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Publisher's Summary

On the 25th anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death comes a new perspective on one of the most compelling icons of our time - and the only book written by someone who knew him.

In early 1991, top music manager Danny Goldberg agreed to take on Nirvana, a critically acclaimed new band from the underground music scene in Seattle. He had no idea that the band’s leader, Kurt Cobain, would become a pop-culture icon with a legacy arguably at the level of that of John Lennon, Michael Jackson, or Elvis Presley. 

Danny worked with Kurt from 1990 to 1994, the most impactful period of Kurt’s life. This key time saw the stratospheric success of Nevermind, which turned Nirvana into the most successful rock band in the world and made punk and grunge household terms; Kurt’s meeting and marriage to the brilliant but mercurial Courtney Love and their relationship that became a lightning rod for critics; the birth of their daughter, Frances Bean; and, finally, Kurt’s public struggles with addiction, which ended in a devastating suicide that would alter the course of rock history. Throughout, Danny stood by Kurt’s side as manager and close friend.

Drawing on Goldberg’s own memories of Kurt, files that previously have not been made public, and interviews with, among others, Kurt’s close family, friends, and former bandmates, Serving the Servants sheds an entirely new light on these critical years. Casting aside the common obsession with the angst and depression that seemingly drove Kurt, Serving the Servants is an exploration of his brilliance in every aspect of rock and roll, his compassion, his ambition, and the legacy he wrought - one that has lasted decades longer than his career did. 

Danny Goldberg explores what it is about Kurt Cobain that still resonates today, even with a generation who wasn’t alive until after Kurt’s death. In the process, he provides a portrait of an icon unlike any that has come before.

©2019 Danny Goldberg (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Serving the Servant

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Good Perspective Danny but you left some stuff out

As an Avid Reader and Listener of all things Cobain I Immediatley recognized a couple facts that didnt seem to go with the official story. First is It was heart shaped Box that Kurt added Harmonies to after the fact NOT All Apologies like you stated also you called Tom Grant "A nut" but the fact is Your significant other Rosemary spoke with Tom about finding handwriting practice notes in Courtneys backpack that were copying Kurts writing style and How she was suspicious about Courtneys behavior. Tom Grant taped all of the conversations and I have heard them, anyone can on his website or Soaked in Bleach, and yes a rock star is worth more Dead if he is going to divorce his wife and she will get nothing because of a prenump and everything if he disappears. Otherwise everything you said seems legit, but these facts are pretty important to be left out.

11 people found this helpful

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Obvious Pandering to Courtney Love

The author is clearly pandering to Courtney Love throughout. Poor journalistic integrity. I'm a big Nirvana fan, but the pandering and sugar-coating became unbearable and I had to cut it short.

9 people found this helpful

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Don’t waste your money like I did

Don’t waste your money on this like I did. No new or interesting perspectives or information.

8 people found this helpful

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Kurt as Superman

This is a love song to Kurt Cobain. Danny Goldberg was his manager and this is his recollection of their times together. It’s not a bad story, but it’s not a great one, either. Because Goldberg so love(s) Cobain, everything Cobain did takes on mythical, superhuman, ethereal qualities. In Goldberg’s telling, Cobain supersedes being human, he is simply too good and too pure for this world. If you listen to this going on with the knowledge this is not necessarily a balanced or remotely objective retelling of the life of a very complicated individual, you won’t be disappointed.

5 people found this helpful

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Good work by someone who was actually there.

This is one of the few good books about Kurt Cobain. Mr. Goldberg tells of his time being manager of Nirvana. He has some good insight to offer on Kurt & Nirvana at that time.
The writing & narrating are both well done.

4 people found this helpful

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Would have been 5 stars w/out the politics

So when reading or listening to this book it is very important to understand or realize it is from one guy’s point of you. Although I enjoyed it for the most part I really could have done without an entire chapter devoted to left-wing politics which really shows the authors connection to the ACLU. I really hate the fact that I cannot even listen to a story about my favorite childhood band without having left-wing politics shove down my throat.

2 people found this helpful

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Puff piece

Weak. This paints Kurt as an angel. In reality he was an extremely talented guy with deep emotional scars from genetics, youth and from being an outcast. He saw anyone with their sh*t together as a bully. He was a drug attic with a warped sense of reality, a major inferiority complex and loads of talent. It’s what you would expect from a manager. Boring.

1 person found this helpful

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I loved this book

Read by the author and former manager of the bad, Danny Goldberg whom offers a unique and different account of the mainstream narrative of Kurt's life and demeanor. There are many anecdotes that present Kurt as a kind and thoughtful man. You can really feel the pain Mr. Goldberg still feels at the loss of this great, talented man. I highly recommend this fine work.

1 person found this helpful

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Very insightful and enjoyable book

so this is the best and most enjoyable book about Nirvana I have read. Which is a few. Ifyou want some insight into the band, if you heard from his personality and real self, and the culture and music of the times, read the book. If you want an assassination piece on Courtney, look elsewhere. The focus on both Kurt and Courtney is level-headed and fair-minded and objective. This book has no agenda other than to give insight into Kurt Cobain's life and music and art

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Only a glimpse.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The Ernest honest approach is matched with the dignity and respect the memory of Kurt deserves. This book gave me a view into the origins of his chaos I had only gotten a glimpse of as a fan, as more of a fan of Hole/ Courtney Love I appreciate the perspective of someone who is respected by Mrs. Cobain and not using her husbands death as a platform to crucify her with. Someday, I hope Mr. Goldberg writes of Mrs. Love.

Peace, Love, Empathy
Carrieanne Igel