Carrie Borzillo talks about new 'Nirvana' book and Kurt Cobain Special

Posted Jul 2, 2014 by Markos Papadatos
Award-winning music journalist Carrie Borzillo chatted about her new book "Nirvana: In the Words of the People Who Were There."
Author Carrie Borzillo
Author Carrie Borzillo
Piper Ferguson
Regarding her inspiration to write this book, in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's death, she remarked, "The book was originally released in 2000 by U.K. publisher Carlton Books as Eyewitness Nirvana: The Day by Day Chronicle and was updated with more photos and caption details in 2003 as a coffee-table size book as Nirvana: The Day To Day Illustrated Journals. Since then, it's been released under multiple titles, covers, and languages through licenses of different publishers around the world. The 2014 version as Nirvana: In the Words of the People Who Were There came out to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain's tragic suicide."
She continued, "I was inspired, however, to take this opportunity to bring awareness to suicide by donating selling signed copies of my book from my website, with a portion of the sales benefiting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. The offer is still up. I didn't want to just capitalize on this horrible anniversary; I wanted to do something to give back and spread the word about suicide prevention."
"As for the initial inspiration, the publisher just came to me and asked me to write this book. It was their idea, and a great one, so I jumped at the chance. Of course, I was and still am a Nirvana fan, so I was incredibly honored that they came to me," Borzillo added.
Her book garnered rave reviews from many media outlets, including Digital Journal. "I am totally blown away by the amazing press and reviews the book has received! I have a Google alert set up for myself and the book, and every time it comes in my inbox, it's like Christmas morning. I'm so grateful. I even frame and hang some of my favorite articles. It's also nice to be able to talk about suicide prevention in the interviews I'm doing," she shared.
"I do believe that Kurt was a troubled soul and somewhat doomed from the get-go, but I always wonder if his depression was treated early on, would he have ended up a heroin addict? Would he have killed himself? This is why it's important to teach kids in the grade school level about how to articulate how they feel, if they're depressed, anxious or alienated. Most little kids don't know what depression is even if they have it so it's hard for them to share it with a parent. And a lot of parents and teachers still don't do a great job at recognizing the signs too. I know it would cut down on a lot of suicides and school shootings with these kids later in life. Statistics show that most people who commit suicide are depressed. We need to talk about depression more, recognize when someone's in trouble, and act on it sooner," she added.
When asked what fascinates her most about rock band Nirvana and front-man Kurt Cobain, she underscored, "They changed music forever. The underground became the mainstream. Indie labels rules over majors. Anti-fashion took over the runways. Distorted guitars and lo-fi recordings hit us all on a visceral level. Kurt connected with people like no other artist has since. It was an incredibly exciting time in music history that will probably never happen again."
She continued, "Kurt was the voice of a generation and a voice for everyone who felt uncool, weird, unpopular, and different. There will always be new generations of kids who feel this way and that is why there are always new fans year after year."
Cover art of  Nirvana: In the Words of the People Who Were There  by Carrie Borzillo
Cover art of "Nirvana: In the Words of the People Who Were There" by Carrie Borzillo
Andre Deutsch, Carlton Books Limited
It took Borzillo five months to write and research all of the facts on this compelling book. "I worked 12 hour days, had little sleep, didn't shower often or brush my hair. It was all encompassing. I even started having dreams about Kurt. It was a pretty intense process," she said.
The author added, "I started with getting a skeleton of a timeline of their career starting with the easy dates/facts to find, such as album release dates, tour dates, chart numbers, awards shows, and the bigger headline news events (marriages and overdoses). I also had a great contact list from my days as an editor at Billboard magazine and cast the net wide to find people who 'were there' to witness their career and lives. Shockingly, I got 50 people to say 'yes' to interviews to share their stories. It was the toughest thing to do, but 14 years after its initial release, it is still the most rewarding project, I've even had the pleasure of writing."
This year, Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during their first year of eligibility, proving that they are true forces to be reckoned with, and Borzillo was elated to hear such news. "I was so thrilled. It was no surprise. I do wonder if Kurt was here for it what he would've thought about it. Would he show up in a T-shirt that read, 'Rock and Roll Hall of Shame' or would he finally be able to appreciate his career and contribution to music? We'll never know," she said.
She noted that she had mixed feelings about the choices for the performances for the induction. "I thought Michael Stipe was an amazing choice to introduce and was glad that Kim Gordon was there since she was such a part of that scene. My favorite performance was St. Vincent's Annie Clark taking on 'Lithium.' I felt she captured the pain and emotion in that song like Kurt did. She connected with the sentiment more than the other performers. That moved me. It gave me chills, but it also made me sad thinking about the great artist we lost in Kurt. It's hard for me to listen to Nirvana with any joy knowing the songs came from such a place of struggle and pain most of the time," she said.
On her plans for the future, she revealed, "I'm trying to figure out my next book. It's hard because I've written three books. Along with Nirvana, there is 2008's Cherry Bomb: The Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Better Flirt, a Tougher Chick & a Hotter Girlfriend, and to Living Life Like a Rock Star, and 2010's Tera Patrick's Sinner Takes All: A Memoir of Love and Porn that I was completely passionate about, and have yet to find a fourth idea that I'm equally excited to take on. I also filmed a few scenes for a music-related reality show that airs this September. I can't reveal the details yet - and who knows? I might end up on the cutting room floor anyway."
She concluded, "The signed copies of Nirvana: In the Words of the People Who Were There are still available with a percentage of sales from those copies benefiting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. So, if anyone wants to support the cause, go to the homepage."
For more information on Carrie Borzillo and her new book, visit her official website, and the book's Facebook page.