News Podcast

Ep. #84: Charles R. Cross

Charles R. Cross is a Seattle-based music writer and author who has written nine books, including the award-winning and definitive Heavier Than Heaven: The Biography of Kurt Cobain. He was the editor-in-chief of the Seattle music magazine The Rocket, covering the early rise of local bands like Nirvana and he’s regarded as both an esteemed expert and reliable firsthand witness to the media’s mania about the arts and culture cultivated within the Pacific Northwest almost 25 years ago. His latest book is Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain, which is an intriguing chronicle of the myriad ways in which Cobain’s life and death affected various strains of culture—everything from hip-hop music and high fashion to geographic interest in Aberdeen, Washington and a more serious medical assessment of addictive personalities, suicide prevention, and the moral gridlock that stymies the so-called ‘war on drugs.’ Here, Charles and I discuss his recent trip to Cobain’s hometown, Aberdeen, Washington, the library where Cobain spent a lot of time as a youth, the fiasco that was Aberdeen’s ‘Kurt Cobain Day,’ the good people of that town versus the hapless public officials who grapple with his legacy, how a weird conversation with Larry King inspired Cross’ latest book, the divisiveness of Cobain in his work and lifestyle, how Cross viewed Cobain after finishing his biography Heavier Than Heaven, grappling with Cobain’s suicide and how his life was shadowed by its prospect, how making music and art actually may have prolonged his life, how dwelling upon Cobain proves to be insightful as a writer and fan, holding Kurt’s suicide note and reading his journals, the infuriating crassness of cashing in on Cobain’s death, how Cross feels he’s now said all he can say about Cobain, how he’s struck this close, trusting association with Courtney Love, the latest about the biopic that will supposedly be based upon Heavier Than Heaven, the Nirvana song “Sliver,” and more.

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