Danny Goldberg - Serving The Servant - Remembering Kurt Cobain - Books - Reviews - Soundblab

Danny Goldberg - Serving The Servant - Remembering Kurt Cobain

by Florian Meissner Rating: Release Date:
Danny Goldberg – Serving The Servant
Danny Goldberg - Serving The Servant - Remembering Kurt Cobain

On April 5, 2019, it will be 25 years since one of the most iconic artists of the 90s rock scene died. I was too young to understand what had happened when the news broke, but my youth (just like that of most people of my generation) was dominated by Nirvana. We all knew the words to songs like “Come as you are”, “Polly”, “Heart Shaped Box”, and obviously “Smells like teen spirit”, and they’d play at every party and little gathering.

And with “Serving the Servant”, Danny Goldberg adds to the incredible legacy this little band from Seattle has left us with. If there is a person that knew the artist Kurt Cobain just as good, if not better than his own bandmates, it would be Mr. Goldberg. He was Nirvana’s manager from 1991, right up until that fateful day in 1994 – and in Serving The Servant, he chronicles those three incredible years in the life of a man who wanted to make music, and broke doing it.

First things first: if you’ve read some of the many books on Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, don’t expect anything new. If you’re looking for new ideas to fuel one of the many conspiracy theories around Cobain’s death, don’t read it. But if you want to get a full picture of who Kurt Cobain was, how he presented himself to others, how he was conceived by his peers, this book is perfect for you.

Danny Goldberg manages to do something in this book many couldn’t: he looks back at the life of Cobain without the typical romanticising of past memories. He doesn’t glorify Kurt Cobain or tries to turn him into something he wasn’t. He shows the person Cobain was. Obviously, he shows a biased version, but he never claims not to. And it’s that honesty, about himself and about his perception of Cobain, that makes this biography so incredibly valuable.

Goldberg creates an intimate picture of the person that was Kurt Cobain. He manages to describe him in ways that only a close friend or a family member could – an idea that isn’t far fetched since Kobain saw Goldberg as a kind of father figure. In all my years as a Nirvana fan, I never had the feeling I understood Kurt Cobain as a person, as something other than this glorified version we are presented in Godspeed, for example (although I have to say, Godspeed is an excellent graphic novel!). Goldberg creates a proper, three-dimensional picture of one of the greatest artists of our time.

I could ramble on for quite a while about how brilliant a picture Goldberg drew of Cobain, but I fear I might just start glorifying. But since it’s the fact that he doesn’t glorify what makes Goldberg’s biography of Cobain so brilliant, let’s just leave it with this:

On April 2nd, go out, buy this book, and maybe take some holidays because you won’t put it down until you’re done.

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