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Messenger Archives - February 2005

The Top Thirteen People Who Profit from
the Legacy of Deceased Rock Star Kurt Cobain

from The Seattle Tattler #2

Kurt Cobain is Seattle's most notorious deceased multimillionaire musician. Sure, there have been others, and there will be more to follow, but Cobain's synergistic timing, enormous artistic talent and violent, untimely death will forever rank him at number one.

Since his departure in 1994 Cobain's albums have continued to sell in the millions, and even his artwork is now raking in record prices at auction. Who is enjoying all the money that he harvests? And how shamelessly soul selling are some of these people?

The Tattler felt that since Mr. Cobain spent quite a bit of time in our Belltown neighborhood (scoring drugs and playing some legendary rock shows) during his heyday it was our duty as a community newspaper to follow up on where his money is now flowing. We apologize in advance to the people on the list who really have no reason to be ashamed of their Cobainbucks: including Krist and Dave from Nirvana and Kurt's beautiful daughter Frances Bean.

Courtney Love
COBAIN CONNECTION: Blew into town and snagged Kurt away from other gold diggers/indie rock grrls right as his fame exploded. Persuaded Kurt to give her a marriage license and a baby, Frances Bean Cobain.*
COBAINBUCK$: $30,000,000+

Love is the sole heir to the Cobain estate as well as a 1/3 partner in Nirvana LLC with his former bandmates. She recently licensed his diaries for $4 million and still posseses other artifacts worth millions. Love was on top of the world career-wise, after Kurt snuffed it in '94 she had a top selling record, Live Through This, and went on to play a series of slutty strippers in several Hollywood movies. These days she faces legal problems stemming from her drug addictions and other idiotic behavior, which temporarily lost her custody of her daughter.

*Frances will inherit the estate should Love die prematurely.

David Geffen
COBAIN CONNECTION: Signed Nirvana to Geffen Records.
COBAINBUCK$: $20,000,000+
Billionaire David Geffen is one of the most successful men in the history of the entertainment industry. He signed pop superstars Crosby, Stills and Nash and Guns N' Roses, too. Geffen dated Cher before he admitted that he was gay, then decades later created Dreamworks SKG with buddies Steven Speilberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg.

cobain seattle tattler
See the Seattle Tattler Cobain pdf here.

Dave Grohl
COBAIN CONNECTION: Joined Nirvana as drummer in 1990.
COBAINBUCK$: $13,000,000+
Ambitious rock star Grohl didn't let Cobain's death slow him down - he immediately released a multimillion selling album with his new band Foo Fighters, establishing himself as rock royalty in the process. Grohl is a multi-talented musician who fronts the band. He has also had sexual intercourse with lots of Hollywood starlets, and remains 1/3 partner in Nirvana LLC.

Krist Novoselic
COBAIN CONNECTION: Kurt's best friend, co-founder and bass player of Nirvana.
COBAINBUCK$: $13,000,000+
Novoselic might be one of the only superstars coming out of the grunge explosion who actually spends lots of time in Seattle. Most of the other folks left for L.A. long ago, including Krist's nemesis CourtneyLove, who when asked why she moved away claimed that the only alternative "was to remain in Seattle and be a scumbag." We must also give him credit for his political involvement, a wise move considering his lack of musical success since 1994. His second band, Sweet 75, showcased his medicore guitar playing. In 2004 he issued a press release claiming that he was quitting the music industry. One can only sympathize with someone who lost their job and best friend in such a dramatically public fashion. Novoselic (and Grohl) have spent a great deal of time in court with Love squabbling over Nirvana's musical and financial legacy.

Jonathan Poneman
COBAIN CONNECTION: Signed Nirvana to Sub Pop.
COBAINBUCK$: $7,500,000
Poneman had the prescience to sign Nirvana to his label (with partner Bruce Pavitt) and has been reaping the benefits ever since. Sub Pop got a piece of Geffen's multi-platinum Nevermind action, then sold a minority stake to what was at the time Time Warner for millions. Sub Pop has come nowhere close to repeating the success of Nirvana, but still churns out some good stuff.

Bruce Pavitt
COBAIN CONNECTION: Signed Nirvana to Sub Pop.
COBAINBUCK$: $7,500,000
Pavitt quit while he was ahead. He stopped working with Sub Pop shortly after they sold a stake to Time Warner and is now a retired country gentleman.

Charles Peterson
COBAIN CONNECTION: Grunge era rock photographer.
COBAINBUCK$: $250,000+
Peterson's signature style was to use a flash to capture the flowing manes of hairy grunge stars. His pictures of Kurt are featured in his books of grunge photographs Screaming Life and Touch Me I'm Sick. The week Cobain died Peterson sold photos to People magazine. Luckily, Peterson was shooting all the other Seattle bands of the day too, and would probably have done alright if it wasn't for Cobain.

Charles R. Cross
COBAIN CONNECTION: Publisher of The Rocket magazine.
COBAINBUCK$: $200,000 +
Cross ignored Nirvana until they were already established, as back issues of his Seattle music rag prove. He jumped all over the Cobain phenomenon after the suicide, sold The Rocket to a California company and became a Cobain "expert" who now milks his Seattle credentials in the form of magazine articles (Rolling Stone, etc) and his Cobain book: Heavier Than Heaven.

Nick Broomfield
COBAIN CONNECTION: Director of film Kurt & Courtney.
COBAINBUCK$: $500,000+
British docmaker Broomfield created a highly entertaining film about the possibility that Courtney was involved in Kurt's "murder." The DVD still sells really well.

Kim Cobain
COBAINBUCK$: $250,000+
In 1993 a girl I worked with at the all-lesbian pizza place was dating Kim, who lent her some family photos, which I was fortunate enough to see. Kim has since sold Cobain memorabilia even though, until recently, Courtney did a good job of funneling spending money to her and other family members.

Tracy Marander
COBAIN CONNECTION: Kurt's first Seattle (Olympia) girlfriend.
COBAINBUCK$: $300,000
Tracy owns several early Cobain oil paintings said to be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. She was interviewed in the film Kurt & Courtney.

Richard Kohl
COBAIN CONNECTION: Tracked down Kurt's grandfather.
COBAINBUCK$: $40,000+
According to Forbes, rock memorabilia dealer Richard Kohl gave Leland Cobain $16,000 for his remaining stash of his grandson's effects, including a Christmas card, after tracking him to his trailer in Montesano, Washington.

Richard Lee
COBAIN CONNECTION: Creator of the long running Seattle cable-access TV show Kurt Cobain was Murdered.
Lee is known to film up his own nose while theorizing about who killed Kurt. He's still at it ten years after Cobain's death, and willing to harangue anyone even remotely connected with Cobain, including cops and elected officials. He has few friends. See KKWM every Friday night on cable 29/77.

Dozens of people could be put on this list but we're out of space. Look for more of my sleazy tabloid stories in future issues of the Seattle Tattler.

- Rex Lameray

Update: Please note - a peek at the pdf reveals that we spelled "Kurt" as "Curt" all these years. Kurdt would have liked that.

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