The art of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain was all about his private life, but written in a code as obscure as TS Eliot's. In Heavier than Heaven
Charles Cross has cracked the code, and this definitive biography is an all-access pass to Cobain's heart and mind. It reveals many secrets, thanks to 400-plus interviews, and even quotes Cobain's diaries and suicide notes revealing an unreleased Nirvana masterpiece. At last we know how he created, how lies helped him die, how his family and love life entwined with his art--plus, what the heck "Smells Like Teen Spirit" really means. (It was graffiti by Bikini Kill's Kathleen Hanna after a double date with Dave Grohl, Cobain, and the "over-bored and self-assured" Tobi Vail, who wore Teen Spirit perfume; Hanna wrote it to taunt the emotionally clingy Cobain for wearing Vail's scent after sex--a violation of the no-strings-attached dating ethos of the Olympia, Washington, "outcast teen" underground. Cobain 's stomach-churning passion for Vail erupted in six or so hit tunes like "Aneurysm" and "Drain You".) Cross uncovers plenty of news, mostly grim and gripping. As a teenager, Cobain said he had "suicide genes" and his clan was peculiarly defiant: one of his suicidal relatives stabbed his own belly in front of his family, then ripped apart the wound in the hospital. Cobain was contradictory: a sweet, popular teenage athlete and sinister berserker, a kid who rescued injured pigeons and laughingly killed a cat, a talented yet astoundingly morbid visual artist. He grew up to be a millionaire who slept in cars (and stole one), a fiercely loyal man who ruthlessly screwed his oldest, best friends. Cross, the co-author of Nervmind: Nirvana
, the definitive book about the making of the classic album, puts numerous Cobain-generated myths to rest. (Cobain never lived under a bridge--that Aberdeen bridge immortalised in the 12th song on Nevermind
was a tidal slough, so nobody could sleep under it). He gives the fullest account yet of what it was like to be, or love, Kurt Cobain. Heavier than Heaven
outshines the also indispensable Come As You Are
. It's the deepest book about pop's darkest falling star. --Tim Appelo
‘Superbly researched and harrowing...The squalor is ghastly but the sheer sadness of Cobain's brief life is beautifully conveyed here. Cross has painstakingly accumulated a wealth of telling detail’ (Robert Sandall, Sunday Times
‘Cross’s research is impeccable...HEAVIER THAN HEAVEN is, or should be, the last word on Kurt Cobain.’ (Lynn Barber, Daily Telegraph
‘I was very glad to read this biography, the result of four years' research and 400 interviews, not to mention the sainted Kurt's police and medical records AND his unpublished journals. I was in hog heaven all the way through - in a caring, wistful way, of course.’ (Julie Burchill, Guardian
'Wins immediate entry into the rock lit pantheon. Five stars'
( Q Magazine
'Cross's portrayal of a shy but prodigiously gifted child, in artistic as well as musical terms, is a joy to read' ( Observer
‘The secret here is that Cross was allowed unprecedented access to Cobain's world; his diaries, artworks and most significantly the people who surrounded him. Cross may vividly depict the seemingly inevitable demise of a rock star but he also successfully conveys just what all the fuss was about in the first place.’ ( The List
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.