Why does fame kill?
November 25, 2006 12:44 AM   Subscribe

Why did Kurt Cobain kill himself?
posted by four panels to Grab Bag (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Because he was suffering from depression, and addicted to heroin.
posted by Jimbob at 12:47 AM on November 25, 2006


Because he was suffering from depression, addicted to drugs, and wallowed in misery, self-pity, and general crapulence.
posted by davidmsc at 2:14 AM on November 25, 2006


Because he hated himself and wanted to die.

But, really, the only person who can answer this properly doesn't read AskMetafilter and is dead.
posted by bunglin jones at 2:25 AM on November 25, 2006 [1 favorite]


Because he had acheived everything beyond most people's wildest dreams, and discovered that instead of making everything better, it all made not the slightest whit of difference to the aforementioned how he felt about himself, thus all hope was lost.
(just speculation)
posted by -harlequin- at 2:27 AM on November 25, 2006


He was also in tremendous physical pain. He had a rare stomach condition that (according to Wikipedia) doctors couldn't diagnose properly. I can imagine how something like that would really take its toll, sounds extremely painful.

My guess would be a culmination of everything cited above, as well as his physical condition, and a heavy night of drug-induced misery that April day is what did him in.
posted by fishbulb at 2:43 AM on November 25, 2006


Kill himself? Surely you don't believe that ;-)

I'd say he didn't want to live anymore so thought a shotgun to the head would sort that problem out. And it did.
posted by twistedonion at 2:45 AM on November 25, 2006


hadn't he actually attempted suicide a week or so earlier in Italy?
posted by twistedonion at 2:46 AM on November 25, 2006


Also, he attained everything he had not wanted. He really seemed to hate the "mainstream" and, suddenly, he was the mainstream. Remember that Rolling Stone picture with him in the shirt insulting Rolling Stone? This, coupled with the addiction, the stomach problem and a probable propensity towards depression led to the shotgun. Or so I've heard.
posted by jmhodges at 2:49 AM on November 25, 2006


His wife had BDP. Must've really sucked.
posted by dydecker at 2:59 AM on November 25, 2006


He didn't.
posted by Jairus at 5:24 AM on November 25, 2006


He was also in tremendous physical pain. He had a rare stomach condition that (according to Wikipedia) doctors couldn't diagnose properly. I can imagine how something like that would really take its toll, sounds extremely painful.

That probably was the root from which all his other problems stemmed. I've read that his mother had the same condition and wound up addicted to painkillers.
posted by orange swan at 5:26 AM on November 25, 2006


hadn't he actually attempted suicide a week or so earlier in Italy?

He had managed to OD on painkillers while drinking, which put him into a coma, but it has always been claimed it wasn't a suicide attempt in itself. He also OD'd on heroin in a car a few nights before he killed himself while avoiding interventions.
There was also a story of Krist having to try and tackle him in an airport and hold him in a moving car to try and get him to rehab. He was clearly falling apart.
That and if I was married to Courtney Love I'd kill myself.
posted by opsin at 7:09 AM on November 25, 2006


In addition to everything else mentioned, there was the weight of "you're the spokesman of a generation, Kurt!" and "you're the leader of the greatest band since [whoever], and everything you do is important, and you have to keep topping yourself!"

Pete Townshend felt similar responsibilities, and it dragged him through numerous breakdowns (the failed Lifehouse project, the night that led to "Who Are You").
posted by kimota at 7:42 AM on November 25, 2006


So my answer of "Because he was married to CL" was deleted, but Opsin's wasn't...perhaps because he couched his comment with salient points relative to the conversation. Me I was punished by coming straight to the point- thus saving Mbs of bandwidth. Life is so unfair. Anyone have shotgun? I'll be upstairs...
posted by Gungho at 7:59 AM on November 25, 2006


Or perhaps the best explanation is that fame isn't a panacaea for mental illness.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:28 AM on November 25, 2006


There's a lot that doesn't add up. The only portion of his suicide note to refer to suicide is a post script in handwriting that doesn't quite match. The rest of it reads like a retirement letter.

The fact that he was holed up in the greenhouse with extra shells in his shotgun also gives some investigators pause. I mean, it's not like he stood much chance of missing, right? Why the extra rounds?

Courtney Love's first album dropped the same week the nation was mourning Cobain. The extra attention couldn't have hurt sales.

Conspiracy theories aside, the second sentence of bungling jones post sums this up the best. We have only what we can observe and speculate upon.

What was the last thing to go through Kurt Cobains' mind? His teeth.
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:54 AM on November 25, 2006


Never speak a word again
I will crawl away for good

I will move away from here
You wont be afraid of fear
No thought was put in to this
I always knew it would come to this

Things have never been so swell
I have never failed to feel
Pain

You Know your Right
posted by The Deej at 9:17 AM on November 25, 2006


Didn't he want to die before 28 like Hendrix and Morrison?
posted by RufusW at 9:51 AM on November 25, 2006


Coming off heroin can be incredibly depressing. I have heard people say in all honesty, that they can totally understand why he killed himself, after going off a heroin binge.
posted by geoff. at 10:27 AM on November 25, 2006


How can we ever know what bleak abyss a human must dive into in order to take their own life. You have to be suicidal to know why he killed himself.
posted by baggymp at 12:54 PM on November 25, 2006


What always surprised me was how even the people that made money off him couldn't save him.

Here's this guy that generates hundreds of millions of dollars of wealth for all kinds of folks -- record companies, management, band members, etc. They know he has a problem. They know he's already tried to kill himself. They know he has no support structure in his life.

So who finds the body? Not the agent that stands to make 10 percent of whatever he earns. Not the record company exec that actually makes and sells the millions of CDs. Not the other members of the band that also cash the phat checks.

Who finds him?

An electrician that had come to fix the lights.

If the "evil blood-sucking corporate masters" can't even keep you alive to keep churning out the hits, nobody can.
posted by frogan at 3:38 PM on November 25, 2006 [2 favorites]


kimota: [...] and you have to keep topping yourself!

well, he did, conspiracy theories aside. pretty tall order to keep doing it, though...

the turn of phrase amused me. sorry.
posted by corvine at 11:25 AM on November 27, 2006


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