hard time singing very straight up co-dependent love songs. It’s just a blockage. I can sing co-dependnent hate songs with love twisted in them — but I can’t do a ballad-y love song, I just don’t know how.”

You can listen to the whole interview here via BBC.

Aberdeen, WA To Celebrate Upcoming Kurt Cobain Day With New Statue And Tribute Show

Aberdeen, WA, hometown of Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic, will celebrate its first annual Kurt Cobain Day this Thursday, February 20. Kurt Cobain Day was recently commemorated when Aberdeen Mayor Bill Simpson proclaimed the annual celebration for Cobain’s “artistic achievements.” This upcoming February 20th would have marked the late singer’s 47th birthday.

According to the Seattle Times, festivities for this year’s Kurt Cobain Day will occur at the Aberdeen Museum of History, “when a Cobain statue by local artist Randi Hubbard will be unveiled, followed by a performance by Aberdeen hard rock band Gebular.” In attendance at the festivities will be “Warren Mason, Cobain’s guitar teacher, as well as Aaron Burckhard, Nirvana’s first drummer.” A second commemorative rock concert and library memorabilia exhibition are also planned for Aberdeen.

Aberdeen declared February 20th Kurt Cobain Day just weeks after the neighboring town of Hoquiam declared April 10th Nirvana Day, the same day the band will be celebrating their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction and days after the 20th anniversary of Cobain’s death. Hoquiam Mayor Jack Durney said that Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic are “part of [their] community” and “bring great honor.”

Mark Lanegan Talks Upcoming Album ‘Imitations’ And Recording With Kurt Cobain

Mark Lanegan recently talked with diffuser.fm’s Will Levith and discussed his upcoming covers album Imitations, the music of The Byrds’ Gene Clark, as well as recording Leadbelly covers with Kurt Cobain in the early 1990s. Here are some excerpts from Lanegan’s interview:

Your latest, ‘Imitations,’ is a covers album — but there are only a few tunes on here that audiences have probably heard of. Are you the type of guy that sends his friends obscure LPs and says, “You’re gonna love this?”

Yeah, I do that, but my friends do the same. They turn me onto the obscurities out there, too.

Is that how you came about some of the songs on the record?

Well, a lot of that stuff came from my childhood. They were records my folks were listening to when they were playing cards with their friends. Some of the songs I heard on Andy Williams records. He was very popular in our household, and to do this day, I still consider him to be one of the greatest singers of all time, although some people might consider him schmaltzy. I think he’s fantastic.

We read somewhere that you recorded a blues covers album with the late, great Kurt Cobain. Have you listened to the masters since his death?

We were going to make an EP of covers of Ledbelly songs, and we went in and recorded a few, and then lost interest pretty quickly. I put ‘Where Did You Sleep Last Night’ on my first solo album [‘The Winding Sheet’], and then Cobain later re-did that same song in the ‘Nirvana Unplugged’ session. The other songs I don’t think I put any vocals on. I think that stuff has come out on a Nirvana boxed set. I haven’t listened to it since the day we did it.

 You can read the rest of the interview at diffuser.fm. Mark Lanegan is set to release his new covers album, Imitations, on September 17. In the meantime, you can listen to Lanegan’s cover of The Twilight Singers’ “Deepest Shade”:

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DIRECTOR SAYS COURTNEY LOVE NOT INVOLVED IN UPCOMING KURT COBAIN FILM


Photo by Terry McGinnis.

Director Brett Morgen, who recently directed HBO’s Rolling Stones documentary Crossfire Hurricane, said in a statement to Entertainment Weekly that Courtney Love will not be involved in the upcoming Kurt Cobain film. Here’s his statement:

“Back in 2007, I had a meeting in L.A. with Courtney Love to discuss my possible involvement in a Kurt Cobain documentary. She had seen my film, The Kid Stays in the Picture, and thought that I had the right vision and passion to bring Kurt’s story to life. Since that time, I have been speaking exclusively with Kurt Cobain’s estate, who have given me their full cooperation in order to make the film. Courtney isn’t currently involved with the project in any capacity. The estate and I will be releasing more information about our plans in the coming weeks. Production on the film will begin in the coming months and we are aiming for a 2014 release.”

(Source: Mark Yarm)

J MASCIS OF DINOSAUR JR. ALMOST JOINED NIRVANA TWICE

Nirvana: Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Krist Novoselic. J Mascis?

In a new interview with SPIN, J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. discusses Nirvana and how he almost joined the band, twice:

“Nirvana was playing Maxwell’s and after the show I was talking to Kurt and [Sonic Youth’s] Thurston Moore,” Mascis says, referring to Nirvana’s date at the famed Hoboken, New Jersey venue on July 13, 1989. “Kurt said, ‘you should join my band.’ I think he was sick of the guy Jason [Everman] who was in the band at the time, and thought I should play guitar. I didn’t think much about it. Later, there was also talk of playing drums on a single [1990’s ‘Sliver’] they were doing, but it ended up being [Mudhoney drummer] Dan Peters.”

“Depressive since birth, Mascis says he was hit particularly hard by the death of his father in 1993 and the pressure to fill the void created by Nirvana, a band his friend Kurt Cobain once asked him to join. “I think my voice is the main thing,” he says of the whine that’s distinguished Dinosaur’s music just as much as his guitar tones. “Kurt’s voice had that sound you’d heard on the radio when you were a kid: it was like Paul Rodgers [of Free and Bad Company] or Cheap Trick, that radio-friendly sound, that good rock voice.”

Read the rest of the interview here.