Published Jun 06, 2015Nirvana's name has been everywhere lately thanks to the new documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck. And while Brett Morgen's film has received positive reviews, Cobain's friend Buzz Osborne (of the Melvins) didn't have such a warm reaction, since he has now said that "90 percent of Montage of Heck is bullshit."
Osborne was high school friends with Cobain in Aberdeen, WA. They played together in the band Fecal Matter, and the Melvins were close associates with Nirvana. In other words, Osborne has some first-person insight into Cobain's life.
In an op-ed for The Talkhouse, Osborne wrote that he has seen Montage of Heck twice and that it is "total bullshit." According to him, Cobain "was a master of jerking your chain." Among the stories he identified as untrue were the account of Cobain losing his virginity and the story of his attempted suicide on the train tracks.
Of the former story, he said, "I know the whole 'I tried to fuck a fat retard' story is complete bullshit. Not even an inkling of truth. That's too good a story to have gone this long without me hearing about it, especially if, as he suggests, the girl's father freaked out about it at the high school. In that small-town shit-hole, exciting news of that nature would have been common knowledge before the sun set. It never happened."
Osborne further claimed, "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."
He also said that Cobain's account of his wife Courtney Love's fidelity is very different from the one portrayed in the film (although he doesn't go into details). He had a lot of negative things to say about Cobain's bride, and he wrote that "history becomes elastic every time Courtney Love opens her mouth."
In regards to the film's alleged errors, Osborne criticized the filmmakers for "never bother[ing] to fact-check simple stuff." Additionally, he called the home movie footage "creepy."
It wasn't a total loss for Osborne, however. He wrote, "I did enjoy the really cool animation, though, and they did a fantastic job of showing what a depressing shit-hole Aberdeen really was and still is. For that, I salute them!"
Read Osborne's entire piece here.
To be fair to Morgen, the filmmaker himself has acknowledged that some of Cobain's own accounts of his life might not be entirely factual. When discussing the story of Cobain's suicide attempt on the train tracks, he previously told Noisey, "The reality may be a little different than the story. But the experience of the story, the emotion of the story, is I think 100 percent true. I have no reason to think that the narrative isn't true, other than the fact that I feel Kurt always embellished things a bit."