artwork by nicholas crowe
with the recent 25th anniversary of his passing it was only fitting that there would be yet another entry to the canon of written work dedicated to KURT COBAIN, especially given that a long rumored and awaited COURTNEY LOVE memoir is in the works. SERVING THE SERVANT (Ecco Press, 2019 ) encapsulates the recollections and experiences of NIRVANA manager DANNY GOLDBERG as he navigated the group from northwestern obscurity (post-BLEACH) to global domination.
whereas other books dealing with this subject, notably HEAVIER THAN HEAVEN (Hyperion Press, 2001) by CHARLES CROSS, tend to fixate more on the self-destructive aspects of his life as well as his unhappy upbringing, GOLDBERG here chooses to present his friend as he knew him: intelligent, funny, talented and ultimately flawed. what made this read ultimately interesting were his retelling of how media-savvy COBAIN was how he used this hyper-awareness to manipulate the media to present an image of himself that successfully melded several strains of underground demographics.
if you're interested in tales of drugs, excess and self-defeating behavior, this book shies away from anything remotely sensational. on the other hand if you are interested in marketing and how to successfully position a musical act, this book will satiate that itch.
i do want to commend GOLDBERG for speaking his truth despite the barrage of misinformation regarding his former client and the despicable innuendo projected on him and the family of the deceased. this also marks the first addition to the canon that hasn't felt exploitative, much as the JOURNALS and the recent documentary MONTAGE OF HECK did.
from the creative director