Truth: I live in Seattle, was a freshman in high school right when Nirvana broke, and never thought they were anything more than a pretty good band lead by a complete fuckup with perfect cheek bones and piercing blue eyes. Don’t get me wrong, I like a few of their albums (In Utero specifically), but you know, I just always thought Soundgarden was a gajillion times better, even as an angry disaffected teenager. 20 years later, of all the platinum selling “grunge” bands, SG are the only ones I actually listen to on a regular basis. Will I ever watch this Montage of Heck movie? Probably, but I also just watched the Foreigner Behind the Music, so you know, that’s my way of saying that I’d pretty much watch any rock music docu-anything because there’s something incredibly wrong with me. Anyway, the reason I’m posting this is because as a kid I always thought Kurt’s story about being a drug addict because of his “chronic stomach condition” was a bunch of utter shite, so after all these years it’s compelling to see that, according to King Buzzo of the legendary Melvins, it absolutely was (from Stereogum):
Kurt also told me there was absolutely nothing wrong with his stomach. He made it up for sympathy and so he could use it as an excuse to stay loaded. Of course he was vomiting — that’s what people on heroin do, they vomit. It’s called “vomiting with a smile on your face.”
Again, even as a 16 year old this was my suspicion. I mean, he was a heroin addict, of course his stomach was fucked. I really doubt this is why he was doing heroin in the first place, which probably had more to do with an inability to deal with his screwed up childhood and deranged lunatic of a wife. But alas, even today I still occasionally run into apologists saying: “He was only a junkie because he couldn’t deal with his stomach issues.” Sure. People, we’ve got to stop glamorizing heroin addiction (Aleister Crowley anyone?). I give Buzzo mad props for repeatedly pointing out how awful dealing with his childhood friend became after heroin entered the picture. I highly recommend reading the rest of the article because according to Buzz, 90% of what’s said in Montage of Heck is a bunch of stories Kurt made up to screw with people. The funny thing is, they will all now be repeated as fact ad infinitum because that’s the way human consciousness operates. Disinformation indeed.
P.S. The Melvins still tour incessantly and made, in my mind, their best albums nearly 20 years into their career after signing to Ipecac. Soundgarden made an amazingly solid comeback record a few years back and are still rocking shows. Neither band had prominent heroin addicts as members. Nirvana? Yeah, the guy blew his brains out and that was the end of it. Just making a point.