"Nearly two decades after the death of Kurt Cobain, a friend and fellow musician not only continues to mourn his suicide, but also rages against the culture that he holds responsible. These 52 'letters' . . . combine the subject matter of the Byrds' 'So You Wanna Be a Rock and Roll Star' with the fury of Allen Ginsberg's Howl . . . A catharsis for the writer and perhaps for the reader as well."
"A touching and enlightening collection of prose poems addressed to [Erlandson's] departed friend."
--The San Francisco Bay Guardian
"Erlandson finally comes to terms with his loss in 52 prose-poem letters ostensibly addressed to Cobain in which he straightforwardly confronts his inner demons while offering personal reflections on food, drug abuse, death, and self-sabotage."--Booklist
"The reverberations of Kurt's suicide last to this day, and have touched the lives of many. Dozens of people could have written their own version of this bracingly candid book; Eric Erlandson has written one, filled with rage and love, landmined with detail, that can stand for them all."
--Michael Azerrad, author of Come As You Are: The Story of Nirvana
"Eric was the spirit-boy in the Nirvana/Hole dynamic. Quiet, bemused, intelligent, and curiously intuitive to the power of hugging the devil, to say we will all be okay . . . Eric expresses how enchanting Kurt was, how the whole scene was, with his thoughtful, radical adult/prose love. Bring on the future, darling."--Thurston Moore, musician
"Eric. He was always there: supportive, observing, in the thick of it. Hidden in plain sight . . . Without him, I can't imagine Seattle or L.A. or a dozen other places. This book is beautiful, brutal, brief. Happy-sad eloquence. Boy Scouts playing with the complimentary cologne in the heart of the ghost town. Listen to the man. He knows."
--Everett True, author of Nirvana: The Biography
Letters to Kurt is an anguished, angry, and tender meditation on the octane and ether of rock and roll and its many moons: sex, drugs, suicide, fame, and rage. It's part Dream Songs, part Bukowski, Ferlinghetti, Ginsberg, and the Clash. Rants, reflections, and gunshot fill these fifty-two prose poems. They are raw, funny, sad, and searching. This will make a beautiful book for anyone who loved Nirvana and Hole and the time and place when their music changed everything. Ultimately, it's an elegy for Kurt and the "suicide idols" who tragically fail to find salvation in their amazing music.
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Eric Erlandson was born and raised in San Pedro, California. He is best known as cofounder, songwriter, and lead guitarist of the alternative rock band Hole, which he formed with Courtney Love. Their albums Pretty on the Inside, Live Through This, and Celebrity Skin achieved international recognition and success. Live Through This was named one of the top 100 albums of all time by Time magazine. Since the breakup of the band in 2002, Erlandson has been involved in a number of musical and literary projects. He has a BS in Economics from Loyola Marymount University and practices Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. He currently lives in Los Angeles.From Booklist:
Erlandson is known as the cofounder, songwriter, and lead guitarist of the rock band Hole, but he has performed in the shadows of his more famous, and infamous, colleagues and friends, especially Kurt Cobain, the iconic lead singer of the premier grunge band, Nirvana, who committed suicide at the height of his fame, and Courtney Love, Erlandson’s former girlfriend and Hole bandmate. As it turns out, Hole released their debut album, Pretty on the Inside, a week before the release of Nirvana’s behemoth best-seller Nevermind. Within a month, notes Erlandson, Love and Cobain were a couple. From then on, Erlandson assumed “a sort of friend/caretaker role,” serving as both Cobain’s sounding board and morale booster even as he felt pangs of “subconscious jealousy.” In addition to Cobain, other friends and associates of Erlandson’s self-destructed during a relatively short period of time. Erlandson finally comes to terms with his loss in 52 prose-poem letters ostensibly addressed to Cobain, in which he straightforwardly confronts his inner demons while offering personal reflections on food, drug abuse, death, and self-sabotage. --June Sawyers
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