Buzz Osbourne, founding member of the Melvins and longtime friend of Kurt Cobain, has quite a few quibbles with the new documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck. “People need to understand that 90 percent of Montage of Heck is bullshit. Total bullshit,” he declares in a review of the film for The Talkhouse.
The documentary, directed by Brett Morgan, has been widely praised for creating an intimate portrait of the late Nirvana frontman through the use of Cobain’s own home movies, journals and audio recordings. The fact that much of the information in the film comes directly from Cobain might lend it some credence, but Osborne says that’s where the problem lies. “That’s the one thing no one gets about Cobain — he was a master of jerking your chain.”
Osborne says there’s absolutely no truth to tales Cobain tells in the film of attempting suicide on the train tracks and trying to hook up with a developmentally challenged girl from his high school. “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,” he writes. “In that small-town shit-hole, exciting news of that nature would have been common knowledge before the sun set.”
Osborne also says that the stomach-troubles that reportedly plagued Cobain were an invention. “He made it up for sympathy and so he could use it as an excuse to stay loaded,” he explains. “Of course he was vomiting — that’s what people on heroin do, they vomit. It’s called ‘vomiting with a smile on your face.'”
As for Courtney Love, the Melvins frontman says that a lot of what she says doesn’t match up with versions of events related to Osborne by Cobain, and he ridicules the notion that “Kurt tried to off himself when she’d only thought about cheating on him.”
He goes on to criticize the filmmakers for failing to fact-check Cobain’s and Love’s statements. “Unfortunately, it matters very little what the facts are; what matters is what people believe. And when it comes to Cobain, most of what they believe is fabricated nonsense. Montage of Heck does nothing to counter that.”
In spite of all the faults he found with the film, Osborne did have two positive things to say about Montage of Heck. “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,” he writes. “For that, I salute them!”