Kurt Cobain: Rest In Purse?

The problem with dying young and famous is there’s just too many people left around to muck up your legacy.  Instead of reflecting back on a life of creative peaks, valleys and plateaus there’s only the white hot moment that shot you to fame to talk about … which is perfect for some of the hangers-on who were there, so they can go on to apply their sponge work.  This is the unfortunate circumstance we find the late rock and roll hero Kurt Cobain mired in these days.

Have you heard the story of the stolen ashes?  Skip ahead if you have, but for those new to the tale it goes something like this.  Earlier this month someone broke into the Los Angeles home of Courtney Love (aka The Widow Cobain or in this blog TWC) … anyway, the thief allegedly stole a “pink, teddy bear shaped bag” that contained a portion of Cobain’s ashes, and a lock of his hair.  The bag was taken from a secret spot in TWC’s closet, and she’s quoted as saying, “I can’t believe anyone would take Kurt’s ashes from me. I find it disgusting and right now I’m suicidal. If I don’t get them back I don’t know what I’ll do.”

Oh, I have a pretty good idea what she’ll do, probably title her next CD, memoir or memorabilia auction “Stolen Ashes.”  I know, I know picking on TWC is just too cruel … think what she’s been through. Right.  I feel that way until she throws in a line like, “They were all I had left of my husband. I used to take them everywhere with me just so I could feel Kurt was still with me. Now it feels like I have lost him all over again.”

You buying that?

My big issue with TWC’s never ending shenanigans is the cumulative damage to Kurt’s legacy.  He was a brilliant, tortured soul who almost singlehandedly pulled rock and roll out of a bloated malaise in the early 90’s.  His influence cannot be overstated.  I wish that he could have conqured his demons and continued making music (good, bad or indifferent) but that wasn’t to be.  He left behind a devastated wife and young child, and I do cut TWC a generous piece of slack on that point.  She has an amazing habit of sucking your good will dry, however.

It is comforting to know that most of Kurt’s ashes were spread near his home in Washington State, and at a New York Buddhist temple … I hope that brings him some peace.  I know I am inspired in some way by his music just about every day.  Kurt is never gone, because his art lives.


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