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In early 1991, top music manager Danny Goldberg agreed to take on Nirvana, a critically acclaimed new band from the underground music scene in Seattle. He had no idea that the band’s leader, Kurt Cobain, would become a pop-culture icon with a legacy arguably at the level of John Lennon, Michael Jackson, or Elvis Presley. Danny worked with Kurt from 1990 to 1994, the most impactful period of Kurt’s life. This key time saw the stratospheric success of Nevermind turn Nirvana into the most successful rock band in the world and make punk and grunge household names; Kurt met and married the brilliant but mercurial Courtney Love and their relationship became a lightning rod for critics; their daughter Frances Bean was born; and, finally, Kurt’s public struggles with addiction ended in a devastating suicide that would alter the course of rock history. Throughout, Danny stood by Kurt’s side as manager, and close friend.

Drawing on Danny’s own memories of Kurt, files which previously have not been made public, and interviews with, among others, Kurt’s close family, friends and former bandmates, Serving the Servant sheds an entirely new light on these critical years. Casting aside the common obsession with the angst and depression that seemingly drove Kurt, Serving the Servant is an exploration of his brilliance in every aspect of rock and roll, his compassion, his ambition, and the legacy he wrought – one that has lasted decades longer than his career did. Danny Goldberg explores what it is about Kurt Cobain that still resonates today, even with a generation who wasn’t alive until after Kurt’s death. In the process, he provides a portrait of an icon unlike any that have come before.


Insightful, passionate, and clear-eyed, Goldberg's account of his personal and professional relationship with Kurt Cobain is required reading. It is essentially the story of two men, a generation apart, who became unexpected friends and a contemplative requiem to losing someone you love who immeasurably touched the entire planet with a singular magic.
As soon as I started reading , I got sucked in, and I couldn't put it down... any music fan should want this book. Any Nirvana fan "must" have this book.
Serving The Servant is a clear, straightforward look into a gifted artist's struggle to balance integrity with ambition. Danny Goldberg shows us how Cobain dealt with sudden, massive acclaim while continuing to hone his unique creative vision. There has been a lot of mythologizing and deification of Cobain, but Goldberg humanizes him.
There have been many portraits of Kurt Cobain, but none as warm and clear-eyed as this one. Danny Goldberg has always been one of my favorite observer/journalist/architects of popular culture. It's no surprise that his deeply personal memoir does what Cobain's best work does. It burrows in deep, and sticks around. Add this to the rich sonic legacy of Nirvana - Goldberg's soulful account of Cobain as a close friend, gone way too soon, yet vividly alive on every page of this remarkable book.
People always ask, "What was Kurt really like?" That's probably not a question that any one person can answer about anybody, but anyone who knew Kurt will tell you that this book sends you vividly back to that person, in that time, at those places. Serving the Servant contributes an invaluable piece to a complicated collage.
MICHAEL AZERRAD, author of Come as You Are
A deeply honest book that provides crucial insight into a brilliant life and a death that broke all of our hearts.
ANN POWERS, author of Good Booty
Goldberg's portrait of Cobain is loving, intimate, and three-dimensional. We feel the pain of Cobain's loss anew, palpably - as we do the indelible power of the great gift of his music.
ANTHONY DECURTIS, author of Lou Reed
As a fan and onetime rock journalist, Danny Goldberg treasures Kurt Cobain as an artist. As Nirvana's manager, he witnessed the ambition and empathy that drove Cobain toward stardom. As an activist, he admires Cobain's courageously explicit politics. As Cobain's shrewd advisor and fond friend, he misses him even more acutely than the rest of us.
ROBERT CHRISTGAU, author of Is It Still Good to Ya?