Excerpt from Goldberg's new book featured on Spinner

A lengthy excerpt from former Nirvana manager Danny Goldberg's new book, Bumping into Geniuses is available on Spinner.

In his memoir, Bumping Into Geniuses: My Life Inside the Rock and Roll Business, Goldberg recounts his personal graces with artists like Patti Smith, Warren Zevon, Bruce Springsteen, Kiss, Hole and more. In the excerpt below, Goldberg discusses his relationship with Cobain just as Nirvana was signing to Geffen for the release of Nevermind.

My relationship with Kurt Cobain was the most important of my career and had many contradictory levels. I was his manager, where I did a decent job, and his friend, where I failed. I saw him as a great songwriter and singer, a visionary about the imagery of rock 'n' roll, as someone who both coveted and reinvented superstardom and who hated many of its by-products.

When my business partner, John Silva, and I first met with Nirvana, drummer Dave Grohl was the youngest of the three and by far the quietest. Most of the talking was done by Krist Novoselic, an affable giant of six feet six. The singer Kurt Cobain, short and slight, sat quietly, but when he chimed in, always in a low and understated voice, I quickly recognized his authority among them.

Within days of the September 24, 1991, release of Nevermind, it was clear that Nirvana was not just another cult band. The earnest guys who had cheerfully worked on the album in relative obscurity were about to become rock stars with a velocity that the music business had not experienced since the days of The Ed Sullivan Show.

Goldberg proceeds to reminisce about his first Nirvana concert, the beginnings of Kurt's relationship with Courtney, the band's infamous SNL performance, fatherhood and In Utero recordings.

Backstage at Saturday Night Live, I was told that Kurt had nodded out several times during a photo session for the show. But the sweet, intoxicating perfume of zeitgeist trumped everything, at least for the moment. Nirvana performed capably and Nevermind went back to number one on the charts; around the same time it went double platinum. Johnny Rotten was quoted as saying, "Nirvana has done what the Pistols and the Clash could never do. They've taken punk to the top of the charts."

Early in 1993 Nirvana began recording In Utero. Kurt was focused on balancing songs with punk energy with those that could work on the radio. When he finished Heart Shaped Box, he called and ebulliently announced to me, "I've got the first single." While he was writing All Apologies he played the Beatles' Norwegian Wood over and over again, hour after hour.

Read full excerpt.

Bumping Into Geniuses: My Life Inside the Rock and Roll Business is due out September 18.

Posted in NFC news section at on 09-05-2008 @ 10:47 AM (GMT).

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