Saturday Read: Heavier Than Heaven by Charles Cross
I’m not sure about your neck of the woods, but for Northern Ontario, September means dreary. No sun, high humidity – you know what I’m talking about. And so I like to make my soundtrack fit that mold by switching over to some grungy, dark music. Naturally, I’m spinning Nirvana non-stop and have turned to re-read one of my absolute favorites: “Heavier Than Heaven” by Charles Cross, the bio of Nirvana frontman, Kurt Cobain.
Back when I was about 15, I fell hard for a bad boy named Jack. He was a plaid-sporting, guitar-toting grunge god and, of course, worshiped at the Nirvana altar. Yes, I admit it – the discovery of my favorite band for about 5 years stemmed from a schoolgirl crush. But that doesn’t make it any less legitimate, in my opinion. Just like a I fell for Jack, I fell for Kurt. When you’re 15 and everything that is pumped through the radios and mall speakers is top 4o, discovering alternative music is like someone pulling the wool OFF your eyes. I couldn’t believe that there was all this amazing music out there that I had never even heard of!
Okay, back on track. So I as I hankered to learn everything I could about Nirvana and impress Jack, I stumbled upon a book called “Heavier Than Heaven”. I figured a biography would be a treasure trove of knowledge! And I was right, it was! But it was so much more, too!
Kurt Cobain is revered as a god in most music circles. He knocked Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, off the #1 spot in the Billboard Chart for god’s sake! Even if grunge is not your thing, you still respect him for revolutionizing the music scene. However, “Heavier Than Heaven” brings Kurt Cobain back to earth and knocks him off his pedestal so to speak. And that’s my favorite part.
Cross gives you a pretty clear idea of Cobain’s life and why he ended up the way he did. He shows you that Kurt was a real person, with real feelings and relationships. I loved seeing him rise from the obscure to the infamous. If you were like me, a Nirvana fan in high school, or are one now, or even just want to find out more about the revolutionary state of the early 90′s music scene, I definitely recommend “Heavier Than Heaven” by Charles Cross.