Kurt Cobain and William Burroughs


On August 2nd, 1993, Kurt Cobain wrote the following letter to Beat legend William Burroughs. Cobain had been a fan of the author’s work for many years and even collaborated with Burroughs on The “Priest” They Called Him in 1992, but to Cobain’s dismay they still hadn’t met. In preparation for the video to Heart-Shaped Box, Cobain wrote to Burroughs and asked him to appear, even if it meant disguising his face to avoid unwanted attention. He politely declined. Cobain did eventually meet Burroughs, in October of that year, and they exchanged gifts.

Cobain passed away six months later.

Transcript at Letters of Note

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    18 Responses to Kurt Cobain and William Burroughs

    1. Wow so eloquent and charming, it makes me want to hug him and promise that it’ll be all right. He also forgot one M in Communications at the top haha. I SEND MY HUGS AND AN ADDITIONAL M TO YOU KURT.


    2. Fuck you Nate! My screen now has a lemonade all over it!


    3. “passed away” … WUT?

      Sorry, but “passed away” is reserved for lingering illnesses, it does not apply for asshats taking a permanent solution to their temporary problems.


    4. I, for one, am glad Kurt Cobain is dead.

      Motherfucker contributed to the mess that were the 90’s.


    5. All right from now on everyone has to say, he blew his fucking brains out, when referring to Kurt’s death or the people who died of terminal illnesses might get jealous.


    6. True words. The dude had everything he could have wanted and he chose to fuck himself up to the point of no return.

      Fuck ‘im.


    7. First of all FUCK YOU. Nirvana MAY BE overrated but that doesn’t mean the band wasn’t great. Second, you guys don’t understand why he killed himself. You see, Kurt was always high, but one day the drugs started wearing off, and he realized that he had married Courtney Love.







    9. Already been said. “Passed away” != shotgun mouthwash


    10. When you’re screwed up, what you want will kill you, if you get it.


    11. @ LukeV1-5

      I can understand you’re strong feelings given that some idiots looked upon Kurt as a role-model. That IS retarded. Emulating that guy is retarded. How he lead his life is stupid from a normal persons point of view. But then, the same applies to Hunter S. Thompson, and that guy kicked arse.

      Kurt and Grohl wrote some awesome songs. That’s all I care about. Reading up on his life story might be interesting, but people who obsess over it need their heads examined I agree.


    12. first and foremost all of you who hate kurt cobain for how he lived his life is none of your fucking business just like its no ones business the way you live your life, i for one cannot judge someone without first thinking about what would be judged against me based upon my life decisions. your no fucking angel and i bet for damn sure you’ve made some pretty terrible mistakes yourselves, so fuck you based upon that. if you think he contributed to the mind fuck that was the 90’s then yes, you are correct, but without his contribution half of the music you hear today would not have been commericially played until now due to the fact that the 80’s bullshit music would have still been conquering the radio and MTV. his influence has casted a shadow over music for the past 2 decades, influencing many bands that YOU PROBABLY LOVE. you think your precious Fall Out Boys and precious My Chemical Romance would have had a chance if not for Nirvana? or more importantly Kurt. He suffered from multiple pyshical and mental disorders. one who has everything has nothing left to live for. he never wanted the fame, and he didnt want the popularity. it was forced upon him by assholes like you who say fuck him. suffering from an incurible stomach ailment left him little hope and drove him deeper into depression. his mother’s side of the family suffered from severe depression, majority of the males on his mom’s side had commited suicide. this is a trait that was passed to him via genetics, in the form of a chemical imbalance in his brain causing depressive moods and suicidal tendencies. so the next time you wanna just write Kurt Cobain off just cause he made the choice to kill himself just try to put yourself in his shoes. your suffering from an incurible ailment, your stuck hooked on herion, your wife is threatening divorce and taing full custody of you daughter, your stuck in rehab, all your friends have turned against you, the pressure from the media constantly at your door, fans constantly stalking you, and all you want is to be left alone….what would you do? he for one knew what he wanted to do. and he did it. would you be courageous enough to pull a trigger when the gun is aimed into your own mouth? probably not, was he? apparently so. i for one am a fan of kurt cobain and always will be, no matter what anyone says. its just sad that some people will always be so judgmental and not realize that there is still three fingers pointing back at them when pointing at a finger at someone. so remember, fuck you. its better to burn out than fade away.


    13. Well put shit_happening. Either way, even if he didn’t have any problems, he accomplished enough to make up for it but he was indeed in a miserable position. That’s exactly what I always so also, it’s none of your business if a public figure decides to kill themselves. None of this people would complain about regular folk who killed themselves to their relatives or whatever, only when there is someone who got some attention, involuntarily or not, they think they have a right to determine what that person should or should not have done.

      I enjoy mostly everything Kurt left behind in this world, can’t say the same thing about the majority of people who are still here.


    14. I have no opinion of Kurt Cobain — neither positive nor negative. But I agree with those who said that “passed away” is an idiotic euphemism for “shot himself in the face with a shotgun”.


    15. Fuck all of you with your “He wasted his life on drugs” bullshit. Why was it a waste? Because he got in touch with himself and made good music? If half of you pussies out there weren’t afraid of everything and opened your minds a little the world wouldn’t be so fuct.


    16. I see butthurt people. They’re Nirvana fans. They don’t even know that Nirvana didn’t invent grunge, Kurt just stole the sound and sold it out.

      Admittedly, this brought it to national attention. Someone had to take that step.

      Kurt Cobain wrote some good songs. I just wish he wrote them with another singer in mind. His voice was average and his enunciation was terrible. Adequate guitar chops, though.


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