HD Video, photos and words by G.
When Nirvana’s music was new in the early 1990s, I was in a “I will only listen to classic rock and Prince” phase, so I missed out on being present for arguably the last band that really changed the world. About 10 years after Kurt Cobain committed suicide, I was ready to hear Nirvana’s music with an open-minded ear, and I had a way after the fact epiphany on their greatness. For those who gave Kurt that crown in his life time, they are about to see a whole different side of Kurt Cobain that until now has only existed in myths and legends.
Courtney Love and Brett Morgen
At the Tribeca Film Festival on April 19, 2015, I went to the premiere of Brett Morgen’s documentary “Montage of Heck,” and if you are even remotely interested in Nirvana or Kurt Cobain, I cannot recommend this movie enough to you. The film has everything you could ask for – from lots of home movies of a young Kurt Cobain to interviews with mother, father, sister, generous helpings of entries from his journals that come to life (you’ll see!), performance footage and home movies that show him as a loving, but drug addicted father (and apparently 80% of the footage in the film has never been seen before by the public). You will see that from an early age, Kurt was tremendously talented, yet also very troubled. From bad family relations to chronic stomach problems, to drug use, Kurt Cobain had the odds stacked against him from the very beginning, but he did not let any of these things deter his love of music and he made his vision of becoming a rock star a reality. What he didn’t expect (and memo to everyone post 1900 that becomes famous – everyone wants a piece of you all the time! If you don’t want that, look for a different path in life), was that you can’t just be famous and have people leave you alone. At the height of Nirvana’s fame in 1991, Kurt canceled a tour to instead do drugs and hang out in his apartment. Every time Kurt would get his shit together, the moment was fleeting and he would relapse into drug use, even after he and his wife, Courtney Love, had a child. He was haunted by magazine articles that openly called out their drug use, as Courtney owns up to being on heroin while pregnant. Coupled with the paranoia that she was cheating, Kurt Cobain overdosed on pills while on tour in Italy and committed suicide a month later at the age of 27. You’ll probably never hear “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” from their legendary MTV Unplugged appearance the same way again.
Courtney Love and Brett Morgen
“Montage of Heck,” will make you will feel like you are eavesdropping in intimate moments, when you see footage of Kurt and Courtney in the bathroom getting ready (the footage was shot by a member of Courtney’s band Hole) and you might even feel disgusted when you see the shambolic state of their living quarters, riddled with trash, but most of all, when you see Kurt nodding out from heroin use while he and Courtney are cutting their daughter’s hair, you will feel sad for a man who may have had fortune and fame, but had a pretty shitty life in most respects. After the film, director Brett Morgen and Courtney Love discussed the film and Courtney alluded to the fact that a sex tape exists (it’s thankfully not in “Montage of Heck”). Much of what they discussed is readily available in articles you’ll see about the film, but I thought the most poignant moment was Courtney Love discussing what it was like to see the film. Get the tissues ready and check out this clip.
“Montage of Heck” will be shown on HBO on May 4, 2015 and you should not miss it! Hopefully a DVD release date will be announced soon, because this is possibly the most important document that Nirvana fans could ever own (and if Brett Morgen is reading, please fill it with bonus features!!!!). Coincidentally, I recently read the book “Heavier Than Heaven” by Charles Cross and I also recommend it as it will fill in some of the gaps that this amazing 2 hour and 12 minute movie didn’t have time to get to.
Montage of Heck Poster
Photo by G.
Clem Burke and Geoffrey Dicker
The other night, I was backstage after the Big Audio Dynamite concert at Roseland Ballroom in New York and I met drummer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Clem Burke! He’s drummed for an impressive list of bands including Blondie, Eurythmics, Joan Jett, The Ramones, Pete Townsend, Iggy Pop and Bob Dylan! Whoa! Most recently I saw him drum from Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers and I got to tell him how amazing that performance was. He rocked so hard that night and it made it look effortless as he kept the beat. He was super cool as you can see from the above photo! Moments later, I got to be the fly on a wall as Clem Burke chatted with fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Mick Jones (of the Clash and Big Audio Dynamite) and Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth (of Tom Tom Club and Talking Heads). What a night! Thanks again Clem!
Photos by G.
Mick Jones and Geoffrey Dicker
It’s been over 24 hours since I saw Big Audio Dynamite in concert and then had a once in a lifetime opportunity to hang out with them at the show’s afterparty. I have to say, I’ve been on a cloud ever since! As I entered Roseland Ballroom on April 19, 2011, I was certainly excited to see BAD and I don’t know if I can explain this properly, but there is just something magical about being in a legend like Mick Jones’ presence for 2 hours in a relatively small venue. The show more than rocked. The band was fantastic, the crowd was really into it and it was a show that you didn’t want to end.
As I mentioned earlier, as the show finished, my night was just beginning and I hung out with Big Audio Dynamite at the afterparty. Mick Jones was just delightful to talk to and you’d never know from talking to him that he is considered to be a living god to millions of people across the world (including myself) – for decades! When I mentioned to Mick that I’d seen Carbon/Silicon (another great band he’s been in) in concert, he thanked me for coming to that show! It takes a lot to shut me up, and that left me speechless! I hope so much that some of these newer bands take a lesson from this because I will never be able to think of the band again without cracking a huge smile. I thanked every member of Big Audio Dynamite for putting on such a great show and I thanked them all for the music and everyone was so cool! Many thanks again to the band for so much great music over the years and for being so personable!
And now… the photos!
Dan Donovan (Keyboards) of Big Audio Dynamite and Geoffrey Dicker
Don Letts (Big Audio Dynamite) and Geoffrey Dicker
Greg Roberts (Big Audio Dynamite) and Geoffrey Dicker
Leo Williams (E-Zee-Kill) of Big Audio Dynamite and Geoffrey Dicker
This party was the event that keeps on giving as if it weren’t enough to meet Big Audio Dynamite, attending the after party were Clem Burke of Blondie, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz of Tom Tom Club and Talking Heads and photos of those encounters are coming soon – so stay tuned!
Photo by G.
Mick Jones and G
Mick ffffing Jones! The man is a legend. Performing as a member of The Clash, Big Audio Dynamite and Carbon/Silicon, he is one of my personal gods. Mick was in town to play with the recently reunited group Big Audio Dynamite and the show was spectacular! You can read a review and see the set list here. My great fortune saw me getting invited to an exclusive after-party thrown by Sony and it was beyond epic. We were treated to a meet and greet with everyone from Big Audio Dynamite (photos of those encounters are coming soon, so please stay tuned). When I was introduced to Mick Jones, I don’t think it’s possible that he could have been nicer. As you all know from reading the site, I’ve met my share of legends from all walks of life and I have to say, Mick Jones ranks towards the top of the list in terms of being an all around cool person. A legend with his accomplishments was absolutely thankful to each and every fan he met last night and I am so grateful for being able to have this experience. Mick cracked a big smile as he signed my Carbon/Silicon CD and after I told him I saw that show several years ago, he thanked me for going! I’m speechless! All I can say, a million times, is thank you so much to Mick Jones for all the great music – past, present and future and for being one of the coolest guys on the planet (both in accomplishments and in personality). Special thanks to Sony for throwing one of the best parties I’ve ever been to! This is a night I won’t be forgetting any time soon.